“We all want everything to be okay. We don’t even wish so much for fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay because most of the time, okay is enough.”
― David Levithan, Every Day
One of the things I’ve strived most for through my life is to be happy.
Through all of my suffering and pain over the years afflicted with Bipolar Disorder, I’ve dreamed of what it would be to just live a “normal, happy life”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m under no illusion that people who are happy don’t struggle from time to time, but to feel happy and content knowing that my life is how I want it to be would be the ultimate dream.
The problem with this is that I just don’t seem able to achieve it, I always seem to bypass happy and end up with manic followed by a huge low, be this in the space of an hour, day or longer periods of time.
Something my Husband and I discussed recently was to set my sights lower. Manage my expectations and understand what was achievable, we decided to strive for OK.
Who wouldn’t mind feeling OK after all? We decided to be OK we would be financially stable, bills paid, food in the cupboards. We would be more open with family about our situation and struggles, open to help if we need it and willing to help others. We would strive for filling our time with things we enjoy, including work related activities, no more working for money, now we will work for the pleasure (and enough money to get by).
Finally, we won’t try to always answer the question “How are you?” By saying “great” “really well” etc. We would be honest, and aim for being able to say “OK”. Taking all of the pressure off.
I applied this when I had my recent psychotherapy assessment meeting. When asked what my goals were from the service I simply answered that I wanted to be OK.
Of course, I went into more detail about my short term and long term goals and what OK would look like, but saying OK not happy made the discussion much easier to focus on and much more realistic.