I am OK.

I am OK.

I am OK. I am OK.

I’ve never been one for affirmations. The idea of standing in front of the mirror, picking out positive things about myself, still feels forced. But these three words, as simple as they may be, have been surprisingly comforting.

They allow me to let myself feel whatever emotions are present without judgement. Acknowledges them tenderly, a hand resting lovingly on my shoulder.

It’s everything I’ve ever wanted to hear. From my peers, my dad, myself. Despite the confusion, the grief, the shame, I am OK. Inherently, at my core, OK.

Just three words but they hold so much power. Normalizing my experience of my own thoughts, which more often than not are deployed as ammunition, destructive proof of my badness.

The days when it all feels like too much to hold. When overwhelm feels inevitable and strength feels lonely. When my worst fears about myself become my truth. These words provide a helpful reframe. I’m still here. Still breathing, vulnerable but alive.

I don’t have to perfect or good, even happy. Don’t ask me to smile. Because to pretend is not only exhausting, it reinforces the belief that something’s wrong with me. It’s OK that I am anxious, that depression sometimes feels like my baseline. My sadness and my anger make me human and need to be expressed.

Because at the end of the day, I am OK, resilient, still trying.

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