Brooke's Stories

I am not okay.

It's okay to not be okay.  During the busy and stressful days of motherhood. Not okay quotes about mental health. Real life stories when your family member or mom is diagnosed with cancer.

Yesterday was the first day in the last week that I showered, got dressed and went somewhere where I’d have to talk to people.

I’d spent the last few days crying. Off and on all day, just crying. Crying so much that my face felt swollen. My eyes felt like sandpaper. It was so obvious that I’d been crying so I just stayed home (aside from school drop-offs).

I don’t like to cry. I especially don’t like for people to see me cry. I will try everything in my power to avoid crying. But after last week, I had zero control.

My moms cancer diagnosis came out of nowhere. What was thought to be a gallbladder attack was stage 4 cancer and I’m still having trouble processing that. How can this be real?

My mom is young- Only 50 years old. She is otherwise healthy. But she has metastatic stage 4 cancer with “too many tumors to count” in her liver.

She doesn’t look sick.

She didn’t act sick.

She doesn’t really feel stage-4-cancer sick.

Maybe I feel so overwhelmed because her chemo is starting right away (next week) and that only leaves a few days for us to spend time together before she engages in this battle.

I say all of this to explain why I’m not okay.

I went to my moms group at church yesterday and for the first time all week, I actually felt a little better. As I was driving home, I thought to myself that I was glad I had went, because I thought about not going.

And then, I got pulled over for speeding. I wasn’t in a hurry- just lost in my thoughts, I suppose, and I got a speeding ticket, which sent me into tears, yet again. There I was, bawling my eyes out in front of the state trooper as he handed me my $260+ ticket, to which he was probably really confused. Why would a nearly 30 year old woman get so upset over a silly speeding ticket?

Because, I’m not okay.

I got home and burst into tears again telling my husband about it. He tried to comfort me and reminded me that it’s just a ticket! But, I couldn’t stop crying.

Because, I’m not okay.

Then I got to my 10:30 AM doctors appointment today only for them to tell me my appointment (that I had waited a while for) was at 2:30. So that 35 minute drive was for nothing and sent me to tears, yet again.

Because, I’m not okay.

Everyone likes to talk about their struggles in the past tense. We talk about the things that we have overcame after the battle has been fought, and after the emotions have peaked.

We talk about the bad times after they happen, but we don’t usually talk about them *when* they’re happening.

No, we put on a brave face and we say that we’re okay when we’re not and we smile to hold back tears and we pretend that we have it together when we don’t.

And that is not healthy.

And that is what I’ve always done.

But, yesterday, at my moms group, when someone asked me how I was, I responded with “good” like a reflex. But as soon as the word left my lips, I knew that it was a lie. And I am done pretending to be okay when I’m not.

So I immediately said, “well, not really, but I’m here.”

And that’s the truth.

And the truth may be uncomfortable for some people to hear. And the truth may be uncomfortable for me to say. But the truth is the truth and the only way I will overcome this is if I feel the feelings and accept help.

When my friends learned of my moms diagnosis, and that I would be making the 3.5 hour drive back to Kentucky to go to my moms first oncology appointment, they got together to give me a gift.

I didn’t want to accept it.

Because, I am the strong one.

I have become a successful blogger with a successful husband and we don’t need handouts from anyone. I don’t like to ask for help and I feel strange when people do nice things for me like this, but my friend gently reminded me, (after I told her she really didn’t have to bring me anything), to receive it and that she understood how hard it is to receive in these times but that it’s important that I do.

Clearly, I have amazing friends.

But it reminded me that I need to practice what I preach.

When I started this blog last year, it’s because I was dealing with postpartum depression and I didn’t have any friends then. I started this blog as a way to self-care even though I didn’t tell anyone what I was struggling with. My Facebook friends probably thought that I was living a dream.

They had no idea that I was struggling. I only posted positive things and I didn’t share about my *real* life.

But, once I said out loud what was going on and how I was feeling, it was like a weight was lifted.

That was the beginning of my healing, just like this blog post will be.

I am not okay.

And I probably won’t be for a while.

And that’s okay.


11 thoughts on “I am not okay.

  1. You got this. Take it one second at a time. Sometimes I’m only alive because of brownies. My MIL has stage 4 ovarian cancer that she’s doing her second battle with. Cancer is stupid. Life is hard. Your posts are amazing and have kept me afloat through my own dealings with suicidal tendencies and PPD. Hooray for being women. As my grandma says “I can laugh and that’s a good thing” as she is dealing with losing her memory with age.

  2. I can definitely relate so much to this. My story is a little different. My mom committed suicide a year ago. I’m the strong one among my family and friends so having no control over my emotions was hard for me and I found myself hiding out as much as I could. Once I gained control and went back to work l, having people ask me how I was holding up was hard. I knew they were trying to be nice but I found myself saying “I’m good” to not talk about it. But then, did they really want to know how I was really doing?? Eventually I did learn that it was okay to not be okay and to express it as such. Because I know that even when I’m not okay, I will be, and I have every right to go through the not okay moments.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    I wish you and your mom all the best! I’ll semd out a prayer for the both of you!

  3. Finally admitted i was not ok this past october. These last few months have been VERY trying since. Im starting to feel a little more ok and know someday ill get there. Stay strong, leatn in your partner, your doctor and whoever else you feel comfortable with. You are not alone. Sending love and hugs from Canada ♡

  4. Prayers for you and your mom!!! I lost my dad on July 5 after he battled Stage 4 Metastatic Colon Cancer for 2.5 years. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. I am still not okay and I don’t know when I will be.

  5. Sending love and hugs and prayers and more hugs your way. I never truly grasped the power of a hug until my Momma was diagnosed. Then each hug was so special from her but what’s more; when I caved and let people near me that wanted to hug me, it allowed me to know it was ok to cry and feel their love and sorrow. Sounds weird, I’m sure.
    It’s ok to not be ok, I’m learning this still.
    Thank you for posting this! Thank you for being so honest even when it’s one of the hardest things to do.
    Praying for the best for your Mom and you.

  6. I am so sorry to read the news of your mother. I lost my dad suddenly a few years ago and last year my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Not stage 4. But the news in the beginning was quite the soul killer. My answer when people would ask me how I was doing was “I’m here, so I am doing okay. For now.” People didn’t like to hear that. I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to lie. Life hurt at the time and I felt that people needed to know I was in a fragile state. I am not one to tell people how I feel or break down in front of them. I get that. Remember, when it gets to much to handle. Pray. Or just give your sorrows to the wind. Let it out. I promise, you will start feeling stronger.

  7. I went through cancer a few years ago and just for fun I decided I wanted to try every single complication. I was a mess. My friends or family would start to tell some problem they were dealing with and then stop themselves and say “it’s nothing compared to what you’re dealing with…” I’d always stop them. No matter what you are dealing with, big or small, when you’re in the middle of it, it’s the most devastating thing ever. It’s not more or less important than anyone else. It’s what you’re going through and it is perfectly fine to be not okay.

    As for helping your mother, one of the most important things I learned was how to vent. The person who has cancer can vent to anyone. Imagine a series of circles. She is the center. You are the next one. Your husband would be the next circle. Extended family and friends would be the remaining circles. Your mom vents to you, you vent to your husband, your husband vents to the next circle and so on. No one vents/complains towards the inner circle. If that makes any sortt of sense.


  8. Thank you for your honesty. I lost my father 14 months ago from complications of Altzheimers. Although it sounds horrible, it was a relief he passed after a horrible disease took his dignity away. A few weeks ago while looking for a photo on my computer I had a complete breakdown. Sobbed for hours…hadn’t cried like that since he passed. And you know’s ok..because it’s ok to sometimes not be ok. Prayers to you and your mom as you fight stupid cancer together.

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