How Are You, Really?: It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

by Krissy Ward

     I feel like I can be super honest and transparent with you guys because you are my family. The people that just.... get it. So, I just wanted you all to know that I haven't been okay... mentally, physically, or spiritually.

     I had plans to start this new year strong. Not in the cliche "New Year, New Me" type of way, but a stronger version of myself... a happier and healthier version of me. I was in one of the worst flares I've had in a really long time as the New Year was coming in.




     Then just as I was slowly getting better, I received a call saying that my SUPER close friend had unexpectedly passed away. She was a best friend. She was my sister. We never called each other by name, it was always just "sissy". We could be in a room with her actual sisters and if she said "sissy", I knew she was talking to me. When I got the call from her sister, a conversation that just keeps replaying over and over in my mind, I think I was in shock. I couldn't process that I would just never talk to her again, I still can't. I could text her right now and nothing would happen. That is still crazy to me. I cried a little bit right after the phone call and then I went into the living room and I worked out. 




     Right after finding out that my sissy died, I worked out. Afterwards, I tried to block it out of mind by watching TikTok videos, which oddly enough didn't work. I mean... it's TikTok. I could get lost on that app for HOURS & HOURS (If you know, you know, lol) Anyway, as my eyes were swelling up with tears, I paced back and forth in the kitchen trying to "man up", it didn't work. I even tried to do a puzzle, which I got addicted to doing during the beginning of the pandemic, but I couldn't see the damn thing because my tears were in the way. I cried myself to sleep that night. I was so hurt and angry. I am so hurt and angry. 

     The next morning, I had an appointment to get an oil change and on the way there, I cried. As I was sitting in the waiting room, trying to read a book, tears were trying to escape my eyes. There are other people in this waiting room. Keep it together, Krissy. I can't be sniffing too much, we're still in a pandemic, so any symptoms like that, people are going to be side eyeing me. Besides... you're a gangsta, girl. You got this! .... I don't got this. This b*tch really got me crying at the GMC dealership. She would have found that hilarious. What's funny is when I first got the news, I thought about all of our crazy conversations. We are both heavy chested and we said we would hold each other boobs up until rigor mortis set in. And I would have done it, too. She would have as well. 

     Since then, I've been having panic attacks. So much, that I went to emergency room three nights in a row truly believing I was having a heart attack. This b*tch broke my heart! I had to wear a heart monitor and take a stress test because I'm still not okay. I'm not dealing with it, but truth is... I don't know how. I don't know how to be okay with this. So, I just keep busy, which isn't healthy and I get nocturnal panic attacks, which I didn't even know was a thing until now. 

     Also, I've been on this weight-loss journey for awhile now and I thought I was going to be able to use this depression to my advantage and dramatically lose weight like other people do when they're stressed. No... I am not like other people. I gained weight. A lot of it, which just further adds to my list of things to be happy about (insert sarcasm here). 

     You wouldn't know by looking at me that I feel these things. In fact, I'm the one making you smile and laugh. I'm used to hiding how I feel because I have a chronic illness. It's... chronic, so it's forever. I don't get the luxury of saying "ouch" every time I'm in pain. I save my "ouches" for the big ones. Because I have yet to find a way to cope, my emotional pain is is causing more stress to an already stressed out body. Just living with chronic pain is stress enough. It is not normal to just live with constant pain, yet we have to try to live regular lives as if we aren't in excruciating pain 24/7.

     I am slowly finding ways to cope... I found a therapist. I haven't reached out to her, yet, but I looked her up lol. That's got to count for SOMETHING. Maybe, by the next blog, or two or three... I'll have reached out. Maybe writing this is helping me. Who knows? I’m not okay, and that’s okay. For now. It’s okay, for now, because I will be. I will be okay. At some point. Eventually. Right?

     Anyway, I say all this to ask, how are you, really? Talk to me, because I care. I hear you. I'm here. 


 This blog is dedicated to my friend. My sister.

Rest In Peace, sissy.

Tanisha Renee Gladney
March 5th, 1975 - January 11th, 2022