It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

By Samantha Manahan

I am not writing this blog for any type of sympathy whatsoever. The thing is, I’m still unsure if writing this piece is the right thing to do. Many of the my friends, family and followers on social media are unaware of the events going on in my life. Often because I post selfies or the accomplishments I have already defeated. Posting about our failures is not a common thing to on the internet.

To be honest, I’m still a little scared to let them down, to let myself down.  However, I know many people are battling their own demons and I want to let them know they are not alone. I have fought many battles this year, and currently I am fighting my biggest conflict yet.


I was recently diagnosed with a panic attack disorder.  

Before this semester started, I felt on top of the world. I felt empowered to take on more responsibility in my life because I was finally in control of my mental health… or so I thought.

After a couple of weeks of doing school, work and clubs, I started to notice something was different. I quickly gained ten pounds, was irritable and my grades started slipping. Everything became a challenge to do, even getting out of bed was a struggle. My anxiety wasn’t just a feeling anymore; it was my body’s natural response to daily living.

It wasn’t until the day I failed my first test that all the stress and anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks. I was crushed. My anxiety caused me to go into a panic attack. The kind of attack that causes your chest to tighten, body to go numb and has tears waiting to escape. Soon the adrenaline kicks in and your thoughts are racing and you can’t think; your insides are screaming, ready to burst and the only way to relieve this tension is by escaping the walls that are closing in on you.

Little did I know this was merely attack number one. I began to have panic attacks everywhere: at work, my apartment and in public. At this point, I was the definition of a hot mess.

After only being in school for a month, I’ve had to drop from a full-time student to part-time. I’ve had to pack up my apartment and move home. I’ve started medication and will be seeing a therapist.

At first, I felt like a failure. I was going to let my mom down, my boyfriend down, my family and his. I never took a second to think about what this was going to do to me. I was so afraid to let them know I wasn’t okay because I didn’t want to be judged. I thought I had to do it alone.

It hit me one night as I was curled up on my couch watching Grey’s Anatomy, stuffing my face with chocolate chip cookies: I don’t have to do it alone. If they don’t like what I’m going through, that’s fine. They are not the one’s fighting to get better, I am. And the first step in this process is to admit to myself and the one’s I love, I am not okay. (Huge thanks to Shonda Rhimes, for the inspiration instead of tears for once!)

Yes, I have a disorder. Yes, my daily life is affected. Yes, I am working on getting better. But this disorder is not ALL I am. Having a disorder, whether it be OCD or panic or even a mere phobia, is difficult and irritating as hell to deal with. And yeah, this time I broke. And that’s okay. This is my fight to conquer and my victory isn’t going to happen in just days, maybe not even weeks. But I know with time, I will heal.

The reason I am sharing such a personal story with the world is to show no matter what is posted on Facebook, Instagram or so forth, no one’s life is wrapped up perfectly in a pink bow. Everyone is struggling with their own battles and sometimes their bow hasn’t even been tied yet. And that’s okay.

It’s okay to not be okay.