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Brenda Rudolph at her March appointment.

It's OK not to be OK

This March marks one year ago when I took steps to see a counselor. The pressures of farming, finances and family were becoming too overwhelming for me to handle on my own. It was engulfing me. It was making me miserable to the point of hating where I was at in life. I wasn't suicidal; I just wasn't OK. I was miserable.

At the time, I hated myself and almost everyone around me. I began noticing I was pulling away from things that made me happy. When I began my mental health journey, I saw my counselor once a week, by the beginning of summer about every two weeks. By the beginning of fall, I saw her about every four to six weeks. It helps. It helps me be the best mom, wife and person for our farm I can be. It helps me realize when my mind is lying to myself and I am not a complete failure.

Seeing a counselor doesn't mean that every day is perfect. Every day isn't perfect.

There are still days where I feel like a complete failure and want to walk away from everything. There are still days I feel like someone could be a better mom to my kids than I am. There are still days I hate farming. Seeing someone helps me make those days farther and farther apart from each other.

There are still days when someone says, "At least you are healthy." I grumble under my breath, "Yeah well so and so really doesn't care about my health, they just want to get paid."

Seeing a counselor helps me figure out my role in my life. It also helps me filter out the negative feelings of phone calls, of wanting to set up a payment plan and the person on the other end laughing and scoffing at me on the phone when I say I can't afford $100 a week payment. Seeing a counselor helps regulate feelings of being a complete failure when this past winter we applied for heating assistance. I was OK with applying, but then they called saying we needed to fill out another form and explain why Nathan wasn't working because he had no income. Sigh.

We all have different versions of "not being OK." We all have different things we worry about. We all have different things that keep us up at night.

Sleepless nights still come and go. I lay awake at night worrying about things I really can't do anything about. I have learned, it is OK not to be OK.

It is OK to need help outside of my tribe. It is OK to talk to someone and be honest how you truly feel. It does not make me weak to say I see a counselor to help me with life. It is OK to see a counselor to remind myself I am not a complete failure. It is OK to see a counselor to remind my brain to stop lying to me.

It is OK not to be OK. Seeing a counselor helps me be OK.