As a Depressive, ‘Just Okay’ is a Good Thing

A depressive friend once told me that feeling ‘just okay’ was what she aimed for every day.

As a depressive myself, I can empathize. Everyone expects to be happy all the time, like constant happiness is what humans should strive for, though it’s since been proved as not being normal.

But there’s extra pressure for people experiencing depression to ‘cheer up’ because surely, if you’re sad, looking on the bright side is all you need to do to be happy, right? Why settle for ‘just okay’ when you can be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious on the daily?

What non-depressives don’t realize that for someone used to the crushing weight of their hopelessness, to someone who would rather sleep all day because we all die and there is no point in anything, ‘just okay’ means being able to get out of bed. It means being able to bathe and eat and get out of the house, to meet friends without worrying about bringing them down.

‘Just okay’ means hearing about a death without one’s first thought being ‘why couldn’t it have been me?’ ‘Just okay’ means being okay about still being alive and recognizing it as a blessing and not a curse, a chance to do good things for oneself and for others.

My friend’s statement made so much sense. Now, when we ask each other how we are and we say, ‘just okay,’ we both know that it means we’re fine.


Yvette Natalie U. Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and the Agriculture section editor of Manila Bulletin.

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