**If you really aren’t okay, call 988**
As we are all aware, we are living in a chaotic, waking nightmare. Rich investors are buying up our housing and gouging us for rent, women’s healthcare is being criminalized, and Adam Levine is tragically thirsty on Instagram. We’re all feeling this pressure, right? It can’t just be me.
BREAKING NEWS: IT IS NOT JUST ME
Over the summer, I arrived at the grocery store early in the morning, around seven. A young man was collecting carts in the lot. We exchanged our pleasantries. “How are ya,” he said, flatly.
I wanted to tell him I was mere seconds from repeatedly ramming my head into the brick building until I bled out on his shopping carts. I wanted to tell him I was desperate for the liquor store to open, and isn’t it such a shame they don’t open until nine? I said, “I’m good, how about yourself?”
I don’t know which word in my question was the magic one, but I unleashed something in this young man that sounded like it had been pent up since “A mysterious new virus has been discovered in Wuhan, China.”
Cue an Oscar worthy monologue that I can only paraphrase: “It’s bad, it’s bad. You know? It’s so hot out here. I’m out here every day, all day, and do I get enough breaks? Do they care about me? No! No. They don’t care about me, and if you get fired – if you quit – you lose your home. Is anyone there to help you? Nope. You’re out on the street, and now they’re making that illegal, too. You get arrested just for sleeping outside.”
I stood there, nodding my head, but I really wanted to scream with him. I wanted to jump up and down and tell him to come with me, let’s go set something on fire. So, I said, “I hear ya.”
He shoved a stack of six carts into their row. “There is no happy here.”
You guys. This really happened. I just walked awkwardly into the grocery store. What else could I do? Another morning, another fever dream.
It’s becoming clearer everyday people are starting to crack. Just take a stroll over to r/publicfreakout to see the worst of our society on full display. So, in an increasingly unstable world, how do you stay ahead of the game? How can you pretend to be okay? Speaking as someone who is definitely, completely okay, I’m here to help you with that.
SAY YES TO PLANS (BUT DIP EARLY)
One of the biggest giveaways of a complete collapse is withdrawing from your friends. Don’t be that guy; keep your poker face. When a friend invites you to a party, say yes. However, let’s say there is a small wrench in the plans. Let’s say you have somewhere else to be just 90 minutes into the party.
Do you really have somewhere else to be? Fuck no, unless you count sitting in the dark watching David Lynch and drinking alone as somewhere else to be. No one needs to know that. All they’re going to think is, Hey! My friend is so busy, but they still cared enough to come by. She really is okay!”
PUT ON A NECKLACE OR SOMETHING
You know who’s totally okay? Women who put enough thought into their outfit to wear a necklace with it. Or assorted rings, or a hip and trendy arm cuff, you get it. Put something shiny on your face and hands. Show off your trinkets like the crows do.
“Oh, what’s that, a necklace? Wow, that bitch is doing okay.”*
*Please be advised necklaces like this are actually a dead giveaway for clinical depression.
And, last but certainly not least, my personal favorite:
TELL THE TRUTH
Honestly is the best policy when it comes to pretending you’re okay. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but asserting your crippling mental illness as a funny joke works so well it’s almost disturbing.
Picture this: You’re at the communal coffee bar at work and your coworker comes up to ask you how you are. How about just telling them? Try it. Slap a big dumb smile on your face and say, “You know what? I gotta tell ya, I really wish I was dead!” Your coworker will laugh and laugh.
“Oh, you are dark!” they’ll say.
To which you could respond, “Do me a favor and send me the train schedule; I wanna get down to the station early so I can jump in front of one!”
Boom, you got the whole breakroom laughing. Idiots. “You can say that again!” they’ll laugh through their coffee-stained teeth. You’ve got the whole gang in stitches, and you are definitely 100% okay.
The man in green has mastered all of these techniques.
*Oh, and one more time: if you’re really not okay, dial 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline*
Now go and have some fun with it!