Books can make you feel many different kind of emotions. With the kind of story they tell and the kind of character they have. Sometimes they talk to us, sometimes they give us advance we desperately need. Here’s a list of books that tell us some time IT’S OK NOT TO FEEL OK.
The subtitle to this book reads ‘unfortunate situations, flawed cope mechanisms, mayhem and other things that happened’. So that should tell you pretty much what the book is about. But what it doesn’t tell you is that it’s a beautifully poignant yet hilariously funny book, based on Brosh’s website blog of the same name. This book feels like a warm hug telling you everyone’s a mess, and it’s okay to be one.
This is a collection of short stories that place at their centre ‘difficult women’ or women society has labelled as difficult. These women come from starkly different backgrounds, and battle society and themselves. This is another book that tells you it’s okay to be different from society’s expectation of you and it’s also okay to not be okay about it.
This essay memoir is Shanghvi’s haunting meditation on loss and grief, distilled through his experiences of losing his mother, his father and his beloved dog Bruschetta. He tackles the theme with sensitivity and delicacy, but speaks with poetic abandon. His writing style is so beautiful, and imbued with richness that it will take your breath away. Even more so, it will make you feel understood, will make you realize that loss is universal and boundless, and has a meaning in your life.
Andrew splits her book into sections, each corresponding to a time of the day such as twilight, golden hour, night and dawn. And in each section, she explores the whole rainbow of emotions that make us human, offering insights about desolation, loneliness, love, trauma and disconnection. This book feels like an embodiment of solace, and puts into words emotions that cannot be described.
These are a collection of beautiful and intimate personal essays by Broder. She struggled with severe anxiety and panic attacks, following which she started a Twitter account of the same name and gained a following. Here she dives deep into the issues she touched on in 140 word twitter posts, talking about sadness, anxiety and just not being okay. Just knowing that someone in the world feels this way will make you feel it’s okay not to be okay, and you’re not alone in this.
The subtitle of this book is ‘On Resilience and Courage’ but this book is as much about grief and anxiety as it is about their triumphant counterparts. This book talks about everything that makes life not okay – from physical illnesses to broken hearts – and explores ways to deal with it. And what is that? Accepting our faults, our moods and our feelings – learning to be okay with not being okay.
This is Martin’s non-fiction self-help novel, but it feels like a memoir. She draws on her own experiences of having an externally wonderful life but internally hollow, not-so-okay life. To better make sense of these moods that made her feel such a vast spectrum of emotions, she started a blog which quickly escalated, compelling her to probe deeper. So she writes a book about anxiety, loneliness, depression and the significance of these emotions in human life. This is a book overflowing with wisdom, empathy and poignance.
This book follows the teenage Aza who forges her path in while battling anxiety. It is sensitive and delves into thought spirals and limitations that mental illness imposes upon us, while also showing that joy, love and hope can be found even in the direst states of mind. This book normalizes mental illnesses and stripping the stigma around it, tells you that it really is okay not to be okay.
In this novel, Kross talks about the silent conversations we have with ourselves, juxtaposing the inner critic versus the inner coach. He tells us that it is these conversations, our mental chatter, that make us feel unhappy, and the way to feel okay is to stop the chatter. But the firsts to that is acknowledge and accept its existence, to learn to be okay with it.