THIS IS US

Are You Okay? Because I’m Not.

I’m done pretending that everything’s fine

Matt Hampton
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readAug 15, 2022

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Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

I’m not okay.

It’s a simple three-word confession.

I’m. Not. Okay.

I’m not okay with the rise of authoritarianism, the rhetoric of “my freedom vs. yours,” or the consistent need for views to be punctuated by the ring of rifle fire. Every morning I’m faced with reminders on the backs of bigger and bigger trucks that “they can’t hang us all” and there will be “no surrender.” It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to enjoy a morning walk when you realize political disagreements in America are potentially lethal now.

I’m not okay as a veteran without a country.

I’m not okay when writers are stabbed on stage.

I’m not okay with the rising temperatures, increasingly regular wildfires, and the disappearance of autumn. Every year I watch the waters rise in Charleston. An inch here, an inch there, slowly climbing over streets and sidewalks. Water is a more regularly appearing uninvited guest in homes and stores. I wonder how long after I am gone before this city and many others exist only in pictures in books and the graveyards of memory.

I’m not okay with turning my back on it as a strategy.

A common self-help suggestion is to decrease your exposure to news about the world around you. Less negative energy to get in the way of your manifesting wealth, happiness, and success. Maybe it’s my autistic focus on these crises that keeps me looking, or maybe it’s that I refuse to turn my back on the suffering of others so my morning coffee tastes better.

Life comes in more flavors than happy sunshine and blissfully ignorant.

Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash

I’m not okay with myself.

I’m told I should be. Some days I am. But lately, I’m not. I look in the mirror and the voices that have been in my head since childhood find every flaw. In these moments it’s easy to think you’re uniquely and spectacularly disturbed. But you’re a human and getting deeply hurt in…

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Matt Hampton
Human Parts

Autistic creative living and working in Charleston, SC. Five-year-old Matt thinks he’s pretty awesome.