Matana Poupko Jacobs, Owner and Founder of GIVIA

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay: How Support Makes a Difference

One night I woke up and thought that I was dying. I couldn’t breathe. The walls were closing in on me. The pressure on my chest was going to break me. Nothing I did helped my situation. In fact, it seemed to intensify everything.

I thought, “This is it.” I thought that I was going crazy. I didn’t know what was going on. I was hesitant and unsure of myself. I didn’t know anyone else who had experienced this. How do you bring this sort of thing up in conversation? More questions arose – “Would I ever be normal again?” “What would people think of me?” “Should I tell someone, and risk their reaction?” I was afraid this would ostracize me from my friends, colleagues, and family. I’d become known as “that one” who had “that thing”.

Eventually, I learned that what I experienced was a panic attack, and I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. At the time, I thought that only medicines with names you could not pronounce would help.

I also learned how people react when they learn you have panic attacks and an anxiety disorder. They either oversimplify it saying, “We all get stressed out,” or dismiss it entirely, “So? Fight it. It’s all in your head.” I was made to feel weak, and as if I were blowing things out of proportion. In ways, I can control it; it’s not that simple and, yet, it is.

I started therapy and began working with healers. It changed my life when I learned that I could work with the trauma using meditation and making other lifestyle changes. I had control. I felt empowered and free. The steps that I took enabled me to stop taking medication. I didn’t need it because I was feeling and experiencing long-lasting positive effects that no drug could give me. I was also able to make these changes because I had the right people around me – friends and family who were positive, understanding, and loving.

Their support brought me back to life in a way that I’ve never experienced before. My support system let me know that I was a part of something greater and that I’m loved and heard – feelings no other experience (especially in the rat race) could give me.

That’s why I created GIVIA – to pay it forward. If you feel alone and that you don’t have support, you can’t make the necessary changes. You feel trapped, and it can perpetuate the cycle. Support is important on any journey, but especially when you’re figuring out a mental exceptionality, one that changes your whole identity.

The right support group will help you accept the fact that it’s okay to be not okay. It’s a very liberating notion that alleviates a lot of pressure, and gifts courage. Movements like Bring Change 2 Mind give that courage and create conversations that we need to have as a society to create a more accepting world.

The unaccepting people that I was afraid of were manifestations of my own fear of uncertainty, of the unknown, and of adjusting to my new identity. With knowledge, a plan in place, and a support system, I am able to send love to those people. My fear was alleviated. I know who I am, and I know that I am more than my challenges.

By making small changes and taking small steps, we can create a greater community and support system so that more and more people know that it’s okay to not be okay. As they live a better life, they can live by example – inspiring and continuing the ripple of change.

Whether it’s small changes to your daily routine or small change you donate to a cause, small change adds up. For this reason, I am thrilled that Bring Change 2 Mind is now one of GIVIA’s selected charities.

Though donating a portion of GIVIA’s fee to a charity of choice may not seem much, I know that we are creating change every time someone processes a credit card.

GIVIA is a non-traditional credit card processor that donates 25% of its net income to wellness charities at no extra cost to its clients.

Together, we will make the world a better place one swipe at a time.

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