November 7, 2023
I just finished watching the series “It’s Okay to not be Okay” a few days ago, and I must say, it is one of the best K-drama series I’ve watched this 2020! The series beautifully addresses the issue of mental health and the power of healing in a more positive light.
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay is not your typical Rom-Com K-Drama, and it’s much more than a simple romance. None of the scenes are cliché at all, and there are many unpredictable moments where you think things would have gone the opposite way. This drama dives deep into both characters’ emotional wounds and is a very emotion-based show in general. It shows how people deal with problems differently.
All actors are incredibly versatile, especially Moon Sang Tae! Not a single episode goes by where he doesn’t make me cry. His portrayal, in my opinion, is just phenomenal. The fairy-tale analogies and comparisons made me look at fairytales in a completely different way. Kudos to the writers and the whole production team for such a unique plot. The whimsical animation adds to the feel of the show!
Life Lessons I Learned From It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
We all have our own unique story. Each one of us goes through moments and lives through different experiences. It’s okay to not be okay touches upon each character’s stories, showing that a book should not be judged by its cover. There are situations that we may find easy to take on, but may not be so easy for someone else. We should be conscious of our tendency to give judgment. Maybe the person you hate has a traumatic childhood and unsettling relationship with her parents, that’s why she’s cold and unempathetic. People who are going through hardship usually fight their battles alone.
Try to control your emotion before making an impulsive decision or action. In short, do not make rash decisions when you are angry or frustrated. Releasing anger may help us regain control, but we have to do it in a mindful way. On the series, Ko Mun-yeong experiences difficulty with controlling her emotions. Moon Gang- tae teaches her the Butterfly Hug Method to calm herself and to count to three before making an impulsive decision.
The butterfly hug is an immediate stress-reducing technique and is something you can do to decrease anxiety and lower your heart rate.
Facing your trauma to overcome it. Dealing with trauma can be very difficult, as it can often destroy us. Moon Sang-Tae has a traumatic experience with butterflies, but he eventually learns how to face his fear by practicing how to draw butterflies, rather than avoiding it. Also, Kwon Ki-do, who struggles from depression caused by the lack of attention from his family, was able to face his problems by venting out his emotion and dancing on the stage in front of his family. This shows that having the courage to face your trauma will help you overcome it. It’s okay to ask for help if you’re experiencing it.
Being traumatized takes a toll on a person’s self-esteem. Many people with traumatic experiences don’t want to talk about their problems. They think it will only make it worse. But the truth is, it’s important to recognize how it is affecting your life and to seek help as soon as you can.
Fashion is a defense. Ko Mun-Yeong used her unique fashion style to express her emotions. She is exceptionally expressive through what she wears, and it’s essential to understand that what she wears is not something to show off, but it’s something she puts on to defend herself.
If you can’t erase a bad memory, just create happy ones. With the help of Sang Tae’s mural, Mun-Yeong realized that she cannot erase the bad memories from the past, but she can create new ones.
Fight for your happiness. Happiness is a choice. Don’t let anyone take it away from you. Everyone has an opinion about what we do and what we don’t. At the end of the day, it’s still our life, and we can do everything we want to be genuinely happy. Moon Gang-Tae and Ko Mun-Yeong are not sincerely happy for a very long time due to traumatic events, but they chose to make decisions that lead them to become happier.
Healing takes time. Emotional and mental health problems don’t heal overnight. As symbolized by butterflies, healing will come with time and effort. It may be from depression, loss of loved ones, anger management problems, or any traumatic experiences. But in the end, they finally able to enjoy freedom. The characters overcome their fears and issues by surmounting many obstacles.
Family is beyond blood relations. We all want the people we call family to be the best people in our lives. However, for others, family members cause a lot of grief and trauma. While we can’t choose our relatives by blood, we can select our own family beyond blood ties like what Ko Mun-Yeong did.
Never force anyone to stay when they don’t want to. People come and go. As we go through life, we have the opportunity to meet different people, and we can’t force them to stay if they don’t want to. We also need to allow the person we love to thrive without us. We don’t own them. They only belong to themselves.
In the final episode, Sang Tae chose to work as an illustrator and live without his brother. It’s hard for both of them since they’re used to be with each other all their lives, but they chose to let go for each other’s own happiness.
It’s okay to not be okay. The title says it all. Each character, even the ones who appear to be completely indifferent and happy on the outside, are broken in their own way. And that’s okay.
If you are struggling with emotional and psychological wounds, you will overcome it at the right time, as long as you are willing to communicate and reach out for help.