• It's OK That You're Not OK

  • Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
  • By: Megan Devine
  • Narrated by: Megan Devine
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (2,089 ratings)
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It's OK That You're Not OK

By: Megan Devine
Narrated by: Megan Devine
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Publisher's summary

A New Resource for Those Experiencing Loss

With It's OK That You're Not OK, Megan Devine offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we help others who have endured tragedy. Having experienced grief from both sides - as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her beloved partner - Megan writes with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing. She debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, "happy" life, replacing it with a far healthier middle path, one that invites us to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it.

On this unabridged audio recording read by the author, Megan offers stories, research, life tips, and creative and mindfulness-based practices to guide us through an experience we all must face. With Megan's gentle but direct guidance, you'll learn:

  • Why well-meaning advice, therapy, and spiritual wisdom so often end up making it harder for people in grief
  • How challenging the myths of grief - doing away with stages, timetables, and unrealistic ideals about how grief should unfold - allows us to accept it as a mystery to be honored instead of a problem to solve
  • Practical guidance for managing stress, improving sleep, and decreasing anxiety without trying to "fix" your pain

Many people who have suffered a loss feel judged, dismissed, and misunderstood by a culture that wants to "solve" grief. Megan writes, "Grief no more needs a solution than love needs a solution." It's OK That You're Not OK is a book for grieving people, those who love them, and all those seeking to love themselves - and each other - better.

©2017 Megan Devine (P)2017 Sounds True

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What listeners say about It's OK That You're Not OK

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The author of this book is capital-A Angry

I am 7 chapters in to this and have stopped listening. The audio performance is nothing to write home about but is otherwise fine, especially considering it is performed by the author. Her emphasis and performance in some places threw me off, but nothing that was a deal breaker. The content of the book, on the other hand, is a struggle for me. For background, I lost my mother to suicide at 11, more than 15 years ago now, and got this book in an attempt to understand more about grief and grieving in a way that may help me pay it forward. So I am coming at this review with the lived experience of real personal tragedy and with 15 years of internal soul searching and external psychological therapy and independent research.

While the message "It's okay to not be okay" is a good one and I'm very sure there are people who need to hear that message, the author of this book is capital-A Angry. And it comes through very loudly in both the text and the voice performance. I know a lot about being angry during grief. This author is very angry, and was still very angry when she wrote this. I disagree with many of her assertions about grief, even while I agree with many about society and even some about psychology. But the author's intense anger colors her viewpoint on many things and I actually find it distracting from the content of the book. For a little while I'll be listening fine and then BAM some statement that is clearly influenced by the author's personal anger. It's maybe 50% good content and 50% a woman who is still angry and grieving and is doing so at you. In places I feel like she is actually trying to unload her personal feelings onto me. The book's not long so I was trying to finish it anyway, but I gave up at the end of chapter 7 after another bit of this emotional whiplash.

People who tell others to just 'get over it' or 'you shouldn't still be sad' are insensitive a**holes. They can also be extremely hurtful to the recently bereaved. It is terrible that the author and others she's spoken to have had this sort of thing said to them. But I think the fundamental misconception this author has is that her experience is with only grief. In fact she asserts that the DSM is wrong to label 'complicated grief' a disorder because (paraphrasing) she has nothing wrong with her and feeling the way she feels is perfectly normal and therapists are just out to label you and not to help you. ???!!!

In my layman opinion, the author is not just grieving but also traumatized by the experience of her husband's death. People can absolutely be traumatized by witnessing death, and her husband's death was clearly traumatic. "[...] traumatized people become stuck, stopped in their growth because they can't integrate new experiences into their lives." -The Body Keeps the Score p.53, Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. This quote basically sums up my impression of the author. PTSD, survivor's guilt, self-directed anger, and more are all possibly being experienced by someone in the author's situation, in addition to the grief of the loss. To me, this is basic information. And a lot of that is NOT going to get better on its own. I don't know how I'm supposed to take self-help advice from someone who plainly won't help themselves.

It's okay to not be okay. You may not be okay for a long time, even. Don't hold yourself to some arbitrary recovery schedule and certainly don't let others hold you to that. Grief is hard. Loss hurts in a way that is indescribable. Trauma can take a lifetime. But you should still not let your grief, loss, or trauma define you or direct your life. Your life is yours. Yes, this loss is now a part of it, and yes, this loss will influenced you and change how you see and approach things. But you can't let it have the wheel of your life. That's not healthy. If that is what you are experiencing, and you are having trouble taking back the wheel, please seek help.

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122 people found this helpful

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By far the best "grief" book

I lost my triplets 5 months into my pregnancy about 4 1/2 years ago. I've read many of books, listened to podcasts, gone to group and private counseling, but this book said it all. I grasped every word and related to every feeling. Grief cannot be healed, it will always exist. Reducing the suffering is the only thing we can control and even that takes times. Allowing one's self to be okay with not being okay is very freeing.

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47 people found this helpful

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someone understands

this book is a beautifully understanding and gentle reminder that grief is not something you just get over. it has brought me comfort and helped me with some ways I can move forward with my grief.

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31 people found this helpful

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Just what I needed to hear

I recently lost my husband in a horrific motorcycle accident in which I was severely injured. Not only was I dealing with my physical healing but now I needed to figure out how to grieve and continue with everyday life and bills and such. I never imagined that I would be a widow at 40, a week before my husband retired and we were getting ready for the rest of our lives. This book was suggested to me by a friend. The best gift I could receive at this horrible time. The validation that everything that I was hearing from people that I hated hearing, and every way that I was feeling, was OK. I need to give myself permission to feel these ways. I also love that there’s a chapter for the family and friends with things to say/not say, how to comfort etc. I HATE that I needed a book like this but so grateful that it’s available. I am so sorry that the author had to experience what she has in order to write it. Thank you Megan.

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24 people found this helpful

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Transfigurative treatise on grief

This audio book is articulated with poignant authenticity. It is a seminal work on living with tragic loss. It has personal reflection, research, powerful quotes, and useful activities. I highly recommend this book. I plan to listen to it often. Thank-you!

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24 people found this helpful

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From a broken heart

This book has helped me with the loss of my daughter. It is a suggested must read for those that grieve

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23 people found this helpful

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It's Okay that I'm Not Okay

Helped me realize that I will not "get over" my loss. I will carry my loss through my lifetime and that's normal. It is not weird to grieve for a lifetime. There, I said it. Please, don't tell anyone they need to just get over it (no matter what the loss).

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19 people found this helpful

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THANK YOU

The is by far the best book I have read on profound loss.
Finally, a place to find validation and some measure of peace in my truth, without being told how to "fix" my pain, but instead showing me how to live within it, through it.
A million thanks to the author for giving all of us this rare and precious place, this refuge from the well-meaning but clueless masses.
Thank you.

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Thank you!

She really got it. All the sad and ugly truth of losing someone. I’m really glad I found this book.

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Essential work on grieving and surviving

I recommend this book for those who grieve as well as their loved ones. It deals with the realities of grieving rather than denying the pain of loss. By empowering those who grieve to go through the process the author also empowers healing.

The content benefits greatly by being read by the author. Again, this is an excellent work which I have found most helpful in dealing with the recent loss of a loved one.

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