It’s “R U Ok?” day.
R U Ok? was founded to raise awareness of suicide and to help prevent those who are suffering from depression and other illnesses from taking the plunge, figuratively speaking. By asking people if they are ok, by showing concern and a willingness to support someone, it is hoped to bring people back from the brink, to show them they are not alone. That they belong.
Some people like something to rebel against R U Ok? day. To nit pick. People think why wait until 1 day of the year to ask this when you should do it all year round? They’re missing the point.
I am ok. But I’m not great. But I am thankful I have people in my life who check up on me and ask how I am doing. Why do they ask? Well obviously, they care. But because I have also reached out about some problems in my life. The people I reached out to ask me this question to show concern and consideration.
While there’s always someone worse off than you, it does not invalidate your own feelings or your own situation. It doesn’t make your problems, your situation or your life worth less, or worthless. You are valid. And you are full of worth.
My life is lacking, but it will get better. Why? Because I’m determined, I’m looking forward, I know that “this too shall pass” and that “every low is followed by a high”.
This year saw someone very important to me leave my life. They are not ok. But they are going to be ok. Because they are determined. Because they are one of the most positive, upbeat, inspired people I know. Because they look forward. Because they possesses deep wells of strength that only a select few realises they actually have. And they also have the support they need to get through the challenges that lay before them.
What is not ok is that because they are not ok they can no longer be a part of my life. What is not ok is that at this stage I cannot ask them “are you ok?”. Their challenges have taken them down a different path. But it is necessary. You have to do what is necessary to be ok, to be better than ok. We each equip ourselves with the tools we need to move forward with our lives and to overcome the challenges in front of us. An obstacle in your way is a challenge that can be overcome with the right approach. It is not an insurmountable wall. You can do it.
Not everyone will notice when something is wrong. Not everyone will ask “are you ok?”. Not everyone suffering has the right tools to deal with what they are facing. They don’t know any better. It is not weakness to seek out help. It is not giving in if you have to turn to someone for support. You are not a cat, that sneaks away to lick it’s own wounds. You are not a sick dog, that goes to hide under the house. You have a voice. You need the right tools and the right support. The first step you may have to take on your own, the mere act of reaching out and saying “I’m not ok, but I want to be” is scary for many. But it is not a journey you have to go through by yourself. You can get help to navigate the minefield of whatever challenge you are facing.
Help comes in many forms. The shoulder of a friend, seeking out people who are/were in similar situations either individually or part of a support group, the laughter of a child, the distraction of a game of cards, and of course professional help. You cannot underestimate the power and compassion of someone who has been specifically trained to give you the tools you need to overcome your challenges. Don’t let the fact that they have made a career out of helping people, that they “get paid to sit and listen”, stop you from approaching them. They have a genuine concern for you, a motivation to help people. Otherwise they’d be working in another profession.
It is important you do not underestimate your own self worth. Do not underestimate how important you are to the people in your life. You will be ok. Find your Peter Pan thought. Equip yourself.