R U OK?
All the words, all the neglect, all the bad luck is another blow, another bullet. They rip at an open wound until it consumes you and all you see is red, blood, rage. But with that red blends blue. Tears pull you into a whirlpool of emotion. Quickly you run out of energy to fight the current and you let yourself drown, and the blue becomes black. The whirlpool spits you out into a dark hole. Surrounded by rocky walls the only light comes from beyond the whirlpool above you. You desperately want to be back in that light, but you have nothing left ‒ no way to beat the current and no one to save you. Although your hole is dark and rocks drive into every part of you, kissing you with bruises and sanding your skin to dust, and you are constantly reminded of the surface, you know that where you are is safe. At least you cannot drown here. So, with the loose rocks around you, you close up the entrance above, and the surface can’t get to you, and you can’t get to it.
12th September 2019, R U OK day.
We’re in a society where it’s generally not okay to not be okay. Some people struggle to admit to themselves that they aren’t okay (observe the voice as ‘you’ in the previous paragraph). So how do you then expect them to admit it to someone else? It’s our job to notice, to encourage, to give those who are struggling the support to get through whatever they are going through.
Everyone has a unique experience of life and I’m talking to mine.
As humans we are social creatures. We desire to be together – whatever period of time that’s for. Due to bullying for an extended period of my early life, I did not experience a great deal of the essential positive social interactions necessary for development. To this day I still I still experience a lot of Anxiety and Depression associated with these early experiences, because the effects have lasted. They’ve gotten better, by they are somewhat permanent. And it takes a lot for me to admit this, to write this for all to see. I don’t want to look helpless or weak or different. It still happens where I can’t find the words in basic situations, because my mind is racing and overanalysing and I’m concentrating on the way my face looks, or the tone of my voice which is not yet speaking. Achieving these regular positive social interactions is essential to a favourable self-image. And when these don’t occur, when anxiety takes over a cycle of anxiety and depression starts to spin its gears once again. Mental health is so important and there are steps being taking to acknowledge and recognise this but ultimately, it’s up to us to improve the situation. My story is not here for you to pity me, it’s here because the more people who speak out, the more educated we can become.
We are so self-centred as a society. We are so neglectful of others because you come first. How about turning that you out from yourself and direct it to others. Let the happiness you cause other be a part of your own happiness. Let the relationships you have with other be profound and deep. We all matter.
The best advice I can give – reciprocate the kindness shown to you.
Remember those who are forgotten
Don’t neglect others.
Acknowledge those who aren’t
Recognise those who are quiet
Watch for those who are unusually upbeat
Pay attention to those who are always smiling
Notice the changes in others because most likely their longing for you to.
But it’s not enough to just care, to notice, to perceive. Thoughts without actions are pointless. I was told by a friend that these certain people cared about me. But I couldn’t believe it. And I told her so. What I do for them is not reciprocated. The way that they treat me is not acceptable. The way they forget me is not okay. If you have someone in your life that you care about and you want to stay in your life make sure they know it.
At end of the day, do you want to be part of their problem? Do you want your actions (or lack thereof) to cause them such negative feelings? Be part of their solution. Be part of their happiness. End the cycle.
To those who are struggling, whether I know you or not:
You are valid.
You are special.
You matter and you deserve the world.
R U OK?