Thursday, 12 September 2013

Are you Okay?

Today, in Australia, we ask each other one little question...Are you okay?

It is R U OK day, best described on the website as:

"The R U OK? Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging all people to regularly and meaningfully ask 'are you ok?' to support those struggling with life."

I think in theory it's a great idea. Facebook has been filled with posts asking  R U OK? and people offering to lend an ear. But what do they do if you are NOT ok? How can they help?

What if you are not ok but don't know why, or how to say it?

What if you think others are more needy than you, after all, at least you have shelter and food and clothing? What have you really to complain of?

What if you have had to be strong and just 'deal with it' for so long, you don't know how to not be strong?

I don't have any answers.

Everyone, every single one of us needs help at one time or another.

I knew one of these people.  She was a member of my gym class. She was always helpful to all the newcomers, was great to talk to, always smiling. We had great chats, and worked out in Body Pump beside each other.

And I didn't know she felt so utterly lonely and heartbroken that she took her life earlier this year.

Would that have changed if I said Are you ok? Would this strong, vibrant, apparently happy and confident woman have said anything for me to see her differently?

Would I have known what to do, how to help?

Sometimes the person who seems it to have it together and is a 'super person' is the one who inside is screaming for help, but can't get the word out. The shell of being capable and in control is too thick, the fear of losing 'face' or esteem with others is too great. The pressure they put on themselves is enormous and builds, like a volcano, until great destruction is the result.

Sometimes the person who has it all, really has nothing inside....the outside glitz and glamour is to hide the emptiness that eats away at the heart and soul.

Sometimes the person who is the brightest laugh at parties, the ones that seem to be in a crowd of friends, is feeling more alone than you can possibly know. Alone and invisible within the crowd.

Sometimes the person knows they need help, really needs someone to take over, to just help them see the way through, but just cannot  find even the tiny amount of self love needed to think they are valuable enough to be helped, to reach out. They are crippled with the belief they are so repulsive to the Human race, the world would be a better place if they were not in it.

Sometimes, asking just one question is not enough. Sometimes, knowing someone, spending time with them, developing the relationship with them will show more than you or they realise.

Sometimes, there just are no answers.


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