Thursday, September 12, 2013

Doesn't Hurt To Ask....R U OK?

Doesn't Hurt to Ask - R U OK?

Today is R U OK Day. If you feel otherwise a little awkward checking in on those around you who you suspect may be struggling, today is your day to ask the big question. 

R U Ok? 

Truthfully, I never really allow myself the chance to stop and make sure I'm ok. (Thanks for asking by the way). I think I am, and I know I'm lucky in life generally, but how do we really know whether the everyday stresses of life are actually taking their toll in a serious way or it's just part and parcel of being an adult or a parent who works, runs a household and has very little down time etc.? I used to worry about myself much more than I do now - for some people having kids creates this amazing ability to completely muffle any struggles one might be having in themselves, either permanently or temporarily. Generally, you're so busy trying to keep the little buggers fed, watered, smiling and sleeping, anything that may be going on in your head gets dumped, pushed aside or served with a good dose of perspective. That's not always a good thing, but that's often how it is nonetheless.

As I've gotten older, I think I've grown more in tune with others around me and less embarrassed about fronting up and checking in on their emotional state. It seems that most people have got something they struggle with and sometimes all it takes is a simple conversation to open up the vulnerable side of their personality.  So, now that we have a special day where communicating with each other is publicly encouraged (although I tend to think it should be everyday) I'm asking you the simple question - R U OK? If you're not, speak to a friend, your partner if you have one, your parent or even speak up online. Just don't let it go unsaid. 

A great example of someone who found the courage to reach out, is my work colleague Gus. Gus spoke out very publicly a couple of years ago as part of his internal struggle to accept himself as gay, and in addition be accepted as a gay sportsperson within his community.  Watch Gus' brilliant piece here - perhaps it will help you to find the courage to reach out in some way too, whether it's your own struggle or one you suspect is going on in someone else.  Gus' story has inspired many others to be open and honest with those around them and I'm sure he would agree that if you are brave enough to speak up, it can be life-changing and life-saving often beyond your expectations.

No comments :

Post a Comment