R U OK?

It’s ok not be

Let's start with the fact that I am currently doing fine. But throughout September, R U OK? were doing their thing and while I can credit them for their efforts of getting their message out there and everywhere, all I wanted to scream was "I AM NOT OK" when I saw part of their campaign. 

I am not making light of this. We are all human and mental health is a serious issue and I wanted to take a moment to get a little real. There are so many aspects of mental health we could talk about but let's just talk anxiety for a minute. 

Like others out there, my anxiety has a real way of getting the best of me. I try to manage it but for whatever reason, reasons that don't make any sense at the time, I found myself screaming internally the "I AM NOT OK" message a few times lately. I guess maybe this is a sign that I can now recognise my anxiety, I don't know, and even though it's extremely difficult to navigate through it when you're in a muddled up place inside, that really is a step forward for the former closed off version of me. 

While those in my day to day life can see when I'm struggling (sometimes before I even see it), on a few occasions I have learnt to actually share with a select few when I'm feeling anxious rather than keeping it inside. It might not be in any great detail but regardless it's a starting point. 

Sharing isn't easy to do and that's why I'm posting this. If you have been screaming "I AM NOT OK" or something similar on the inside, know that there are others out there who are too and if you can, find a way that best works for you to start to navigate through one step at a time. For me it's that initial acknowledgement that's important. It doesn't mean that my anxiety goes away but rather I become aware of its power over me and can take actions to better myself which every now and then includes asking for help.

So back to the R U OK? campaign. While it was frustrating at the time to feel what I was feeling, for me this campaign encouraged me to connect with one special person - me! While the campaign encourages conversations between people, I eventually got talking to myself, became more aware of what's going on with my body and generally put the focus back on me.

For that R U OK?, I am grateful.