R U OK? A Rant About Why This Is An Important Question But Shouldn’t Be Asked By Some People

Today is September 8 – R U Ok? Day.

For those of you that may not have heard about it, it’s a day for recognition, conversation understanding, and support. It’s a day for checking in with your friends, family, coworkers and asking the question ‘R U Ok?’. The concept is to generate a conversation with somebody who might actually not be okay, and prompt them to talk about what’s concerning them; what’s weighing them down; what’s making them feel sad etc.

It’s by facilitating this conversation that somebody might have a better opportunity for ‘opening up’ rather than continue suffering in silence and keeping their problem(s) to themselves, in turn creating more issues.

Whilst I think it’s good to create a national campaign and a social ‘movement’, I don’t think it’s something that should be predominantly advertised and spoken about on just one day. It’s a conversation starter that should be had on a regular basis, well, providing you’re a decent human being who actually gives a shit about other people. And no, asking somebody if they are okay, before commenting on their hairstyle or fashion choices doesn’t count.


Browsing social media today, all I saw were posts about it. Images like the one above and all these people on my feed were making comments about ‘asking the question’ and ‘having the conversation’; linking to the RUOK website, and using #as #many #hashtags #as #possible, because #socialmedia.

But there was one post I saw that really struck a nerve, and it went along the lines of:

‘R U Ok?’

‘Well, actually, no I’m really not, I’ve been feeling…’

‘Okay my work here is done’

‘But I haven’t even told you what’s wrong’

And I realised that there were actually a number of people making posts about this day, that immediately fall into that particular category. The people who want to portray an image of being socially / morally responsible and caring etc, but really just do it to look good and ensure they get enough likes for their own validation and self worth. They are the sort of people that ask the question without any actual interest or concern in how the other person is feeling (when sometimes I think they are the ones who should be asked the question… ‘R U OK? I’ve noticed that you’re constantly concerned with how many selfies you’re posting on Instagram, and I’m concerned that you have absolutely zero self worth, and instead are trying to find self worth and validation from countless numbers of absolute strangers on the internet… ‘

Millennials and social media narcissists… I’m look at you!

Personally speaking, I’ve also found that a number of the people publishing these posts are also the people with the biggest gossipy mouths, so are automatically the WORST people to be having such sensitive conversations with, because that then works to their advantage within their social circles, and gives them plenty of gossipy ammunition with which to talk about you behind your back.

And for anybody that has previously, or is currently, going through a tough time, having people talking and gossiping about you behind your back is only going to make things worse.

Let’s pause for a moment. Could this sense of hostility possibly be coming from previous personal experience? Perhaps? 

Could it be based on observation of actual human behaviour within certain social circles? Absolutely.

Do I perhaps have trust issues with people from previous experiences? Undeniably.

Could this be making me sound quite biased? Shut up – nobody asked you!

To avoid any confusion moving forward, I’ll openly admit that I don’t currently classify myself as okay.

I M NT OK. 😕😩😞

#HotMess #WhereDoIBegin #WhatIsWrongWithMe #Numb #DeadInside

So there I am, sitting at my desk watching these posts pass through my newsfeed and each person that mentioned RUOK? I asked myself whether I could (a) comfortably open up to them about what is on my mind, (b) could I actually trust them enough to have a REAL in depth conversation with me about what’s wrong, or (c) would they just pass the buck and be like gurl, you just need to go see a #shrink or something, because you are #BatshitCrazy which completely defeats the purpose of the whole concept.

I’m not denying that there aren’t people in my life that I could open up to, but I’m not entirely sure I could trust them with the information that I would be divulging. Should I maybe go see a professional instead? Absolutely. However, that shit is ridiculously expensive, and it’s a luxury I simply cannot afford right now.

I, for one, can confidently say that if I ask you if you’re okay, I’m genuinely concerned about your response. I care about your wellbeing. Even if we might not necessarily be close friends. Sometimes you mind find it’s actually easier to speak to somebody outside you’re social circle, or working environment / industry, to be able to listen to what you have to say, and then be unbiased about it. Sometimes we need somebody to play Devil’s Advocate. Sometimes it’s easier to open up to a stranger. If you ever feel like something has got you down, I’ll always make time to hear you out and provide support, and know that whatever is said between us will remain between us. Shoot me a message and I’ll organise a time to talk!

I care about those suffering from mental illness. As somebody diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety, I completely understand anybody who says they’re having a rough time, or they’re feeling depressed or sad etc. I sympathise because I’ve been there. I’ve hung out with the Black Dog a number of times before, and am currently hanging out with him.

For anybody that is serious about asking somebody R U OK?, I would highly recommend watching this video before hand to be more consciously aware of what you could potentially be getting yourself into. Having somebody trust you enough to really open up for you is more than just unwrapping a bandage and showing you a wound; it’s breaking the stitches and cutting through the scar tissue to really get into it in depth. This is something that makes the person feel extremely vulnerable; baring their soul. For the person asking, it can become an extremely uncomfortable and confronting position to be in so I would suggest you make sure that you’re committed and ready enough to ask the question, because it’s so much more than just asking the question. It can open a can of worms and show you a completely different side of somebody that you never thought existed, but they need to know that you’re there to support them no matter what.

We all need to feel supported, especially at our most vulnerable.

So please don’t just let RUOK? be a question reserved for one day of the year. Don’t let it be the reason you’re trying to get attention and likes on social media. Ask the question on a regular basis, but actually mean it when you ask. Pay more attention to the people around you, and if you notice a change in behaviour, don’t ignore it. Confront it.

It could be nothing. Or it could be something .

It could change a life. But not asking could cost a life.

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Daily Prompt – All Or Nothing

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath

Which do you find more dangerous: wanting nothing, or wanting everything?

A number of years ago, I was one of those people who wanted everything – completely materialistic, and incredibly shallow.

My how things change.

Continue reading

Daily Prompt – Never Too Late

Is there a person you should’ve thanked, but never had the chance? Is there someone who helped you along the way without even realizing it? Here’s your chance to express your belated;gratitude.

I have a lot of people that I should thank for a plethora of reasons, but perhaps not for the reasons you may be expecting.

To my first Dance teachers, thank you all so much for acknowledging my talent and my future potential, but thank you also for not pushing me the way I should have been pushed and challenging me the way you should have. Whilst I thought that I was excelling, I realise that I wad in an environment that was incredibly limited and I should have had the courage to move to a capital city much sooner that I did in order to truly experience a real Dance culture and discover the challenges and improvements I’d been seeking for so many years.

Thankyou to all those cunts throughout my childhood who bullied me, and made my life a living hell and a constant struggle. Those of you who pushed me you far resulting in depression and suicidal tendencies. Thankyou for forcing me to go through some of the most horrible and painful years of my life, day after day, showing me that I truly am quite resilient and can overcome any obstacle that life throws at me. Because of you, I’ve become the strong independent person I am today.

Thankyou to the people in my day to day life who continue to disappoint and let me down, and show their unreliability. You are the reason I generally dislike people, and the reason  I chose to keep  everybody at an arm’s length. You’ve taught me that the only person I can and should only ever count on is myself, because if something doesn’t work out, I only have myself to blame. It’s solidified my independence and self reliance, and I’m comfortable with that.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/never-too-late/

Daily Prompt – No Time To Waste

Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion.

Life is too short to wallow in sadness and misery.

Continue reading

Daily Prompt – Flash Talk

You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?

Hiiiii, I’m an alcoholic. Just kidding, I’m addicted to heroin. Again… Kidding. Continue reading

31 July – 10 Events

Tell us about 10 important personal events from your life from the last 10 years.

10 events from 21 – 31…

1. Turning 21 and having none of my friends turn up to my birthday.

2. Turning 21 and being dumped by the guy I was seeing because he had a boyfriend.


3. Having a massive falling out with my father resulting in not speaking to him ever again.


4. Getting fired from my first ever job because I threatened my boss.


5. Being diagnosed with depression.


6. Getting told I’d never dance again.


7. Discovering Les Mills.


8. My share-house experiences.


9. My ex-best friends.


10. Meeting hulk.

Daily Prompt – I Can’t Stay Mad at You

Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?

Correction… I can and WILL stay mad at you for as long as I feel like it…

Give me a reason to hold a grudge… any reason… any reason at all… regardless of how minor it may be, and it’s like setting something into concrete – I’ll hold onto that grudge for as long as I need to.

Hi, I’m a Scorpio, and I’m the wrong person you want to be pissing off. Ever. For me, holding grudges is something that just happens . Naturally. Like learning to walk, or brushing your teeth at night. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always held grudges against people, even when I was a kid. I was always of the mindset that if you’re going to piss me off or upset me, then I want nothing to do with you.

…and that was just primary school!

Continue reading

Daily Prompt – Fight the Power

Tell us about a time when you fought authority and took a stand against “the man.” Did you win?

There was a situation with one of my employers a couple of years ago. An accusation was made against me (which was false, and completely ludicrous), and without following the companies own policies and procedures in dealing with issues like this, the manager at the time made a complete mess of it.

There were so many facets of this ‘case’ that were just so badly dealt with, I don’t even know where to start.

Let’s start with the instigator. The complaint. So, after I was initially told that there was a complaint made against me, I started to ask questions, and the reality was that somebody had made a passing comment to somebody else, which a third party had overheard. That third party then said something to a fourth person, and then that fourth person brought it to the attention of my manager. So in summation, it all started because of ‘Chinese Whispers’.

What a great professional start!

So, from there, all I was told was that a complaint was made against me, and that I would have to attend a meeting in order to plead my case. I was given a meeting time and date, which I couldn’t make because of my other job, so I set about setting up a mutually acceptable date / time. I was then informed that I was able to bring a support person, and when I said I was bringing Hulk, I was promptly informed that wasn’t an option, as Hulk was supposedly ‘banned’ from the premises, due to being an ex-employee.

At no point during this phase was I actually informed WHAT the complaint actually was. I was going to be informed when I turn up at the meeting. Kind of like an ambush. Sorry, I’m not having that. Perhaps you should read your own HR Manuals…

So, naturally, I went over the managers head, and straight to HR to find out what was what. Granted, as soon as I mentioned the involvement of solicitors, they were more than forthcoming with information about the case. With this new-found information, I went back to my manager and accused her of her complete lack of respect for me as an employee and even just as a human being for being treated the way she was treating me; I informed her that I was completely disappointed in her lack of professionalism, and for the fact that she was trying to build a case out information that she heard ‘through the grapevine’ and couldn’t even confirm with the alleged source of the initial comment. I told her how much I had lost respect for her simply for even entertaining the possibility that any of it was even remotely true – why would I want to do anything like I was being accused of, when knowing that the actual ramifications of such action would jeopardise not just my job, but my career as well. I also pointed out to her several points that I had been given by HR, and informed her that she is in no position to dictate who I can and cannot bring as a support person, and also informed her that Hulk was by no means banned from the premises, as he was still paying his own fees.

Are you fucking kidding me? I just couldn’t believe that this was even happening.

So, when I sent the email, I cc’d it to HR and the Club Manager, and then it blew up.

I got a response from the Club Manager saying that he was now taking control of the case, and that protocol dictates that we still need to have a meeting to discuss the issues. After a multitude of emails back and forth, repeatedly expressing my overwhelming disappointment in the way I was being treated, not to mention that I had been removed from my role whilst the ‘investigation’ continued, and the unbearable stress, anxiety and depression this whole situation had caused, we finally agreed on a meeting date off-site.

I turned up to the meeting with Hulk, and the manager who caused the whole problem didn’t show. She didn’t even have the decency to face me, because she knew – we ALL knew – she had handled the whole situation so poorly. Her not turning up, was the cherry on the cake.

But the absolute kicker was turning up to the meeting with the Club Manager and Regional Manager only to discover that NEITHER OF THEM really knew what the whole issue was. They had only been involved when I started including them in the emails I was sending them, and the woman at the centre of it all hadn’t given them the whole story.

So after spending all this time relaying the entire case point by point in a who-did-what, who-said-what way, even the Club Manager was sitting there basically saying ‘well, I don’t believe any of this for a second. You’re one of our best employees, and you’ve been with us for so long. We’ve had nothing but incredible reports from others about you, and you’ve always been highly praised and recommended by your peers… so I think that this was all completely blown out of proportion…’

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I wanted to leap across the table and punch him in the throat. ARE YOU SERIOUS?!!? Granted, had he known the whole story from the very beginning, he would have probably just squashed the whole situation, and it wouldn’t have blown up the way it did.

It was quite an anti-climax. I went in there ready to fight, and rip somebody’s face off. I was so fired up… and it didn’t happen. All they did was apologise for the way it was handled, but it wasn’t good enough. I told them that the manager needed to be reprimanded for her extreme unprofessionalism, and that I wanted to receive a personal apology from her in person, apologising for all the hurt and anguish she had caused me, an apology for her poor handling of the entire case, and an apology for her complete disrespect for me as a respected professional and an employee. I also wanted her to apologise to Hulk as well, but I knew that was pushing it.

I then contacted HR reviewing the meeting, and told them about my request for her apologies. I didn’t receive a response. About a week later she sends me an email, literally apologising for not following up with me on a completely unrelated matter. I was furious. I couldn’t believe that she would be so blatant about not acknowledging my grievances… but at the same time, it didn’t surprise me. She was a nasty piece of work.

A couple of months later, she was made redundant and lost her job and moved interstate.

So, I guess although I didn’t ‘win’ directly, seeing her leave and move away was a small win for me… and many others as well.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/fight-the-power/

Daily Prompt: Singing the Blues

We all feel down from time to time. How do you combat the blues? What’s one tip you can share with others that always helps to lift your spirits?

This is kinda tough – I find myself regularly feeling the blues, but I don’t actually talk about it. I know that most people will acknowledge it – call their girlfriends to talk about all their problems; or confront their issues immediately to rectify the situation etc etc. But I tend to do what most people do – eat their feelings.

Now, in saying that, I regularly make a point of telling people that I’m cold and dead on the inside – that I have no feelings… Cold as ice’. But it’s not actually true. I do have feelings – I just don’t necessarily like to show them very often. I’m far too guarded.

Admittedly, I tend to be quite highly-sensitive to things that people do or say. As somebody who was bullied practically every day since I was a kid, and somebody who has been through more than their fair share of emotional shit… yes, I consider myself as being quite damaged from it all, and as a result, I generally tend to internalise everything and keep things to myself. But it has also led me to take more of a stand for those who are just like I was.

When I was younger, I suffered from depression, and that in-turn led to me suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I really struggled to get myself out of that funk and find my happy… Things that I enjoyed just seemed to be too much to handle. Even things like seeing my friends was just incredibly uncomfortable, because I always felt like I just shouldn’t be around them – and I felt as though they didn’t really know what to say or how to act around me… which made me not want to socialise with them very much.

As I got older, I began to just focus what little energy I had onto the one thing that truly made me happy – dancing. I’d run myself into the ground, to the point where I’d have to crawl home. I’d be so completely exhausted, but I’d still find comfort in happiness in being able to still dance. It’s always been my one true love in life.

Now that I’m older, I find comfort in happiness in all kinds of different scenarios. Being able to actually have some social time with friends can actually make a huge difference for me, and create a positive shift in my mood. I find that it’s generally the small gestures from others that make the biggest impact for me – I guess because it’s so unexpected, and sometimes quite thoughtful.

I remember last year when I had a surgical procedure, i was off work for 2 weeks whilst I was at home, bed-ridden and bored recovering. A friend of mine sent me a small care-package in the mail, and because I hadn’t actually spoken to her recently, it made it so much more of a surprise. I felt completely elated when I received the parcel in the mail, as I had no idea what was inside.

That was a pivotal point in my life – and ever since, whenever a friend of mine has something getting them down, I’ll do something for them as a nice gesture. For example, the same friend who sent me the care package was, one day, feeling somewhat overwhelmed and upset due to some issues with her husband. She was feeling quite sad and confused, and so out of the blue, I decided to send her some flowers. Just a simple bouquet with a small box of chocolates, and the impact that it made on her life was truly remarkable. Upon receiving the flowers, she called me to thank me, and we ended up speaking for almost two hours – allowing her to talk about everything that was upsetting her and getting her down… and immediately, she felt relieved, and didn’t feel (or sound) as upset as she previously was.

So for those of you reading this, and happen to come across somebody you  know who may be feeling a bit down in the dumps – try doing something to surprise them – do something spontaneous either with them or for them. Send them some flowers. Turn up at their house and whisk them away for an adventure somewhere. Get them out of the house, and distract them. Talk to them about what’s troubling them – show them that you care… just do SOMETHING. Even if it goes completely south and turns out to be a terrible idea, you can both at least take comfort in knowing that you tried to do something nice for them.

It’s better to try and fail, than to never try at all.

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/prompt-singing-the-blues/

Mar 18 – Self-Confidence

How would you rate your self-confidence? When is it at its lowest? When is it at its highest?

Self-confidence?? What’s that?

I’m not sure I’ve got that… perhaps I need to get some.  Can you buy it online? Do they accept PayPal?

All jokes aside, let’s be honest here, I’m not exactly overflowing with self-confidence. I have my moments of when I feel pretty damn good at doing something, or if something requires my expertise or assistance, but other than that, I kind of just rate myself as being beige.

I honestly feel as though my self confidence has all but completely dissipated into the ether… I don’t know why or how, or even why I see myself like that, but I just do. Maybe I’m depressed? Maybe I need a bit of a reality check and a re-focus. Maybe I’m just stuck in some kind of emotional  rut that I can’t seem to pull myself out of…?

What’s wrong with me?