R U OK? Day: Am I okay?

RUOK Day is a really positive initiative which seeks to promote discussion about mental health, and support for those who are struggling.

In this post I’m asking myself some of the recommended RUOK day questions. I want to be clear that I don’t think that we should just ask these questions to ourselves, and not ask others. That would go against what the day is about. I know that we often don’t have the ability to tell whether or not we are okay, that’s why having other people checking on us is so important. I know that I often say to myself , “I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine”, when I’m not really fine at all.

So why am I asking myself these questions? I think being honest with myself is a good start to being honest with other people who might want to check in with me.

What’s been happening?

A real mix of things. I don’t think my life has ever been such a blend of positive and negative, and that’s been confusing. The positives are that I have been professionally successful, and I have felt more connected to university life than I ever have before. The negatives are that when I say “professionally successful” a lot of that success has been unpaid experiences. I still don’t have something lined up for after graduation, and that’s terrifying. Am I good enough to be a graduate? What if no one wants me? I also don’t feel like I have someone to just sit down and chat about that with, and that’s felt pretty isolating.

Have you been feeling this way for a while?

Yeah, the negatives and the positives have both been building up for a long time. As a positive example, I got to present an idea that I came up with, to a Deakin University conference. That meant a lot to me, and that was an idea that I first started working on last year. As a negative example, not having something lined up really started as a fear in first year, so that’s been around even longer. I’ve always felt this mix of emotions, but they all seem to feel stronger than they used to.

What do you enjoy doing? Making time for that can really help.

I think I enjoy doing all of the things that I have going on in my life at the moment, but I sometimes forget that I enjoy them and they feel like chores or obligations. I’ve been trying to focus lately on taking joy in all of the things I’m doing. One thing I really enjoy doing is chatting with people. I’ve had way more chances to do that and I’ve had some really great conversations lately, which have really helped me out actually.

Are you okay?

I think so. I’m struggling to cope with the negatives I mentioned, but at least I’m aware of what those things are. I’m working through them. Working through them okay.

A lot of the time I wish I was doing better than just okay. I wish I was doing well, or really well, or maybe even amazing. Maybe when we all support each other to feel okay, we can start an ‘are you amazing?’ day.

R U OK? Day

So there’s a snapshot of my level of okay-ness. I think I’d find it hard to ask people some of these questions, because I’d feel like I was prying.

That being said, I had this really nice experience in Rundle Mall last year. This man was walking around with a beaming smile asking strangers if they were okay because of R U OK? day. It’s nice that someone is out there doing that, it is such an important question.

So, what’s been happening with you?

Are you okay?

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Tagged in what messes with your head, mental health