“I’m fine.” The biggest two worded lie ever spoken. It is such an automatic, generic response when queried about how you are feeling or why you are acting, speaking, talking or behaving in such a way. I will be honest – I am one of the biggest users of this lie. It is easier to dismiss your true and unfiltered thoughts and feelings then admit to others – and ourselves – that something is wrong. Why though? Why do people, myself included find that instead of saying what is wrong, we simply lie. With everything that is going on around us on a daily basis it is easy to get so caught up in the intricacies of life that your focus shifts, your thought patterns are obscured, you don’t feel the usual connection to people or things that you may usually have. Your sh*t is well and truly not together. Without wanting to swear too much (Sorry Mum!) – it is when sh*t well and truly hits the fan or you stub your toe, or you can’t do something that usually comes so easily, or you fight with your partner, your friend, your dog; this is when you need to be able to say I am not okay. It is okay to not be okay. Jessie J even says so in her hit ‘Who You Are’. If Jessie J says it’s okay, then you better god damn believe it.
Why is it so hard to admit when we are not okay? Why is it so hard to admit that we need help? In my life, much like everyone else (not claiming I know your life FYI – just a generalisation), I have seen too many people suffer in silence. It is this suffering that unfortunately ends lives and not only destroys their own but many around them. Mental illness is something that can start off as something almost dismissed by the individual and then festers into something bigger than that. Even just a quick chat to someone could be lifesaving.
Through campaigns run by organisations such as LIVIN’ and Beyond Blue, society as a whole is becoming more aware of mental illness, the different types, possible causes, the (maybe?) signs. If you or someone you know is suffering there are bountiful organisations and individuals who want to help you. You may be surprised to know that a loved one, a best friend or your ‘bro’ can provide the most honest and refreshing insight of all.
Everyone (staring down at my reflection in the mirror as I write this almost chanting “Listen Erin. This is directed at you.”) needs to realise how important we are, how appreciated and needed we are and how we can help other people. Whether it be a stranger who looks like they are having a rough day, a friend who posts a questionable quote on social media (we all know someone who springs to mind) or a loved one whom we know is not being themselves; just ask them if they’re okay. Really and sincerely ask them. And then on the other side of the spectrum, if we ourselves are having a rough day, week, month or even what feels like a year – be honest. Talk. Cry. Scream (preferably last resort). Don’t suffer in silence. Most importantly, don’t try and bullsh*t your way through it. Speak out. Don’t do this alone, because you my dear beautiful friends, are not alone. You have all of us.
RIP R x
Seek assistance: Lifeline (13 11 14) or Beyond Blue (1300 224 636) or at https://www.beyondblue.org.au/about-us/contact-us