Today, I am coming out of the closet.
The “I wasn’t OK” closet.
I am sharing my story in the hope it helps others on this special day to ask RUOK to ALL types of people: the sad ones, the busy ones, the lonely ones, the quiet ones but also the happy ones.
The ones who can be the masters of disguise, the “I’m fine” ones and the ones that are often their own worst enemy – hiding behind the cloak that everything is OK! Even when you ask them!
I’ve come out the other side, for now. But for a few months, on the inside I was a constant, worried, overwhelmed & anxious mess. Living on minimal sleep, setting up a new business, not being a good enough wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunty or friend. With high expectations (only my own) that I needed to be amazing in every aspect of my life.
And here’s the clincher. Running Mindstar, a wellbeing & mental health company where I was surrounded with an almost unnatural amount of incredible & immediate support, awareness & stories, I couldn’t even recognise that my own wellbeing & true quality of life was suffering and in a terrible state. Of course my mental health clinician husband knew what was going on, but I stubbornly didn’t believe him: Because of course, “I’m fine darling”.
Then it dawned on me, and when I did finally realise, the guilt, oh the guilt. I didn’t deserve to have ‘problems’. It felt indulgent. I had a wonderful husband, healthy children, great family & friends, a comfortable home, a challenging & fulfilling new business, food on the table. And because of this I just needed to get over it, be stoic, suck it up, toughen it out. I’d never experienced this before, it just must be STRESS! Aah the irony!
But anxiety doesn’t work that way. It preys on those little insecurities and of course fuelled with the overwhelming feelings of guilt and those messages that I wasn’t good enough it eventually became too much.
Finally, I listened to the words I’d been sharing with others and admitted to myself, that it was also ok for me to seek support. That even with a supportive network, sometimes you need someone from the outside to look at you with fresh eyes and to give you space to make new discoveries about yourself.
We seek advice for all other areas of our lives when we need help, so why wouldn’t I try to connect with someone who could add value to my own.
I connected with a great psychologist, reconnected to Mindfulness, started Yoga, found new strategies and a much better perspective to deal with the balancing act that is life.
Just not at the expense of losing me in the process.
Please reach out today and connect to anyone who you think might need someone to talk to, or even a shoulder to cry on. Be prepared and access some of the support tools below in case someone does open up, and remember that every day is a day where you can ask someone (and even yourself) RUOK.
Chief Operations Officer
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