OPINION: A few small words can mean so much

TODAY is R U Okay Day.

The idea is to ask those who may be struggling in life if they are okay. The day is aimed at preventing suicide.

I have a theory that most of us at some time have demons, skeletons and black dogs we deal with in our private lives. Everyone.

Even those people you think have perfect lives.

We are complex creatures, us human beings.

That is why this day is genius and it is crucial we spread the word and take a few minutes today to ask someone if they are okay.

I have several friends under huge financial strain. The stress of not being able to pay for their kids' education and their mortgage keeps them awake and you can imagine what it has done to their relationships.

Another male friend has just found out his wife is having an affair with her boss. They have been sleeping together for three years.

Two of our dear family friends are nursing their partners through terminal illness.

One of my best friends has just had yet another miscarriage. It is her seventh.

Another beautiful young teenager we see regularly is vanishing before our eyes due to anorexia.

And a handful of my friends with young babies face a mental rollercoaster of emotions and mood swings every day due to hormones and sleep deprivation.

That is just my tiny pocket of the world. You see why my theory is that everyone has demons at some stage.

I have a six-week-old baby and those first weeks (it can be months and even years for others) were super tough going.

When my first child was born three years ago, things were much more difficult for me.

I spent weeks in tears as I could not breast feed properly and ended up in hospital with mastitis.

On top of that I faced a media storm because a photo was published on Facebook of my newborn baby with a dummy.

The critics were fast to voice their vicious opinions on social media. Everyone seemed to be judging my parenting skills.

I tried to put on a brave face to the world but behind closed doors I was a mess and felt a total failure for a long time.

For the record, now that I have a bit more experience as a mum I would tell those judgemental locals to get lost.

Please take a few minutes today to ask your work buddy or even your partner if they are okay.

If you or a loved one need help, please contact Lifeline at http://www.lifeline.org.au.


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