R U OK? is a not-for profit organisation who work towards connecting people together to protect people from suicide. With research suggesting that one of the main factors that increase suicide risk is a lack of feeling connected to others, this campaign aims to encourage people to start that conversation by taking time to ask “Are you ok?” and listening. It’s a seemingly easy task to do and achieve, but it today’s world, it can be more challenging and awkward that you would expect.
Everyone experiences a bout of sadness and feeling disconnected from the world from time to time. The more someone broods over this, the more withdrawn and isolated they feel. For some, they can easily recognise this and take necessary steps to get out of this rut. But for others, this may be difficult or impossible.
It’s too easy to be engrossed in our own little bubble to neglect others around us. Particularly those whom we don’t see every day but we still reserve a special place for them in our lives. I am definitely guilty of this. Being involved with various projects, work and study leaves me with little time to catch up with friends I hold dear. Despite my best efforts to keep in contact, for one reason or another I may cease to exist in their lives for months at a time and I am deeply sorry. Perhaps this is why I am even more appreciative for friends who take time our to drop me a line asking how things are going from time to time.
This year has been one with many big changes for myself and I’m sure for many of my friends. Particularly my dietetics friends whom I am graduating with. The work force is a dark and cruel place for graduating dietitians out there at the moment. But I still hold out hope that we will get there in the end. I’m a big believer in following passions and that’s what I would recommend everyone does. But what no one tells you is that following your passions comes with a shit load of hard work, patience and dedication. There will be moments where you may have to scrap around for any job to get bills paid, but never give up on your dream.
One thing is for sure that no matter what you are going through in your life, you are never alone. If the Diabetes Online Community has taught me anything it’s that there will be someone out there feeling and thinking the same things you are. People are quick to put on a brave face even when they are barely holding it together inside, so don’t be so quick to judge a book by its cover. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple hug and “how you going” to help someone get through their day. So, please, ask someone you care about if they’re ok. Not just today but any day.