I read a meme the other day that stated, “Check in on moms who have strong-willed daughters… we are not OK!” It spoke directly to my heart. I think you can insert a lot of other statements that also apply:
- Check on teachers during this full moon, we are not OK.
- Check on retail workers during the holidays, we are not OK
- Check on those who have lost a loved one in the past five years, we are not OK.
- Check in on parents who share custody of their kids, we are not OK.
- Check on those who smile all the time, we are not OK.
We are all not OK…but for some reason we feel like we have to put on a happy face, pretend like everything is alright and keep on trucking through our day. I don’t know about you, but I’m a little tired of it. I hear it in my office every day. It usually comes in the form of “nobody reaches out to me” or “nobody invites me anywhere.” Usually I am quick to respond with a question, “Does anyone know you’re hurting?”
Most often, the answer is no. No, we don’t let people know we are hurting. No, we don’t tell others that our day is awful. No, we don’t share how we are honestly feeling.
As I drove to work today, the radio station I was listening to did a wellness check on air with all its DJ’s. They went to each DJ and asked how they were really feeling. Each DJ shared how they were honestly feeling, but at the end of everyone’s sentence they all added, “ but I’m doing OK, I have a house to live in, I have food on the table.”
I get it … compared to those who don’t have a house to live in, who don’t have food to eat, we are doing OK. But imagine if we were all just a little more honest. When we get asked “how are you?”, what if we answered honestly and didn’t add “but really I’m OK” at the end of our response?
I honestly feel that if we lived in this reality, we would find out that the people we think are doing just fine are really struggling, just like we are. Then maybe, just maybe, there would be a little bit more room in this world to reach out for help, to share honest feelings. Maybe there would be less of a stigma about seeking counseling when we need it.
We are all not OK, and that’s just how it really is.