Click here to read all about RU OK Day. It’s all about asking people who may be struggling with their life if they’re okay, with the aim of preventing suicide.
I have to confess that the concept of suicide prevention actually put me off being able to answer honestly when I was asked if I was OK. I definitely wasn’t coping with my daily life, but as I never experienced any suicidal ideation, I thought it didn’t apply to me.
RU OK Day is also about identifying people in your life who aren’t quite themselves and gently asking if they need some help.
I’m going to share my story. I wasn’t OK. I was asked if I was OK. I was asked again if I was OK. Finally I listened to the people who love me and got some help. I had to say I wasn’t OK.
I went and got an official diagnosis that I wasn’t going off my rocker once a month. I had PMDD (Premenstrual Dsyphoric Disorder), which is like an evil version of PMS. Think of the minions in Despicable Me as PMS and the evil purple mutated minions as PMDD. It’s like PMDD on crack.
Having an official diagnosis really helped. It made me feel that it wasn’t my fault. That it wasn’t just because I wasn’t coping with something normal like PMS and being a woman. I actually had something wrong with me that I could fix.
Once I had a diagnosis, I was able to commence treatment in the form of medication and some counselling to create some coping mechanisms.
The combination of a toxic workplace environment and the official announcement that my autoimmune disease had gone into remission after 8 long years of chronic illness sent me into a tailspin of anxiety and panic attacks. I thought I had bronchitis-triggered asthma caused by the cold winter air and car fumes as I waited on a busy road for the bus to take me to the office where I felt like I wasn’t good enough anymore. Even my GP thought it was asthma. That’s how good I was at hiding that I wasn’t OK.
The same counsellor used the same techniques to help me process these emotions and arm me with coping techniques. Oh and I quit that job and now I’m a full time blogger here at Kimba Likes. And I’ve never been happier.
Eventually, I realised that asking for help is a sign of strength and not weakness. Just like I needed to stand up in my bikini and put my body loving money where my body loving mouth was, I had to keep it real by saying I know you’ll be OK if you ask for help. Because I did and I am.