The power of conversations and connections can make a huge difference to peoples lives. I know this only too well from the last few months of dealing with my break-up.
Moving out to my own apartment without my dog and any familiarity, was one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to face in life after a long, committed relationship of nearly 7 years. Coming to terms with the fact that it is over and now I am on my own created huge anxiety within me. I worried I would be judged and I felt like a failure. In the beginning, I just wanted to close the curtains and hide away and not have to explain the situation to anyone. I live on the other side of the world from my family so my daily life was pretty much spent alone, and that’s (how I thought) I wanted it for the time being.
I started meditating daily and practicing mindfulness routines (such as mindful walking and mindful eating) and I experienced deeper inner strength. I started talking and being more open with the people around me about my situation and this really helped me blossom and grow. My good friend Elias offered his support to me and we shared stories of how we were feeling and realised we were going through similar things which helped build a stronger connection between us. We listened and talked openly, without judgment to each other and became accustomed to asking R U OK?. These conversations have stuck with me and I feel grateful that I found someone to open up to. It turns out that we have become a support for each other and that support continues to grow as each week passes.
Often when you ask someone if they are ok and they respond with ‘no, I’m not’ it can be a challenge to know what to say or how to help. RU OK? have offered some tips and resources to navigate a conversation when the response is like this. They have suggested that we follow their four-step process:
- Ask R U OK?
- Encourage action
- Check in
This R U OK?Day (Thursday 14 September) get to know R U OK?’s four steps so you can have a conversation that could change a life. More information on this can be found here: https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask
Sometimes conversations can be too big for family and friends and there are a range of professional support services to help those in need, details of those providers are here: https://www.ruok.org.au/findhelp
R U OK?Day: 14th September 2017
R U OK? is an Australian suicide prevention charity. Its mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and to support those struggling with life.
Find out more: https://www.ruok.org.au/
Need help? Find help now: https://www.ruok.org.au/findhelp
And don’t forget to use the hashtag to spread awareness where you can: #RUOKDay
Photography: Rob Mulally
Wearing: Cotton On Body