Are you okay?

It’s R U Okay? Day today.

You will probably see people talking about whether or not they’re okay on social media. Having conversations about whether or not we’re okay is important. It starts a conversation, a moment of time to help people feel that they belong.

Let’s start conversations about mental health, let’s build connections with each other.

I once read somewhere that a problem shared is a problem halved. Sharing a problem starts with a conversation, a question, “Are you okay?”, that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask every day.

I know it’s hard to open up – sometimes it is because we don’t want to burden anyone with our troubles, other times it’s because we aren’t ready to communicate what is wrong.

In the murky days of my depression, that was how I felt. But my journey dealing with depression, and now anxiety, taught me this: I would never know what to say until I started to say “I’m not okay”.

Because I didn’t know all the answers, but by having conversations with people, letting them in, that’s when I started to have answers for dealing with what was wrong.

So, let people know you’re there for them. You may not need to say “are you okay?” It might be a simple “let me know if you need anything. I’m here for you”.

Let’s build a world, a community where a connection is strong among us. Let’s start conversations about how we truly are.

We are not alone in fighting our fights.

Yours,

Sophia

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PS: Project Rockit released a really got resource in how to start a conversation. I will add it below, but before I do, I just wanted to say:

If you are struggling, feeling down or alone, know that you can just leave me a message and that I am here for you. You can also contact Lifeline (13 11 14), Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) or Headspace (1800 650 890).

Please open up to people. You are valuable, you are loved, and you are important.

To my grandparents,

 

It is hard to count the number of life lessons I’ve learnt from my grandparents on a single hand. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents taught me the value and importance of family, as well as the benefits of a good work ethic. My grandmothers instilled in me a love of the craft (regardless of how terrible I am) and an appreciation for strong matriarchs.

My grandfathers instilled in me a quiet love of family history. My maternal grandfather shared his love of pear schnapps, the comedian Loriot and the joy of a simple Kartoffelsalat with me. My paternal grandfather taught me the joy of words, how to play chess and instilled in me a quiet pride in my Dutch heritage and where I’ve come from.

My maternal grandmother and I share a love of cooking and baking. My paternal grandmother taught me how to knit, and how to create a warm and loving home filled with happy memories. She taught me how to love others in all their eccentricities.

Today’s “National Grandparents Day” is tinged with slight bittersweetness as I’ve had to say goodbye to my maternal grandfather 7 years ago. But amongst the bittersweetness, lies a fierce pride and love for my grandparents, who have taught me so much.

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To my grandparents,

Thank you for making me smile and laugh, and passing on your wisdom and knowledge. 

Thank you for being the quiet, loving support whenever I’ve needed it. Thank you for the words of advice over countless cups of tea and biscuits. But most of all, thank you for loving me.

Yours,

Sophia
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