Sunday, September 9, 2012

It is OK to say, “I’m not OK”

My story

It was the last weekend of November 2007.

I was not ok.

It was six months since I'd been a victim of a crime that would change me forever.

I was not ok.

It was five months since I'd moved back to Sydney from my life living overseas for several years and my old friends here were all doing different things and I didn’t want to burden them.

I was not ok.

It was five months since I had gotten out of hospital after being treated for depression, post traumatic stress disorder and poly-substance abuse.

I was not ok.

It was five months of living sober for the first time in my life and having to deal with the raw emotion, the flashbacks, the fear, the disgust, the desperation, the sadness, and the sense of responsibility that I'd been the key player in the destruction of my soul.

I was not ok.

It was Sunday the 25th of November 2007 and I was in such a deep dark hole that I thought I'd never ever get out of.

And when my family asked if I was ok, I lied.

I crawled into bed with a bottle of wine and music up loud. A stack of strong sleeping tablets all pushed out of their blister packs and spread over the doona.

I cried. And I cried. And I screamed...


But then I went to my family doctor. I spent some time in hospital. I spoke to people.

And I started to feel a little less not ok.

I got involved with outpatient programs at a very good psychiatric facility and I kept speaking to people.

And I started to feel a bit ok.

I continue to speak to my psychiatrist every week. I speak to my family every day. I hold my three year old son in my arms, and I know…

Nearly five years later, I am more than ok.

With the help of my amazing network of family, friends and healthcare professionals I have come through to the other side.

Who will you ask today?


And please don’t forget: It is OK to say, “I’m not OK”.

For help please use these helpful resources:
Call: 1800 RUOKDAY (1800 7865 329) to connect with crisis lines
Visit: your doctor, a counsellor or trusted healthcare professional
Access: for tips from their information partners

Lifeline 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467


Airlie said...

I really think I should ask everyone I know! This is a beautiful tribute to a fantastic idea! Thank you xoxo

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thank you Airlie. :>)

Five's A Fellowship said...

There's asking "Are you Okay" in the general greeting kind of way and then there's the "No really, are you Okay" in the genuinely caring and concerned way. Too many people ask the first and don't mean it, where-as not enough ask the latter and truly do mean the words they say. Thanks for sharing your experience and I'm glad that you are finally O.K.!

Diet Schmiet said...

For some reason I can't comment on your blogs from my work computer (not that I'd ever log onto the internet at work for something other than work!!!!). I think by demonstrating that you are a non-judgemental and understanding person, asking if someone's okay gives them the freedom to tell you.

There are certain people I wouldn't confide in I must confess! Glad you were able to eventually seek the help you needed at the time!

Linda - Mums on the Go said...

Isn't interesting how hard we find it to say "I am not OK" ... that we keep pretending. Thank you for sharing your story, I am glad you were able to say "I am NOT OK" and that now you are OK xx

Elephant's Child said...

I wept reading your post. It is beautiful and heartfelt. I am so glad that you are doing better.

Rachel @ TheKidsAreAllRight said...

You already I know I think you are an amazing writer and story-teller. Thank you for applying your talents to this important message.

The Babbling Bandit said...

Hi Rachel. Thank you. This was a hard story to tell but the process of writing it, with the guidance of Denyse Whelan, was actually really cathartic. To acknowledge where I've been and how far I've come is really liberating. I hope it helps anyone who feels like there's no way out, that actually there is, there's always help and it is ok to say, "I'm not ok". V.

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thank you for your comment. With the help of my wonderful support network and my beautiful boy, I am doing really well.

The Babbling Bandit said...

Yes, it is. I've said I'm ok a million times when really I haven't been. A reckon a lot of people do. I would guess this is common with mums who feel they must push on for the sake of their kids. Sometimes though it is essential to say "I'm not OK" and to get help. Thanks for your comment Linda. V.

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thanks Deb. Yes, it is difficult to confess sometimes. We are lucky here in Australia that if we don't have anyone close to us to speak to, there are some wonderful resources available to us, including Lifeline. I have used crisis lines a lot over the years. The kind voice at the end of the line is better than no voice at all.

The Babbling Bandit said...

I think you are definitely right. To look someone in the eyes and ask "Are you OK?" and be present with them, no matter the answer, is critical in this cause. Thanks for your comment. V.

sarahbraaksma said...

such a great, honest post! x

Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing and I'm glad that you are finally ok!

Joey Thomas said...

Absolutely fantastic piece. So simple yet so very powerful. I love the way you open up in your blog posts. It's really inspiring. You have amazing strength.

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