It feels just like yesterday when I sat crying on a park bench. Tears were streaming down my face; I felt like I was alone. I felt far from OK.
But little did I know, I wasn’t alone. Far from it.
I was one of billions of people in the world, going through the same ups and downs of life. I wasn’t alone at all, there were people out there that felt just like me. There were people out there who wanted to help, who wanted me to be OK.
Every second Thursday in September, Australians have a national day of action – the ‘R U OK? DAY’. A day where everyone, regardless of age, sex, culture or religion; opens their hearts to others and asks such an important question, ‘R U OK?’.
Asking your family members, friends, or colleagues how they are, is so important because it shows that you care about them and their life. Sometimes, it’s not easy to admit that we need a little guidance. Sometimes, we need others to ask if we are OK before we can have the courage to speak up.
On ‘R U OK? DAY’, we, as a nation, want to help others feel less alone in their feelings. We want them to know that suicide isn’t the only option. That we can all get through this together.
For me, the transition from tears to smiles was a long journey I had to take. I struggled for such a long time, believing that things wouldn’t get better. But when I was 17 years old, my life reached a turning point.
When I was at my lowest, I realised my passion for helping other people. I liked hearing about their lives, listening to their problems, and encouraging them to move forward. It was then I realised that I wanted to be a Psychologist.
For a year, I immersed myself in my studies. I felt happy knowing that I was making a difference in the world. But as positive as my life was becoming, the journey for me wasn’t yet over. I was still struggling to come to terms with my past, I needed more guidance in my life. I needed someone to ask me if I was OK.
Then I met my husband. He knew exactly what I was going through; he felt alone as well. But together, we gave each other support. Together, we changed each other’s lives.
And through my husband, I made a new friend who I will never forget.
I remember looking at the expression on his friend’s face and asking him if he was OK. Without saying a word, I knew he wasn’t.
I spent 2 hours with him; listening to him talk about how he felt alone, how he thought everything was his fault. I was his shoulder to cry on, I told him it’d be OK. I gave him compassion and understanding.
He then said to me:
“I was going to end my life tonight.. But you stopped me.. I didn’t do it, all because of you…”
That’s when I knew my sadness was over. That’s when I knew my life was worth living.
It was through helping my now-husband, my friend, and many other people I’ve come across; that I managed to help myself. I now write about personal development because I love helping others lead happier lives.
Just like me, you all have a purpose. You all have have something that you can bring to this world.
By asking others, ‘R U OK?’, we are recognising that we can all help each other.
If you are going through a difficult time at the moment, please know that you are not alone. Please don’t feel ashamed to admit that you need help; feel proud that you have the courage to speak up and say, “No, I am not OK…”
So on Thursday, 13 September, ask those in your life, ‘R U OK?’. It could end up saving someone else’s life. Just like my question saved my friend’s life…
If you believe you are not OK and need a little guidance (as we all do, sometimes), then…
Please contact the RUOKAY number (which connects you to five of Australia’s crisis and information lines):
1800 RUOKDAY (7865 329)
Or call one of the following 24/7 National Crisis Lines:
13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467
Kids Helpline (for young people 5-25 years)
1800 55 1800
National Hope Line (Salvation Army)
1300 467 354
1300 22 4636
No matter what you do, whether it be tell a friend, call a helpline or speak to a GP; please remember that you are not alone. We are all in this together. You will be OK.
Thuy Le (formerly known as Thuy Yau) is a freelance writer and Youth Work graduate living in Perth, Australia. She loves to share her own personal experiences about overcoming adversity, as she believes that human beings are more capable than they realise. She writes to make a positive difference in the world and to inspire others to learn from themselves and their own experiences. Her writing has been discussed on radio, won writing contests, appeared on The Huffington Post UK and major Australian sites such as news.com.au, SMH, Kidspot and Essential Kids. She is currently writing her first book.
18 thoughts on “You Will Be OK”
Wow. You know first hand how important it is to ask or to have someone ask, are you okay? Lovely that you were able to be there for that person.
Thank you, Kate. Yes, those three words, “are you okay?” are so very important. Sometimes people don’t have the courage to speak up, but when you give them attention, they are more likely to share. We need to all be there for each other. Life isn’t easy, but it can be made easier when you have the support of others 🙂
I love this post. Thank you. Not only asking the question, but really listening to the answer is so important. I am glad that you saved your friends life, and even more happy that by so doing your own life gained meaning. Win/win.
That is so very true. By asking ‘R U OK?’ we have a responsibility to each other to listen to the answer – whether it be explicit or not. The message may not always be clear, but we can always try the best we can.
Thank you for your kind words, I am glad that my life turned out the way that it did. I wouldn’t be helping people otherwise & for that, I am so thankful 🙂
wow.. shivers down my spine reading your post. Thankyou for sharing, and for being that friend who has no fear to ask if you are ok 🙂
Aww thank you for your kind words, Lyndal. I am so proud to have shared my story – I know what it feels like to hit rock bottom, all I want is for others to know that it will get better! 🙂
Thank you so much Thuy for joining the DPRUOK day blogger stories of inspiration. You have written a very helpful and pertinent post, and the world is a better place with people like you in it. Warm wishes Denyse
It was my pleasure, Denyse. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that I’ve helped others. I was so proud to be a part of the stories of inspiration. Thank you for your very warm wishes 🙂
Bless you and your husband! This is very moving to me! There is something very spiritual at the deepest level in showing kindness and compassion to another human being!
It is definitely a wonderful thing to give others kindness and compassion. We need to remember that we are all living the same life; we need to share our ups and downs… together! By being there for one another, we are helping to make the world a better place 🙂
A really moving post, Thuy. Really enlightening. I’ve got a friend who has been going through a lot lately; depression, and the like. Sometimes asking that question, ‘are you okay?’ is all they need to start talking and open up. Other times, they dismiss it because they feel like they are potentially ‘burdening’. Just nice to hear you raising awareness of R U OKAY? day. I hadn’t heard of it beforehand, but I will keep a look out for it in the future. Good luck, and cheers!
Thank you, Ryan. Yes, people need our reassurance that they are not a ‘burden’. By showing them compassion and patience, they will understand that we are here for them. It does take time but we need to hold on for them.
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