Are you actually OK?

We are a nation of non burdeners. We don’t like to put people out. What risk is this to our mental health?

Answer this question. How are you?

I recently asked this of a friend who had just gone through a relationship break up. He said ok. And I probed: ‘are you actually ok or are you just used to answering ok?’ He admitted he was not ok. He was angry and hurt. We talked. I didn’t fix his problem but he felt better after.

“OK” is the thing we often say when things are epically shitty, but we just don’t want to be a burden, even though things are epically shitty. Things are epically shitty for a lot of people, a lot of the time. What makes any epic shit pile more notable than any other?
Sometimes ok is an acceptable answer. Like if the cashier is asking you as she’s packing your shopping and there’s a queue three miles long behind you. But when your partner, family, friends and work colleagues ask you, they are asking for a reason. They care.

Think about it. You only ask people you care about. So just accept that people care about you. So next time someone asks remember it’s ok to be happy or sad or angry or tired or excited. Ok is an agreement not an emotion.

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2 thoughts on “Are you actually OK?

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