YOLO, Oct 17

‘How are you?’ These three little words mean so much, yet somehow they are not asked enough.

Let me rephrase: sure, we ask them, but has anyone else noticed how much the rudimentary response of ‘I’m good’, ‘well’ or ‘OK’ is expected?

In Oz, we say ‘no worries’, even if there are.

Alternatively, if you respond with: ‘I feel like poop’ (‘poop’ replacing a word inappropriate for print), the look you get is priceless, compared to when you answer in the expected way.

And hey, I’m not about to initiate the whole ‘suck it up buttercup’ debate, because this isn’t about pity – there is nothing worse. (That’s another talk show for later).

I had just concluded a public speaking engagement addressing bullying/discrimination when a lady approached me off stage straight afterwards.

Our eyes met, so I said:  ‘Hi, how are you?’ To which came the reply:  ‘Thank you. I read your newspaper interview and came to see you today. I’m here, because you saved me.’

Most of us know RUOK Day. However, talking to a childhood friend of mine about this recently, it seems the darker side of depression is fundamentally evaded. My pal reckons, how one comes to feel depressed, or the medication side of things isn’t openly discussed and if happens to be, the response becomes somewhat mind-numbingly robotic. 

I’m with her – it’s definitely easier to say nothing, and pretend the really confronting stuff doesn’t exist.

Almost nine years later, I have never forgotten that lady who approached me, or what my words meant, and I thank her.

There is a want for silence found in the isolation of a cocoon.  The heart begins to race, rising rapidly and slowly all at once. 

Despite a familiar stiffness, your entire body is constantly changing. You always remember to breathe, but never quite know how hard that difference is going to hit you. Every day is its own. You have a unique inner strength – and yet, the pit of your stomach begins to whirl, like milk churning into butter, it moves through you as the place tries to swallow you whole.   But it will never take your soul.

How Are You? Are these three little words genuinely asked enough?

YOLO right?

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