Today is RU OK? Day. It's a day about connections and the difference that they can make to a person who's struggling. It's about taking the time to ask, to really ask, someone if they are OK, and to be prepared to hear the answer properly, to supportively listen.
I am one of the fortunate ones. Even though I'm recovering from flu, even though I'm still battling a kidney infection, even though I have toddler tantrums and money worries and a hideously overgrown garden and a filthy house and fractious older kids to deal with, I also have no black dog on my back making it all unbearable. I get sad, mad and dangerous sometimes, life stresses me out and I crack open for a while, but it passes quickly, lightly, ultimately harmlessly. This is because I am not now depressed.
I have been in that place, though. My postpartum struggles after my first and third babies were never diagnosed, probably because I'm really good at masking (I suspect a lot of us are), but the bottom line was, for months after A was born and again after C was born, I was most certainly not OK. And I was sobbing inside for someone to ask me, to really ask me, and to give me permission to open the door to that pain.
Today I asked someone close to me if they were OK. For the first time, with tears in their eyes, this person admitted that they are not. I think it was a relief to them to speak this truth aloud.
So small a question to contain so great a thing. Ask it today.