‘Are You OK?’

On a quiet morning at work, I had a lot of time to think. My dad just lost his job, my mum is trying not to stress, and I’m there gluing together the pieces, making sure nothing explodes, whilst I am quiet slowly imploding.

How can I ask my father for help when he is the one who needs it. How can I ask my mother for support when she is quite clearly distressed about the security of our family. My sister is too young, my brother is too distant, and quite frankly, I don’t see my friends frequently enough to just plant a ticking time bomb (myself) into their hands!! (Well… Only once I’ve asked about there lives and chatted for about 5 hours, then, only then can i exhale my problems onto them.)

Que implosion turned explosion. That same, quiet morning I was talking to you about before, where I had so much time to think my deep suppressed feelings were surfacing and such… well my manager notices and simply asks, “are you ok?”

Boom. Tears. I couldn’t believe I cracked, to the one person who I’m supposed to act professional in front of. ‘WHAT AM I DOING CRYING AT WORK?’ my brain was screaming at me. But I couldn’t stop, not until I told her what was bothering me. And it only took her one question to break me. She hugged me and told me everything was going to be ok and I sat out for a little while to let my tears flow and compose myself and thats when I realised… Sometimes, just asking a simple question like, ‘are you ok?’ to a person who seems sooo put together can make all the difference in their life.

I felt so trapped within my emotions that I could have opened up to anyone who bothered to ask. Thats why I’m writing this today. Can you think of someone you care for, and haven’t spoken to in a while? I can think of a few. Text them, better yet, call them, and ask them genuinely, ‘are you ok?’

The result might not be as emotionally disastrous as mine, but this can be the chance to reconnect and to just show you care.

ZJ xx

Ps. My day did brighten up more when Carrie from the project came into the store! She is an amazing person! And more beautiful irl! xoxo

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