Wednesday, 12 September 2012

R U OK? Day

R U OK?Day is a national day of action on the second Thursday of September so that’s today:13th September 2012, dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask each other ‘Are you ok?'

Sometimes Depression can walk hand in hand with being overweight. Or sometimes obesity is a symptom of the underlying issues. However that’s not to say that being skinny or healthy automatically makes you happy. The saying goes you can never judge a book by its cover.

I had been debating whether or not to write about my own experience with depression, as to whether it was applicable with the person I am now or the person I’m trying to become again. But every episode in your life makes you who you are- whether it was positive or negative. And if it might help someone out there that feels the same or has felt the same then that’s a bonus.

I don’t think that I can pinpoint an exact time that I went from a happy teenager to a depressed one. There wasn’t one catalyst, I didn’t one day wake up and decide that I was unhappy; I had happy days and unhappy days the normal mix I suppose. I did move high schools, but I was popular, thin and healthy, had great grades, a good friend base, and competitive swimmer. Looking back on it now I had it all ahead of me. But slowly the “bad days” far outweighed the “good days”.

What was a “bad day” you ask: gosh I don’t know how to really put it into words. For me it was this whole mess of jumbled feelings- I would feel inadequate, angry, sad, dejected, upset, confused, uncomfortable, fed-up all at once. One of the main feelings would be hate- I ‘hated’ myself, my life for no apparent reason. From the outside- I was still the Casey that everyone knew, smiling, happy and very social.

I was very good at waking up, putting on a ‘mask’ as such, and moving on with my day. At the time I didn’t consider my feelings to be on any consequence, I guess I thought everyone had the same battle to stay happy that I did. I might have considered my depression to be a “weakness” or sickness that would go away if I ignored it. The effort involved in appearing to be happy when you are so utterly and absolutely beside yourself in ‘pain’ is huge. Sure it’s not the physical sort of pain but emotional pain is just as bad, if not worse.

Eventually the ‘mask’ began to crack tho- tears would flow more often and not just in the privacy of my bedroom, I had more sick days. I was angry a lot of the time with myself and with my parents. I would wake up and be so scared of what misery I thought the day would bring. My depression as that was what it was, not just teenager issues, had gotten to the point where I just didn’t want to function or couldn’t function.

Right here is where the story gets a little harder for me to write mainly as I don’t know how to put these feelings or thoughts into words. Did I truly want to end my life- NO. Did I wake up sometimes and ask myself would not being in this world make my life and everyone else’s easier- Yes some days I did. I remember the first time I had those thoughts- I was so scared- I didn’t know if I was serious in thinking them but I couldn’t see ahead to any day where I wasn’t just so miserable and full of all these negative feelings. And I felt so utterly alone.

If someone had asked me if I was Ok? Would that of been enough for me to talk? I’m not sure but it might have made me think well am I? And showed me that someone noticed or cared. My own shout out for help was heard by my parents in a way that I’m not proud of now.
Dealing with someone with depression is not easier- I didn’t know how I would wake up, how I would feel. I would say some horrid hurtful things, I think almost so I could make someone feel how I was feeling. I imagine I would have been frustrating too- for someone that hasn’t suffered depression it can be hard to understand that we can’t just ‘make’ ourselves happy- these feelings aren’t a choice we make- they just are. There is no, on/off switch- just a long journey back to happiness or normality.

Depression is NOT a weakness or a sickness- it just is. It is no one’s fault- least of all-yourself. I’m no longer embarrassed to say I suffered from depression- I feel it has made me the stronger women today because of it. Am I happy being obese- Hell No lol am I Happy with the choices I’ve made to be that way- No. But I no longer let that unhappiness or negative rule my life. I choose now to see the positives in each day. I would like to think if you met me now you wouldn’t know about my battle with depression, as I am honestly happy and getting happier every day.

Depression doesn’t pick who or how it will affect anyone. All ages, all appearances so please never judge anyone on how you think they should feel. You might not know how much pain they are hiding from you.

So today; it will only take a minute of your day to honestly ask a friend, co-worker, family member if they are ok? And sometimes that’s is all they need, someone to care enough to ask and then to LISTEN


  1. Hi, I actually just wrote a post about R U OK? Day and how I think the sense of belonging/connectedness promoted through the 12wbt can help defend people against mental illness. It'd be really great to get your opinion on this topic? So please check out the post ( and let me know your thoughts :)

    1. Hey D,

      Im completely agree with your thoughts re sense of belonging helping those with depression or mental illness. The forums in 12wbt are a fantastic support system- to know that you are surrounded by likeminded people with the same fears and problems and thoughts as you- well its almost empowering.
      I do really beleive that this is one of the big reasons 12wbt works for so many people.
      You are surrounded by people that WANT and know that you can succeed
      We are a team aand we want to all succeed together