Would you know if your family or friends were NOT OK?

Thursday, September 8, 2016 4:00 pm
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Grace Utting | 98five blogger

Tonight, I’d like to encourage you to stop for a moment and look outwardly. When you ask someone how they are, truly care about the reply.

Sadly I know of someone who was crying in a car park for five hours, only last year, and no one asked if they were OK, even though everyone could clearly see they were not.

Tomorrow is R U OK? Day. Ask those around you if they’re OK.
It might be a small act that helps in a big way.

I don’t get the Australian greeting of “How are you?” where the usual response is “fine” and the person who asks walks away before you can reply. I think if you don’t really care then don’t ask how someone is. Just say “hi” or “good morning/afternoon/evening”.

If you looked at me, you’d think I was ‘normal’. I laugh and I’m silly and full of joy (I’m blessed that God has created me to deal with pain through laughter).

R U OK Day 2016 sadness

But I have been suffering in pain every waking moment of my life for years. At times I rather be curled up in bed crying instead of facing the world. Sometimes I think life is not worth living because of the pain. I have God as my strength but I’m only human and struggle with the ‘black dog’ when I’m in so much pain everyday.

And it’s not just my story. There are about 1500 others like me in the Fibromyalgia Support Network Western Australia Inc Facebook group alone.

We need understanding, we need to know you care and not just think it’s all in our head or we’re being lazy. Some have lost jobs, their social life, their families and spouses and their integrity because of the condition, though unfortunately we’re not considered sick enough to get any government assistance.

I’d like to invite you to take a walk in our shoes and try to understand a little of what it’s like to live with an invisible disease called Fibromyalgia — a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, and a number of other symptoms.  Although it’s often considered an arthritis-related condition, it is not truly a form of arthritis (a disease of the joints) because it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues.

Imagine when you have a cold: your head is foggy, your body and joints ache. No matter how much you sleep, you are tired all the time and you have no motivation to do anything because fatigue confounds everything! However, from the outside, you don’t look sick at all and you never know when it will end.

How well do you know the people around you? Would you know if they were NOT OK even though they say they are?

If you need to talk to someone, visit our Helpline page.

ONLINE USE_Grace Utting profile photoGrace specialises in web, print and photography, and is a singer-songwriter and guitarist. She strives to bring hope to the broken, be it through her music or designs and loves all things creative — music, photography, gardening, cooking, baking and sewing. Grace loves inspiring people to live a more sustainable life by growing their own fruit and vegetables; re-ducing before re-using and mending things which are broken instead of buying new ones. In short, inspiring people to be all that God has made them to be. Design of Grace | Follow Grace on Instagram | Twitter

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