I have wondered over the last few weeks if saying I am okay is a lie. Can I really justify myself in saying I am okay or good when I was thinking about suicide less than 24 hours before? In these circumstances, is it a lie to say I am okay when someone asks how I am?
As I have contemplated this, I have realized that being okay is relative. When I am at church, surrounded by friends and positive energy, I really am okay. So when people at church ask me how I am and I respond with good or okay, it is not a lie. In that moment, I am more okay than ever, and I answer with complete and total honesty.
Last week though, I did lie about being okay. My manager asked me if I was okay when it was fairly obvious that I was not. I said, “yeah”. Then brushed past him to get back to work. We both knew I was lying, but I knew that neither of us could handle the conversation that would ensue if we addressed it at that moment. So, we talked about it briefly the next day, and again in more depth the day after.
I was not okay. I was drowning, and I knew something had to change. After talking to my manager, we were able to work out an agreement and I recognized some changes that needed to be made. I know I would have talked to my manager about things even if he hadn’t asked if I was okay. But I don’t know if he would have known the extent of the problem if he wasn’t the type of person to ask.
Be the type of person that asks if someone is okay. Be the type of person that really looks into someone’s eyes and says, “are you okay?” Be the type of person that someone can say no to that question and trust you enough to talk about it.
I am okay now. But I sometimes wish that it wasn’t my manager asking that question. I sometimes wish that one of my friends asked that question, because even though I’m usually okay around them, I think they know that I’m not always okay at other times. And sometimes you just want someone to understand that you’re not okay and maybe, if they can, talk you through it.