There’s a campaign in Australia that begs you to ask the question “R U OK?” Supposedly it’s been around for a few years, but it has recently been pushed forward in the limelight on all media platforms because “R U OK? Day” is in September every year. The basic idea is that a conversation can save a life. That people won’t necessarily share their struggles until someone genuinely asks them if they are okay.
If I see something in someone, I usually don’t hesitate to ask them a similar question… But right now I am feeling a bit bad. I’m mad at myself for falling into a false sense of security in the case of Leroy. I used to check in with him a lot more often and then I eased off of it when he was doing better. At least he still stepped forward to me asking for help… but it was a little too late when it was the very next day he broke his hand in the explosion of frustration and anger. I should have started the conversation with him weeks ago. I don’t know what I missed. It’s harder to catch if I don’t see him all the time, I guess.
Well, he has his appointment with headspace today… and I said to him yesterday “You know full well I’ll be calling you everyday to check in for awhile, right? At least until I feel like you’re better enough for me to back off again.” …But I won’t let so much time go in between checks again.
“Yeah, I know. Thanks, Rae.”
I took the opportunity of this guilt to check in with some of the other youth that I work with last night. One girl actually took the opportunity to talk to me about a problem she had been dealing with for a couple of days and ask my advice – seems serendipitous that I would contact her when I did. Another that tends to concern me on a similar level as Leroy, told me he was fine. We chatted for a few minutes anyway and then he too said “Thanks, Rae.” I said I wasn’t sure what he was thanking me for, but that he was welcome regardless.
“For being there…” he responded.
Damn. I think someone is cutting onions in here.
Well, doesn’t that make it all worth it… * Sniff *