R U Ok day was on September 15th 2018, and as part of this I decided to reach out to some of my beautiful family, friends and clients to see if I could share some of their incredibly powerful stories with you all.
Written by Belle Lockerby.
I knew something wasn’t right when the room was dark. The curtains were drawn, even though the sun was out. She was still in bed, and it was after 3 in the afternoon. On a school day.
This wasn’t the first day either. It wasn’t even the first week. I didn’t know what was wrong. Sadness hung itself in the room along with despair.
Hope was missing. Maybe I could pass mine along. Maybe I could crack a joke and ilicit a smile. That hope - It went missing in her - I don’t even know why or how. I don’t think she knew either.
I didn’t really know what was going on. I didn’t have the words, I didn’t have the knowledge. I doubt in 1986 many adults, let alone kids, had the language to describe depression.
I only knew what I had to do. Be quiet. Take the shopping list and ten dollars. Walk the twenty minutes to the shop. Buy the ingredients. Come home. Cook egyptian chicken for dinner for my sister & I. Get myself to bed. No hugs. No stories. Take my little bit of hope off to bed.
Hope that maybe, just maybe, in the morning she would get up, open the curtains and the light would come back in to counteract the dark that had seeped in everywhere.
This was my mum in the thick of depression. This was me at 11 witnessing the start of a big one which would see us move back to Western Australia where maybe the light would crack back in with other people around.
These were battles mum fought until she lost the fight when I was 19. I tried to suggest things to help her. I still didn’t really have the knowledge of what to do, how to help. I knew she had a Doctor. I got caught up in the helplessness of the situation, not even realising that maybe I needed to ask for help, too. I moved out of home. My 19 year old self thought I could help her better. I was wrong. I still feel guilty about that decision. Two weeks after I moved out, two weeks and two days after Christmas, to be exact she was dead. Depression won. It didn’t just steal a life, a mother. It stole futures. It stole I love you’s, I’m sorrys. It stole trivial little conversations. Conversations that lives are built around.
Which is why starting conversations matter... check in.