You might hear these three little words a lot throughout any given day. Or, if like me you suffer with mental illness, it seems that others rarely say these three words.
Since my breakdown last year, I have noticed that the majority of my friends never ask me how I am. For someone like me, who is a caring and sensitive person, this is hard to deal with. Whenever I speak to one of my friends, I always ask how they are. I genuinely care how my friends are.
So why don’t my friends ask me how I am? Am I reading into this too much?
Maybe they are too afraid with how I will respond to this simple question. That I will tell them things they don’t want to hear or not know how to respond to. But every time I am having a conversation and my friend fails to ask how I am it hurts.
The majority of the time I am fighting an internal battle with the thoughts in my head. These thoughts tell me that I am worthless, no one cares and that I will end up alone to name but a few. I spend a lot of time listening to my friends. They are quick to get in touch with me when things aren’t going well. Yet they don’t reciprocate. They don’t give me an opportunity to talk about how things are with me. This then backs up the negative thoughts I have about myself.
I am not suggesting that I want an indepth discussion about the goings on in my head every time I am talking with a friend. But a small interest in how I am can help alleviate the battle in my head, even if it is temporary.
The reason I am posting this today is because it is World Mental Health Awareness Day. If you know someone is struggling with mental illness please make sure you ask how they are. Sometimes you might not get much of a response which is fine. But you might help someone feel able to open up to you and help make the burden of mental illness just that little bit lighter.