Hey friends! Something I’ve been thinking a lot lately is my friends and their mental health. The people I surround myself with are amazing, but albeit, closed off. I’m definitely included in this; we just aren’t really people that feel comfortable sharing our feeling. That is why I’ve been checking up on them. I’ve been sending texts, asking them if they are okay. I know you hear this all the time, but we never really know everything that’s happening in someone’s life.
I’m going to tell you a story, one that changed my perceptions of friendship and showed me how important it is to check up on the people you care about. Short story long…
I had been out of cross country for a month, for I injured my hip. I felt misplaced, if I wasn’t running, what was my spot on the team? Therefore, I was extra anxious and closed off. However, I didn’t realize that until one night at a pasta party. It was getting late, and most of the other girls had gone home; I sat around the fire pit hugging my knees, uncomfortably comfortable. My mind had calmed and I could now form proper sentences, the remaining girls are chatting. Suddenly, the attention shifts to me; one of my teammates turns to me and asks, “How are you, Meghan? Are you okay?” Without even hesitating, my auto reply kicks in, “Yeah, no, I’m good.”
They continued to dig, but I wasn’t giving. I could tell that they had planned this, and I’m glad they did. The truth was, I wasn’t okay. I felt misplaced and lost. I could no longer do the thing that loved and grounded me, to be honest, I had been functioning solely on habit for the past month, I want feeling anything, just doing.
I can’t tell you how much my teammates checking in on me means to me. At the time, it made me reflect my mental state, no matter how flustered my response was. More so, it solidified my identity and knocked out some of my anxiety. Two simple questions made me feel safe and loved. After that, I no longer felt like an invader.
One text, FaceTime, call, dm, whatever your means of communication are, can make a huge difference. Simply showing someone that you care can help them. You may not get an honest reply, or heck, any reply, but your text is still important. I strongly urge you to reach out to your friends, or even you classmates, start a conversation, or just say, “Hey, are you okay?” I promise it will make a difference.