It’s okay to not feel okay and it’s okay to talk about it.

We all have our dark times. Times when we feel as if even our shadow has abandoned us. But these moments define who we are as human beings and it is at moments that we must decide whether we will let life make or break us. Do we have to let life break us or are there ways of helping us power through the hardships? The answer is yes, and whether you know it or not we can all overcome obstacles. We can do this by speaking to a friend, a family member, a teacher, a co-worker or anyone you feel comfortable speaking to. And this is hard: but, believe me, you can do it. You are not alone. There is always someone who has your best interests in mind.

The One Good Adult concept has been of great help to me. Your One Good Adult is someone who is always there for you: someone you can use as a safety net when you fall on hard times. This person should be someone you interact with on a regular basis, someone you know you can rely on. Someone who will genuinely listen to you. Your One Good Adult could be your mum, dad, brother, another family member or a teacher.

My uncle Martin is my “go to” person. When times get tough I always know I can turn to him, whether that’s for finance, my mental health or just advice on how to improve my gym technique. He is always there (even though he lost me in Dublin Zoo when I was a kid!!). I also find the support of family and a group of friends that you can trust with your life makes a big difference, and I’m lucky to say I have both. I’m talking about the sort of friends to whom you can just say, “I need you”, and they’ll be there. Or the sort of friends that will never let you take the long walk home after a long night out.

© Aaron Murphy, Health & Living, The Irish Times, 19th August 2014