I’ve spent the last few hours crying, & searching for answers, for forgiveness, & for words. I wanted to write something lovely. Instead I’m going for whatever I can manage.
Not everyone who suffers will ask for help. Physical & emotional suffering are both as real as each other, while not as obvious. Some people will shut themselves away, some will wear a mask & keep their secrets close, while others wear it visibly & take whatever help they can get. Some want to ask, but don’t feel they can.
Depression should not be a stigma.
Asking for help should not feel like there is a level of value applied – “it’s not as bad as,” or, “there are others worse,” should never come into it. How YOU feel matters. There is no scale nor competition as to whether you deserve to ask. You are not being measured for your worth.
Pride should not stop you from asking either. Your Ego has nowhere near as much value as your life, nor your soul. There should be no judgement, just understanding.
With the knowing that asking for help can be so troublesome, perhaps those of us who can should be instigating that topic. “How are you?” is not just a greeting – mean it. Listen to the answer. Language is not just about words. It is the subtleties of gesture, manner, tone, pattern, inflection, & grammar.
How you respond to their answer of “Fine [I’m not okay, but I don’t know how to tell you],” might make all the difference needed.
Don’t just rely upon the occasional Like on a status or a shared link on Social Media. The last thing Social Media is, is social. It’s very easy to feel alone in a sea of Friends. There might be 500+ people on your friends list, but when was the last time you saw any of them in person for something simple & social? Perhaps a phone call, just for the sake of saying, “Hi.” When did you last follow through on your, “We should catch up for a cuppa”?
I lost a friend tonight. It’s been a year since we saw each other in person. A year. Even though a fortnight ago I was told she wasn’t in a good way, & I told myself that I needed to call her when I got back to Perth. But I hadn’t called her yet, despite knowing she needed it.
I’ll do it later.
I’ll call her tomorrow.
Suddenly it’s too late. You cannot get that time, nor that person, back.
My Grandfather passed along many wisdoms to those of us around him. One of his most poignant was, “Tomorrow never comes.” Today I failed a friend, my grandfather, & myself.
Dealing with depression is not just a matter of asking for help. It is also a matter of offering it. Offering support can be as simple as assisting your friend with access to someone better able to help them than you. Something as simple as listening.
If someone around you suffers from depression, anxiety, or high stress – offer help. Even if it is just showing them that you care. Even if it is as simple as handing them the following contact information:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Depression is a horrible condition/disease & no one should have to go through it alone.