Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

I want to help

I have a friend with depression and anxiety. She's a good friend, a wise friend, and a generous friend. She gives freely of her time to assist others in whatever way she can. She's helped me out multiple times. She always provides emotional support when I'm low. All I have to do is ask.

Unfortunately, my helpful friend has trouble asking for help for herself. A few days ago I realized my friend needs help. She's struggling. Through tears, she finally let out some of what's been going on lately. I was surprised. Apparently she's been struggling for awhile, but I didn't know.

I couldn't know what my friend was going through. We haven't seen each other lately, as we've both been busy, and she didn't mention it. When I saw her a few days ago, I had an inkling something wasn't quite right. It wasn't, and by the time she let it out, she was really hurting. I felt so bad for her. I did what I could in that moment. I hugged her and let her cry.

My friend and I are similar in many ways. She doesn't like to cry anymore than I do. I'm not even sure she liked being hugged, but it felt like the right thing to do. And like my friend, I often think I should be able to fix things, like my mood, by myself. Sometimes I wait too long to ask for help. My friend waited too long, too, in my humble opinion.

I want to help my friend. I want to hold her and tell her it will be okay. I want to help her clean her house, take her dogs for a walk, or cook her a meal. But like me, my friend can be fiercely independent, and it's tough sometimes to get in. That frustrates me. She's hurting, and I want to fix it.

I did ask her how I could help. I spent time with her last evening at a local event, but I could do so much more. I could do more if my friend would allow it. She doesn't have to go through this alone. I don't want her to struggle alone, but I guess I can't help unless she requests it. Right?


HBF said...

Not sure if this is helpful or hurtful, but I immediately thought of asking her to spend time with you for your benefit as a way to get her out and about for her own benefit. I don't like to manipulate folks though, so it leaves me with an odd, "right or wrong?" feeling... that said, when I'm down and I'm isolating, I need the extra help to get me out and about or I simply pile on the negativity and stew. I think you can do extra little things for her without her requesting help but rather just because you feel like it; sometimes I send people cards or random messages just because I feel like doing so. You benefit, she benefits, a small win is still a win <3 She is not your responsibility but you can do what you feel like doing, no pressure, just follow your heart-that's my two cents!

Anonymous said...

I isolate big time when depressed- I think it is part of the disease which interferes with asking for/reaching out for help when it is most needed... the disease says "you are not worth it" and "no one needs to be bothered." There is one friend who continued to call me through the worst of episodes and for her I am forever grateful...