hey!! good people!!! i need there to be an especially ginormous abundance of love being shared today.
reach out far and wide and tell as many folks as you can
that they are loved beyond measure. please.
this was the facebook status i posted the day my aunt committed suicide. contrary to what it may seem here, when depression gets the better of me, i don’t share that kind of stuff on facebook. like everybody else, my facebook page is generally uplifting. i post pretty pictures i’ve painted or videos that warm my heart… it is a source of light for me.
that post got nineteen likes and fourteen loves and twelve comments. most of those comments were friends telling me they loved me. i wasn’t fishing for that. i truly needed my friends to put love out into the universe that day. it didn’t need it to come my way. not then. of the five hundred some friends i have on facebook, only one knew that something was very wrong for me that day. only one.
she messaged me:
hey friend. what’s going on today? it seems like a particularly “not great” day.
god love her for her perceptiveness. god love her for giving a shit about me.
after kate spade and anthony bourdain left us, i saw a shit ton of posts on facebook and twitter about how we should think to check on the strong ones. like they’re the only ones worthy of the check.
When they all swept out of there 4 hours later, my place was a home. Not only was everything put away – but now it had a memory attached to it, a group memory, friends, laughing, dirty jokes, hard work. These are the kinds of friends I have. Be that kind of friend to others.
That’s the end. The “ask for help” advice is well-meaning but not really thought through. There’s shame, there’s enforced helplessness, there’s the feeling you’re not worth it, etc. My friends didn’t wait for me to ask. They showed up. They took over. They didn’t ask.
these are tweets from a thread i found today, and everything about this thread is SPOT ON, but these two speak volumes to me. VOLUMES.
i don’t ask for help when my world is caving. it’s not your job to make me feel better… or so i tell myself. i’ve lived with this shit for thirty-seven years. i bring a lot of this shit on myself. i don’t want to burden you with my problems. i don’t want your pity. i don’t want your preaching — because here’s the thing… i know ALL the ways to battle depression. i know them. i have to care enough to use the tools. and if i’m depressed, i don’t give a shit. about ANYTHING.
not that many people reach out to me. that’s probably my fault. i know i’m not easy. i’ve never known easy. kind of hard to be something you don’t know.
one friend has two children, a boy in california and a girl who lives at home but is about to embark on a global adventure for a few months. the boy was having health issues, and i imagine when your kid’s in the emergency room half a continent away you’d feel pretty helpless. and then your girl’s leaving in a few weeks… i imagine that’d make you feel pretty sad. and this friend battles depression, like me. she and her husband have partnered with another couple to operate a snow cone stand. it takes about an hour to get to it. i drove all that way to get a snow cone. to see her. that’s the kind of friend i am.
i wish i had more friends like the one mentioned at the beginning of this post. i wish more of my friends thought enough of me to check in with me. i wish more of them took time for me.
because to be honest, the best antidote for depression is life. camaraderie. kindness.