You never know when you might struggle the same way your friend is struggling. Years ago someone close to me went through a horrible depression. I remember thinking to myself at the time that I would never allow myself to struggle like that or let depression get that bad. Fast forward years later and I found myself depressed and suicidal and I thought about that person a lot…I thought about how I wasn’t as gentle and kind with this person as I should have been. I didn’t give the person space to deal with their grief and pain. I just wanted them better and happy so I could feel more comfortable and move on with my life. So I used guilt, shame, platitudes and bad advice to try to get them to “snap out of it”. It didn’t work. Yes, they did recover, but it took time and hospitalization. It got really scary there for awhile.
So I’m pleading with you…be gentle, be kind, and try to listen more than you speak. You don’t know what is going on inside their mind or how depression is affecting their body. Yes, maintain your boundaries…your friend most likely needs way more help than what you can provide, but please don’t feed into the stigmas that your friend is crazy, or too sensitive, or doesn’t have enough faith, or just needs to “get over it”.
I’ll be writing more on this topic, because it is so near and dear to my heart. I’m also going to step out of my comfort zone and start a video series along these lines.