Seclusion. Retreat. Hide.
These are all words I know too well. As I sit here wondering about a new friend of mine and how she is doing, I am reminded that I need to work harder to be a better friend to her. You see, she is going through a journey much like my own so I know, I mean know, how she is feeling and what she is doing by not answering my texts or emails or Facebook messages. I already know she won’t take my call. How do I know? Because not so long ago, I was her.
When we are in the pit of despair, when we are holding our pity parties, when we are depressed beyond all explanation, the last thing we want is to admit it to someone else, to let anyone see us like this, to ask for help.
While being alone is what we think we want, it is definitely not what we need. I am grateful to my friends who often pulled me out of that dark hole when I least wanted to see light. When there is so much going on in our lives that we are unsure which way is up and we start sinking into depression, we don’t know how to get out. It is a slow sink, so sometimes we don’t see it coming, until we are so far down in it we have no idea how or if we can ever get out.
Know anyone like that? Reach out, please. Do not let your unanswered calls, texts, emails, facebook messages, or any form of communication, be the end. Keep doing all those things over and over and over again. Sometimes we just don’t want to talk about it. Sometimes we can’t talk about it. Sometimes we don’t even know what to say. But a friend will know those things. We can listen to you cry, perhaps bring the tissues or hug you. We can tell you about what is going on in our lives to give you a moment’s reprieve from thinking about your own problems. We can definitely listen. We can offer advice. The need is there, we just need to figure out what the need is when our friend who is hurting is unable to tell us.
“Sometimes, being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”– Gloria Naylor
What I most desired was for someone to share their own hurts or problems. I heard time and time again that I was out of the loop because my friend didn’t want to bother me with their problems since I was going through so much. Can I tell you just how relieved I felt when someone actually shared their own problem or difficulty? Now I can focus on you. Now I can take a few moments and not think about my own situation. Wow, what a blessing. Sometimes we cannot stop our brains from remembering, from trying to solve, from suffering during our own ordeal, but if we can focus on a friend instead of ourselves, it is a blessed relief. It may not change anything in either of our lives. It may just give us a break from our own lives. However, it may give us just the break we need to look at our own situation differently and be able to come out of the darkness and take one step forward.
Photo Credit: Cody Wiley Photography