They hold the darkness without complaint and seem only to want to make others laugh and smile. No one notices when they go quiet or they assume them to always be happy and upbeat.
I used to fight the depression. I would tell myself to carry my burdens through the darkness and come out harder with the world. I would sleep constantly to feel the attachment I only experienced while in my dreams. My sadness would cause visible irritation to my loved ones, so I pushed it down and away. I slept and bore this cross alone.
Eventually, I would start to awaken and to feel the emotions offered. In a few weeks, I would barely remember my head against the pillow and my presence being unstable.
Don’t disregard the friends that smile all the time. Don’t ignore the ones who laugh and never talk about their problems. They may need you the most. You’re probably asking how you are to know if no one says anything. I just like to assume everyone needs a friend and be available as often as possible.
Very rarely will you get a direct suicide threat or something concrete to go off of. You have to trust your instincts and be attuned to the feelings of the people that are around you.
Be a consistent friend. Life gets in everyone’s way sometimes, but we have to put effort into our friendships just like we do any other relationship to maintain it. Don’t go weeks without a check-in via text, call, or in person. Everyone needs to know they are loved and valued. One-sided friendships, where one person does all, or the majority of the communicating and plan-making, are depressing and unfair to the person doing everything. One person should not have to carry the entire weight of a relationship on their shoulders alone.
People need others like them around that they can relate to. Not the ones that have an image to maintain or ones that act like Stepford wives. Talk to them about your own experiences that may relate to theirs. Share your struggles and your triumphs. Be the example that things do get better. Make sure they understand that the light is the brightest right after the darkness.
Don’t Be Condescending
Do not insult people with platitudes especially during hard times. That is the last thing anybody wants to hear. Don’t say that you know how they feel or tell them that tomorrow is another day. If all you know are generic platitudes, then just listen. Often times, listening is what they need the most. A listening ear is way more valuable than someone giving unsolicited advice on how to fix a situation they know nothing about personally.
The main thing is not to presume anyone’s emotional state by their outward display. We are taught at a young age, some more than others, to hide the feelings that make others uncomfortable. We are taught that feelings shown is the same as showing your weakness which could not be further from the truth. The brave are the ones that talk about what no one else will.
If you read the stories written by the suicidal, some of them have been saved by a kind word from a stranger or a phone call to a suicide hotline. What you say and do does make a difference. Sometimes, it can make all the difference. Keep your eyes open.
Kylie finds herself funny and is a mixture of sarcasm, White Zinfandel, attitude, and love. In addition to humoring herself, she also is a Real Estate Agent and a Property Manager. She lives in Georgia with her huge, loud family.