Reaching Out.

I made it back home after a 17 hour drive, tearful goodbyes, and many many stops for gas. I feel relieved that I have removed myself from an environment that was not good for my mental or physical health. It is a little more than that.

My best friend of almost 2 decades reached out to me recently. We talk all the time and she is notorious for her flings and bar hopping. She often texts me to weigh out the pros and cons of decisions such as spending money on a carpet cleaner we both know she won’t get a lot of use of. This time was a little different. We have always told each other everything. All of the things you wouldn’t talk about with most people….we talk about. So when she said, “I need you to talk me out of something.” I assumed it was going to be a decision to pursue some guy we knew wouldn’t end well. She didn’t. She told me she was feeling down about life and I know this isn’t the first time, but she really was talking like she was considering harming herself. It scared me. At the time I was 1100 miles away and I am basically the only “family” she has. Her mom who she has never been close with lives in another state. I felt helpless. I think she was feeling a lot of shame based on her words, but I just told her thank you. Thank you for trusting me and telling me. I did threaten her if we are being honest. I told her I have her new address (I do) and that I would send someone there if she stopped talking to me. I was on the other side for once. I hated it. I have told her that I have depression and bipolar, but I have never shared with her how I feel at times. I never told her when I felt like she did in that moment. So I did. I told her that I have had more episodes like that since I moved away. I told her that I have broken down on multiple occasions and had to tell my family for fear that I would harm myself. Her reaction? She apologized to me that she didn’t know.

How silly that we often feel that we have to do something alone?! I didn’t tell her because I didn’t want to put that on her, but I am so glad she told me. It is really messed up when I think about it. She is okay. I think somehow telling her that made her push through? I didn’t save her. That isn’t why I write this. I write this because I told her something that made her feel not alone. I let her know that she isn’t insane for feeling terrible for no reason. I also told her the name of my doctor.

I don’t tell everyone about my struggles. I am finding that the more I tell people, the more people I find are going through similar things.

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2 Replies to “Reaching Out.”

  1. Isn’t it extraordinary… yes, the more we open us and tell others about our ‘issues’ for want of a better word, the more others open up to us. So often we believe that people live in this perfect little world and we are the only ones with problems … now I believe we all have problems, some are just better at either dealing with them and solving them, or covering them up. Good for you for really talking and what a lovely post. It’s a good reminder. 💕

  2. You’re a wonderful friend. You’re amazing for reaching out, sharing your story, and listening to hers.

    “I didn’t tell her because I didn’t want to put that on her, but I am so glad she told me. It is really messed up when I think about it.” It is messed up. It is SO messed up. We hurt but we’ve been conditioned to think that our mental health isn’t as important as other health issues and that if we tell someone how badly we’re hurting, we’re burdening them.

    If we broke a leg, no one would bat an eye at getting us help. We believe that. Why can’t we believe that someone would say, “What can I do? Can I check on you tomorrow?”

    I threaten my friends too. If I don’t hear from you, I’m calling someone. Even if never call I just want them to know I’m listening and I’m looking out for them. I’m not going to leave them alone. And I know, specifically for two friends, they won’t leave me alone either.

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