Sometimes people seem to think that they don't want to share something for fear of bringing others down. And I guess that there is a time and a place for everything... For me, this includes a place for difficulty. It's a part of truth, right? A happy veneer on a repressed reality isn't fun for anybody, it only streamlines business interactions, but it stifles the heart.
In a quest for being honest with my reality, I have taken the risk of sharing my struggle a few times... Mostly what I've gotten back is blankness. Sometimes I have received downright rejection. And there is the hurtful quick-change to a cheery subject--nice day, isn't it? Then there has also been a cherished caring listener here and there. Thank you friends!
Just to get back to it... There is nothing more isolating than being ignored. What's weird is that someone can look into your eyes and ignore you. Sometimes people are just too busy or self-absorbed to listen to another person, especially when that person is carrying difficulty. We want things to be nice and easy. But things aren't always nice or easy. And it hurts me when someone spits back the story of my words with a cheerful spin, when what is happening is hard for me. I have my truth, and I'm trying to share it with you. I'm taking a chance, and trying to trust. Of course there is a bright side and a learning piece for every difficulty, and I pray to see that. But there are times when experience is difficult.
This list was passed along by a friend (that I will leave unnamed). It is called 10 Things to Say (and 10 Not to Say) to Someone With Depression. And I think that these might be helpful tips for supporting anyone experiencing difficulty, whether it's a bad day or worse...
1. You're not alone in this.
2. You are important to me.
3. Do you want a hug?
4. You are not going mad.
5. We are not on this earth to see through one another, but to see one another through.
6. When all this is over, I'll still be here and so will you.
7. I can't really understand what you are feeling, but I can offer my compassion.
8. I'm not going to leave you or abandon you.
9. I love you. (Say this only if you mean it.)
10. I'm sorry that you're in so much pain. I am not going to leave you. I am going to take care of myself, so you don't need to worry that your pain might hurt me.
Don't say this:
1. There's always someone worse off than you are.
2. No one ever said that life was fair.
3. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
4. So you're depressed. Aren't you always?
5. Try not to be so depressed.
6. It's your own fault.
7. I think your depression is a way of punishing us.
8. Haven't you grown tired of all this "me, me, me" stuff yet?
9. Believe me, I know how you feel. I was depressed once for several days.
10. Have you tried chamomile tea?
* These lists are found on health.com
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