“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
This quote really hit me when I read it this evening. I’m depressed. So it reminded me of a phenomenon I notice when my bipolar disorder flares. Friends seem to vanish. I’m probably being harsh, remember I am depressed. It just seems that way to me.
I noticed way back when I was very first diagnosed and had to be hospitalized. Only a very few of my friends came to see me. Well, from their point of view they did have to brave the locked ward. But my very, very best friends came. Friends who are here to this day. Here is one, my dear best friend Lynn:
I think it’s very hard for people to know what to say when you tell them you’re depressed, or manic. They want to help. They want it to go away for your sake. They want to know why. None of this really helps. All you really want is someone to be there for you. To sit with you or call you on the phone and talk about nonsense, or listen to the fears or thoughts you are having. Or nothing at all, but just to be there.
The other problem is me of course. If I’m manic I’m flying a hundred miles an hour and it’s hard to pin me down. If I’m depressed like now, I might not be reaching out. But if I am. Or if you notice anything odd. Or like my friend Lynn, get a feeling and call me. Please do. For sharing depression lets in the light. It lets the sunshine into the darkness — helps dispel it. Talking, laughter, they are both the enemies of this shroud of darkness.
If you have a friend or family member who is sad. Or has withdrawn. Do reach out to them. It doesn’t matter one bit if you know what to say. Just be there. Listen. They might talk to you. You might make them laugh. If they haven’t gotten help, you may be able to help them get some. If they have you can help them weather the storm.
Depression is a storm. It hits you with darkness, bleakness in your soul. It will pass. But it will be a lot more bearable if you have friends around you. So call a friend. Love to all.
@copyright Libby Baker Sweiger