To shake them out of it.
To make them laugh.
To make everything normal.
To help them climb out of their darkness and brush off their fears, regrets, anger and despair.
We want them to feel better and feel alive. We want them to be part of our world which is familiar, comfortable and safe to us.
We want to tell our friend it's all going to be ok.
They will get over it.
They will move on.
This pain won't feel this deep, this stabbing, this visceral forever.
And I'm sure if they could they would want to return to that normality too.
They would desperately want the difficult times to pass quickly so that they could join you in your revelry.
They don't want to feel this angst any more than you can bear to watch it.
But it is not that simple.
They cannot just snap out of it because you think it's time.
So here's what you can do.
Instead of wanting them to meet you where you are,
Instead of hoping they'll join you at your level of happiness, joy and calm
…you need to go to where they are sheltering.
Wherever that is………..
under the proverbial blanket, in the cave or down the hole.
You need to climb in, however dark, deep, messy, dirty, hot or emotional it is and stand, sit or lie there with them.
You need to tell them you are coming to them.
Tell them you care.
Tell them you love them.
Tell them you are there to support them.
Tell them it is important to you to be where they need to be.
Acknowledge whatever they are feeling and tell them you want to learn more and understand.
Do not minimize their feelings or disagree with them.
Do not be afraid to sit quietly.
Let them cry and help them voice their fears.
You do not, in fact you cannot solve their issues.
They are not yours to solve.
Instead, burrow under and dig deep until you reach them.
You will have given them the biggest gift of all.
Your gift of understanding they are in pain.
Your gift of listening.
Your gift of traveling to where they are and holding their hand.
From there, once you reach them….slowly slowly you can help them.
When they ask you for help or advice that is your cue.
Offer them hope with a lighter blanket, a flashlight or a shovel and an expert to guide their way, so that they have some tools to help them edge towards the light.
When they are ready to use them, with you by their side, they can find a path through their pain, grief or loss to a new place, one small step at a time.
Thinking about and sending love to you all
If you or someone you love is in immediate danger please call emergency services immediately
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) USA
1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) USA
These Posts May Help You Help Others Too:-
Sunshine & Rain: How to Live With Both
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Lost For Words? 12 Things To Say and Avoid When a Friend is in Crisis
The Power of Validation
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