WARNING: EXTREME SARCASM AHEAD. Not for the faint of heart.
(The absolute irony of explaining depression using gifs delights me. The juxtaposition is almost cold, isn’t it? Belittling the explanation of feelings with a pop culture reference. So postmodern. I love it.)
The past few months have been some of the worst I have ever experienced. I’m not going to sugarcoat it.
The long and short: I’m moving far away to a place I don’t think I’m supposed to be and essentially all because I broke my foot & cannot drive or work for 12 weeks (and other reasons which are too exhausting to recall.)
Everyone means well, but I’ve discovered how terribly difficult it is to comfort someone. I myself am not good at it–I’m too logical/don’t have a great bedside manner & people don’t like that. The past few weeks, however, have really taught me that comforting others cannot be a careless endeavor. People are really hurting & want more than empty platitudes, even if the intent is good. If I encounter someone going through the same “series of unfortunate events” I am (or just any kind of hurting at all), I’m going to try to not use these platitudes:
(note: I would never react like this to those who say these things, nor am I offended when people offer these words up to me. I appreciate every morsel of kind words! Sometimes I just overanalyze words to the point of banality.)
“Feel Better Soon!”
This is me being a grouch but…I don’t have the flu–I’m not sick. I broke my foot. I’ll only feel better when it heals in 49853459 weeks.
“God has a plan.”
“Maybe you’ll meet your dream husband there.”
Barf. Please, for the love of God people, STOP SAYING THIS TO ME. When people tell me this, I simultaneously throw up/die inside. Is that really what people think I’m after? Should I start wearing a shirt that says “I’m 22 and NOT LOOKING FOR A DREAM HUSBAND, just living normally”?
The slightly less offensive cousin…”Maybe you’ll find your dream job.”
Nah, I was thinking about just staying home & living out my dream to be the girl version of “Failure to Launch.”
“You have such a great attitude!”
If you’ve seen “The Butler,” you’ll be able to recognize an award-winning performance when you see one. Also, positivity is/was my top strength. I try.
And…drumroll please…this is THE ABSOLUTE WORST THING YOU COULD EVER SAY.
Are you ready?
“This is all for a reason.”
No…just…no. This is not what to say to someone when they’re going through hard times of ANY nature. Illness, devastating natural disasters, unexpected loss, you name it. If it’s any sort of unpleasant life event, it is ALWAYS inappropriate to say this. Even if true, people do not want to hear this.
So, what IS something good to say when someone you know is going through a rough patch? (Also, aren’t those gifs of Chuck Norris absolutely mesmerizing? I’m getting distracted by the synchronicity.)
Well, at least for me, just be there. We don’t even have to talk about what’s going on (I prefer that honestly) but it’s nice to have someone just checking in on you now & again. Don’t give up on those who draw away or even lash out (like with sarcastic gif posts) because they honestly need you the most. Sometimes saying nothing is the best thing. Or just praying for them–and WITH them. Let them know that when they do want to talk, you’re a safe place & won’t be “burdened” by their honesty.
Depressed people are not fun. Don’t expect other results for the time being. Sometimes it’s really hard to maintain relationships, but trust me–now more than EVER are they so vital & life-bringing.
Everyone goes through dark times, but the very most essential antidote is knowing that you are understood & not alone. I know “it’s always darkest before dawn” but it’s hard to be sitting in pitch black wondering when the sun’s going to come up.