It’s hard to watch a friend crumble.
To sit there, helplessly, as you see them pivoting from good to bad in the blink of an eye. Not knowing if this particular episode of depression and anger will be the one that they never recover from.
What’s even harder, is watching them do it without seeking any help. Trying to push through it as though they are the only person alive who never needs a little guidance.
I have a friend like that right now.
Watching him waffle between anger, depression, grief and happiness makes me feel like I’m watching a psychological roller coaster that doesn’t seem to end.
He refuses to get help.
“D, go see a therapist! There’s no shame in seeking a little help. And the saying, ‘better living through pharmaceuticals’ is true!”
But he refuses. “Time heals everything!”
No. No, it doesn’t. Time may allow you a chance to become comfortable with those feelings, but it doesn’t heal them. Who wants to go through life like that?
Always questioning your own self worth? Always wondering if today is going to be a day in which you discover you have more than a few reasons to smile or if it’s another day of feeling disposable.
He is bright, funny, down to earth, good looking. On paper…he’s awesome. In real life? A mess.
He wonders “is this it? What about that bullshit I was always told that I could be or do anything?”
He is at a point in life where he’s staring at the north side of 40. He’s single and in a job that he has to drag himself to each day.
He lives for Football and an occasional poker night with friends but even those are becoming sporadic.
“Seems like nobody wants me to tag along anymore!”
Hell, when you spend months ignoring requests from friends and being an ass when someone tries to help, you alienate folks. Nobody wants to be an emotional doormat!
I talk to him from time to time. Listening. Seldom offering advice because he’s smart enough to know what to do but doesn’t like the prospect of having to put that much effort into life again.
Is he suicidal? I don’t believe so.
He is quiet, mostly. Putting on a brave face. Trying to put old friends into a category that includes meaningless strangers. That’s not gonna win any popularity contests, Ya know!
My only suggestion to him?
“Be honest. If you don’t want to talk, say that. Don’t be an ass and ignore people until they completely walk away from you!”
I’ve had friends before that I tried to reach. I could see them trying, desperately, to come back to life. Him? It’s almost like he’s afraid to be happy. Afraid that he has defined himself as this poor, unlovable, confused fool for so long that he doesn’t want to fail at being anything else.
Only he can fix this. I can listen. I can sit and enjoy coffee with him while he lashes out about this situation or that person. But, even I have my limits.
I try to be open and honest.
“You’re being a dick! No matter what you are going through, you don’t have the right to be cruel!”
Then he lashes out at me.
Am I giving up? No. But truthfully, I wasn’t nearly as invested as others who have walked away.
It’s hard. But, we are responsible for the life we live. Even when it feels like the Universe is working against us!