To find the courage to reach out for help, and then NOT get it, is agonizing. Most people don’t know how to help – and often don’t even understand that you’re wanting help! You need to consider ahead of time who can support you in the ways you need, and write their names down! You won’t have the clarity you need when you’re mid-depression. You might also want to pre-consider how to ask – the exact words you can use when you need help.
It will be hugely helpful for both you and the other person if you talk with them ahead of time about what you’ll need. It may feel like “too much to ask for”, but seriously, the other person will really appreciate knowing how to support you, rather than guessing and getting it wrong!
Here’s some things you might want to tell them:
- When I’m really distressed, please just listen – I’m not needing advice, I’m needing to know that I’m OK just as I am, and that my experience is valid and makes sense. The time for advice might come later … but not now. All I need is for you to be with me in my pain – not to take it away.
- Please let me know if you’re not able to support me at the time I ask – I’ll know if you don’t actually want to be there, and that will be worse than nothing. If you can, please offer me a different time that you might be able to help.
- I probably won’t be able to communicate clearly, or make any kind of decisions – I may need you to make decisions for me. Please ask if I want that.
- (to be continued)