Monday, 14 March 2011

When you see a friend going through a painful time.

Last night at church I was chatting to my friend S. She always seems really happy. At our church, in a break a box of chocolates is handed round for free. She passed it straight on without taking one. I asked her why she wasn't having one, and she told me she was on a diet. Well this just put up a red flag in my head. I started questioning her about the 'diet' and she basically confided in me that she's not eating much at the moment because she feels so stressed and feels like she has so little to live for, she doesn't see the point anymore. She spoke exactly like I did this time a few years back, in the midst of depression and bulimia. She talked about how much she loathed herself, and she just hated who she is. I honestly felt like crying. I know that pain so well, and to hear she has been going through it really got to me.
I gave her a hug, told her I know what she's going through, I've been in that pit but I got out of it. I also told her that putting 'the happy face' on won't help. She then said she doesn't feel she deserves to be sad, she feels she SHOULD be happy. I believe this is a big issue for people today, thinking that you SHOULD feel a certain way. Well let me say this: you have a right to feel rubbish, you have a right to feel exactly how you feel. You are allowed to be sad, allowed to be angry, allowed to be content. There is no 'should' when it comes to how you FEEL.

Anyway, back to the main point, what do you think I should say to this girl? Do I need to say anything or is it best just to sit with her and listen?


Anonymous said...

This is such a hard situation. Sometimes when I comfort people stuggling they get so mad at me and deny everything..But you have to try. Tell her your concerned and try to give her hope that there is something BETTER OUT THERE! Shes probaly being very negative right now so you need to be the opposite and show her that she can change her habits and mind for the BETTER :) but dont pile it on all at once, just lil by lil! Dont make her feel overwhelmed and deff. be there to listen. you dont want to sounds to controlling!

Angela said...

I think just letting her know you care and listening will help. But if you think she is suicidal, please get her to go to the hospital or see someone or talk to your minister or something.

Also sharing what you have been through could help - depending upon how much both of you feel with that.

You are a very kind person and she's lucky to have you.


PerfectingmyEmptiness said...

my opinion is that you should stay and listen to ALL she has to say and make her feel loved, do not try to change her way of viewing things. Even tough you do know it is not good, what she does, even tough you understand her problems, you honestly waste your breath if you tell her she is gorgeous, or has a great personality. Would you have listened a couple of years ago to someone saying that to you???i mean, come on, you know you wouldn't have listened.
My advice for you is that you just listen to her and make her feel that she deserves to be listened and cared for, but show her this not through words, but through gestures. Also, after listening, try to make some suggestions, like instead of doing that do that. I t will help.
I hope i have been helpful.
Lots and lots of love

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear your friend is having a hard time. I think, though, that it's best to just sit and listen, because that's what FRIENDS do. I feel like sometimes people (including myself) get into relationships in which one person tries to be the therapist and the other is the patient, and that's just not safe. You have to take care of yourself too! But I can tell you are a very good friend in general and a very good friend to this girl. I'm sure she will appreciate your ear.

Wishing you well,

Angela said...

It is sad to watch someone struggling the way that you once did. I would just be there to listen, and tell her about what you have gone through. It sounds like by her being open with you, that she chose you to reach out to. You might think of also referring her to a therapist or someone professional that could help her.