“As my grief began to snowball, I hesitated to tell anyone I was struggling, largely because I didn’t know how. I didn’t know what to ask for, and without knowing what to ask for, it felt too complicated and futile to ask.” Ways to Reach Out When You’re Struggling with Your Mental Health
Even (especially?) among those of us who deal with depression and ideation, it’s really hard to ask for help. Whether your friends also deal with it or have non-mental health issues of their own, you feel like you’re inconveniencing/burdening them, even after they’ve reassured you many times that they don’t feel burdened by you reaching out, that they want you to reach out to them. Meredith and I talked about it a lot, and regularly, after things had gotten worse than they should have and we reached out, we promised each other not to worry about burdening each other and reach out as soon as we knew we needed to, instead of waiting. I had days where calling her helped so immensely, because she listened to me and distracted me and made sure I ate some fucking food! I have a terrible time both remembering to eat and getting off my ass and putting something together when I’m depressed, and you guys, it’s ridiculous how much actually fueling your body helps you feel less crappy.
In Buddy the Vampire Slayer season 4, Willow tells Riley “vague threats are nobody’s friend.” Vague reassurances aren’t either. Don’t forget to check in with your friends to see if they need help, too! Sometimes, even knowing what to do, how to reach out, it’s too hard or scary, so reaching out to your friends who have ideation preemptively is a good idea too. Check in with them. If you’ve noticed they seem down but generally okay, call/text/email and ask if they wanna talk about things. Invite them to meet up for coffee/a drink/I’ve cream, whether they seem like something might be happening or not. Basically, be a friend.