I’ve wanted to write for long time about how Christians could best offer support to their depressed friends. As someone who has needed support for over forty years of struggle and having given support for the last two, I believe I am well qualified to give such advice.
Today, after over a month of increasing depression, I wish someone would call me and throw me a lifesaver. Though people say they care and that they’ll be there for me, they seldom call and I feel that to call them I would just be a bother. I call them, but that’s not like being thrown a lifesaver. It would be nice if they would reach out to me once in a while. Then I would truly feel supported and cared for.
I feel less and less able to do the things that are required of me, more and more wishing I could go on strike and forget about my commitments. I’m afraid I might sink.
How helpful it was to have a friend call with a plan to do some Christmas baking with her when I’m feeling better! That became a window of hope for me, giving light and giving me energy to do some things again.
My memory is poor - very poor. I don't even remember writing this. Neither do I remember ever actually ending up baking with this friend. Never-the-less, she did something wonderful for me in giving me something to hope for. She didn't push me to come and bake with her immediately, sympathetically recognizing that it was beyond me at the time. Such a comfort not to be pushed into something I wasn't able to enjoy just yet.
PS: Over the last two years since I have written that, I think I've learned something. I learned that others have problems too and that I should not always consider my needs greater than theirs. I need to - even in the midst of my own struggles - reach out to them and consider their needs too. I need to call them to find out how things are in their life. We all need to care for each other.
And you know, when I do that my depression doesn't affect me as badly.