SHOWING UP FOR A FRIEND IN CRISIS. LOH #100.

Hi loves. It has been a long minute here and it’s good to be reappearing just in time for Contest 100 I shall be responding to the first question.

1️⃣ Do you know how to be an effective advocate for your beloved one or friend when they're dealing with a mental health issue? Do you know how to respond, whom to contact for help? Have you ever been faced such a challenge?

Image.

I see myself as kind, aware and an emotionally responsive person, but all that become nonsense in the face of helplessness. When all my tools and tips fail me, and I'm sat there, broken by the harmless fact that I don't know what to do to help a friend.

I have read some of the touching and kind entries by the wonderful ladies here and most of them shared personal stories about friends, people and events in their lives that highlighted the impact of a poor mental state to them, and I am inspired to tell a little tale about a friend too. But, I have to withhold some details out of respect because it isn't my story to tell. I shall not say what happened to my friend but that incident went straight for my friend's mind and ripped it apart.

It was a regular week and we were excited about this little plan they had made to skip town for a couple days. I helped them get packed and ready as usual, we were always in each other's business as our friendship started off with being next door neighbors before I moved out of that apartment. They went on that little trip and returned a different person, a broken person. I was still at their apartment getting ready to go to this wedding in church where I volunteered to work as an usher when I heard a knock at the door, they weren't supposed to be back then.

I opened the door and my friend fell to the floor as they walked in, and began weeping profusely. My arm was still stretched for a denied hug as I turned around to look at them. I had never seen my friend like that before, I went to hold them and they cried some more. I didn't ask or say anything, I just held them. Eventually there was a calm, then they told me what happened.

Yup! Moment of helplessness. I thought: there is absolutely nothing I can do to help how they are feeling, this is too big, too much, I'm freaking out. My mind was freaking out but I stayed calm. I left them alone for a few hours to go do that church thing. See, I was already going to cancel that to be with them but, when something traumatic happens to me, the first thing I would want to do is be alone. I would want to be alone with my pain, to cry ugly and wail and do whatever that pain demands that I would mind having an audience for, so I went ahead to church.

I returned to a sad and gloomy home with my friend still curled up on the corner of the bed where I had left them. I urged them to shower but they couldn't so I took them to the bath, freshened them up and cooked a nice jollof for them to eat. While we ate I made them laugh a little, and tried to take them on a little walk away from their mind. After the meal, they slept and I began to do my own processing.

Image

How I Managed To Help:

  • At the beginning I completely avoided addressing the situation because I don't like to poke around anyone's pain or trauma, because I want them to warm up to me in their own capacity, giving them control over the situation but, you will feel me carrying your pain, holding your hand and pointing you to the sun, letting you know it is okay to bleed on me.

  • I paid extra attention to them, making sure they were at least physically okay, rending acts of services and doing everything in my power to make sure they had a warm atmosphere and a kind energy around them.

  • I listened more to my friend, to how they were feeling and the things they wanted because I didn't want to project my own feelings toward them. It is true after all, that it is shoe wearer that knows where it pinches. I didn't try to project positivity on them or push them to start healing.

  • I was patient with my friend. Some days they would ignore for hours but I understood it wasn’t about me and just let them be.
    In the words of Ellan Watt:

‘Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.’


Image.

Eventually they started talking more and the ice began to melt away with each flare of sunshine they let in. It was going to be a long road to recovery but, they were out of the darkness to an extent. Eventually they told me they were feeling better and was ready to resume being alone again.

I move delicately around pain, I don't like to assume anything about what a person is dealing with. It is also important to not try to reduce them to their pain or trauma, to continue to see and acknowledge their humanity and awesomeness even in their suffering.

I would later text their brother whom I know they adore their company and asked them to talk to them about visiting.

It was an intense experience, one I needed some recovery from too because I couldn’t help but absorb a great deal of their trauma. I continued to love and care for my friend in the times to come. Eventually, they started talking to a professional about the problem and are in a much better place now. 💙

I didn’t think I knew what to do, but love and kindness were all I needed to help my friend fight a dark time in their life.
I always try, I don’t even know how to always show up for my own self but I can understand the urgency of a friend calling for help. We will not always be in the right mindset to be available for a friend but there is always something we can do, to alert another friend, a family, an authority... from a place of concern and not imposition.

I would love to invite my dear @kamarah and @wolfofnostreet to join the conversation.
How are you, sisters? ❤️🤗

I didn’t intend for this to be this long but I’m grateful I get to pour my heart to you.
Thank you for reading.


All Images displayed are properly and the greeting card was designed on Canva. Follow me on my blog atyourservice

H2
H3
H4
3 columns
2 columns
1 column
46 Comments