Thursday, November 1, 2018

Cry with Me

When someone struggles with mental health, there are tears. LOTS of tears. Tears because you are sad. Tears because you don't know why you are sad. Tears because someone said or did something hurtful that you just can't shake.

And it makes people uncomfortable.

One of my heroes, Mr. Rodgers, said the statement in the picture on the left and it's stuck with me for awhile. Why does crying make people so uncomfortable? We all know from experience that simply saying "don't cry" doesn't help 99% of the time. But what else is there?

When talking to anyone who has mental health issues, these things are especially delicate. So many times they don't know why they are upset. It's a tough situation, because many times they can't even tell you what they need. What I can say is this: listen to them.
Listen to them cry and vent and let it all out. If they aren't ready to talk, let them know that you are when they want to. Be their safe place. As hard as it is, there's a fine line between pushing them to get out of bed and be active and giving them the space they need to heal. This all depends on the person and the situation. But please, check on your friends. Even your happy ones. Because you have no idea what they may be hiding. If they know that you are there, they may just open up when they are struggling.

Please, go against your first instinct. Don't show people who are struggling that their emotions make you uncomfortable. Get phrases such as "stop being so bipolar" or "why are you so depressed" out of your vocabulary. If a friend who struggles hears you say things like that, how could they possibly trust you? Overall, just be mindful of the fact that you have no idea what someone is going through and when they may need someone to talk to. Be that person. You have no idea how much it may help.

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