A simple gesture, a simple ‘Hey, how are you?’ can make all the difference in someone’s day. Talking about how the world around you is closing in on you, how you feel alone, how it’s raining gasoline and you’re trying your hardest to resist the urge to set yourself on fire can be very very challenging to talk about especially if you’ve never had that space to talk about it before.
Having experienced anxiety and depression for a few years now myself, I know how self-debilitating it can get and feeling like you don’t have anyone to talk to. You’re afraid that if you let your guard down people will think that you’re weak, you don’t want to be vulnerable only to be left as a prisoner of your own mind, trapped with your demons, questioning your worth after giving away your secrets to people who you thought would be there forever.
It’s not always easy to ask someone about their mental health and don’t ask if you’re not prepared to listen and will brush it off. It’s so important that if you do ask you actually care and try to understand what the person is trying to say. It won’t necessarily always make sense to you but for the person going through a hard time, I can assure you that they’re grateful that somebody is expressing a concern in them, have the time of day for them and are willing to listen to them. A listening ear, love and reassurance can save someone, trust me.
You don’t even have to jump straight into mental health all the time. Regularly checking up on someone, whether they’re eating/sleeping well, making time for them, encouraging them to do activities such as sports with you can help. Sports can be a good way of releasing emotion and stress, and tends to make you feel better afterwards (unless you lose a game lol).
It doesn’t always have to be talk, the little things you do for someone struggling which you don’t even realise make all the difference. Just knowing you have someone who you can speak to anytime and every time gives you that sense of support and makes you realise that you’re not alone and that there’s always hope. There are people out there who care and are willing to help you. However, I urge those who invest their time trying to support someone to only do and say what they can and will do. Don’t give someone your all only to wake up one day and abandon them. The fact that you have switched up after creating a safe space for them where they could be themselves freely without being judged now accumulates to fear that you will reveal their secrets to someone else and possibly even betray them - that can well and truly emotionally destroy someone more than you can imagine, so please only do what you can and are willing to do.
Being able to speak to someone can take a big load off your shoulders, you naturally start to feel lighter as if the thing weighing you down has been lifted simply because someone listened to you, it’s so important you ask twice! If someone is acting slightly different, why not start a conversation and ask them how things are going? Always try to be understanding and approach the situation with concern and care.
Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.