Faris writes a letter to those who might be trying to support a friend who is struggling, and might be struggling with mental health issues themselves.
I don’t know you and you don’t know me - all I know about you is that you are having a bad time. I have no idea what bothering you but that’s alright.
Before I ramble on, you are probably thinking, ‘Who is guy and who cares what he has to say?’ That’s fine, but I implore you to stick around long enough to see who I am and why what I might have to say is important. And by no means is this a sob story - I believe in empowering you.
Sometimes life is beyond our understanding, but that doesn't mean that we are helpless
My name is Faris and I live in Liverpool. The reason I came to this country was because I lost my entire family, home - everything else a person could ever care about -in about an hour, almost like they never even existed before, like it was all just a dream. You might think, ‘That’s awful’ or you might think, ‘So what, things happen.’ Either way, it happened and, after it did, you would think things couldn't get any worse, but that was my biggest mistake and my arrogance led to me to be unprepared for the countless tragedies I have encountered, including the time when my close friend took their own life, which destroyed me. I was arrogant. I thought I could ‘fix her’; I thought that someone with that much experience in tragedy, mistreatment and misfortune (as I have had) could reach out to her and, when she passed, I blamed myself for everything and that was an even bigger mistake.
It’s hard being someone’s friend when they are depressed, but it is one of the kindest and noblest things one person can ever do for another human being. What I learned is that, sometimes, life is beyond our understanding, but that doesn't mean that we are helpless. No, heck no - it means that we try to the very end.
You are not alone
I don’t know what issues you are facing and, for all I know, the small part of my story that I told you could pale in comparison to what you are going through, but that doesn't matter. I am writing to you because we are connected by one thing, we both suffer from the demon that rides our back every day, a demon that does not respond to questions, does not adhere to logic and seems almost invincible to all attempts of reason. But there is one way to deal with it; it’s to realize that you are not alone. Man, at some points in my life I would have done given anything to have someone to tell me all of this, but I didn't. I am not filled with some false sense of duty, nor did I put my shining armour to come to your rescue. I come to you because I’m terrified, terrified that someone else, someone who I could possibly help, for one second, is stuck somewhere I know too well and want to do everything within my power to get them out.
You aren’t being melodramatic by asking for help and nor should you expect someone to understand the complex chain of events that led you down that dark hole and if someone says otherwise, ignore them, what do they know? Just talk to someone, anyone, once you get over that initial hump of “they won’t understand”, you will realise that they don’t have to, they couldn’t possibly, but they are still there for you. What a wonderful thing.
Other people pushing at it gives me hope
I want to know that when I am down that dark hole, struggling, if I reach out, I can feel someone else fighting, to give me hope, to give a push to keep at it. Even though you might not think it, everyone in the world needs you, everyone who is down and fighting needs you, and I need you, now more than ever.
Fear nothing and remember that failure is commonly found along the path to success.
Just remember, you're not alone.