A couple of days before Christmas, I posted on my Facebook page a message along with a picture that said
I was trying to be real. I was trying to put it out there, that no matter how much society tells us to be happy, that I just couldn’t. I know that many people had similar feelings this year. I don’t know if it was the weather or the COVID aspect that is still affecting many of us. I just knew that it wasn’t right for me this year. I didn’t feel it. I was trying to be honest and vulnerable.
Often times I have found that when I I open my more emotional side there are two reactions: 1) the people and friends who say “you’re not alone” or “thinking about you” or “sending hugs” or something else like that. 2) the people who skip right over the fact that you’re being vulnerable and say “well, you should be happy” or “aren’t you happy yet” or “you don’t have anything to be sad about”.
Needless to say the people in the second group really annoy me…however, even more when it’s family or people you once held close. I get that it’s not possible for people to understand that feeling of things “aren’t okay” if they are lucky enough to have never been effected by depression or anxiety, so let me lay a few things out there if you have someone in your life that is dealing with these things and you don’t know what to say:
- Don’t say any of the following things:
- Snap out of it
- What is there to be depressed about
- You have so many things to be grateful for
- What’s wrong with you
- Try harder
- Cheer up
- It could be worse
- What about me
- You’ll get over it
And that list goes on and on…
Unfortunately, my Christmas involved too many of the things on that list. Don’t be that person. Be the person who is willing to sit in silence and hold someone’s hand so they know they aren’t alone. Give them a hug even if they can’t hug back. Allow them to cry on your shoulder and hand them a tissue when they can’t reach one.
The more you know…