(Well, I do. But not from other people.)
When I reach out to people, which is something I often struggle with, I’m not looking for answers to my problems (unless I actually ask outright). I’m looking for comfort and empathy.
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
I’m guilty of trying to think of solutions too. When somebody comes to me, my first thought is to try to fix their problem, think of solutions for them. I am mindful that solutions are not what they want from me (necessarily). I try to think about what I would want to hear from them if the roles were reversed.
Often it’s just a listening ear that we need. We need to let it all out, actually speak/write out the words, and not feel like we have to keep it all to ourselves. We want our feelings to be validated. We want somebody to understand why we might be feeling that way because of whatever reason (if there is one, because sometimes there isn’t).
“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
There’s a lot of times when I feel like how I am feeling is completely nonsensical, like, if I were to say the thoughts I was having aloud I would be laughed at, mocked, sent to an asylum. I know my mental illnesses are just fucking with me, trying to make me believe things that simply aren’t true, but in that moment, I can’t overpower it.
Perhaps if I did have a little more courage to write these thoughts out, maybe not even to send them but to get them out of my head, I would feel a little better. It’s a brave action to take, being truly honest with somebody else about how you are feeling or what you are going through. Sometimes you can’t always do so, and that’s okay too. Just know that there are people around you that will listen to what you need them to hear.
Where to find support, if you need it:
- Samaritans: 116 123 (UK)
- Mind: 0300 123 3393 (UK)
- Saneline: 0300 304 7000 (UK)
- Beat: 0845 634 1414 (UK)
- National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (UK)
- Mental Health America: 1 800 273 8255 (USA)
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services/ SAMHSA: 1 800 662 4357