A Tightening Circle

Yesterday, I got a call from a friend of mine. She is a family friend actually and not a close friend.

Few minutes into the conversation she said “I think I am falling into depression. And I am having anxiety.”

Now. I am all too aware with these 2 word.

My first thought was “nope. You are not dealing with any of that” but I didn’t say it.

People who have been reading my blog might know I swing between the 2.

Depression I had for short time, anxiety almost all my life and its magnitude fluctuates with the circumstances.

Right now I am pretty stable.

Then Dad have been put on pretty heavy medication in an attempt to manage this mental condition. After mom he is not able to handle himself well no matter how many people are caring for him.

Mom struggled with horrible levels of anxiety on chemo.

So I know closely what it is.

I just listened. But deep down I wasn’t agreeing.

Then she started asking what about us, and what we used to feel.

I wanted to tell but then I stopped.

She is a very sensitive girl. She wouldn’t be able to digest and understand whatever I told her. We all have difference experience and I didn’t even know her reasons.

So instead I asked her to tell me what she was feeling.

She said she has this emptiness and sinking feeling and she is sleeping a lot.

I listened.

Then I said “First of all don’t take any medicine on your own without proper consultation. Then whenever you feel you can come to stay.”

She came to my place to stay when she was expecting so I suggested she should come and she might feel a bit better.

Then I told her about the counsellor I am recommended. I told her if she finds the need, she can go to her and just talk to her.

After the call I was evaluating our conversation.

Apparently this girl has a happy life, monotonous but happy.

Had she come to me 5 6 years back and told me the same thing I would have said “dude, go home. Your are fine. You are overthinking. Chill”

But not now.

Few days back we lost a relative to suicide. This person had a perfect life. Loving family. No financial, social or any problem at all. And he used to pray. He was healthy. There shouldn’t be anything wrong. But he ended his life.

I still don’t understand.

I don’t understand how suddenly the circle is tightening and we are stranded in it.

Maybe all of this existed since forever, it’s now only that they have come to light.

Mental health has still got miled to cover to Carve its place as a serious health issue.

It’s a widely misunderstood concept either people don’t accept it at all or people just label you a psycho and start treating you one.

I have talked about asking for help before.

Now I am talking about listening and believing.

Better safe than sorry.

If someone comes to you at least listen patiently and please don’t give opinions you are not entitled to do that. It’s doctor’s job.

No matter how light the problem sounds just listen with full concentration your one frown can overthrow the hard built confidence.

Your job is to listen, and believe. Be compassionate.

Take them to the doctor if they want go. Help them if they want to. Don’t try to be a therapist you might be doing it all wrong.

You can never guess the level of chaos or numbness captivating a mind.

You just can’t predict, guess, judge, measure the anxiety level of another human.

What happened to me did not happen to my parents.

What happened to mom and dad separately I can’t completely understand.

We might know the reasons. We might know what doctors to go to. We might even know names of a few medicines.

But we can never tell how bad it is.

There are so many things we believe blindly. Then why we find difficulty to believe when somebody opens up to us about their mental and emotional state??

Copyright © 2017 stoneronarollercoaster – All rights reserved


55 thoughts on “A Tightening Circle

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  1. Such a heart whelming post. The way you have narrated the story of your friend and have compared the story to yours and finally gave the sound advice to people, who are going through anxiety and depression, is priceless.
    Awareness about the mental illness is of prime importance in our society.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Years back a young man came to me then his job then his parents. . none if us took time to listen. . . the job didn’t care, I was in a crisis at work and his parents had their own issues. That night that sweet young man hing himself. It still haunts me.
    Honestly, I could’ve/should’ve given him my time

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good to read your story. Honesty and compassion together are strong medicine. Listening is so important. Kindness and understanding are the cure for the isolation a person may feel. Thank you for these suggestions.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it is too easy to judge instead of listening because really, we don’t know how bad a person is truly feeling. They dont always know how to explain it, or express it. I’m glad you listened for her.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said. You are a good friend. We are quick to speak and slow to listen. As much as I despise that in others, I know I do it too. Wisdom I like from James 1:19 — “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger”….thanks again….–Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brilliant. The stigma of depression haunts us all. It’s total bullshit and should be removed. A good friend recently came to me and confided her depression in me and I listened. Depression affects everyone differently as no mental illness is completely the same as the next person. The only way we can spread awareness and break down the stereotypes and stigma is to continue to write, share, vlog our experiences so that outside people will finally look at us and say “hey, I understand, I experience that too, this is how I deal with it.” Instead of…. being called a freak and ditched because you’re not normal. Thank you for writing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. my pleasure.
      this pretty much sums up the whole thing. we could be at any end, a person facing it or a person listening to somebody facing it.
      being a listener isn’t that easy but the person confiding is already scared of how you might react. we have to be patient and kind no matter how small there problem sounds to us.
      we need to approach things carefully it’s far more common than we know.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Yes. listen. We all know someone dealing with mental illness. I think it is important to understand everyone heals, and/or walks through the anxiety differently, so the proper counseling and medication should only come from one place, professionals. Friends should remain as friends, as you did with yours. It is a tough battle to go through, to watch it consume loved ones, and tough on everyone who surrounds you as well. Always inspired….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Donna.
      I was actually scared because I recently experienced one thing. when we are under stress we react to things differently than we would in our normal circumstances. my any advice no matter how hard my own struggles have been, can not be appropriate for this girl.
      that why I didn’t even tell her our situation.
      and on phone things are easily misunderstood. she will visit in a few days will sort it out step by step.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ears are the second most important tools – and knowing when to keep them open and the other one closed. it’s not easy, and often takes years of practice to be able to look, empathise, and actively wait until it all comes to the fore. You may have saved a life, because no one ever knows for sure what lies below the surface.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thats the point. We can never tell what lies below the surface. Me mom and dad we all had/have anxiety. But we all had different symptoms, levels and coping mechanism.
      And it definitely took me years and my own struggles to understand this. Otherwise i would have done what everybody else does.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The surface may look good but underneath…. I had a friend who was good looking, very well off with a good job and he hung himself , with his dogs lead rope, from a bridge in the city, We never know what is going on underneath. I think you handled the phone conversation well.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. At least now there is some level of understanding depression and some medications that may help. My father committed suicide in 1965. Then is was pull youself up by your boot straps and get on with it and the only medical treatment was electric shock therapy. He put a gun to his head. It certainly affected my life both then and even to a lesser extent now.


      2. Oh God! I am so extremely sorry. May God rest his soul in peace. Ameen.
        The problem is in my society its still not recognised as a condition. And even if i try to explain people they dont want to listen.
        They think i am just being emotional.
        I have struggled all my life with anxiety. There was a point i wanted to slash my skin i felt something crawling on my arms. Nobody can understand this.
        Now this is my own experience. Everybody has different symptoms.
        We need to listen to everybody.
        My dad is not coping well after mom. He has been put on 3 more meds to deal with it. Now medication itself has severe side effects including suicidal tendencies. I dont even have courage to tell him this.

        Somebody said its spreading and its everywhere now.
        I say its been given names now. It was always there.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. My brother went through depression a while back. He confessed that he felt this type of helplessness before but chose to hide it because who would have believed him… At first, I felt guilty and slightly insulted that he could not confide in me sooner – I have always tried to be more a friend and guide than the “elder sister”. While it made me behave more cautiously and conciliatorily with him, he wasn’t completely off-mark about people’s reaction to his illness because I, too, went through various stages of curiosity and wariness, skepticism and acceptance. It took me awhile to learn that depression comes in many forms; it is as unique as the person suffering from it. Eventually, I realized that, as his sister, my job was simply to be there listening on days he wanted to talk and bring him the mug of coffee on days he didn’t. However, I am always thankful that I at least had the presence of mind to not brush off what he was claiming. It could’ve been depression or it couldn’t have been. But despite what it may have turned out to be or prompted later, at least he knew people loved and supported him. Like you said, better safe than sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. first of all thanks a lot for sharing your personal experience.

      then. being human we have innate urge to be sceptical of something we haven’t gone through or don’t understand completely. listening take strength and patience.
      you did the right thing. and your brother is lucky to have you around. family is the first place people face disappointment at after opening up about their mental health issue.

      thank you so much again 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

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