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Cheerleader

TW for depression:

rosalarian:

Several friends of mine are dealing with some pretty bad Seasonal Affective Disorder right now. Depression is such a strange state of mind, going beyond just sadness. It seems to be like fingerprints, with no two experiences quite the same.

I see my friends struggling, and I have to remind myself that when they talk about their struggles, it isn’t an open invitation for advice on how to fix it. Which is hard for me to accept. I’m a fixer; it’s how I deal with problems, constantly trying to figure out which variable to change to achieve a better outcome.

But I have to tell myself that my method for dealing with things doesn’t work for everyone, and it sucks to be shoehorned into someone else’s coping mechanism. For example, when I feel upset or depressed or anxious, I want to be alone, but when many of my friends are upset, they want to be around people. So they see me upset, and cling to me in an attempt to comfort me. I can’t fault them for it, I know they’re trying to help, and I appreciate the gesture, but the gesture is also exactly the opposite of helpful.

This isn’t about me, this isn’t about me, this isn’t about me. Someone hand me a Sharpie so I can write that in big block letters on my arm. Or better yet, a tattoo machine. I may feel horrible watching my friends be sad, but I can’t make myself feel better if it means they feel worse. I think this is where so many attitudes of “Well, I tried my best to help; they must just be doomed; they must not really want help,” come from. In some ways, listening and paying attention are more hard work than if the cure for their condition was to eat a spaceship.

It isn’t something I can force into a solution, even if I knew what the solution was. I feel powerless, but I have to remind myself that this feeling is my own problem, and the solution is not “fix other people” but to come to terms with that powerlessness. Or rather to remind myself that there is worth in a simple “I’m here for you.”

In so many ways, it is more helpful to be a cheerleader than a coach.

"I think this is where so many attitudes of ‘Well, I tried my best to help; they must just be doomed; they must not really want help,’ come from. In some ways, listening and paying attention are more hard work than if the cure for their condition was to eat a spaceship.”

This is such a hilariously awkward metaphor, but it rings so, so true for me. I have friends with depression and friends with personal problems and all other kinds of issues, and I don’t think I’ve ever been able to actually figure out how to help any of them, let alone “come to terms with that powerlessness.” Sometimes even asking if I can listen feels like exactly the wrong answer.

Reblogged from: rosalarian
23.05.12
114 notes
  1. autistic-homura reblogged this from rosalarian
  2. moyaofthemist reblogged this from rosalarian
  3. woahfuck reblogged this from rosalarian
  4. lisztaffe reblogged this from rosalarian and added:
    About the last bit, there really is so much to a ‘simple’ “I’m here for you” to some people. I’ve been very depressed...
  5. ffferris reblogged this from rosalarian
  6. dinosaurceress reblogged this from verbivorous
  7. jeherin reblogged this from rosalarian and added:
    This is gonna go a bit off topic, but this reminds me of the masculine vs feminine way of dealing with things, too....
  8. ojirawel reblogged this from rosalarian and added:
    "You’re excellent and awesome and I will love you even if you can’t get off the couch today." "You’re excellent and...
  9. randomkombucha reblogged this from rosalarian
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  14. vanitygames reblogged this from rosalarian and added:
    And just keep in mind that those of us who struggle - if we could eat a spaceship to fix it, we’d be first in line with...
  15. arbet reblogged this from rosalarian
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  20. asymmetries reblogged this from rosalarian
  21. minesweeperaddict reblogged this from rosalarian and added:
    Ahaha, something for me to keep in mind. I apologize right now to anyone I have forced/will force advice on at any...