Depression, anxiety… a tug of war in my head. I have a muddled pile of thoughts all squished together screaming for a way out of my mind. I have found in the last two years as my symptoms have gotten worse my friends seem to disappear more and more. The best thing to do for a friend suffering is be there for them…. but if you are there for a long time and then suddenly put up a wall it will slowly eat away at any hopes. A friend I always depended on, who was always there with advice or a good distraction is now a ghost of a memory. Nothing more than the other “friends” who became silent right after I said I was sick. But you know if I had suffered from a broken arm, they all would have lined up to sign my cast. Depression is not something to fear… it is NOT contagious. I battled cancer more than 10 years ago and friends brought me food so I didn’t have to cook and offered rides to treatments and covering hours at work…. but depression is like turning on the lights in a roach infested apartment. Everyone just scattered.
So along with medication I write. I used to write to a “friend” but they stopped responding. Now I write poems and the occasional blog. I need to write more. I need to find an outlet for the screams that echo inside. If no one ever reads my blog it is no different than my vanishing friends. If I reach one person who feels less alone in a similar battle it is great. But if I can help one “friend” to learn the way to help I would be overjoyed that some one out there will get the support that they need. The tug of war is harder some days than others, but I refuse to let go of the rope. I will prevail…. with or without someone who cares.
The word of the day… respect. Does anyone have it anymore? I have listened to a couple of friends fighting this weekend and I have come to the conclusion that neither one shows much respect for the other. Old problems thrown back at each other when feelings get hurt. Jabs taken at personal issues. It has been a long list of things that in my mind comes thru as a lack of respect. Yes, I get in fights with friends and family too, but I would like to think I take the high road and not throw salt into the wounds. It is something I try to be very conscious of others feeling as I know how bitter bad words can taste.
I also work with the public… now there is an epidemic of lack of respect! From very personal cell phone conversations in the middle of a family restaurant, to swearing at the park in front of young children, from paying NO attention to cashiers at the checkout to blaming the employees for being out of stock of a certain item… there are a MILLION examples of common courtesy being ignored or maybe never taught. So often I see parents showing no respect to their children. Yes, they are a child and should show respect to their parents, but how do they learn that respect. You have to SHOW it. I always spoke to my daughter as a human being (no baby talk) and really listened to what she had to say. That takes time that a lot of parents these days don’t have. I understand working long hours or two jobs, but what about the day-cares? Do they have the staff to show respect to all the children at once? Even when they get to school age there are a lot of great teachers, but it only takes one who shows no respect for the student to encourage the lack of respect back.
I was raised to be a part of what was going on around me. It was not a case of speak only when you are spoken to, but it was like I had a voice. Granted I was too shy to use it most of the time, but I knew they would listen if I spoke at the right times. I get busy and ignore texts, let the answering machine pick up and all those other things at times… but I know I always get back to whoever it was (with the exception of telemarketer who never leave a message anyway… that is a whole different blog!) within a day. Don’t turn your back on friends. Don’t alienate family. You don’t have to like them, you can be mad at them… but RESPECT them.
Understand we all have bad days and may need to say no. We all make mistakes. Not everyone knows you were up all hours of the night and got no sleep, or that you have been sick and don’t feel up to original plans that were made, or that you had a family emergency and you are stressed beyond limits. Remember we all need respect… don’t assume anything. Take the time to respect and talk to each other, but most of all listen. That is where respect will grow.