Thursday, July 25, 2013

How to Cope with Someone Coping

Dear Friend,
I know I might make you feel awkward. I understand. I still don't feel comfortable being around myself and I live in this skin all day, every day. The very fact that you are even thinking about me, thinking about what I'm going through, is enough. The idea that you put aside your own day-to-day struggles to think about me, even just for a minute, is incredible. Know that I feel it even when I'm just crossing your mind. It gives me strength. It helps.

What do you say to someone going through something difficult? You say everything, you say nothing, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you reached out. Just hearing your voice, reading your message, or feeling your hug fills my heart back up a little bit. If you give me advice, I'll acknowledge it, I'll politely say thank you. Will I use it? Probably not. Should you be offended? Absolutely not. Did it still help anyway? Yes.

And if you want to do something? Please don't just do what's best for me, or what you think I need. How could you possibly know without asking? If you guess that I need to be distracted, I might be dying inside to talk to you about it, but not wanting to be the one to call attention to it and ruin the mood. If you try to talk incessantly about what happened, I might be wishing you would just stop and keep my mind off of it instead. But if you ask me which of those options would make me feel better, I probably won't have an answer for you. Don't be frustrated, because even just asking me that question is enough to let me know you care.

I feel like a burden, even if you reassure me a million times that I'm not. To me, you all seem happy and normal and I don't want to have any part in bringing you down. You deserve to be smiling and I don't want to take that away from you. Thank you for offering to be there for me though, that alone is all that matters. Even if I don't allow you to help me, you're helping me. Being reminded that I have a friend like you is all I can ask for in this difficult time.

Your Friend

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