when all you need is someone to listen

My heart aches.

Don’t worry — I’m not having a heart attack. I once called the ambulance and they said it wasn’t my heart. My heart was working really very so they were pretty sure it was just my mind. I think they were right. The chest pain usually stops after a while and when it does, I will most certainly feel silly for ever wanting to hurt myself. Though, unfortunately, right now as I’m writing this, it’s still there and I do think of hurting myself. I almost grab the lighter and burn my arm because strangely it’s the only thought that comforts me (well, I don’t do it because I know better than that.)

It’s 00:41. I text a trusted friend saying “hey I think depression hits me, or maybe mood swing, but I can’t stop crying.” I can’t stop crying. Life just suddenly feels so frightening and overwhelming. I’m scared of the world out there, a world that expects me to be happy all the time, a world that asks “Are you okay?” implying you better be okay, not because it cares and wants to hear about your unokayness. I’m not okay. I might be okay most days but there are times I’m really not. And I don’t even have a specific reason why.

To be honest, in moments like this, I feel very alone. Sometimes all I need is just a friend who is willing to listen. I want real conversations. I want to talk to someone about insecurities and vulnerabilities, about being human, about daily awkwardness and anxiety, about fear and suicidal thoughts. Don’t get me wrong — I do have many loving people in my life and I know they care about me but it’s not easy to just share about this private, weak part of me. And I really don’t know when or where to start.

It’s challenging mostly because I’m generally a positive and easy-going person and I want to be seen as such. It would be extremely unfair and upsetting if I told someone about my occasional depressive episodes and they boxed my entire identity into one word depressed. I know depressed is not me. I’m so much more. That being said, yes, I can be depressed. It’s a truth that sometimes I’m convinced it’s best if I kill myself. What can I say? This is what I’m dealing with on a daily basis. It’s part of me. I know tomorrow when I wake up I will feel so different — my mind will be all clear and strong and I will cringe at my depressed self but it doesn’t mean these feelings are not real or not hurting me.

I do want to get better and I will try my best to not let my issues affect anyone around me or damage my relationships with my beloved people. I suppose all I ask for is some support, understanding and acceptance from any of you.

If you have a friend who’s feeling like this, please do so for them. Don’t belittle or dismiss their feelings. Don’t tell them they’re too sensitive or too grumpy or thinking too much. Don’t make it about yourself and get defensive with them. Especially, don’t ask them to be happy. That’s NOT helpful and even cruel to do such things. All they need is someone to listen to them without any judgment, to ask them how they’re feeling and tell them they’re heard and understood and it’s all okay. Hold them tight and be patient with them even when they try to push you away — they don’t mean it.

Just talk to them. Please talk to them. Show them you genuinely care and assure them their feelings are not freaking you out. Tell them you’re here and will be here for them. Thank them for opening up to you and giving you the opportunity to be closer to them. Trust me, they need your help; they just don’t know how to ask. They want you to stay; they just find it incredibly hard to put themselves out there in such a vulnerable state. And maybe they don’t say it enough but they’re deeply grateful for your presence and effort.

Sometimes you can even save a life without knowing.

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