Monday, 17 February 2020

Why You Need To Reach Out Yourself And Not Just Expect Those Suffering To Ask For Help

I am sitting here today so very saddened still by the news that last weekend Caroline Flack had taken her own life.

I never knew Caroline, but it pains me to think that she got to the point where she believed suicide to be her only way out. The only way to feel peace and be free from hurt and darkness.

This is an important post for me, and something that I really wanted to touch upon, after reading so many social media posts the last few days asking anyone who is feeling stuck in the darkness to reach out to them.

I know that this comes from a place of love and genuine care, but I wanted to enlighten or reinforce this fact to everyone.

When someone is feeling that depressed, or encased by grief, it can be physically impossible to reach out. 

They can be feeling so very alone, but it could feel too vulnerable to open up. It can take away your enjoyment in everything, so you simply don't feel like doing anything.

You can not have the strength to even look at your phone, let alone call or message others.

Please, please know that this can be the case. It may not be for everyone, but it is for many.
Therefore when I have in the past spoken about how texting a friend to say 'Let me know if I can do anything to help' is a lovely sentiment but not useful, this is why.

We are all, myself included, guilty of living busy lives and meaning to check in but just forgetting. This is just human, and of course happens. But let's all please try to actually show up more.

If you haven't heard from someone in a while, check in, and then follow up.
If you know that someone is going through a difficult time...what can you practically do to help?
Make actual plans. Leave a cooked meal on their doorstep. Ask if they need anything from the shop, or if you can take their dog for a walk for them.

Actions speak louder than words.

This is close to my heart as I do hold resentment from when my mum was unwell. Being honest I don't feel as though we were as supported as we could have been.

My mum used to ask. What she really wanted was company as when I was at work she would often be on her own. The guilt that I used to feel was horrendous but I needed to still live my life as much as I could.
My mum was unable to drive and walk too far on her own, so she was stuck alone if no one would help or see her. It still upsets me years on that more people didn't make time for her.

And myself...I should have asked for help more, I see that now. But it was too hard.

We want to seem like we have it together, like we can manage. We don't want to have to ask, to feel like a burden. But I struggled a lot at times. I guess I wanted others to appreciate that I couldn't deal with everything, practically and emotionally, on my own and that they should just know this.
But they don't.

I think what my rambles come down to is this:

Despite the best intentions please do not always leave the ball in the court of someone who you feel may be in a dark or difficult place. Take control and reach out yourself. Words are so important, but actions really do mean more. 
If someone is cancelling plans a lot or withdrawing, reach out because they probably won't be able to themself. 

As always these are just my personal reflections, and I feel very fortunate that I have never felt as Caroline must have, but I know that grief can sometimes take people there.
I hope that this can just shed some light on how others may be feeling, and why it is so important to not just send that one text.

Huge love and positive vibes to anyone who needs it today. The waves are tough but they are waves and they do pass. There is always light to be found.

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