Ask if I’m Okay

For all my friends and loved ones out there who have dealt with depression or who are still dealing with it, I wrote this for you. I’m here for you if you need to talk, or even if you can’t talk, but just need someone to know that you’re struggling. You are NOT alone.

 

Dear Friend,

I know you’re there. You’ve always been. I know that if I have a baby you’ll bring me a meal. I know that if I’m faced with a loved ones death, you’ll hold me when I cry. I know that you’ll smile and congratulate me about any new and exciting event in my life. I know that you’ll do that. It’s what friends do.

I know that you’ll listen with excitement as I tell you all about my vacation and if I tell you about my problems, you’ll give your best advice. I know that you’ll laugh at my jokes even if they’re lame, or tell me a story about your rough day to make my day feel better. And if one day I’ve just HAD ENOUGH, and my washing machine has broken down while my kids have the flu, I know that if I call you…you’ll be there. You’ve always been. It’s what friends do.

But there’s one thing you never do, and it’s ok because until now I’ve never done it for you… It’s never probably crossed your mind, because it never crossed mine either.

Please, dear friend, just once in a while: ask if I’m ok.

And most likely you’ll hear me say: “Yeah, I’m good! Why? What’s up?”

And you can say, “Oh nothing, I’m just checking because I want to know if you’re not”…because a lot of the time I am okay.

But once in a while I’m not.

And then on those days, when I feel so alone, like nobody cares,  I can think back to the time you asked me if I was okay and remember that if I’m not okay, you’d want to hear about it.

And I’m sorry. Sorry for not doing that for you, because I understand now that some pain is just too hard to bring up on it’s own. Some pains are so deep that they need a friend to come and say, “Are you okay? I want to know if you’re not, because I care.”

I understand now that it’s awkward to bring up some types of pain, because you don’t know what to say…often you don’t even know what’s really wrong…but the pain is very real and it is crushing you. I understand that now. I understand why you pulled back and withdrew, why you avoided family and friends, not because you didn’t want to talk…but because you didn’t know how to. I now understand why you seemed to want to be alone, not because you didn’t want me around…but because you didn’t think I would be able to process feelings that even you couldn’t seem to work through.

And I want to tell you today that it’s ok. It’s ok to call me to cry, even if you don’t have the words to speak to me. It’s ok to tell me that you’re not ok and it’s ok if you don’t explain any further. It’s ok if you let me know those ugly feelings and thoughts, those ones that you want to run from. It’s also ok if you don’t. I just want to let you know that I’m here. It’s what friends do.

It’s also ok if you have nothing to offer me other than your tears. So if you ever feel completely alone, or that no one actually wants to hear the true response when they ask you a casual, “How are you?” Please know that you can be honest with me. I’m not afraid of your feelings, even your darkest ones. I want to know that you’re okay. You don’t need to feel like you owe me anything for listening. I’m not a therapist. I’m just a friend who may have little to offer you other than a shoulder to cry on and my prayers. I probably won’t have the answers to your problems. But you don’t have to apologize for the way you feel, or for “being a downer”, because I want to be able to walk this road with you. I want to be there! My dear friend, you are not alone! You are loved. You are deeply cared for!

Are you okay?

I’m here to listen. It’s what friends do.

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4 thoughts on “Ask if I’m Okay

  1. You are such a dear gal❣ I want you to know I’m here for you….on the downright ugly days, the really tough days when tears cloud the blessings, & not only on the great days filled with sunshine! Please don’t ever think you have to have it all together when you’re around me. You. Are.Loved❣ Thanks for being willing to be here for me when I’m not okay too😍. Praying for you in your journey as you touch the lives of those around you with God’s love💞

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is beautiful Heather; and I have come to the conclusion from all the places we have been that there probably isn’t a single person that doesn’t fall into this category at one time or another and it can be someone that looks like they have it all together. I know that you did not write this lightly – you really truly care and also understand what you are talking about. You probably have a number of others you can share with but I want you to know that you are welcome to email or call me anytime you need a listening ear or sounding board – you are dear and special and I love and care about how you are doing. We pray for you often and in fact, it has been on my heart especially the last week or so to ask you how you are doing. God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Auntie Elaine! You are right that this could apply to not only people struggling with depression, but really everyone! Thank you for all the times you’ve been there for me when I’ve needed prayer, or advice, or support. And also thank you for all the prayers you’ve prayed for us these past few years! I know that it’s prayers like yours that have helped us get through some very hard situations!

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