“Please repost. I’m trying to demonstrate there is always someone listening” The post is usually followed by #suicideawareness.
That, to me, is the equivalent of “Let me know what I can do for you”
Is there really someone listening or do we want to look to our social media friends like we care or like the “Let me know what I can do for you” because we don’t know what else to say?
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that line. I don’t know either how many times I’ve asked for help, but I can tell you how many times none has been received. Probably just as many times as I have asked.
Some of those favors have been monumental like when my daughter laid in a hospital bed and I asked those offering to take my son for the evening so he wouldn’t have to spend one more day in the hospital with her. To give that boy a relief from the nightmare we were all living. Others have been easier, maybe pick up my daughter from track so she doesn’t have to stand in the dark while I drive to her from work. But usually there were things to do that prevented people from fulfilling their offer: “I was going to do laundry that night.” “I’m washing my hair, polishing my nails” “I want to go for a bike ride after work”
I have also recoursed to someone to listen to me. Those times when the darkness enters my mind. When a panic attack gets a hold of me. I know the drill now and I seldom ask for help. After all people know me as happy, outgoing, funny. Why spend time with me when I’m irrational, quiet, and scared? There are better things to do than spend time with me, but…but you offered. Yes, you did, so I reached out.
I have waited for that phone call someone promised they would make when I’ve been in that abyss of my fear hoping to find in that voice relief to my despair. That call has failed to come as many times as it has been offered.
So, let me ask you this, is someone always listening or does it feel good to post it on social media? Are you willing to listen to a depressed person who is far from fun? When you give the blanket offering of “let me know what I can do for you” why not just tell that person what you can do for them so you might be more inclined to actually fulfill that promise.
Landing a hand is not always easy. Listening is not always fun, but you didn’t offer to help because it was. It’s about helping someone in need not about you, or maybe it’s all about you.