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Friday, 17 January 2014

In which I realise how important it is to be there for good friends going through a dark phase.......

Dear Reader, the other day I realised that living in an extreme state of melancholia while still retaining a kick-ass sense of humour is actually possible....and also how self- centred, we are as a generation.

I met a very old and dear friend "M", a couple of days ago completely by chance and I barely recognised her. Let me tell you something about M, she was this really smart cool girl that everyone liked, she was never boring and her sense of humour was legendary!

She was also kind of hot so most of the guys really liked her, she was one of those rare girls who did not have issues with her body or image which made her extremely likeable. We loved her and always thought that she'd end up doing great things.

A couple of years ago M sort of vanished. We figured that she was finally doing what she always said she'd do, spend time backpacking through Europe or live in South America or Africa.... We spent a couple of minutes during get- togethers speculating her whereabouts, even in absence, M was interesting. So imagine my shock when I bumped into a  nearly unrecognisable M in the most unlikely of places.

She was so different, it was clear that she was going through a really bad time. I made her tag along with me as we began what turned out to be a long chat. I realised something about myself dear reader...something upsetting...I am a terrible friend. M has always been there for me, there were times when she travelled across the city just to see me. There were times over the past couple of years when she called but I was busy and didn't pick up.

I never realised how horribly self centred we become as adults. We all promised our friends that we would stay in touch but, did we mean it. There is always that one person in a group who is always there for the others, who always calls and takes calls, who is willing to spend countless hours listening to our crap, who is a wonderful friend. M was that, she has been there for all her friends, she is basically the best person I know.

She isn't perfect, she never was, at one point in our lives people would confuse us, as we have vague similarities. I always took that as a compliment. When I saw her, with her sad eyes and teary smiles, it was like looking into a distorted mirror, she could have been me and I could have been her...if I had spent the last three years without a job, without any friends in a state of limbo, I would probably not have retained any faith or kindness.

It is apparent that M is in a state of severe depression, her smiles had a certain hesitant quality that pained me. But she still was extremely kind and soft spoken, her rage and anguish at what she termed her 'failures' were turned inwards. During the course of our meeting, I found myself confiding my worries, I had reverted back to the old pattern, I felt so selfish dear reader... I should have been there. I should have called when she didn't. If the situation was reversed she would have been there.

We live in a cruel world, not many show kindness, and I can certainly say that we are highly self-involved..I thus feel that sometimes we should be there for others. It is really important for us to be there for the few real friends we have. Next time read between the lines, look past the bright smiles to the sad eyes, call if the other doesn't..maybe she got tired of always being the one to call....don't learn about her wish to die....just give her a reason to live....see past her black humour to the underlying melancholia.....

Thus dear reader, if you have a friend who needs you for once, be there for him/her....you could perhaps prevent something awful....or life could just be one full of that great regret....If dear reader, you are in a dark place, reach out...I am sure that there is someone out there who loves you and was just careless....and didn't really mean to lose touch.....Give your friends a chance to prove that they care.....

3 comments:

  1. Interesting site (love the illustration). Good writing, honest but not cringe-making. Bookmarked!

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  2. Did you look your friend in the eye, or did she look away, avoid your gaze? People who are genuinely happy smile from their eyes, look directly at you. Not looking or avoiding each other's eye contact is a strong non-verbal signal. I have had depressions and fears in my time, and avoided being looked, I had a family who made it normal to avoid eye contact and it can be overcome-'the soul can heal' if you will permit the cliche. Even a bad friend is better than none at all. Hope that helps.

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