For me, I feel a sudden weight pressing down.
I call it “feeling heavy.”
A heaviness on my chest and in my mind that usually comes out of nowhere.
No trigger, no explanation.
So what can YOU do?
The spouse, the sibling, the friend.
•LISTEN to them. Give them the space to let it all out. Let them feel heard and validated.
•Don’t try to fix it. Most times, there’s no logical explanation, which means no logical solution. Just be a presence. Again, validate that “x” is awful and that you’re sorry it’s happening to them.
•Be there. See it as the sickness it is and give compassion.
•If they have babies, TAKE THEM. In my darkest moments, the last thing I want or need is my children to be around it.
•Offer to clean their house. Or bring them food.
•Support and encourage them. If their episodes become longer and more frequent, help them seek professional help. I see a therapist weekly, and I take anti-depressants.
•Speak truth to them. In my darkness, my reality has warped. The lies of the enemy become my anthem. “You’re a horrible mother. You shouldn’t even be ministering to girls. Your husband thinks you’re a burden. You’re fat. You bring no worth.” I don’t believe my truths, but I can hear them when they’re spoken over me. I can see them when those around me live like I DO bring worth to their lives.
•Let them nap. Not like, days in a row, but sleeping gives a break in the heaviness. I can be running around on 10 hours of sleep and immediately become overwhelmed with exhaustion. We’re not lazy. We’re hurting.
Of course, these are only a few ways you can help. There are more and each person has their own needs. ASK them. Straight up, “What can I do right now for you?” And give them a space to be honest in their response because it’s a knee jerk reaction for us to say, “I’m fine!” We don’t want to burden anyone. Which just doubles the weight back on us.
Look for the signs. Exhaustion, seclusion, moodiness, extreme mood swings, etc. We can fight this together.