My friend confides in me about what is going on inside her head. She explains what went wrong and how it was her fault. I tell her she is doing her best, that that is all anyone can ever do. She doesn’t seem convinced, and that’s okay. I tell her I am not going to act like I know all the answers, or that I know the perfect thing to say – because I don’t. What I will do is be there for her, sit there with her and listen, trying to understand. As she cries to me about how crazy she feels, I tell her a story. I tell her about an instance where I felt how she feels now:
I left the library where I met another friend of mine, but I left feeling really lonely. I don’t know what happened but suddenly I felt empty. Saying goodbye to her at the doors of the library, I walked to my car, taking into account the atmosphere. It was gray and cloudy and I knew rain was coming. I felt one or two drops as I walked down the sidewalk. It matched my mood and I begged for the rain to come crashing down on top of me; it didn’t.
I got in my car and I just stayed there. I leaned my seat back so that I was laying on my back and staring up at the window on the roof of my car. As I stared up I felt like crying but I didn’t—or couldn’t. I looked at the leaves on the tree branch that floated above my car. I saw clouds and the blue sky behind them. The sun peaked through and gave me a feeling of warmth. I knew I had to get going, but I didn’t want to interact with anyone. I wanted to be alone in my loneliness. But I went home and fed off that small feeling of warmth that was growing within me – the feeling that came as I realized that there is still sun hidden amongst clouds of rain.
I tell my friend how it’s okay to feel this way sometimes, but it is important to find that sun, because even though it won’t make you feel completely better, it will give you a little bit of warmth and comfort. Sometimes it’s hard to see past all the hurt and pain. Know that you are not these feelings, for they don’t define you – you are so much more.
Take all the time you need to heal, but it is important to find something that helps give you a little bit of hope – something that will help bring you out of that dark state of mind. Whether it be a person, an object or memorabilia, a book or a pet, hold onto that and find solace in it. Remember that like time and all things, sadness too will pass. Notice how you exist and how planted your feet feel on the ground. Sometimes, that’s all you need to feel a little sane.