So, on depression and suicide:
There’s a lot of sharing of hotlines and encouraging folks to check on people you love. That’s great, but I’d like to be more specific. I live with depression. Sometimes it gets really bad. These are the things people have done to help.
-messaging me that you hurt with me
-listening to my hurt
-following up on messaging sincerely and vulnerably.
-listening to my hurt again, even repeating it back to me and making the story longer.
-joining me in an activity I already decided I did have the energy to do, but not making me lead you in it.
-supporting a passion of mine and the work I do for it- gestures here go a long way for me.
-showing up with a gift
-showing up with food
-showing up with a baby mammal
-showing up and just doing anything you see needs to be done and not letting me stop you.
-getting me into the sunshine.
-sitting quietly with me, nonexpectantly.
-sharing with me a long and loving thought you had about me (read: something that is true and I love about myself is best. But this can be tricky because depressed folks don’t always love things about themselves. But if you’re close enough, you can be the person to do this. Example: depression tells me people think I’m a monster with anger problems. You could tell me how very much you love how much of a fighter for underdogs I am and then just keep doubling down with examples you’ve observed without me telling you)
-show up with chocolate.
-positive touches such as hugs. I might need a heads up so I can shower first.
-giving me a heads up and tricking me into self care via bathing.
-pay a bill that is haunting me
-if you cried for me, tell me you cried for me. It will probably make me cry, but in most cases that’s good and then we can just cry together.
-ask me what I’ve been putting off, if I have time to do it if I had help, and then help.
-handwritten letters / silly drawings (careful though, sometimes this is too slow and should only be used as a bonus action)
-randomly tell me you see and understand my pain, even and especially if you’ve already done so.
-stand up for me.
-seriously though I want to mention that baby mammal thing again.
-ask me to send you this list if you can’t find/remember it.
-I don’t like saying this, but helping me make a huge sale of one of my products really helps. It helps me feed myself, know I’m valued, gives me something to do, etc.
-coming to my house and sincerely enjoying my designs and builds.
-notice how well my dogs are trained and tell me I did a good job.
-help me paint dark places in my house. They need to be bright.
-thank me and love on me when I let it be known I’m in a bad headspace.
-help me with literally anything in December.
-poker with my dudes
-dungeons and dragons / RPGs
-come over and throw axes with me
-take me up on it if i offered to help you build something at your home, tear something down, or do yard work with you.
I’m not asking for these things at the moment, but I’ll definitely take them!
You’re my friend. I want to check on you. Anything you’d add for yourself?