A bit of advice for friends of depressed/anxious/etc. people (not just me, but anyone):
Sometimes, what we need is to be talked through a situation. Not berated, or told to cheer up, or told it’s “not that bad”… but to be helped through some of the practical considerations that may not always be obvious when we’re freaking out or self-hating.
For example, a friend just helped remind me that I could make oatmeal. When I was freaking out at her about how I didn’t have anything I could eat right away, she helped me go through a list of what I had, and figure out what I could cook at my current spoon level. As a result, I was able to eat and feel a little better.
Another example: Some of you remember how, way back in May 2011, I finally reached the transition-or-die breaking point, which physically manifested as me freezing/trembling in the middle of class in front of everybody. I was fortunate, then, to have a school instructor who helped talk me through the situation and who helped create the beginnings of a plan of action for coming out at school. This then snowballed into coming out at work and getting my name change process started, and I’ve been living as my lady self “full-time” ever since.
Notice how there was no minimizing of the situation, no attempts to tell me that I was “blowing things out of proportion” or whatever. It was more, “Okay, let’s look at the practical situation, and see what we can do.” That sort of help can be invaluable to a person as anxiety-prone/depression-prone as I am.
YES. My coping method was developed out of friends taking this approach with me (and so now I do it to myself) and it helps so much better than “think positive” and other kinds of value judgments… I don’t need your opinion at my crisis point I need some solutions!