I’ll be the first to admit I wear my feelings on my sleeve and run headfirst into situations I have no business being in. I have a very long history of doing that, and I don’t plan to change that part of me. I like helping people, offering them support even if I am on the verge of my own breakdown. I don’t ask for that help in return, because I know most people can’t give me that time I need to feel more like myself. But today, I just don’t have enough spoons for a lot of others. I use the Spoon Theory a little differently than most. A lot of people use it for doing basic everyday things. I use it for interactions because they can wear me out depending on how emotionally driven they are.
A friend feeling suicidal? I’m generally the first one to hop in my car and do what I can to ease their pain, and just listen. Doesn’t matter if it puts me into danger or not. I go in, talk to them, let them talk, yell, vent, scream, whatever it takes. I help get them back into an ok state of mind and push them towards getting the help that they do need and deserve that I just can’t give. I give them the normal suicide prevention hotlines, and there are some great texting options as well. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say there were times I’ve reached out to them for support for myself in some very dark times. It was some great crisis support staff that encouraged me to seek out therapy for own self-destructive behavior.
A different friend just needs someone to listen to their problems, no matter how big or small they are. I lend my ear and we spend time together with me just listening and offering bits of advice as I can. I don’t force my opinion and I don’t just straight out tell them that their problems are insignificant. I value that time with others because it helps give me perspective on some of my own problems and I can work through them with someone else.
Then there’s a third friend I have. We barely speak, just occasional messages on social media with the occasional visit if we are in each other’s vicinity. We live states apart but have been friends since we were kids. It’s all a different type of support, that no one can try to take away and we’ve lost touch at various times but always end up finding one another and picking back up like no time has passed and no distance is there.
In my own struggles with life, depression and just being overwhelmed, I’ve discovered that I can’t offer help to those I care about most if I don’t have enough spoons to take care of myself first. Today, I almost didn’t have enough spoons. I stayed up very late last night (ok it was into the very early morning hours before I finally slept a little), but a special someone I cared about needed my support. It was when I was woken up by the first friend with a phone call that I quickly shifted from having plenty to not having enough. Once the phone calls resolved and I talked with that special someone I started getting those spoons back. They showed they cared. They showed that the care and love weren’t just one-sided. And I quickly regained my footing for the day and was able to get a few of the things done that I really needed to.
But back to the subject at hand here. Sometimes all it takes a little kindness to someone we don’t even know. Other times it’s a smile and a friendly word to the cashier at the store we’re at. Just be kind. It doesn’t matter what your stance it, what your income is, what your politics are. It’s free to be kind and show compassion.
We all need some kind of support in our lives. I’ve finally found someone who understands that I give so much of myself so freely because I don’t know any other way to be. Even when it means I slowly destroy myself in the process. We have to help one another find the good things in life.
Be kind to each other. The world needs more of that.
Crisis Text Line:
Text HOME to 741741
or text START to 678678
There are other groups that offer help out there, and I’ll be happy to include them here.
But if you or a loved one are in crisis, please reach out to your local first responders/ call 911 or your local emergency number.