What IS Helpful? What Does Helpful Mean To You?

Shared experiences of life, and the path that has led you to where you are.

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Lil Welby
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:33 pm

What IS Helpful? What Does Helpful Mean To You?

Postby Lil Welby » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:17 pm

Sometimes I feel like I can't help myself, maybe my time is better served trying to help others. I always struggle with what IS helpful though. Who defines what helping is? If someone reaches out to me, I find myself overthinking my advice. I feel like it won't come across as helpful, so I choose inaction. I feel like inaction is not a choice though, I feel that being helpful is whatever we deem it to be. So I feel being helpful is just me sharing my experiences, maybe something I've come across that I don't find particularly helpful can help someone else. Helpfulness isn't determined on the giving end, it is determined on the receiving end. I just don't want people to have to feel this way, this crushing despair, this "What's wrong with me." feeling.
We refuse to recognize that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse. -Carl Jung-

Spleefy
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: What IS Helpful? What Does Helpful Mean To You?

Postby Spleefy » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:02 pm

Hi Lil Welby,

I like this post. I feel you are absolutely right in that help is on the receiving end. In my case, when I had depression, I desperately wanted help and so I sought professional advice. However, it seemed like most of the coping strategies they taught me fell on deaf ears.

Even on here, many people will seek help out of desperation, asking for suggestions, advice, help, etc., only to never hear from them ever again.

I think the reason why is because what we really want is just for the unbearable pain to end more than anything.

Trying to overcome depression when you are depressed feels impossible. For some people with depression, they can’t even get out of bed let alone have motivation, energy or strength to work on personal development and 100 percent apply the advice they receive. And then you become disheartened and lose hope when all the things you do try doesn’t seem to work.

Depression really is an individual journey. So, like you, I believe one way to help people is to simply share experiences and leave the ball in their court in hope they will find what works for them.

I can also associate with what you said about sometimes not feeling like you can help yourself, so instead you help others. Part of my journey in overcoming depression included enhancing the lives of others in whatever way I could be useful.

This, in turn, actually helped me. The more you enrich other people’s lives, the less you brood over your own problems. Helping other people also has the added benefit of helping you to put your own life and problems into perspective.

There are scriptures in the Bible about giving. One scripture this post reminds me of is found in Proverbs 11:25: “The generous person will prosper, and whoever refreshes others will himself be refreshed”.

So giving benefits not only the recipient but also you, the giver.

Giving need not be limited to people. I find it therapeutic to also give to animals and nature. For example, I got a puppy several weeks ago. Thus, I spend a lot of time training him, exercising him, playing with him, and giving him the best quality of life I can.

What I get in return is a companion that gives me loyal and unconditional love. We can explore the wilderness together, go to the beach together, and have many other incredible adventures. When I feel down or flat, he cheers me up by licking me or making me laugh. When I’m tired, he gives me energy by being playful. When I am excited about something, he will be excited with me. When I need company, he is always there by my feet or at my side, laying down and resting his paw and head on my foot.

I also love tending to my garden—plucking weeds, feeding it, watering it, and nurturing it to be healthy, beautiful, and to thrive--year after year. By giving love to my garden, in return it gives me a beautiful, aromatic paradise flourishing with bees, birds and other wildlife that I can enjoy when I sit out there with a latte.

So definitely give, give, give! I found that it not only helped me to overcome depression, but it also protects me from relapses.

This was a thought-provoking post, so thank you.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

Lil Welby
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:33 pm

Re: What IS Helpful? What Does Helpful Mean To You?

Postby Lil Welby » Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:09 pm

Thank you for the response, your post really resonated with me. You appear to have a wealth of knowledge and experience with "the struggle" and I wanted to thank you for investing your time to not only help me, but to help others who seek it.

This right here:

"Even on here, many people will seek help out of desperation, asking for suggestions, advice, help, etc., only to never hear from them ever again. I think the reason why is because what we really want is just for the unbearable pain to end more than anything."

This rings completely true. I've been writing random thoughts that have meaning to me on post it notes, "There is a fundamental difference between wanting change, and being willing to change."

I WANT to change, so I seek help on this forum, but if I don't continue to participate, and I am one of the people who you have mentioned that you never hear from again, am I truly WILLING to change? Therein lies the struggle.
We refuse to recognize that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse. -Carl Jung-

Spleefy
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: What IS Helpful? What Does Helpful Mean To You?

Postby Spleefy » Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:47 am

Hi Welby,

I lived with clinical depression for over ten years. But signs of depression began in my teens, which was left unattended and evolved into fully blown depression later in life.

The "knowledge" is more to do with just been able to think more clearly and rationally than I did when I had depression. Depression, as you would know yourself, impairs our thinking and ability to reason. So now I just think like an average, mentally healthy person instead of a depressed person :lol:

I really dig that quote you made: "There is a fundamental difference between wanting to change, and being WILLING to change". I like how this quote makes a finer distinction, and acts a good reminder.

I will keep this quote nearby if I ever become stagnant and need a wake up call.

I feel you. It is a struggle between wanting to change, and whether or not we are WILLING to do what is necessary to change. The wanting part comes naturally--it is the doing part that is so hard, especially when you've got obstacles such as depression hijacking your thoughts, emotions, and energy.

But then you have the added problem of when you ARE willing to change, and you do what is necessary, but nothing you try seems to be working or even alleviating the unbearable pain. Then you become disheartened, lose hope, you're exhausted, and then you think: "What's the point".

This is where we must resist the urge to throw in the towel, even when we feel like we can no longer cope. We all have the ability to be a depression survivor instead of a victim of it. It doesn't take special skills, talent, or even intelligence...

It just takes perseverance.

I believe in YOU, just as I believe in everyone else here. I can't say if everyone here will get through it and be a survivor, but I know that everyone CAN.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18


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