Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Depression/anxiety may have touched your family, your friends, yourself; what helps you to deal with it? Sharing is caring!

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Wonderwoman97
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:48 pm

Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Wonderwoman97 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:50 pm

Hi there!
For starters, I personally don’t have Depression (mild anxiety is mine) but I deeply care about someone with depression.
Here’s the story:
So, about three months ago, at the end of my spring semester in college, I met this wonderful guy from one of my classes. It was totally out of the blue, I wasn’t looking, etc. It was kind of the ideal setup. We started talking and going on dates. We really enjoyed each other and he seemed really into the relationship- he was telling people we were together first and was just really enthusiastic. He had a really bad breakup about 6 months ago. His mom is dying of cancer and his ex left him when this all got bad. He’s trying to be friends with her, since one of her parents is also dying, but she keeps harassing him and telling him they’re getting back together. She really stressed him out, and he’d assure me many times that they’re not getting back together. I trusted him. We continued to grow closer. He’s from my hometown, so when I graduated and school ended for the summer, we agreed to hang out. He started his first day of his internship and I started moving into my apartment. He was really enthusiastic about everything. He told me his friends loved me, I told him my friends loved him, and he told me that I was “checking all his boxes.” One night, when I was staying over with him, he told me that he has anxiety, depression, and a panic disorder. I started researching to see how I could be a good friend/girlfriend to him. I know I wouldn’t be perfect, but I thought some understanding would help.
We still talked after school let out and made plans. Then, one day, he got very quiet. We’d message a few times a day, but this day, there was nothing. When he did contact me, he told me he got bad news about his mom and they were having a family day, so he cancelled some plans. We later agreed to meet up for dinner that week. At that dinner, we talked and had fun like usual. Then, at the end of the night, he blurted out that he didn’t think he wanted a relationship anymore. When I asked why, what happened, he didn’t say, he just said he couldn’t do it at the moment and he was afraid he’d hurt me, if he hand’t already. I assured him he didn’t, but asked if we could remain friends, because I really cared about him. He said absolutely. I assured him that I cared about him and would still be around if he needed anything. We didn’t see each other for two weeks, and when we did meet up, he seemed very sad and down. I reminded him I was here for him and wouldn’t be going anywhere, that I wouldn’t judge him for anything he told me and I cared about him. He said he cared about me too and was grateful for my assurances. Then, a week later, we got dinner again. He seemed happier. It was like old times. He eve showed me a secret spot where he and his friends used to hand out in high school. He wanted to see my apartment, since he’d helped me move in, so we went back to my place. We kissed a lot, initiated by him (I constantly asked if he was doing ok, because I wanted to respect his boundaries, and he said he was) and he ended up spending the night. He had to leave early the next day and kept saying he did’t want to leave me. I texted him the next day, to make sure he was ok with everything, that I wanted to be respectful of where he stood and not push anything past. He said he appreciated my message and said he wasn’t sure where he stood on a relationship. I said I supported him 100% wherever he was, and he said I was great. That was the last time we hung out. Now, when I ask to hang out, he’s busy. Legitimately busy- he’s been doing a lot with his family and he had an issue with his college house he had to take care of. He seems to be withdrawing.I text him every Monday to wish him a good week and every Friday to wish him a good weekend. He seems to respond well, but the conversation hasn’t gone much further than that recently. He’s going on a big hiking trip with the school soon. He loves nature, so I hope it’ll help. My question is this: I still want a relationship with him, but if that’s not good for him right now, I want to be his friend. I truly care about him and want to support him in the best way, and make that known, but not be annoying or pushy.
How can I best handle this from here? I’m afraid I’ll lose him. I don’t want to- yes, I’d love to be his girlfriend, but I am ok with jsut being his friend. How can I give him his space, but still make it known that I care/am around/willing to listen if he wants to talk. I helped him once with a bad anxiety attack, which was started by a bad incident with the ex. I’ve tried the last couple weeks to invite him out to things, but he’s been busy and hasn’t been able to go. I truly care about him. If I could, I’d want to be in a relationship with him. He’s a great person. Around others, he doesn’t really show his depression- he’s very happy-go-lucky, goes out, and is pretty outgoing. I was attracted to his sociability and sense of humor. But that’s not the only thing- he really has good values. He obviously cares a lot for his family, he cares about the environment, and is just a good person. How often is it ok to reach out and try to invite him to things? I want him to feel included and cared about but I don’t want to be overwhelming. Is there anything I should be doing/stop doing to help him

graceforeverandever
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:51 pm

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby graceforeverandever » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:49 pm

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns with us. It is very thoughtful of you that you really care for this man. It seems that he has been through very much in his life recently. I think it is wise to be patient with him and I encourage you to evaluate and see if he’s the right person pr the right match for you. He does have his depression that he deals with, but from what you are saying, he handles it well. In regards to your friendship with him, if he seems to be withdrawing from you at certain times and spends time with family and his friends, then it may be best to evaluate your friendship with him and whether he really wants to have a commitment with you. As human being we want love and being loved. Love is not a feeling is to make a decision. But this decision is made by two persons. Love is base of being reciprocal or mutual between two persons. If not, it just an illusion by your side. It is good to have friends that help you to be better person but at the same time it is important to set up boundaries, do not be confused or defeated in a friendship. Hope this helps. Sending you hugs. I will keep you in my prayers my friend.

Wonderwoman97
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:48 pm

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Wonderwoman97 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:29 am

Graceforeverandever,
Thank you very much for your reply! Those are very wise words. I’ve been taking time recently to reevaluate things and see what my needs are and how the situation is playing out. I truly appreciate the prayers- I’ve been praying a lot and have been asking my family and friends to do the same. Can I ask you- how would I best go about having that conversation with him about our friendship status? Because I care and want to be his friend and be there for him and want to be respectful of his needs, but I want to talk to him about how I’m his friend too and want to see him too? I don’t want to offend him, but I do want him to know I care and am here but am feeling left out.

Spleefy
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Spleefy » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:12 am

Hi Wonderwoman97,

I see that this is a double post, as I replied to the same post, different title.

I thought I would just check in with you to see how your friend is doing. And how are you coping? I have been thinking about you and your friend and praying on your behalf.

It’s great that you have been praying often.

Jehovah is near to all those calling on him, to all who call on him in truth”. He satisfies the desire of those who fear him; he hears their cry for help, and he rescues them”.—Psalm 145:18, 19.

And in Phillipians 4:6,7 it reads:

Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God…”.

Do you see the wonderful privilege we have? God wants us to pray to him—to talk to him. He wants us to draw close to him and be his friend.

As someone has yet to answer your question, I will humbly offer a suggestion…

Perhaps the friendship status is not something that needs to be discussed. What’s more important is just being his friend—after all, sometimes actions speak louder than words.

Letting him know that you are there, comforting him, listening to him if he feels like talking, and just being there for him says it all.

You mentioned that you are feeling left out.

I just want to make sure I understand why, so please correct me if I have it wrong. Do you feel left out because you are trying to be there for him, and to show him that you care, but you feel like he is not reciprocating it? Or perhaps is it because you feel that he is not responding to your help?

I am basing this off what you said about him withdrawing and you both don't hang out as much. And when you ask him to hang out, he’s busy.

Depression does tend to make you withdraw and even push people away, especially those closest to us. I used to do the same when I had depression. I particularly did it to those I had strong feelings for: close friends and especially girlfriends.

I won’t say much more on this, as I want to make sure that I understand what you are feeling rather than misinterpret it.

Keep up your faith and continue to pray regularly. I will do the same for you and your friend.

You have been an amazing friend to him. And, just remember, as you give him emotional support, he may do things that seem uncaring or confusing. This is because he is in a volatile state and depression can make us act out of character--not because you have done anything wrong. He is still that warm, outgoing, loving and funny guy that he always was.

Hang in there. And make sure you make time for yourself to rejuvenate. Your well-being is just as important.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

Wonderwoman97
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:48 pm

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Wonderwoman97 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:02 pm

Spleefy,

No worries about a double post- how kind of you to check in on things! I'm doing ok. I spoke to my friend on the phone Thursday, as he was leaving for a backpacking trip with our university the next morning. He did not sound good- it was a short conversation, because I just wanted hi to know I was wishing him luck for the trip, hoped it would be a great experience, that I always around if he needed anything, and that I hoped to see him when he got back. He said he would see me when he got back. But I've not heard that much pain in someone's voice since my best friend/soul sister/mentor (who also suffers severe depression and anxiety) was cheated on by her boyfriend. I hope the trip at least gives him some peace, as he'll be away from things, with close friends, and it's technology-free, which is helpful for anyone I think.

I TRULY appreciate all of the prayers :) SO MANY people- ones I know and some perfect strangers- have been praying for this situation, so it makes my heart happy. Like, not eve for the relationship/friendship part- I just want him to be prayed for so he can have some peace (though it touches my heart that people are praying for our relationship/friendship). That's been a huge way to help me feel better for the time I'm in now, so the prayers will continue to go up! I'll also make sure those verses are highlighted in my bible. Ad it truly is amazing how the God, creator of the universe, wants to be close to little ME. AMAZING!

In my gut, truly, I don't think a conversation about our friendship status is needed, at least not yet. My best friend, the one from earlier, has been quite helpful in helping me understand his behavior a little better and has given me some excellent reading. I agree that it's important to keep being there. Relationship or not, I consider this guy a friend and my friends are very important to me, so I will continue offer the support even if I don't see the harvest yet. Besides, his last significant other left him when he needed someone most, and since I don't abandon people unless I'm in danger, and especially with that past in mind, I'm not quitting yet. I've also been told by several others, including my counselor who i see regularly, that how he's acting is normal, if not almost expected, for someone in his shoes, and that continuing to be a friend and offering support is a good move to make.

I'm feeling left out because I want to show him that I care, and I see him hurting, but he doesn't seem to be responding yet. Because his mom is literally dying in front of him, I absolutely understand wanting as much family time as possible. I'd do the same, because I would know that there would be a time when I'd never be able to make those memories again, as there'd be one less seat at the table. And his family was very close to begin with. I think it's a great quality anyway, the fact that he's so close to his family. He's also had some school responsibilities to do, which again, I understand and it's a legitimate thing. He has also been spending time with close friends, like a select few, which again, I understand. In my worst moments, I turn to my closest friends for support. In the grand scheme of things, I've only known him 4 months, which isn't super long, and maybe not enough time to build the trust, especially with someone who has been burned before.

That would make sense though for him to push me away. He told me once he was afraid he'd hurt me, if he hadn't already (he hasn't, he's actually treated me the best out of any guy I've ever dated). Plus, from what I've researched so far, and while I'm certainly not an expert, I've read a lot of information that says that pushing significant others away is big because the person doesn't want them to see them this way. Again, I am not expert that's just a trend I've noticed in my research. And I appreciate you sharing some of your story- it lines up with my research and it sounds like that's what he's doing.

Thank you so much again for your wonderful support- that's good to know that he may come off as if he doesn't care or act confusing. Truthfully, I think that's why I feel left out- he does seem appreciative of my support, but doesn't seem to take me up on it. Knowing he's in a volatile state helps me to understand a little bit. I know his true self is in there- it just makes me sad for him that he's feeling so down and there's so little I can really do here.

And I am definitely working on the self-care! While he's out this week, I'm really stepping back and working to rejuvenate myself and come up with a regular self-care routine, so if things pick back up, I'll be refreshed and know how/when I'll need to pause and look after my well-being.

THANK YOU so much for your kindness and support- it means a lot to me and I appreciate the words of wisdom in helping me best navigate how I can best be there for him.

Spleefy
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Spleefy » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:20 am

Wonderwoman97,

I said it before and I’ll say it again, but you are an incredible friend! I really want you to understand that.

It's great that you are taking the initiative and time to do research, ask questions, seek advice and suggestions from other people to better understand what he is going through and to better help him. This speaks volumes about how much you care about him.

I’m sure Jehovah God is so proud of you. His heart rejoices when his children love and care for one another.

Have you thought about working with people with special needs, aged care, counselling, youth work, or some other similar role? You have such a caring nature and genuine interest in helping other people.

Thank you for being YOU!

I’m sure deep down your friend knows you care. If he doesn't, then he has more problems than you can shake a stick at! :lol:

No, but seriously just keep on doing what you are doing. Just keep on being you!

You said: “there’s so little I can really do here”.

But you are doing more for him than you realise—perhaps even more than what he himself realises at the moment.

I think it’s only natural to feel like we can or should be doing more in these type of situations.

But, at the end of the day, you can’t fix it for him. All you can do is to continue to give him your love, support, comfort, and pray for him regularly. The rest will be up to him.

I’m glad that you have a support network that can give you advice, suggestions, information, and encouragement.

I’m also delighted for you to learn that you pray often. It shows that you are humble, teachable, and the condition of your heart.

Keep praying and lean on Jehovah. We can always rely on him for comfort and guidance; he will comfort us in all our trials, and treat his loyal followers in a special way—2 Corinthians 1:4; Psalm 4:3.

Since you are praying often, may I make a small suggestion?

What I find very helpful is to use God's name--Jehovah--when I pray. It not only glorifies his name, but it also helps us to build a lasting bond with our loving Creator.

It is no different if you want to build a bond and friendship with someone—you would learn their name and use it, right? Jehovah wants to be our friend.

This is just a small suggestion that you can do to incorporate in your own prayers.

I hope I have been of some use.

I deeply feel for what he and his family are going through right now with his mom. I lost both my grandparents somewhat recently—well nan almost 5 years ago and pop 3 years ago. Pop died of a broken heart.

It sometimes feels like it only happened weeks ago. But it’s okay because I have hope of seeing them again. Everything in this world is, after all, only temporary. The Bible compares death to sleep. Jesus said: “Lazarus our friend has fallen asleep, but I am traveling there to awaken him.”

So my lovely grandparents are sleeping for a while. And I'll be honest--thank goodness! I love them but they are stressful, so at least now I'll have a bit of respite until I see them again and have to spend everlasting life with them. Oh boy!! :roll: :D

I will leave you with a few of many scriptures that I find comforting. Perhaps you can share it with your friend so that he may find comfort and hope in these scriptures, just as I have.

"And he [God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—Revelation 21:4.

Jesus said to Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life.”—John 11:25.

And in Acts 24:15 it reads: “And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and unrighteous.”

Peace and love be with you, your friend and his family.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

Wonderwoman97
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:48 pm

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Wonderwoman97 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:46 pm

Spleefy,

THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your kind words and support :) you truthfully have been quite helpful to me, in more ways than I can say. Just having your perspective and knowing I'm on the right track is so helpful. Interesting you should mention- I was in school to be a special education teacher for a while, but changed my field of study to business. I do have such a passion for helping people, so I'm hoping to find something in the future to allow me to do that. Counseling has crossed my mind, absolutely- I minored in Psychology in school even!

I'm really glad to hear that I'm doing the right things to help my friend. Even though I haven't seem much of him lately, I hope he appreciates it. The last long, deep conversation we had was the day after I saw him last, when things were like old times. I was checking in to make sure he didn't feel pushed (though I constantly asked the whole evening and he was the one initiating things) and he told me how kind I was. That was always one thing- he'd always ask me why I was so nice to him, why I was so kind to him. I'd tell him he was a good person, so he deserved kindness (but I felt bad because it made me wonder how people had treated him in the past). He said he was glad he saw me and he had a great time. He said he was still uncertain about dating; I told him he was in a tight spot, so I wanted to be respectful f him and whatever I was, friend or girlfriend, I'd support where he was 3000%. He hen told me, in a direct quote, "thanks for being a great friend. You're great." So I believe he does know how much I care; he just might be in that volatile state right now and maybe can't quite show it.

I'm glad to know that my actions are doing something. I recently spoke to my Soul Sister- she is in a relationship with a guy who has several severe mental health disorders, and that was one thing she told me: there will be days where I feel like I'm doing nothing. But, just by showing up, that sometimes is just the thing.

I am very grateful indeed for all my special people- they've been tremendously encouraging!

I LOVE the idea of using Jehovah's name. That feels like such a personal connection and I'm always seeking new ways to connect with Him. And thank you so much for the verses! I use my Bible a lot to pray and I can add those into my "library," if you will. And so interesting you mention the story of Lazarus- that was the scripture story in afternoon mass today! There's so much truth to that, though. It's not good-bye for good; it's just falling asleep for a while. Your story is so helpful, though, in understanding my friend and his family; I've been fortunate that I haven't lost anyone close, but when I get to that place in my life, wow, I'm going to be hurtin :(

Thank you so much again for everything- your words have given me so much hope and I am so, SO grateful. I truly hope to share these with my friend; he is a Christian, like I am, but I'm not quite sure what the extent of his faith it. I'd love to be able to bring him some Jesus love, especially now, so I hope to be able to share these verses with him. I truly believe that my story with him won't end here; like Luke chapter 11 talks about, I'm praying so much and so persistently that there has to be an answer somehow.

Many, many blessings and peace to you!

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you," Philippians 1:3

Spleefy
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Spleefy » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:19 pm

Hi Wonderwoman97,

I have been thinking about and praying for you and your friend.

How is he feeling? Have you had a chance to talk to him?

Yes, continue to give him God’s love. At the end of the day, no medicine, treament, or solution will ever completely solve the world’s problems, illnesses, and hard times that we face. Only God can do that.

But for now, by giving people your love and letting them know that God cares for them (1 Peter 5:7) is the most heartfelt and loving thing we can do for anybody, whether it is well received or not.

And how is the research going? What have you discovered? Have you found some other ways that you can help him?

Please keep us posted and share it when you get the chance. What you learn and your experiences will always benefit someone out there.

Lately, I have been spending a fair bit of time with a good friend of mine. He has been carrying with him a huge burden from the past.

One of the things we do is to go for a run in the wilderness. Out there, we also say a prayer together whilst listening to the birds chirp and feel the gentle breeze, rustling the leaves on the trees, caressing our bodies. We also ensure that we give God thanks and appreciation for what we do have good in our lives rather than to expend energy on dwelling on all our troubles.

My good friend has transformed himself a lot in the past several days. It makes my heart rejoice to see him slowly liberate himself--with Jehovah's help--from the past. And for me to witness his troubles just dissipate, bit by bit makes me so happy for him. The running—especially up those long, steep hills—has had a remarkable impact on his outlook on self and life.

He said the same thing I did years ago when I first started running those hills in that, "conquering those hills is like overcoming obstacles and barriers in my life." He felt like he was smashing through barriers and shedding layer after layer of his old self until there was nothing left but a fresh layer. A new him without all the garbage from the past. He realizes now that he does not need to carry all that load with him. He is giving himself permission to let it go.

I thought I would share that with you in hope that you draw encouragement in your quest to help your friend.

We just need to persevere and keep trying new things until we find what works for your friend.

For example, my buddy has a lot of stress, anger, resentment, guilt, and all sorts of troubles. His outlook is heavily focused on these things. And he very much has a distorted view of things, which is making it impossible for him to let go of the past and the stress and anxiety that comes with it.

At first I tried to help him to see things in a more positive light, even just a more realistic viewpoint—that is, neither bad nor good, and to see things just for what they are.

But this was having limited impact and so I mediated and prayed on it to find other ways to reach him. It turns out running in the wilderness was the ticket. When he is running, his adrenaline and feel good brain chemicals are firing on all cylinders, which in turn gives him better clarity and more receptive to positive thoughts.

We also go out for coffee and drives. A source of a lot of his stress is his house, so I feel that maybe keeping him busy during the day as much as possible as well as driving to various locations, taking in the vista, etc., will raise his spirits. It may also help him to appreciate all the beauty that is around us and not focus on all the not so beautiful things in this world.

Now his radiating with so much positive energy and enthusiasm for life. He dresses sharp, is more conscious of his health and hygiene, and his outlook is much more positive. Even his face is not scrunched with stress but now clear. I am so proud of him for lifting his game, flipping the script, and for being wise and humble enough to accept new ideas to make the necessary changes in his life. I thank Jehovah for drawing him in and giving him love, support, and guidance.

Today, he was telling me that he wants to help other people, whether with aged-care or anyone in need. I think this will give him a huge boost to his progress.

So stick with it. You will find something that works for your friend. Most of all, let our loving heavenly Father guide you in your quest to help your friend.

I will be sure to say a special prayer for you all tonight.

And thank you for that lovely scripture. It put a smile on my face and brought much warmth to my heart.

My love goes out to all of you.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

Wonderwoman97
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:48 pm

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Wonderwoman97 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:10 pm

Hi Spleefy!
Many many thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers- they truly mean a lot. I have not gotten to talk to my friend- he's stil on the backpacking trip with our university, but will be home in two days. I hope he contacts me. If anything, I just hope that the trip was good for him. (Our university does a backpacking trip every summer. It's a week long and many students come back saying it's life-changing). I truly hope he comes back feeling better, if anything just for his sake and his well-being.

And that's what I hope to do. He is a christian, like me, though I don't know the extent of his faith. He knows faith is important to me and has even asked me questions occasionally. I hope soon I can tell him a little bit more and eb able to share my verses with him soo; I want him to know how much God cares. We're both catholic, so I've had masses dedicated to him and his family, so my hope is to tell him this someday.

Research is going quite well thank you! I joined this forum and another website to get some assistance from real people who have experienced what I' going through. I'm also reading three books ("I Don't Want to Talk About it," specifically about depression and men; "When Someone You Love is Depressed;" and "I Had a Black Dog." I'm looking into a fourth, called "Taming the Black Dog.")So far, they're all said to do what I've been doing: check in now and then; don't be afraid to invite him to things even if you know he'll say no; know that he might try to push me away and know it's not me, it's the illness; and, when appropriate, ask if they're getting help. I'm glad to see i'm doing the right things. I've also been talking to a guy friend of mine who was in a very similar situation; he had feelings for my best friend. This girl is an Iraq war veteran with PTSD and a bad breakup story as well. She turned my guy friend multiple times and shut him out several times, retreating only to close friends, while she recovered. He was patient and very respectful, but still made his presence known. Eventually, we prayed together over the matter, because she felt that God wanted her to get to know him. She did, and eventually, he helped ehr come out of ehr shell. They are happily together now (not without ups and dons, but happy). He's offered me a lot of advice on how to stay persistent (constant prayer!!!) and she's been tremendous in helping me to be good and patient with my friend.

I surely intend to keep you all updated- I hope that soon, I'll have some very good news to share! I am also keeping a journal of everything that I'm learning and experiencing, so that someday, I can help someone else in this scenario. That's an excellent idea :)

I love the idea of spending time in nature- my friend and I both LOVE being out in nature and hiking. It does both of us so much good (so I'm really optimistic about this nature trip for him). That was how we got to know each other so well, actually- hikes and walks outside. Praying in nature has been one of the best things for my prayer-life; I'm going to try to suggest that to him. Like your friend, I hope that this week can help him start conquering hills and overcoming obstacles and barriers in his life, and start shedding old layers until he can be refreshed. I hope he can let go, too; maybe, I can help him, God willing. I know I've prayed so much that God can help him (My Veteran friend has suggested that I pray for an opened heart so that my care and concern may be able to enter). I so appreciate you sharing that story!

And one thing about me- I am VERY tenacious and I make a point to always honor my words. So, I will persevere for my friend and am always open to anything that may help. He does enjoy hiking and he seems to also enjoy going out for food. I recently injured myself, so while I can't go on our usual long hikes, I'm still wiling and able physically to go on a shorter one. (I haven't told him about my injury yet- I didn't want to overwhelm him, or try to put attention on me, or minimize what he's going through). It sounds like his house is stressful (and I'm sure it is, given his situation). I am so glad to hear that things helped your friend. I truly, TRULY hope I will have a story like that to share soon.

Again, thank you so much for all of the prayers. I'm such a healer, nurturer and caretaker that it pains me to see him so sad and down. It means so much to hear that.

Also, so glad you enjoyed the scripture; you've brought me much comfort and have encouraged me that it's not time to give up yet. Many, MANY thanks again, and I hope to have a good update for you soon.

And thank you for that lovely scripture. It put a smile on my face and brought much warmth to my heart.

Much live and God bless. Ephesians 1:16- I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

Spleefy
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Spleefy » Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:57 am

Hi Wonderwoman97,

Thank you for sharing. I enjoy learning more about you and your friend and the experiences you are both going through. Life is, after all, a journey that has both good and bad experiences. It's just so tragic that depression can rob us of many wonderful experiences in life.

There definitely is something nurturing about nature, especially when combined with faith because it enables you to see the world with fresh eyes and a comforted heart.

Wow! That story about your friend and his partner in Iraq is encouraging. It shows the power of human support, prayer, faith and persistence. It is so wonderful that he can now be there to give you support and encouragement. Good friends are priceless.

Currently, we have a sister in faith that is enduring depression. She has been undergoing the usual medication and counselling. She has been in hospital for a month. Things are looking up now, though. She has the boundless and loyal love and support from friends, family and, of course, Jehovah God. She will be back at the meetings with us soon.

It’s wonderful that you are remaining optimistic. Like your friend, you just need to keep “making your presence known.” I like how you worded it because it is some times all we can do. And even though it may not feel like we are doing much, it will mean a lot to your friend.

My friend and I are going for a run in the forest tomorrow. I want to take him to a special place with views of mountains in the distance and tops of trees as far as they eye can see. There, we will ask God to give us strength and endurance, as well as to give thanks for the good in our lives. I think it will be an incredible day that he can remember. So, next time he is feeling down or troubled, it might be a day he can look back on with a smile.

You are doing all that you can. As your friend advised, just keep persevering and continue to make your presence known. He is fortunate to have such a loyal and loving friend like you. Your devotion to your friend is also encouraging for me and to continue to just give love and support to others, even during times when I feel disheartened or deflated myself.

There will also be times when people you try to comfort will be angry and push you away. It reminds me that it isn't me they are pushing away--they just need an outlet and trying to express their hurt. This is sometimes easier to do to people we feel most comfortable with. Before he died, I feel my that my grandfather was a little harder on me than anyone else. He would take it out on me. But this is only because I was there and the closest person to lash out on. It hurt at the time. But when you think about it, it is a compliment because it means they feel comfortable enough to express themselves completely around you :D

"For Jehovah loves justice, And he will not abandon his loyal ones."--Psalm 37:28.
"Know that Jehovah will treat his loyal one in a special way; Jehovah will hear when I call to him."--Psalm 4:3.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

Wonderwoman97
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:48 pm

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Wonderwoman97 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:54 pm

Hi Spleefy

Thank you so much again for your kind words and comfort. They came at a good time. My mom took me to breakfast this morning and in our conversation, my friend came up. She said I might need to let him go. She didn’t like how private he is when it comes to sharing things with me, or how I was the one reaching out most of the time. I tried to tell her it’s part of what he’s going through; she didn’t quite seem to accept this though. Her words have made me feel kind of sick for the rest of the day. My friend will be home later this weekend from his trip in the woods and I’m excited though slightly nervous- I hope he reaches out and I hear from him. If anything, I miss my friend. I miss the fun we had and hanging out with him. Part of me feels like maybe I should talk to him- see how he's doing for one, but then also see what's happening with our friendship. Like, not necessarily even relationship-wise: I just want to know does he even count me as a friend anymore. because I do. And I want to talk to him about pushing me away, but without offending him or making him feel smothered. I was so discouraged, I even put receipts from the times we've hung out into an envelope and buried them in my closet. I also archived text messages and photos. I'm just not even sure what to do anymore.

I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my stories thus far! Same with you- your stories give me a lot of hope and some ideas of how to help handle things. I’ll admit, I get confused sometimes on what to do. In my research, I see so many things: step back, keep contacting, walk away, don’t walk away. I consider this person my friend and I don’t just leave my friends hanging. I don’t want to do that to him.

I miss nature very much- I can’t wait to be well enough to hike again. It’s so healing, being out away from people. It helps me; I hope it helped my friend.

And my friends are just the best! So supportive in all of this- and my veteran friend and her guy are just amazing. They’ve offered me so much hope for me and have reminded me of how Jehovah’s love can transform and even just the power of persistence and prayer.

That poor sister in faith... I will pray for her. A good support system can indeed do wonders.

I’m doing my best to remain optimistic. The last couple days have been tough for some reason, though. I can’t wait to hear from my friend but I’m worried- what do I say if he contacts me? Or worse, what if he never does? I’ll try to keep my presence known still (I liked that, too) but I miss my friend and I want to do things with him again.


It’s indeed been a season of waiting.

What a beautiful run that would be.... that’s so wonderful you and your friend get to do that! And what beautiful views I bet.

Glad to hear that I am still on the right track. I’m certainly doing my best. And I’m so grateful my story has been helpful- that’s so incredible and I’m really touched to see I’ve had an impact, even if not on the people I expected! But that also gives me courage. It’s been a rough few days so this gives me some hope.

That’s good to know there may be some anger that here- it’ll help me prepare and know not to take see tho take personally. But that’s a nice way too Look at it- he’s angry because he’s comfortable with me. And that’s what what i was hoping he’d be.


Thank you so much again for your kind words, stories, and prayer s. They mean more than you know.

Proverbs17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Spleefy
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Spleefy » Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:49 am

Wonderwoman97,

I guess while you are looking out for your friend, your mom is looking out for her daughter. It is lovely that your mother cares so much about you, just as you do your friend.

I hope you don’t feel too discouraged, though. You are being an amazing friend to him. I do think it is important to listen to your mother’s counsel out of respect for her love, wisdom and understanding. However, if you still feel strongly about what you are doing, then hold your head up high and march forward with your convictions. Only you can make that choice. Just listen to your heart and follow with your head, and always make it a matter of prayer to get guidance and holy spirit from our heavenly Father.

I hope, too, that the hike lifted your friend’s spirits.

I will share with you a bit of what I did today. Perhaps it will give you some ideas. I'm a tweaker, thus try out things to see what works and doesn't work.

I took my friend out for a run in the forest today and showed him those views I told you about. He enjoyed it, but this time round he was fixated on his troubles the entire time. So the entire run was spent just venting instead of taking in the views and enjoying the moment. He had vented the entire time at the cafe, too.

His thoughts are going a million miles an hour. I tried to encourage him to slow down his thoughts. I also suggested that he needs to keep his anger in check, and to keep his problems where they originate. For example, if most of his problems originate at home, then leave them there. Don’t take your problems wherever you go—whether to work, university, or in the forest. If you do this, you won’t have a safe place where you can relax and have respite from your troubles.

He is working on it, but there is much to go. So challenge accepted.

Since the forest run is now having limited impact, we will need to make some tweaks. I figured he needs to clean his environment. We already lifted his game with how he dresses, personal hygiene, etc. Rather than looking like he came out of a hollow log, he dresses sharp and his outlook more closely reflects the way he dresses. He now gets positive looks and feedback from both sexes. He feels like a new man with his new wardrobe and strut.

We both laughed at the hollow log thing lol. I jokingly said to him, “you’re 23. You are a young man, so it’s time to get rid of the milk and burn the little boy clothes and start partaking in solid food.” We cracked up. I’m glad he has a twisted sense of humor like me haha. I want to keep things light and fun because he is very tense. I feel a large part of his troubles is because he OVERthinks and takes every little thing in life way too seriously.

The next phase I figured is his environment. So after the run, we did a few things then went back to his place. I asked his permission for me to continue cleaning his room (as I started it few nights ago), so we did it together.

His room is now very clean, better organized, and tidy. He said that he needed this and it was long overdue. He said he loves his new personal look and grooming, and now he will keep the routine alive with his room.

A clean environment equals a clean mind, I always say. Likewise, a cluttered environment is a cluttered mind. He wholeheartedly agreed.

He was very happy with the end result. He feels like his life is finally starting to get back on track. I said he was just in a rut, which we all get into sometimes. But now it’s time for him to start flipping the script and doing something about it. There comes a time in our life when we need to stop venting and starting doing. He is completely on board with this and pumped up ready to take back control of his life. I have all the confidence in him to achieve this wonderful journey called life that we are embarking on together.

He promised to keep his room tidy and I said I will hold him to it. So I think this is going to be a new start for him.

In the forest, I asked him about his art and music. I know he loves music and painting (both of which he is very good at it). So that is the next phase—to help him to do more of what he enjoys.

I remember years ago the music and art helped to slow down his mind. He was so focused on the painting process or playing music that he wasn’t thinking about all his troubles.

He was in an art and music program, but lack of funding makes it challenging to do it regularly. So I am going to figure out a way to make sure he does more of the art and music. I feel that this will improve his quality of life dramatically.

I have also been preparing some nutritious meals for him. I think a healthy diet will also be key. It is hard to feel motivated and calm when your body lacks essential nutrients.

I will continue to pray and mediate on how to help my dear friend to find inner peace. Jehovah will continue to guide me, so I know things will work out.

I am so proud of him. Despite his troubles and anxiety, he is being very proactive in taking back control of his own life. He is the one that has done all this. He is doing all the hard work. I’ve only given him suggestions, emotional support, and someone to which he can vent. He has been keeping an open heart and mind to try new things to make it work. The proof is in the pudding.

And the more he leans on Jehovah, the easier it will become because he will be able to give thanks for what he does have and allow God to bring him comfort in times of distress.

I can relate when you said, “I miss my friend and I want to do things with him again.” I had a close friend of many, many years. Sadly, several years ago, he began self-medicating with recreational cannabis to cope with chronic back pain. While I do appreciate why he is taking it, the drug killed his personality. He mistaken me for not supporting him. This is not true. I support him—NOT the drug. There is a difference. Long story short, we had a fall out several years ago.

My heart breaks for him. I worry that, one day, I find out he is dead. I know some view cannabis as fun and harmless. But to someone with a history of depression and a very addictive personality—it is disastrous.

I know when pain is unbearable, it is hard to think things through and make wise choices. All we want to do is end the pain, and out of sheer desperation we will try anything to take the pain away.

Keep remaining optimistic, and continue to pray for strength and endurance. Your strength and optimism will feed your friend and lift him up.

I’m sure you will find the words when your friend contacts you. Just remember why you are doing this and how much you care about him and the words will come. And try not to play the “what-if” game…

“What if he contacts me.”
“What if he doesn’t.”
“What if this happens or if that happens.”

Just cross that bridge when you come to it. No need to create unnecessary anxiety and stress about things that have or have not yet happened, wouldn't you agree?

Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts, particularly for my sister in faith.

Like you, I’m a devoted friend and love helping people in any way I can. So it’s wonderful that we can feed off each other to help our friends, respectively.

All my love, support and prayers!
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

Wonderwoman97
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:48 pm

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Wonderwoman97 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:16 pm

Spleefy,
That’s probably true- my mom is just watching out for me. We have kind of a complicated relationship so she doesn’t always understand why I do what I do, which may be happening here. She doesn’t like that he won’t tell me everything that’s happening with his mom. I tried to say that he can’t because of everything going on. Maybe she’s right though...

That’s so beautiful the things you do for your friends- you sound like such a wonderful friend to them, too! It’s also nice having someone who kind of understands. I also liked tour stories- they made me smile :) I needed that today.

I did get in touch with my friend. I sent him a message: Hey! I just thought I would check in and say hello. I hope the wilderness trip was INCREDIBLE. Hope all is well for you and your family. I’ve been thinking of you and praying for you continually (I hope that’s ok). I’ll be down at mount for the next few weekends visiting my friends so maybe I’ll see you out?

He just said thank you. Which I guess the fact that I was acknowledged was good. But I was kind of hoping for more.

I’m really getting discouraged. When I pray, I really don’t get clear instructions. I don’t want to give up on this, on him. Because he’s a great person to be friends with, maybe just not in this tough spot. But I’m afraid Jehovah might ask me to leave him. And I don’t want to, because my friend has said others have left him before and I don’t want to do that to him. But it’s hard seeing him hang out with other friends (close friends of his) but not me. I mean, I’ve only known him for about three months- I might have made “go-to” status yet. But we almost dated so I guess part of me hoped that I got to that. But maybe not. It seems like there are a lot of walls. I’m praying so much but I feel like I’m being ignored.

Part of me wants to call him and tell him I consider him as my friend but does he see me as one of his? I also want some answers about what’s going on. Part of me thinks he might need some space. I have no idea here. I also want to reach out to one of his friends- just say something like “hi! I’m wondering if you know what’s happening with our friend? We decided not to date but be friends but he’s pushing me away. I’m concerned as his friend and was wondering if you knew what was going on?” But I don’t want to be shady and make him feel like I was going behind his back. His friends really did like me; maybe they can give me some answers.

I’m still feeling very strongly about staying his friend. But I’m feeling sad that we aren’t talking as much. Everyone keeps assuring me that we are still friends because I’ve been nothing but good to him. Maybe, but I feel so pushed away. I don’t even know what to do anymore. I wish I could take him out in the forests or out to meals again. But he was so busy for a while we never got to see each other and now he seems to be pushing me away even more.

I’m trying not to let it get to me too much, but when I see him out doing things with others, I feel a mix of emotion. I’m happy he’s out having fun but I also feel sad he’s not doing things with me.

I still will pray and meditate. I’m not giving up on Jehovah just because this isn’t working out how I thought it would. And I don’t want to give up just yet on my friend. I might need his help and some courage on what to do here.

I’m sorry about the friend that you had the falling out with- that’s so sad and I’m sorry that happened:( I hope you never have to get a call like that. I’ll be thinking of him. My friend has started doing that too- drinking a lot. He told me once he drinks a lot so he doesn’t need to think about his mom. My heart hurts for him.

Thank you again for the prayers, stories, hope, encouragement, wisdom, and support. That means so much to me and has been such a help.

All blessings and Jehovah’s love to you.

Spleefy
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Spleefy » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:03 pm

Hello Wonderwoman97,

I sometimes get a similar response to his. You give this well-thought out and caring message to someone only for them to reply: “ok”. :lol: But it happens, especially if we are not feeling ourselves.

You are already doing all that you can to help him. Just keep doing what you are doing and make your presence known. That is really the only thing you can do. The rest is up to him.

Jehovah listens to our prayers. Whether he hears our prayers, though, is largely up to us. He doesn’t always respond to our prayers at the time we expect them or how we expect, but it doesn’t mean he hasn’t heard our prayers. Perhaps Jehovah has already heard your prayers and things are in motion. Or perhaps things are happening how they are meant to happen.

Have you given much thought on how you pray? If you want more information on prayer, I will be happy to share it with you. It might be something to think about to ensure that you get the most out of your prayers and you have a greater chance of God hearing them.

Meanwhile, I will leave you with a few scriptures on prayer that I hope will help to restore your strength.

In James 1:5 it reads: “If any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching, and it will be given him.”

In Luke 11:13 it reads: “Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”

Try not to feel discouraged. Keep holding onto faith in our loving Father, “and all the things you ask in prayer, having faith, you will receive.”--Matthew 21:22

You are doing a great job helping your friend, even if it may not seem like it. Depression is usually a long-term affliction, so we just need to exercise patience and give him time.

I can definitely appreciate why you would feel left out and sad that he is spending time with other people except you. I can’t explain why he is doing that, but try not to take it personally—although I know it is easier said than done... and it still hurts.

Yeah it is sad about my friend, but it happens. People come and go in our lives. I do miss him tremendously. I just keep a warm spot for him in my heart. And, most of all, I just keep holding onto faith and the hope that he will find peace in his life. Beyond that, there is nothing more I can do, so I just accept it for what it is and cherish the friendship we did have.

If you are set on helping your friend, then realize that the depression is part of the package of your relationship with him. Thus prepare to be in this for the long haul. I feel that you are already aware of this, though. Keep strong and hold onto faith and hope. It may take some time, but have faith he will get through this difficult period in his life. And have faith in your ability to be a part of his healing process.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

Wonderwoman97
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:48 pm

Re: Trying to be Supportive- What Else Can I Do?

Postby Wonderwoman97 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:52 pm

Spleefy,

Once again, I thank you very much for your kind words. They're really given me a lot of hope and I always feel better getting a notification of a post from you.

From research, I wasn't surprised to get a short answer; I was just grateful he replied at all. And while I do feel left out and I miss him, I notice he's seeing old friends, people he told me were from old schools, so that give me some comfort, in thinking maybe he's just catching up. He's also turning to really close friends. I did something similar when I had a really hard time in my personal life; I shut everyone out except for my two best friends. I'm trying to give him some space now.

But, I wanted your opinion on something- I want to reach out to one of his friends, who I got along with well, to see how he's doing and see if she knew anything. This girl and I got along well when we hung out in groups and she told my friend multiple times that she liked me and thought I was very nice. Something like "Hi! I hope your summer is going well. Wanted to reach out to you because I'm concerned about our friend. We decided to stop pursuing a relationship and just be friends, since things got busy and really crazy at the start of the summer. We used to talk regularly, but now he seems like he's pushing me away. As a friend, I'm reaching out because I'm concerned and wanted to see if you knew anything or if this has happened before or was normal for him?"

I'm glad to know that I am doing everything I can. Sometimes, feel helpless, but it gives me comfort knowing I'm on the right track

You have a very valid point about Jehovah listening. I've been seeing that message a lot i my Bible studies recently- "He doesn’t always respond to our prayers at the time we expect them or how we expect, but it doesn’t mean he hasn’t heard our prayers. Perhaps Jehovah has already heard your prayers and things are in motion. Or perhaps things are happening how they are meant to happen." I hear Jehovah speak to me through art (photos, word art, movies, and poems/books) and that's the message I've seen over and over. I've mostly seen the message of "it's a 'not now' response."

I am MORE than willing, though, to take any suggestions you have for prayers! I'm always looking to refresh, reinvigorate, and improve my prayer life and relationship with Jehovah. And also, more ways to help me feel heard will help me put my mind more at ease.

And I love those scriptures. They are some of my favorites!! I love the James scripture. that's one of my favorites. (Fun fact- my friend in question, his name is James). I've also really connected with 2 Chronicles chapters 6 and 7- Solomon praying for his new temple and expecting God to answer, then celebrating in the waiting, chapters one and two of 1 Samuel- Hannah praying for her son, and also the whole book of Zephaniah, about destruction, waiting, and rejoicing.

And I'm glad to hear I'm doing ok with helping him :) I will try my best to be as patient as I can be and give him time.

I definitely realize that this will be part of being friends with him. And I am ready to do my best for that, be the best friend I can be. I hope he lets me be his friend, though. I want to make myself known and show I care, but not be annoying or smothering. I appreciate the words and will keep the faith, no matter what happens.


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