After taking a year off after high school to regain my studious composure so I would do well in college, I had a mental breakdown. My depression had come back full force and my anxiety was out of control. I was terrified of having a panic attack with my friends, the people who I should have been the most comfortable around. I was afraid they would judge me and leave me because I was different
Though most of my friends didn’t leave, they wouldn’t come around as often. When they did, I would bail out of plans, make up excuses as to why I couldn’t do this or that. I lost out on a lot of fun times because I couldn’t get out of my funk.
It wasn’t until I lost my best friend that I just retracted into my room for almost a year without any kind of social interaction with people my age. While shopping with her one afternoon, I had a panic attack and had to leave the store. She said she understood and gave me a big hug and told me to call her if I needed anything. They were the words I needed to hear, ones that weren’t judgmental or two-faced. They seemed believable.
I haven’t talked to her since that day. She ignored my calls, ignored me on campus. She abandoned me when I needed her most—one of the worst feelings in the world. I didn’t have anyone to talk to because she was the only one who really knew what was going on.
One of the things that I ask of everyone is to be the shoulder for someone, even a stranger, because you never know if you’re the only one they have. It’s surprising how therapeutic it can be to have a crying session where all your emotions are released.
Though sometimes difficult, don’t judge a person for the issue they are dealing with. It may seem minute compared to yours but it’s their struggle.
Lastly, be compassionate and communicate your feelings. If you’re unsure of how to handle a situation like mine, say so. Don’t abandon someone who is struggling because you’re afraid. Tell the person that you aren’t sure how to help them but you will do they best you can to help, even if it’s by bringing over a pint of Ben and Jerry’s’ Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream. Something is better than nothing.