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Breaking Expectations: Final Message

Breaking Expectations is staff writer Danielle Allsop’s firsthand experience living with mental illness.

I recently found a quote (okay, a meme), which quotes Stephen Frey, author of “A Million Little Pieces.”

Now, as an English major, you’re probably wondering why the hell I would take a quote from a man who allegedly falsified his own memoir. The quote is about the words, not where they came from (though I’m still ashamed to publicly quote Frey).

“If you know someone who’s depressed please resolve to never ask them why. Depression isn’t a straight forward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

“Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who is depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest and best things you will ever do.”

I have lived through both scenarios, through the dark days of abandonment of friends who I thought were close and through triumph because of the support from close friends and understanding family, who knew when to push me and when to hold me.

The latter has saved my life on more than one occasion. Please understand how much of a difference you have in someone’s life. Even if they’re not dealing with a mental illness, the comfort of knowing someone cares means everything. It means life.

As I leave Boise State, The Arbiter, and my comfort zone that has been this column, I ask you to take these last few words and remember them.

Remember them for your friends who might be going through a rough time, for acquaintances whose demeanor seems a little off.

Make the effort and reach out to someone who looks like they could use a friend. Trust me, it may feel awkward at first, but that simple act of reaching out means the world to that person.

You’ll never know how beautiful an act like that can be until it happens to you when all you want to do is hide from the world.

Remember, what gets broadcasted about mental illness is 99 percent negative.

I hope this column (and Shelby’s) has changed your mind about what mental illnesses look like. We are just two girls trying to change a perception much of the world has. Yes, we are weird, but who isn’t?