Depression kept Sheila O’Malley from being able to unpack her apartment, so her friends showed up in the most amazing way
In the wake of the news of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain dying by suicide last week, people everywhere began opening up about their own battles with depression. One woman shared a particularly moving story on Twitter about how her friends showed up to help her during her own serious battle with depression following the death of her dad.
People who are depressed or feeling suicidal are often encouraged to reach out for help — especially when a high-profile famous person dies by suicide and it dominates the news cycle. The problem with putting the responsibility of seeking help squarely on the shoulders of the person who needs it is that sometimes people who are depressed can’t ask for help.
When you’re suffering from depression, motivating yourself to do even the most seemingly simple tasks can feel impossible. Sometimes being unable to do things like unpack and clean can make those of us who have suffered from depression feel ashamed or embarrassed.
So when Sheila’s friend David rounded up all their friends to come help her unpack her apartment, she could have felt defensive or sensitive about several people swooping into her home uninvited. And that would have been OK.
Sheila writes that she tried to protest, telling them they didn’t “have to” help her. But that’s the thing about people who love you — they know they don’t “have to.” They want to.
Relinquishing control to several of her friends taking over her home wasn’t easy.
But it was worth it.
She admits she felt embarrassed — because showing your vulnerability on full display is an incredibly difficult thing to do, even to your closest friends.
By the end of the night, she was completely speechless at the love and support shown by her friends. She tried to thank the husband of one of her friends, and his words to her are just incredibly moving.
A “barn-raising.” I’m not crying, you’re crying.
It’s worth mentioning that plenty of people whose loved ones are suffering from severe depression have reached out or offered their help. When I was going through a truly troubling and dark time awhile ago, my own friends tried to be there for me as best they could. I knew they loved me, I knew they were being supportive. But for a really long time, it wasn’t enough — my depression was stronger than their love.
As for Sheila’s friends, how they showed up for her in her time of need is truly beautiful. She ends her Twitter thread with some lovely advice for everyone reading.