I was inspired to write this upon reflecting on what a friend of mine who was going through tough times said.
He has a blog himself, which he occasionally updates and shares on Facebook. On a random day, I checked in with him, and when he said he wasn’t well, I became very quickly concerned and arranged to meet up with him.
We talked, and the conversation veered towards how friends can show support in such situations. Interestingly, one of his pain points was that no one was reading his posts and showing support for them.
He said that people would just reply his messages that they support him, but he didn’t see the action of their support.
Of course, even though I’m guessing I wasn’t one of those on his list, I felt the need to explain to him why I don’t usually see his posts. It’s simply because I am hardly on FB. I am only FB when I post something and someone comments on my post, then I go in to reply. I might scroll down to a few posts, but that’s it.
So I told him that it’s very probable that I’d miss his posts.
But it brought me back to my own experience with this. Before I started this blog about mental health, I was already writing my food and travel blog, The Diva Eats Prata, and in it, I had written something off-topic – it was inspired by a Pangdemonium play that I had seen called Falling.
Although the play was about autism, the behaviour of the son in the play, was so similar to my brother who suffers from schizophrenia.
Worse, the play which was set as a “day in the life” was so intense, so heightened, well – that’s how a day in my life often feels. And, can you imagine, it has been like that for the past 30+ years.
So I was inspired to write the piece on my blog.
I have shared this story with people when the topic somehow comes up, but here’s the thing. It’s not like the same people who seem to nod their heads empathetically, go on to ask me what the link is for them to read the story.
I could take it as they were superficially showing empathy or that they just don’t really care and so on.
But then again, I take it as that:
- They listened
- They have a slightly better knowledge about where I’m coming from or the illness etc
- And, well, their world doesn’t revolve around me.
It does not mean that they don’t care. Maybe they don’t.
But it should not matter.
Every little step you take to share your situation is a benefit, however much or little people take away from it.
And if you think you need that support, then be SPECIFIC. Literally tell them that you would like them to like a post, or read a post or whatever.
So, it’s ok if your friends aren’t reading your posts. What is most important is that when you are in need, they are there. Do not put that pressure on them and yourself.