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Trying to be a positive
HopingToLift posted:
Hello all, and thanks for taking a few minutes for me.

I was recently reunited with a woman who I hadn't seen in 20 years. Since we're both single, I looked at it as an opportunity to gain a very close friend and possibly more. We were only acquaintances back then, and our life paths took us different ways. Now that we're both 41-ish, it was so fun to become friends again. As we got to know each other better, I found out she's been through very hard times - physically abused by an ex-fiance, and physically AND mentally abused by her last boyfriend. She has an exceptionally stressful job, and has clinical depression. As much as I love that she's opening up and confiding in me, I often times feel lost to respond with something positive for her. She often will cry on the phone to me, giving statements of "I just can't do it anymore" and the like. I know she sees a therapist regularly, and I know she's on medication, but I have no idea which medication(s). We spend very little time together just hanging out or going out, but I have taken on a couple projects at her house that will at least allow me to be around and hopefully help build a bond. Please don't read this the wrong way, either, as I am not one of those guys that is just trying hard to gain a lover - that is simply not my intent at all; recent changes in my own life have made me realize that my old circle of friends needed a serious upgrade.

So, dear readers, besides reading so many of your posts here, is there an online resource or other resources I can refer to in order to help be a more supportive friend? I don't know why I have taken on such a project, but I am driven to find out how to help her heal. She is far too intelligent and pretty to be in such mental chaos.

I anxiously await your replies.

Thank you in advance.
NCgirl333 responded:
Hi! My boyfriend felt in much the same position as you. He actually asked for permission to see my therapist, and I agreed to let him go talk to her. Obviously, she couldn't share any of my specific information. But she helped him understand depression. She helped him understand that there was nothing he could do to "fix" me. Though he wasn't lookingto "fix" -- just to help. It's so easy to fall into the role of enabler; wanting to be the person who can make it all better. But those of us who roam these pages know that the answer lies within each of us. She is incredibly lucky to have someone who cares so much about her that you are researching how to respond and support her. One suggestion I might make is to check out Amazon for books on the subject and then read the readers' reviews. Might find something helpful there. I wish could tell you the perfect thing to "do" for her. But as a depression suffer, I don't even know how to tell anyone what to "do" for me. It is such a mystifying disorder. But best of luck to both of you, and bless you for being such a caring friend.
HopingToLift replied to NCgirl333's response:
Thank you NCgirl, thank you very much for your advice. I figure I will never have all the answers, and I'm okay with that. As much as I would like to know what to say, I think I'd like just as much to know what NOT to say in situations. Sometimes, maybe saying nothing will be the right choice. I will see about talking to her therapist - that might help tremendously.

Thanks again.

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