"Simply, to give in to your demands to be sad means that I contribute to your downfall. It's like the line you draw between helping those in need and being an active enabler to their destruction."
The other day I read an article about "happy" social media posts. Those with mental illness were offended by such posts that somehow didn't take into account how sad they were feeling. As a survivor and advocate, my response to this is a tad bit different than what most would expect.
You see, many assume my friends are inspired by me. In fact, to me, it is quite the opposite. I purposely surround myself with friends who sympathize with my pain. I surround myself with those who understand my struggle, but love me enough not to let me stay there. I have friends who will let me complain, but then talk me through solutions. Ones who will allow me to kick, scream, and cry until my eyes are red...then tell me to get up. Ones who will give me the space to be sad, but not allow me to sulk in self-pity and utter despair. Ones that understand that all I want is ice cream, but know that starving myself is not an option. Ones who will let me hide under the covers, but will also drag me out of bed.
I don't surround myself with friends who tell me to stay in bed as long as I would like. They don't lie to me in having me think it's okay to sleep my life away. I don't have friends who will stand by and let me eat cake for two weeks simply because I'm depressed. Therefore, I don't get offended when they choose to post something happy or humorous (and vice versa). We might as well get offended when people post healthy meals (while we sit around eating pizza). We might as well get upset when people post gym results (while we binge watch Netflix).
God forbid we become inspired by those making progress. God forbid we see it as hope--rather than some annoying friend trying to make us feel miserable. The harsh truth is that no one should cater to you. It sucks. However, you need people who practice tough love with compassion. It isn't because they want to see you suffer, but because they would rather not. Simply, to give in to your demands to be sad means that I contribute to your downfall. It's like the line you draw between helping those in need and being an active enabler to their destruction.
You need friends who not only love you enough to see that, but who will hold you accountable until you see better days.
If you can't see it, then you need to surround yourself with people who can. Period.
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Dr. Nicole M. Robinson