Have you noticed that humans are normally drawn to people who seem similar, or have something in common with themselves? I certainly do… When I walk into a room by myself the first thing I scope out (after the toilets) is people I think I might get along with. People around my age, or people dressed in a similar style, people reading a book I’ve read or someone I overheard talking about something that I like. Why? Because we aren’t supposed to go through life alone. We are like magnets, we’re pulled towards other people so that we can share burdens as well as joy with them. So that we don’t have to do it all by ourselves. Even if you’re very introverted you probably still have a couple of friends who you’re happy to chat with, you still don’t want to be entirely alone. Nobody does if they’re honest with themselves.

When you’re dealing with suicidal feelings, or even if you’re just feeling a bit down; the worst thing for you is to try and cope without any support. There are people out there who we can talk to who understand what we’re going through. Charities such as the Samaritans are great for this, they’re empathetic and kind on the phone and they even offered to have me over for a cuppa once. If you don’t want to talk to someone you know about how you’re feeling it’s worth giving them a call. There are other people too, doctors can refer you to mental health teams or give you medication which might help, at least in the short term. There are also online support groups: on facebook there are groups for people with all sorts of diagnoses which are great for getting support from people who know exactly what you’re going through.

Family and friends are the best support you can get though. Even when they don’t understand what you’re feeling, they’ll still want to help and they’ll do their best. If you don’t want to talk about it I’d still recommend giving someone a call, they could pop over and bring ice-cream, you could go out for a coffee or a walk. Do something you’d normally like with them, without the worry of having to discuss how you’re feeling and it’ll help more than you’d expect.

If you’re supporting someone with mental health problems, or someone who’s just having a bad week; try to respect their wishes. If they don’t want to talk about it why not just watch a movie with some snacks instead and just be there. If they don’t want to go out why not go to their house, have a night in and just hang out with them. And if they do talk, just listen. You might not be able to solve all of their problems, but having someone there to help them get it out of their system, even if they need a rant, is good enough.

What I’m advising is not to try and do this without help. Life is a constant battle, and you wouldn’t send someone into battle without an army. Build it around yourself and let your friends help you to fight! It’s too hard to keep fighting on your own.

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