One of my friends is having a tough time at the moment. It’s something I can’t change. I can’t make the situation any easier for her. And she is just having to endure it. It feels horrible for her and I am struggling to know how to best help her.
One of the things I’ve learnt from my work as a Clinical Psychologist, both here at Headspace Guildford, and in my CAMHS/Paediatric, and other NHS roles, is that sometimes when life is horrible, the only thing you can do is just hang on in there, and it does, eventually, get easier. Easier for me to say than you to feel when you are in the middle of it, but my experience bares this out. Just knowing that somewhere, sometime there will be an end to it can make things more bearable, or even just make it possible to hang on in there. It doesn’t make it ok, but sometimes just coping is all you can do. It doesn’t make it feel nice, but holding on to the fact that you will get through it can give you the strength to do just that.
I love this quote:
Run when you can,
Walk when you have to,
Crawl if you must.
Just never give up
Wise bloke that Mr Karnazez, whoever he is.
Sometimes it can help to think about what you will be doing in 1/5/10 years time and look back on today and what this problem will look like then. Many problems/crises seem not so major with the benefit of some years between it and you. Some problems are difficult to get perspective on, or even if you do it seems like this is a pretty big deal. So then, if nothing else, just keep crawling on. Just keep breathing for a start, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and eventually these things won’t seem so hard any more.
And if you are, like me, an onlooker to someone elses’ pain then what you can do is walk with them, alongside them, hold their hand if they’ll let you and let them know you are there. Crawling can seem a whole lot easier when you’ve got a companion.