When Words Just Won’t Help

When Words Just Won’t Help

http://timulator.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/16.jpgA friend of mine has been in a deep hole of depression lately…suicide attempt, hospital…the works. I called him the other night and reached him at his Iowa home, where he was sitting alone, mindlessly watching TV, hoping he wouldn’t wake up tomorrow.

We talked for over an hour about everything from our mutual desire to understand why things in the world are the way they are to whether the Falcons were going to be any good this football season. At the end of the conversation, I felt the sense of impotence that my wife must feel when talking to me about my depression: I WANT TO SAY THE MAGIC THING THAT WILL CURE HIM, BUT DAMN IT! I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT IS!!!

What’s ironic is that I, as much as anyone, know that when I’m depressed, no logical argument or perspective can drag me from the hole. Yet I still had to fight the constant temptation throughout our conversation to wrack my brain for just the right perspective-inducing comment…

“You have so much to live for!”

“Tomorrow is another day.”

“Let go and let God.”

Or even the guilt trip method: “Think how much pain you’ll cause if you kill yourself!”

But from an unfortunate amount of experience, I can say that none of that does the trick. EVER. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, simple human presence and preferably the presence of someone who doesn’t want to try to fix me, is the only thing that does much good.

That’s it. The end. I have no advice to offer you on this subject. I suppose my point in posting this is simply to say that depression is really fucking hard to deal with, both for the person suffering from it and for the person trying to find the right words that will help.




After summiting Mt. Everest at age 7, Tim Blue went on to earn a PhD in Physics from Oxford by age 9. After cloning the first emu, Tim became bored with science and decided to pursue his passion for lemon farming. This led to a long-time guest spot in the Kardashians' show where Tim helped Kim accept herself and quit being so shy. Now, of course, Tim is an English teacher at Georgia Perimeter College.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Sometimes I feel that way, but I am learning to simply be with you and try not to fix it. I love you!

    1. Nothing scandalous here…that’s a comment from my wife. ~Tim

  2. Truth is we can’t “fix” anyone… And “just” our Presence seems to be the most powerful (and loving) force we can offer.

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