"Let me know if you need anything"
and other things not to say to someone going through tough times
The last couple of months, I’ve been in the throws of a bit of a mental health crisis. I’m on the other side of it now, thank goodness, but it was grim times for a while there.
While I was going through it, I had many people say variations of the following to me:
‘Let me know if there’s anything I can do.’
‘Reach out if you need anything.’
‘What can I do to help?’
While these were all lovely sentiments from lovely people, something about it wasn’t sitting right with me. I was almost getting annoyed any time someone said it.
In one of my more lucid moments, I realised, it was frustrating me because I didn’t actually have the capacity to answer those questions. I was just trying to make it through a day. I didn’t know what would make me feel better, I didn’t know what I needed. I was just going through it and I realised that the reason those questions were kinda jarring, is because it puts the onus back on the person who’s struggling, to have to figure something out.
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