When you have a cold, you usually recover. Your stuffy nose goes away. Your fever decreases. Your headache stops, and the pain in your throat ceases.
But when you’re struggling with mental health, recovery doesn’t happen so easily (or quickly).
Mental health is long term.
If you have a friend struggling with anxiety, depression, bipolar, etc., they need your support. They need you to love them, and you need to know that it won’t be easy.
It won’t be easy to love someone who can’t get out of bed.
It won’t be easy to be there for someone, even though they can’t always be there for you.
It won’t be easy to make sacrifices.
But remember, they love you. Even when they can’t say it, they appreciate everything you do. Sometimes, they will seem ungrateful. They are just tired.
Please don’t give up on them. It is hard for them, too.
They need you.
They love you.
Sometimes, they say and do the wrong things, but trust me, they are trying to figure out the right way to love. They are trying to survive an illness that is constantly tearing them down. Constantly. They are fighting constantly.
That’s the thing, though: if you are friends with someone who has a mental illness, you are friends with a fighter.
One day, things will be easier.
One day, things will be better.
They will keep fighting until they figure out how to love you. They will keep trying until they can return what you have given to them. Some days, it is so hard to even talk to other people, but when they are out of the storm they are facing, they will walk through your storms with you.
Remember to support your friends who are struggling, and they will be able to support you when they’re ready.
Show them love. Show them compassion. These are not things they can get from themselves.
By Ashley Sager for ThoughtCatalog