Everyone goes through times when the world feels upside down. This last week has been one such time for me. Certainly this hasn’t been the worst week of my life, but it is far from the best. The question at the heart of this crazy week is what does it mean to be a true friend?
Some friends are there to cheer you on, and even better friends are also there to weep with you when things are tough. But a true friend is someone who will tell you when you are making a mistake, even if it means running the risk of losing the friendship.
I have endured a few times in my life when the pain and suffering I experienced was enough to make me question whether life was worth living anymore. For many years, I faced that challenge alone. I wish there had been someone there who understood what it was like to feel the pull of the abyss, stare it in the face, and turn away. The stigma put upon such people today prevents most of us from admitting, even to ourselves, that we have been there, stared at the cliff, and walked away.
A dear friend of mine stands now at that precipice, and though they hate me for it now, I stand nearby, begging them to come away, come back to safer paths. Having walked those roads, I know what it means to have someone help, how little I wanted it at the time, and how much I wish I had help back then. That is why I cannot turn away when I see someone suffering the same way I suffered, I cannot stand idly by and hope they survive.