Did anyone get the memo today about wearing purple?  There have been far too many suicides in the US recently related to school bullying (and several of the victims have been gay).  There is a sizable pop culture push now to stop bullying in schools, hence the purple.

I did get some bullying in school but not a significant amount.  I tended (and still tend) to be one of the invisible people.  I would like to say this though:  While I think it's a step in the right direction to help people with depression (and related troubles) to create awareness, awareness alone is not going to address the issue.  It's taken me several years, dozens of close calls, hundreds of dollars and incredible amounts of heartache to realize that help doesn't help.  I've been to the psychiatrists, I've told my story to friends, I've changed my diet and increased my exercise.  The only thing I haven't tried is perscription drugs.  To date, the only "help" that hasn't caused me more pain than comfort is surrounding myself with people who understand and who don't try to help.

I've been told "it'll be ok" and "you can cry on my shoulder" a disgusting number of times.  Neither phrase solves anything.  E use to tell me "it'll be ok" all the time.  Do you know what happened?  After about a year and a half he started ignoring me while I collapsed emotionally.  He hoped it would resolve itself.  That everything would be ok.  If we hadn't broken up because I moved away, we would have broken up because of that.  Part of the reason I liked being with J so much was that he's like us: he knows what it's like to hate yourself, to literally want to die.  He knows that waiting it out won't make it ok.  He knows that forcing or even coaxing people to share things they don't want to share makes things worse; it brings burried emotions to the surface when the victim doesn't have the time or a place to deal with it.

The only way to truly help someone is to be a normal, everyday friend until they need you.  You don't get to choose when that is.  There is no 50 minute block once a week, there is no waiting until class is over.  J never gave me advice and never told me what to try.  He didn't tell me he was there for me, he was there for me.

To wrap up, it's good that bullying and the resulting depression, anxiety, PTSD, paranoia, etc is on people's minds and hopefully it'll lessen some of the bullying in the first place.  I just hope it doesn't mean that more people think they understand depression when they really don't.


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