To my friend with SAD, I care so much about how you’re feeling. I know how it is to be wrapped in gray fuzz, to feel that nights are never long enough to get enough sleep, to be afraid that someone will bump you and spill out all the acid inside you. I know irrational tears and impossible fears. This winter, for whatever amazing, incredible reasons, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) hasn’t come to visit me, but I know what you’re feeling. I get it. And I would like to help you, how ever bumbling and unprofessional my care is.
If we lived in the same town, I would want to invite you to my place. If you didn’t want to come, I’d go to your house and make you some coffee or tea and listen to you if you want to talk. If you wanted to be quiet, that would be ok, and I would hand you some tissues, and ask if you want to journal. While you journal, I would journal too, or doodle, or read stories to your children. I’d make you some more coffee, but not more than one more cup, and fix you an egg or yogurt (protein instead of carbs) and then invite you to go on a walk with me.
We would put layers and layers on–leggings, socks, fleece jacket, scarf, hat, coat, boots, and gloves, then go outside. If it’s raining, we’d use umbrellas. We would walk and walk for at least 40 minutes, talking only when you want to.
Back inside, we would talk about what we want to create. A new recipe for supper? Something abstract in acrylics or pastels? Plant bulbs or repot seedlings? A new centerpiece on the table? A collaborative poem about our walk? A photo collage of your last holiday? It has to be something new and something you care about. Something that has never seen the light of day before.
Then I’d hold you and pray over you and go home. I would be confident that God is up to something good in your darkness, and that you won’t always feel this gray.
After a day or two, I’d call you again, and ask how you are, and as tactfully as I could (which is really hard for me because I tend to lecture), ask if you took a walk that day, and what you had for breakfast. I’d ask God to pour His grace into your day, and tell you to call me anytime you need to talk.
This is what I would want to do. Would that help? What is it that you need, and that your friends could do for you? You’re not alone, and maybe this comment section could be a safe place for you and others with SAD to be heard and cared for?
13 thoughts on “To My Friend with SAD”
I started crying in your second sentence and haven’t stopped yet. Yeah, that would pretty much be the ticket. Want to come over?
Wish so much I could, Shari. Or you come here?!
That would be lovely… the friend that cares and understands is the best therapy! Crying because you really understand what its like… Creating beauty is something that helps me cope too, like you said…
Being creative is an amazing kind of therapy, almost sacramental in the way we can meet God there.
I can’t say I truly understand this challenge from personal experience, but I am very interested in the discussion so I can learn and understand better from the perspective of a caring friend. Thanks for the love you show here…
I know you are good at caring and loving well, Linda. You’ve done that for me. =)
Wow, you really get it, don’t you?
When I’m feeling grey, I’d love to get together with someone and learn some kind of crafty thing from her. Quilt piecing, maybe. I’d love if someone would offer to take the children for half a day.
That said, the sun is shining today and we played in the snow, and now I feel like Someone breathed new life into me.
Good suggestions, Jenn.
Snow and sun is a fantastic blend on many levels!
Bless you,Anita!you have such a caring heart!i would love to have a chat over coffee with you!I know it would do me good!!
What I need is a friend to come over to my house and just sit on the couch with me. I would rest my head upon her shoulder and we would sip on tea and I wouldn’t say a word. Just the presence of a dear friend helps me so much!
I had never thought of it before but reading your blog and looking back over my life in the recent month(s) and years I definitely see a trend of SAD. Thanks for sharing!
Beautiful. I haven’t experienced SAD, but some of the feelings are very familiar. Feeling alone is one of the hardest things, alone and not understanding what is going on that makes me a different person from the one I and everyone else knows me to be. A friend who understands a little of what I’m feeling and is brave enough to come and offer her presence and love is wonderful. And if she would fix me food and take me outside and give me several hours where I didn’t have to make many decisions that would be even better. And maybe bring a favorite recipe and the important ingredients and leave them behind to give me a head start on supper.
I’m about to write you a long e-mail. 🙂
Great! Can’t wait!!