This is something that hits home way too often for me: a friend going through a tough time in life. They might be struggling with something small, such as a rough day at work or an argument with someone you care about, or something as large as depression, fear/anxiety, or the death of a friend/relative. Whatever this friend is going through, I try my best to reach out to them and talk to them about whatever they may be struggling with, as well as ensuring that will be with them through it all. I’ll go through a couple of the main things that I make sure to include when talking to them.
- Tell them that you are praying for them – This is what I constantly tell all of my friends, whether or not they are going through a rough time. Continuously praying for someone through the good and the bad helps us grow closer to God in our prayer life, as well as helping your friend out with their relationship with God.
- Remind them to pray about their struggle – Even if they aren’t Catholic or don’t pray very often, have them start off very simple! It’s totally fine to start out having a conversation with God. Tell Him what you’re struggling with and ask for His strength in conquering the struggle.
- Ask if there is anything that you can do for them – Being there for them is one of the best ways to help them! As followers and disciples of Christ, one of our main duties is to serve the Lord through helping others. Asking someone if you can help them in any way brings a sense of comfort for the person going through this. They may just need someone to listen to them vent for 5 minutes!
- Remind them how much they mean to God, yourself, and others in their life – Some feel like they are not significant enough or feel like they don’t have a huge group of people caring about them, whereas others may just be so depressed that they forget how many people actually love them! Reminding someone how much they mean to you can be a total game-changer. I know – as someone who has been on the receiving end of these reminders before – that just being reminded of how much they mean to others in life can totally change their mood and outlook on life. That could be what they needed to hear to bring them out of the darkness in which they are trapped.
- Never lose hope in them, and never let them lose hope – Hope must never be lost on either end. If there is any doubt or lack of hope on either end, it will be difficult to keep fighting. The best thing to do is keep reminding them you are in the battle with them, and encouraging them in everything they do.
I cannot guarantee that this will immediately help, but it is a great place to start. To all of my friends out there that are struggling, remember that God will never give up on you and will constantly love you through every up and down you have in life. I always am praying for you and will not lose hope in your battle to happiness.
If you ever are in need, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 to speak to someone.