Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Don't Even Know What to Say...

I think I must be a terrible, terrible best friend. I just spoke to my best friend, who I haven't talked to for a few weeks (at least it seems like a few weeks, has it been longer?) and heard some disturbing news from her. When I called her the other day she didn't answer her phone. That alone is unusual, she almost always answers. I did have a nagging little thought at the time that it was odd, but quickly dismissed it. She's busy, I'm busy, no big deal- we'll catch up another time.

I was very surprised, no shocked, when she called me back tonight and told me she's been having problems with postpartum depression. I'll admit, I've spoken with her at times in the last few years since she first became a mother, and more recently, since having another child, when she has seemed overwhelmed. But I never imagined that she would or could breakdown like this. She's so quiet and reserved, but also so strong, smart and capable. Not that I'm faulting her. She is in no way responsible for this, this can happen to anyone.

More than anything I feel guilty. How could I not have known she needed help? Am I a terrible friend because she didn't confide in me? I wanted so much to tell her on the phone how much I love her, like family. She has been there for me since middle school, through high school and college, through my mothers death.

But I know how hard it is to admit that you're depressed. I can never ask for help. The thought of breaking down and crying in front of someone is unthinkable. I think I've been dealing with depression for years now, certainly since my mother's death and, to be honest, before that too. I don't ask for help, I don't want to admit this to anyone, I almost never do. Why would I expect her to be different?

I'm hurt that I didn't know sooner, that I couldn't be there for her before now. Granted, I don't know what I can do for her from states away, but I would do anything for her in my power. I always hope that she knows that she can come to me with anything without the fear of judgement. I would hope that we haven't lost that intimacy in our friendship, but I fear we might have.

I wish I had reacted better on the phone, but honestly, I had no idea what to say, other than, "I'm sorry you have to deal with this. Is there anything that I can do?"

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