The Plight of the Stand-Along

This thought originated from this post from Thought Catalog

At some point in their lives, many people encounter a phase where nothing goes right. Everything is bad, or dull, or boring and uninteresting, or unappealing. It’s a terrible feeling, because I’ve had several tastes of these phases, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

A friend of mine is currently suffering from something of this sort. S/he (henceforth referred to as she) shared some of he/r feelings with me recently, and that was my motivation to write this. I don’t know if she is feeling hopelessness, but from what she has told me, I feel she has had a rough few months, and by extension, a rough couple of years at her workplace. And I feel helpless because I want to help her, but I do not know how to do it. I don’t know how open I can be with her, since we’ve had our ups and downs, and it hinders me a little. And that is my topic for today – The plight of the stand-along; my plight, as I feel helpless for my friend; the plight of all friends who see their loved one go through something difficult and feel that they are not helping enough.

Really, I just want to be the “stand-along” – the handhold in the storm that she can confidently grab without fear of abandonment if she wants to. I want to hold her hand and lead her out of her doldrums, and bring freshness and rejuvenation into her life, if she would have me.

Here is my problem. How do you know when you are helping a friend and when you are patronising them? How and where do you draw a line between respect and child-like care and spoon-feeding? How do you know that the choices you suggest aren’t toxic by themselves? And most importantly, how do you know when to leave your friend alone, and when to super-glue their arm to yours?

If you, dear reader, have gone through something of this nature, or know someone who has – could you please help me? That’s the question of the day. Please help me get started, and I am confident I can handle the rest.

I have deliberately been vague because I want to keep my friend anonymous. If necessary, I can divulge a few more details in private.

I eagerly await your responses. Thank you for reading my post.