Talk to the parts of the person that aren’t being eaten by the depression. Make it as easy as possible to make and keep plans, if you have the emotional resources to be the initiator and to meet your friends a little more than halfway. If the person turns down a bunch of invitations in a row because (presumably) they don’t have the energy to be social, respect their autonomy by giving it a month or two and then try again. Keep the invitations simple; “Any chance we could have breakfast Saturday?” > “ARE YOU AVOIDING ME BECAUSE YOU’RE DEPRESSED OR BECAUSE YOU HATE ME I AM ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU.” “I miss you and I want to see you” > “I’m worried about you.” A depressed person is going to have a shame spiral about how their shame is making them avoid you and how that’s giving them more shame, which is making them avoid you no matter what you do. No need for you to call attention to it. Just keep asking. “I want to see you” “Let’s do this thing.” “If you are feeling low, I understand, and I don’t want to impose on you, but I miss your face. Please come have coffee with me.” “Apology accepted. ApologIES accepted. So. Gelato and Outlander?”"
P.S. A lot of people with depression and other mental illnesses have trouble making decisions or choosing from a bunch of different options. “Wanna get dinner at that pizza place on Tuesday night?” is a LOT easier to answer than “So wanna hang out sometime? What do you want to do?”
More people with depressed or anxiatal family and friends really need to understand how great it would feel to have this kind of support.
he said we were like a comet
but last night I saw the stars twinkle a little too bright
when I looked to the sky thinking,
“baby, shoot me across this sky”
laughing, “honey, I am planets away from giving up on love”
when we were eighteen we would make
videos of each other telling stupid jokes
and you would parade me around your frat house
saying, “look here boys, this is love.”
and my mother said we were too young
but we put our middle fingers to the sky and
said, “shoot this bird down”
I know we never meant it.
the first time you held my hand
I felt like skipping stones across the Mississippi River.
I felt like taking off my clothes
and jumping into the cold ocean.
jellyfish and all,
sea turtles and all.
so tell me what you want.
so tell me what you need.
tell me about that one time at band camp.
tell me about how you hated college.
tell me the stories I already know,
I want to relearn them a second time.
let me touch that scar on your back
when you ask me to put sunscreen on you.
ask me why I sleep with a heating blanket that doesn’t work.
pick my heart up and throw it so far
I swear to God I will hear you yelling,
“you were my first home run”
ask me why I put honey on my toast,
why the water runs cold too soon,
why I cry when I put flowers in a vase
because you once asked me why cut flowers don’t need sunlight
and I said, “they are already dying. sun can’t bring them back.”
tell me why a love like ours can’t come back to life,
why these years spent picking bad habits off each other
turned into dry emails about finances.
ask me the questions that used to make your heart beat too fast.
reintroduce me to your parents like I’m the trophy
you never got when you played baseball.
show me the places our ghosts dance from our younger years.
look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t wonder
what my lips taste like now.
look me in the eyes and tell me it’s been a year too long
since I’ve said your name followed behind mine.