First let’s clarify what constitutes a fucked up friend:
They are heartbroken.
A loved one has died.
They were in an accident.
They just had a baby.
They just had a major life transition that they didn’t want or plan on (fire, renoviction, etc)
There are ill.
*Now, I’m not putting mental illness, addiction and clinical depression into the mix here although that is fucked up too and deserves major support- this is a way longer road that a friend may not be able to traverse as easily with youtube video’s and the big guns like family and professionals will need to be called in as well.
A Few Golden Rules:
Don’t text them.
Don’t facebook them
Don’t email them.
If they are your friend, CALL THEM. They probably won’t pick up but leave a message.
Tell them you love them. Tell them “I’m sorry this shit happened to you. I cannot imagine the pain you are in. I’m bringing sandwiches over at noon.”
Let them hear your voice. After first contact you can begin using the interwebs and electronic mail to communicate.
Don’t Ask Them The Following Questions:
How can I help?
Tell me when a good time to call would be?
Let me know if there is anything I can do?
The KEY Is:
Do NOT ask the fucked up friend to organize or plan anything. Do it yourself.
Boss them around a bit. “I’m coming over to make dinner and clean your toilet. Hide in your room from 5-7pm if you don’t want to see anyone. Leave the door unlocked.”
If You Live Near Them:
Bring them fresh, healthy food and a bag of chips. Leave it on their doorstep.
Call their partner or another friend and ask them what is needed.
Maybe laundry? Maybe childcare?
Maybe a massive email needs to be sent out to tell everyone about the situation so everyone can get involved (this was really useful for me.)
If You Don’t Live Near Them:
Send them a fucking card in the mail.
Send them some fucking flowers.
*I had a friend come stay with me when I was fucked up. I was taking a shit and the toilet overflowed on my ass so, my own shit was swirling all over my butt and I started cry/screaming No No No! And she ran into the bathroom, pulled me off the can, threw me in bed and waded through my fecal matter, cleaning up the bathroom as I cried. Now this is an extreme version of love but let me tell you, she is now in my will.
After initial contact by phone has been made, every day or so, email them a funny youtube. Opportunities to laugh are highly appreciated.
Here are a few examples of the links my friend sent me when my mom died:
One friend sent me all this. Can you believe it? It would trickle into my inbox a few days at a time, just something here and there to lighten the load. She is now my baby’s Godmom. No joke.
This leads me to a very important point.
Don’t Give Up:
Keep calling, texting, checking in. Do not stop. They will listen to every message and they will cry in the relief that they are being thought of. Call them once a week for a few months. You may NEVER actually talk to them on the phone. They may never actually pick up. Don’t take this personally. Just keep checking in. Like in Say Anything when John Cusack holds the boom box over his head and just doesn’t leave. That’s the shit I’m talking about.
Now, to be clear, you are not a BAD friend if you don’t take these suggestions. I’m just saying you are an EXCELLENT friend if you do. And it’s actually a secretly selfish “money in the bank” plan because tomorrow it could be you swirling in your own excrement.
The darkness is very powerful. You have to help your friend beat it. Your consistency of friendship has to overpower the lord of nothingness. If your love wins, you will have a friend that will be at your bedside as you lay dying. You will have burned up all your negative karma. You can rest easy knowing you are good and right.
You will be rewarded.
Your friend will get up one day, she will remember how you held her to the earth as she keened and floated towards oblivion. She will look at you differently. You will be her new mother. You will have joined the ranks of Mothering Energy and fuse with The Mother herself. You will be named Queen.
My Main Point:
Don’t be scared of their pain.
As Ram Dass says “We are all here to walk each other home.”