If You Can’t Handle Me At My Worst…
…then you don’t deserve me at my best.
It’s one of those quotations that does the rounds on social media every so often. It’s usually shared by people with bad attitudes, to justify treating the people around them like dirt. It’s thrown at people who are genuinely sick of someone’s exploitative, maybe even abusive, behaviour getting them down all the time.
But it can have a lot of truth to it.
Irritability and aggression are common signs of a person struggling with trauma or depression, especially if there is a sudden change or escalation in that kind of antisocial behaviour.
If someone you know has abruptly become reclusive or cold, it’s easy to give up on them. It’s easy to reject someone who isn’t always civil and to leave them to deal with their problems alone. When someone is unpleasant to be around, most people will turn away from them sooner or later.
The real tragedy of this is that, usually, the company and support of someone who cares about them is the only thing that will drag them fully out of it. Certainly, it’s much more difficult to kick on your own.
Popularly attributed to Marilyn Monroe, this saying can be uplifting and it can be comforting to someone suddenly stuck in the middle of that seemingly inescapable misery.
It reminds people that they are more than their most unpleasant moods. It reminds people that whatever they are struggling with now will pass, that they will feel better about life and that the people who are still there at the end really do love them and that’s not going to change.
As comforting as it may be to you when you feel down, take some time to think of it when your friends lash out for no reason. When they seem stressed. When they are so upset they don’t even want to tell you why, so they get grumpy instead.
Remember how important it will be to them when you stick by them even when they are unbearable to be around. Remember how much your company and your care can do for them.
Be that person that is so important that you don’t give up on someone.
Be there to prove the haunting thoughts wrong when they feel like they have nothing.
Be the friend that drags someone back from the brink of the worst kind of pit.
There is nothing more important nor more valuable that a human being can be or do than to take care of someone who cannot bear to be around themselves.
Chances are, as uncomfortable as you may be with someone who is stressed or depressed or grieving, things are infinitely worse for them. Not just because of the thing that’s causing them their pain in the first place, but because they know just how much of an imposition they are on you.
Remind them, as often as you can, that you are there, that they matter and that they will get through this.
That you being a part of their life is not only for when it’s easy.
That you care about them enough to slog with them through the most painful experiences they’ll ever endure.
Be the friend who changes lives.
Who saves them.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.