My Depressed Friend

I had a great weekend despite the rain and the cold and another failed attempt on retrieving eggs and our crazy neighbor threatening to key our car (more on that in other posts).  I can’t wait to share, but there is something troubling me.

I gathered together a group of friends for a hanami in Yoyogi Park.  As happens every time I plan a Hanami, the weather was miserable.  The cherry blossoms have only started to pop out (got a great post coming up about that).

My husband’s friend and three of mine came.

But one did not fit among us that day.

The group meshed really well, something that is always hard to guess when combining people that have never met.  It can’t be worrisome if the group will blend because some people are just never going to get along.  I’ve been surprised when people I thought would get along great turned out to hate each other within just a few minutes of meeting.

The only odd one out is who I will call R for this post.  R did not seem to want to interact with the group. He had heavy bags when we arrived, things he could not sell off like he hoped.

He’s usually a cheerful, easygoing guy.  Everyone I invited we’re fairly easygoing and chill.  However, today was different.  He had no energy and looked like a man that life had drop kicked.

When we walked around the park, he lagged behind and would not even look at the cherry blossoms.  He hardly talked and kept sighing and staring at the ground.  There was a very a dark, sad air radiating off him, but he didn’t want to talk about it.

I hung back to try and help him.  However, he seemed closed, distant and stand-offish.  His face looked grim and full of sorrow that he did not want to talk about.

Finally, as we headed off to eat, he called to me and I came over.

He apologized and said he needed to go home.  He explained he could not relax, stress from work was beating him down.  I understood. We hugged and he waved goodbye.

When I returned to the group, I made up an excuse for him, saying he wasn’t feeling well.  Everyone understand and hoped he recovered.

Later, when we all went our separate ways, I rode the train with my husband and I mentioned R.

“Did R seem depressed?” I asked my husband.  “He looked so unhappy?”

My husband nodded. “He had a dark energy. He’s not usually like that. He should be careful. From what I saw, it would be easy for him to get a mental problem.”

(My husband is not a native speaker so when he said ‘mental problem’ I think he meant ‘burnt out’.)

I’m not used to R being depressed, or at least showing it.  I felt so helpless and sad for him.  It’s in my nature to want to help someone, but there was nothing I could do.  R wanted the matter dropped, in fact he seemed ashamed and embarrassed that his stress and depression was interfering in his ability to be social.

R likes meeting with people and having people to hang out with. It seemed like he felt crushed that the sadness got the best of him.

I wish I could do something for him.  It seemed very much a work-related depression, and I hope the problem will resolve itself.

Is there anything I can do?


9 thoughts on “My Depressed Friend

  1. I think people who are generally happy feel like they let others down when they’re going through something or are in a bad mood…

    Bad moods happen to all of us. I think it’s important to let him be. Check back in with him in a couple of days in a casual way…

    Don’t pressure him to talk about it, though… if he’s generally a happy guy then he might feel like he doesn’t want to burden you with his stuff…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I feel you on this front. I have several friends who bout with depression, each one deals with it differently. For one, it’s best I leave her be, the other is just happy with my talking about random things. I think it’s natural to want to be their for your friends.

    Liked by 1 person

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