i lasted 3 days on a facebook support group for depressed and anxious women. i would read post after post and reply “you are so brave for sharing” or “you are so resilient.” in the 3 days i was a member i replied a lot. shared nothing.
i have spent many of my last 50 years being the cheerleader to so many. “you can do this ridiculously hard triathlon without much training.” “you will meet this amazing person. i will help you.” there was always a bit of of wondering “i am fucking emotionally exhausted. why am i fucking acting like a cheerleader?”
so it just felt so natural to me that i would pick up my pom poms to cheer on the depressed and anxious women on the facebook group. it became too much very quickly. these mostly much younger than me women wanted to hurt themselves. one after the other. she had no friends. her fiancé called off the wedding because her depression had her crying all the time. she was afraid to go to the psych unit like she did last time. that was worse then ending her life.
the last day i was a member of this group, i thought, what the fuck am i doing? these women don’t need a “you are brave” or “you are resilient” from me. they need so many things that i and this facebook group could never give them. i live by “do no harm.” i was causing people in this on-line group harm. the first time in 50 years i thought i am doing myself harm too. it never occurred to me that do no harm was a philosophy for others and self.