A few years ago, I was working with a large group of people. We all became like a family. Our job in the medical field was a tough one and that lead to many stressful days and burnout. We were there to support each other and build each other up. Due to the stress of the job, we also dealt with several strong emotions and conflicts with each other.
Despite the ups and downs of this “family,” working here was one of my favorite experiences and one of my favorite jobs. I met so many beautiful souls and I still keep in touch with many of them today. They have changed my life and shown me what true support and friendship are. There is, however, one individual that I lost contact with, and it’s been on my mind since if I should try to reach out one last time.
Here’s the Story
One of the young ladies that worked there became one of my closest friends, we will call her Sara. She would often call me “sister”. So many people often made comments that we look alike, which made the name even more endearing. We always had each other’s backs and were there to support each other through the stress, trials, challenges, tears, and joy.
We kept each other up to date on our lives and I felt like someone understood me. I felt that she was a true friend, and I was so thankful. We were both dealing with major life changes, and we knew that we could rely on each other for support and laughter to get us through.
A few years ago, I had to leave this job unexpectedly due to a life circumstance. I was so sad to leave, and I was especially sad to leave behind my work family. At the same time, I was relieved to not have so much stress in my life from this job. Sara was sad to see me leave because we were partners in crime. She then transferred over to a different department within the company. We remained in touch for a few years.
I noticed that Sara was becoming more distant and taking a long time to respond to my messages. I chalked it up to her being busy and didn’t think much of it. She would check in with me to see how I was doing and what was going on with my life, but she didn’t want to talk about hers. It dawned on me that maybe something wasn’t right. I asked her how she was doing and that I noticed that she was acting differently. She told me that she was “trying to keep her depression away.” I sent her a comforting message letting her know that I was there for her if she wanted to talk and then I gave her some space.
I decided to send Sara a message about a month after this just saying that I was thinking of her, however, she never responded. I waited for a few weeks and just sent a message saying hello, but no response. Considering the last thing that she told me was that she was trying to keep her depression at bay, naturally, I was very concerned. I know that she is at least physically okay, but mentally I am not sure because she never responded.
I have dealt with depression on and off since my teenage years. It has reached a definite low point, but for the most part, I am fairly functional. I have taken great steps in the last several years that have helped me live a much happier life but feeling down still creeps in from time to time. I know with some people that the mere act of getting out of bed is too much, I have heard of the ways that depression can be absolutely debilitating. I still have a burning question in the back of my mind.
Do I reach out? Not answering my text is an answer, however, given the circumstances, it’s hard to know what to do. You want someone to know that you are there for them, but you don’t want to cross the line. I have noticed that sometimes those struggling with depression appreciate the nudge and the fact that someone cares enough about them even when they don’t necessarily feel like talking. Others want to be left alone. It’s a fine line to walk. I would appreciate any advice from others who may have been in a similar situation. It has been a few months and no word from Sara.
Possibly this is a friendship that has ended, or maybe when she’s feeling better it will pick up where it left off…only time will tell.