Be Ruth

When I was at my most depressed, I received little to nothing of what others said or did to try and help me. I just couldn’t see anything positive. Looking back, I realize that even though I didn’t think so at the time, having people just not give up on me even when I had given up made all the difference. No matter what I said or did, they always took me back and forgave me.

Like Naomi, I had turned bitter and had given up. Fortunately, they, like Ruth did for Naomi, refused to abandon me and played a large role in my bitterness turning to joy.


The best counselors and friends were the ones who simply listened but maintained boundaries in that they refused to climb into the pit with me. They were able to maintain mental and physical health in their own lives and not let me pull them in the pit. So, I saw them as stable people who accepted me where I was as well as examples of where I wanted to be.


While some did suggest I “just be happy,” most people allowed me to be however I was going to be, not really accepting the behavior but loving me regardless. When they saw any positive, whether fleeting or a genuine step toward change, they latched on to that for as long as the wave existed even when they knew it would fade. This went a long way in helping me make small, gradual changes that over time added up to make a huge difference.


Those who did not try to force me to change were the ones I wanted to be around. I know most of them were praying for me, but they did not try and insist I change. They accepted me for who I was at the time. When I did reject them, which I did often since intimacy of any sort was thin at best and impossible at worse most of the time, they did not take it personally. They knew, somehow, it wasn’t meant personally. They gave me the space I needed, even letting me be miserable, and were always available when I came out of the darkest recesses of the pit for a while.

While you may feel helpless when someone you love is depressed, remember that they are likely feeling helpless to do anything about their depression. Just being steady for that person is the best way you can help them.