--by yasmeen, posted Dec 22, 2006
A friend of mine called me at 2 am. I am an owl and usually work through the night, so I was awake. She was going through some problems and wanted to talk to me about them.
I am overloaded with work right now, under a lot of pressure and incredibly stressed out. I too have a lot on my mind apart from just my work. But I decided to stop what I was doing, put it all on hold and talk her through her problems.
I think it did the trick because we managed to find some kind of clarity to the situation after the conversation.
I hope she feels better. However I know that sometimes it is not really what you talk about or whether you have found a clear solution to the problem that matters.
What really matters is knowing that when you are going through a tough time, you have a shoulder to lean on. Just knowing that somebody cares enough to give you time, support and encouragement, without any judgment, is enough to remove much of the weight that you are carrying.
I have been in situations where I have had to struggle through things by myself, with no support at all. Living like this makes you very self-sufficient, self-contained and independent. But it also makes you cynical, closed and leaves you feeling like you can only depend on yourself.
I have also at times had support from people, totally unexpectedly when I have really needed it. And I realise what a difference it can make, compared to when you are struggling with a problem by yourself.
I really hope that I was able to give my friend the support that she too needed through a difficult time. Even though we did not solve the problem, I hope that I was able to relieve her of some of the weight that she is carrying.