Do you have a friend who is going through something really tough? I bet you do. I bet you do because I'm realizing that adulthood is inescapably tricky terrain. That, at any given moment, we will all be struggling with something ourselves or someone important to us will be struggling with something. There are so many somethings: illness, addiction, loss, separation, divorce, job uncertainty, financial stress... the list goes on.
So, if you do know someone who is dealing with something big or tricky, then here is my advice for you (and for me): Say something. It is so much better to show up and be there for your friend and stumble and fumble and say the wrong thing than it is to disappear out of fear. That's what it's about: fear.
I remember when Dad died. I remember how some friends were all over me with hugs and words, often imperfect, and how some friends kind of faded away. I never blamed them because I understood. I've been the fading-away-in-the-face-of-difficulty friend and I've also been the I'm coming over and we are talking and I promise to be there for you even if I have no idea what I'm doing friend. We can't always show up, but when we can, we must try. We must hold those hands and say those words even though they are not perfect.
How have you been there for friends in need? How have your friends been there for you when you've been struggling?