Depression is isolating and lonely, unreachable…

Listening can be more important than speaking. When someone starts talking a listener is a gift to the speaker.

My friend Charlotte recently described one of her darkest nights, a night on which she could hardly be, and she rang a friend. A friend she knew as a counselor or therapist, someone Charlotte turned to when she didn’t know what else to do. They stayed connected on the telephone for a very long time. One who listened and the other barely able to speak.

The friend didn’t offer advice or make helpful suggestions about what Charlotte should do or not do. She listened and kept listening when all that might have been audible were sobs. She was a friend, someone who was there on the end of a line and holding the experience of the other.

I think about that story a lot and the gift of doing no more than listening.

If you, or someone you know, needs emotional support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 in Australia. Crisis counselling is available around the world.