Something's funky with my bunky

Monday, January 22, 2007

Written by Samartha Gamble

Dear Sammy:

My roomy used to be a bubbly, optimistic, and driven individual but ever since she was turned down for the dance audition that she had been practicing over a year for, she has completely shut down. She won’t eat or even talk to me, and has totally isolated herself from her other friends in our dorm. I have tried to be there to comfort her unconditionally, but it is beginning to take its toll on me. This has been going on for two weeks and I am starting to lose patience both as a friend and as a roommate. I don’t know what else to do, Sammy! I’m putting all my time and energy into her. I have my own problems to deal with. It’s not that I don’t care, I really do! But it’s very difficult for me to be juggling both my life and hers. I have tried so many times to convince my roommate that she might be depressed and needs to seek help and get some medication, but she says that she doesn’t need it. I know that she has the ability to bounce back, for she is extremely sensible and possess an inner strength that we all envy. I’m just not sure this time. Sammy, any ideas on how I can handle this situation and convince my friend to seek help?

  • Exhausted friend

Dear Exhausted:

Exhausted, try to understand that she is grieving her disappointment; allow her that time to grieve and to accept her misfortune on her time, not yours. Her grief is a process and not something you can command to go away and even though she is pushing you away, try not to take it too personally. After all, her hope has just been shattered and she may be too embarrassed and still in shock to be friendly to you or to anyone just now. Let not your heart become overly troubled by her silence and poor appetite just yet. She sounds too intelligent to lose control over her entire life, just because of one audition. Take comfort in her inner strength, which you spoke so proudly about. Believe that it will kick in shortly, after she has accepted her disappointment.

In the meantime, should your concerns turn to fear, it may be better and more realistic to solicit assistance from her family members. They would know best what measures to take in restoring her wounded emotions. Believe me-your roommate will bounce back; as long as you don’t see the problem as depression and treatable only with chemical drugs. She will be fine with time and love, not medication. So continue to be a friend and your support will aid in restoring the electricity to her darkened spirit. This could be you in the same position one day.

Exhausted, before you die of exhaustion, try having one last talk with her out of the dormitory, regarding your concerns for your own wellbeing as well as hers. Allow her to choose the spot to talk. This gesture will make her feel respected and not pressured, and may generate a response. Arm yourself with this quote: “Every Disappointment Is a Blessing” and make it the central theme of your talk. Even if she doesn’t respond - she isn’t deaf. She will get the message somehow and if she remains unresponsive, then it just might be time to call in her family. You have done your best; accept that. In the meantime have faith in knowing that you have acted valiantly towards a friend in crisis, and continue to believe in your goodness.

  • Sammy
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