Let's face it, we all have those moments or times in our life where we are so downright discouraged and hopeless that we don't dare want to share our dark thoughts with a friend or family member but the voice in our head is screaming "I need help! I am drowning here!"
So What Should We Do?
Well, we definitely shouldn't run from these thoughts and feelings or turn to unhealthy ways of coping or it will just leave us feeling worse.
Yet, sharing these dark thoughts and feelings with a friend or family member will just cause them anxiety and depending on their reaction it could hurt your relationship or make you feel misunderstood and worse off.
I am not saying you shouldn't let a trusted friend or family member know you are struggling, I am just saying it might be helpful to process these feelings a bit before reaching out to a loved one.
It may be helpful to write a letter to someone (and not send it) or to God, but sometimes we need to feel heard and receive feedback.
Finding a neutral person to share these feelings with and to receive feedback is ideal in this situation.
Of course, a counselor is great for this but unfortunately even if you have a good counselor and regular appointments scheduled, in the heat of the moment when you are most desperate to talk to someone you can't just pick up the phone and call your counselor.
You need a trusted "2 am friend" for that.
A Personal Example and a Solution That Helped Me
Many years ago, I was in a very difficult season in my life where it felt like my whole world and my family was falling apart. I felt like I was hanging on by a little branch of a tree danging off the edge of a cliff.
I laid awake every night with such anxiety and fear trying to pray to God but I just couldn't put the words together. All I could muster was a weak, feeble "help!" inside my head.
I kept all my thoughts and fears to myself because I knew the rest of my family was struggling too, I didn't want to add any extra burden on them. I was even cautious about sharing these thoughts and feelings with extended family and friends because I knew they were already worried about us as it was.
I remember searching on the internet for answers, for help, and for hope. I actually typed "help" and "hope" into the google search window.
I found a lot of suicide helplines of course but I wasn't really identifying with feeling suicidal and I didn't want to actually talk to anyone on the phone (plus my family members would hear me and wonder who I was talking to).
However, I did find a place called Samaritans that offered email support and their site said you don't have to be feeling suicidal to reach out to them. So that is what made me feel comfortable contacting them.
I began emailing them off and on during my worst days when I felt the most hopeless and I always got a comforting response the next day. They are in England so they would reply to the email I sent usually before I went to sleep and then when I woke up in the morning I would have their response. It was always so nice to wake up to their encouragement and it really helped me to get through my hardest days.
It has been years since then and over the years I forgot the name of this place and the email address I wrote to. I tried to search for it on my old computer and throughout all my old emails but I could never find it until recently I read a magazine article at a book store that reference their name and it all came back to me.
More About Samaritans and What They Offer for Support
- 1Learn more about Samaritans at
- 2For email support contact jo@ Learn more about their email support here.
- 3A little known fact about Samaritans: Starting in 1953, they became the world's first telephone helpline.
- 4Learn more about Signs You May Be Struggling to Cope here.
- 5Learn more about Tips for Giving Yourself Strength here.
- 6If you are worried about someone who is struggling read these tips.
- 7After 60 years of experience, Samaritans has developed some effective listening tips. Learn their listening tips to help those you care about here.
Don't suffer in silence, remember you are not alone. There are people who care and ready and available to lend a listening ear and offer encouragement. If you can't think of a safe person talk to right now and you need a "2 am friend," email jo@.
Note About Jo
You may be thinking, who is this Jo person? Jo is just the generic name for all the trained Samaritans that respond to emails. Your email is safe with Jo btw. Read more about how emails are handled here.
Are you looking for hope right now?
Grab a copy of my "Words of Hope" printable to hold onto some words of encouragement while you are going through this hard time.
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"Hang in there my friend, this hard season will pass and things will get better. I promise you that brighter days are ahead."
If you are struggling right now and you could use a "2 am friend," I hope this post resonates with you and offers you encouragement to seek some extra support right now. Please know I am here for you as well. Feel free to reach out to me via email at laura@naturalhealinghope or message me through any of my social platforms. I'd love to be a listening ear for you and help you in any way I can including praying for you.
Wishing you JOY in your journey,
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