Dear Amy O,
Things were bad enough, and then the rain started. I’m finding it even more difficult to get out of bed now. How do I make it all go away?
You’ll Find Me Under My Pillow
Dear You’ll Find Me Under My Pillow,
I’m sorry things are so bad. I really am. That kind of paralysis on a daily basis is no way to live, which I know you know, because you reached out. And that, my friend, is a good thing.
I can’t tell you how to make it all go away. No one can. Icks and yucks are part of life, like rain is part of the weather. I can tell you things can be better, and we all deserve better. You already are in motion – you have recognized your situation and asked for help. What’s next?
Consider your options. That’s what. Some include: Extending one leg from your bed and putting a foot on the floor followed by the other, resolved to take a shower today; returning the phone call from a worried friend; contacting your primary care physician for a referral to a mental health profession; or calling 211 for a list of health, human and social services organizations. Perhaps you’re better suited to self-help books or reading inspirational passages. Maybe it’s all of the above and then some. You’ll find your path. First you need to put one foot on the floor and then the other. Repeat.
Because I’ve been told on more than one occasion, I know my dogged optimism can be annoying. Even to myself. To be sure, the dark claims each of us some time or another. Some more often than others. Thankfully, societally speaking, the status of shame surrounding mental health issues is lifting. Help is available, and I, for one, have had great success utilizing the services of a mental health professional. I hope you do, too. It’s not a quick fix, but so worth the investment in one’s well-being.
Dear Amy O,
Recently a miffed friend asked why I didn’t call her back. I didn’t realize she had called, as she didn’t leave a voicemail. I don’t check my “Recents” call section as a rule. I do check voicemail and I do return calls. Do I need to check and return “Recents” calls?
My Ringtone is Annoyed
Dear My Ringtone is Annoyed,
Do you want to call said friend back? A rhetorical question, but something to think about, nonetheless. Unless you and friend have a special arrangement along the lines of you check your Recents in order to call her back or you are a mind reader, I’d say “no” a return call to a Recent-but-no-voicemail isn’t necessary. I say this as someone whose first name begins with A – ergo, a receiver of a high number of pocket dial calls. (Really, I call them “butt dials” and so do most of the people who send an apology text, “Sorry, butt dial,” immediately following the pocket dial).
I find it odd that someone would expect a callback without giving any reason for the purpose of the call. It’s insulting, a clear message that the caller considers her time more valuable than the receiver’s time. Not only that, but it is also inefficient. Who has time for a rousing game of phone tag? Generally speaking, I think it fair to expect people to communicate, clearly and concisely about what they want.
Could there be a reason your friend doesn’t leave voicemails? Is your outgoing message laboriously long? (And why can’t we bypass that outgoing message? Talk about inefficiency). Is it hard on the ears? If so, fix it. And even if so, it doesn’t excuse your friend from expecting a callback from a “Recents” call. You’re not a mind reader.