I suck at maintaining relationships. Whew! There, I said it out loud. I’m sure people that I used to be friends with would say the same thing. It’s always something I’ve known deep down, but I don’t think I’ve actually admitted it until now.
I would love to say that my failed friendships are completely and utterly the fault of said ex-friends, but I would be lying big time! Some friendships I’ve lost because they were toxic. Some I’ve lost simply because we grew apart. But more than I would like to admit, most friendships were lost because of the depression I would have after a manic episode and my inability to seek the appropriate help.
After going through a manic episode, I would go into a deep depression, completely withdrawing myself from everyone; friends, family, co-workers, etc. This was not intentional of course. I would just become a recluse. Now, most people would allow me to wallow in my own misery without a second thought for my concern. But there were a few people who really tried to be a great friend during my moments of severe depression, but eventually, they would feel neglected and leave the friendship, which I totally understand. Afterwards, I would feel so embarrassed and ashamed, I wouldn’t contact them anymore. Regrettably, I’ve lost a lot of great people in my life this way.
Oddly enough, I’ve never been upset with them. I know it is hard to be friends with someone who suffers from severe depression and bipolar disorder. We can be unpredictable. How can I expect anyone to understand what I am going through if I don’t even understand what I’m going through? I mean, honestly, I don’t expect anyone to put up with it. A person can only take so much rejection. Maybe, I’ve never pursued a failed friendship because I know they do not deserve to be shut out of my life just because I’m going through a rough time.
Truly, I don’t think that I’m a very good friend. I love all of my friends, past, and present. Especially the ones that were there for me during some of my dark times and I will always hold them close to my heart.
If you are reading this and we stopped being friends due to my inability to function because of my mental illness, please forgive me. I want you to know that I did love you and appreciate you and it was nothing that you did. It sounds cliche, but it was ALL me, not you. I am so very sorry for not being able to be the friend that you deserved. I’m sorry for abandoning you and leaving you without an explanation. Futhermore, I am sorry for causing any trust issues you may have in the future for anyone who is trying to be your friend.
I do have one friend, that no matter how long I go without talking to her, she never gives up on me. She’ll constantly call and harass me until I reply. Even if weeks go by without a word. Somehow, she’s always there. One time, I tried to purposely push her away. At the time, I was unable to see past my own issues and felt she would be better off without me as a friend, but she is relentless. She is a like my husband farts; no matter how far you go to get away, she still lingers. I love her to pieces and sometimes I feel I don’t deserve her. She never reads my blogs post, so she’ll never know much I love her being so dang annoying 🙂
Sometimes, I become sad when I think about how I don’t have many friends. But I think, they are better off. Until I learn how to better handle manic episodes when they occur, no one should be subjected to a part-time friend. People, especially good people, deserve better than that.
If you are friends with someone who suffers from a mental illness, please have patience with them. It is not an excuse, but during manic moments, we are not ourselves. Our brains are trying to make sense of the rapid emotions flowing through our body and our mind. Everything feels right but wrong. The sun is shining 24 hours out of the day, while the nights’ dark skies gloom in the background. Up is down and everywhere is nowhere.
Does anyone else struggle with maintaining any kind of relationship while dealing with a mental illness? I would love to hear how it is for you.
Thank you for reading my thoughts.
I’d walk through fire for my best friend. Well, not fire because that’s dangerous. But a super humid room… well not too humid, because you know… my hair. -Anonymous