Mental Health and Friendships

I hope your New Year is off to a good start. For me it has been a bit of a rollercoaster and we are only just over a week in. That is a story for another time though!

I want to touch on something which I experience a lot when it comes to my mental health and that’s friendships. Friendships are hard at times when you are well, but when you are suffering with a mental illness it can really put those friendships to the test.

I have experienced these tests a lot especially in the mist of my foggy head and rollercoaster moods. I can be up one minute and down the next and this can really put a strain on my friendships especially those closest to me!

Friends see you at your best so it can be difficult for them to see you at your worst… when you are hating on your life and feeling as though there is no point in carrying on. Your friends can feel as though they are stepping on egg shells at times and feel as though you are not the person you ‘use to be’ but the hardest thing is trying to make them see that you may never be that person you was. You may stay the person you are now and your life is a rollercoaster of emotions. You never know when the next bad spell is going to hit.

Your mental illness can make you see and feel as though you are no longer important to those close to you. They are seeing other friends and are no longer bothered by you. They have their hard times and no longer see you as a support system… this can be hard as you want to be there for them just as much as they can be for you. Suffering can make it hard to talk to your friends and it can feel weird. It may be that they send you 100’s of messages and then before you know it is nothing. You feel as though they no longer care. They don’t want to be your friend anymore… your inadequate.

The reality is…

Your friend cares about you and doesn’t like to see you in pain. It’s as just as hard for them as it is you… they have seen the happiness you once had behind your eyes and now they can just see the sadness and pain. Don’t let this drive a wedge between your friendship, they love you. We all want the best for our friends.

You have other friends and see other people, so why can’t they? Maybe send them a message and say “I miss you!”. Plan something for you to do together and get those feelings out. Life is too short… we should know! Don’t let your illness take away those that love you as well as your identity.

This is something which I am still in the process of figuring out myself and I may have to take a step back from time to time before shutting these people out. I love my friends and I don’t think I could have go over the difficult times without their support. Make sure you don’t take your friends for granted. They love you as much as you love them!!

Make sure you don’t forget all the good memories you have and the amount of times they got you out the darkness you call mental illness. You are not the person you want to be without them… your friends will be there through thick and thin.

Real friendships will stand strong through illness and they will be there no matter what life throws at you!

*All photos are my own