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Lost friendship due to depression

(4 Posts)
MrsRiggins Thu 02-Jul-15 13:40:30

I've had depression all my adult life. I've become pretty good at dealing with it - giving myself time and space to recover, as well as becoming quite resilient to challenges in life. But a few years back I went through a bad phase - my meds were causing my thyroids to become underactive, and the process to find some new meds was long and difficult (got there, eventually!).

During this bad phase, I was exhibiting classic depression symptoms (irrational thinking, very sensitive and emotional (crying a lot), thinking about the worse-case scenarios of everything, not sleeping well...etc etc). I ended up getting into an email conversation with one of my best friends and said a lot of things which were hurtful to her, and which, in retrospect, I truly regret. But what was said was said, and I can't change that. It took me a while to feel better, and to fully acknowledge the consequences of my actions. I've tried to forgive myself, because what I did/said was influenced by my poor mental health. But that doesn't stop me hurting and missing the friend that I have lost.

I wrote the friend an email to apologise and explain. I had hoped that as they'd known me throughout my childhood, seen me go through periods of depression (although none as bad as this) and is a practicing psychologist, with time they would forgive me. I tried to balance giving her space and time to respond and at one stage, things were looking up. But then one evening we spoke on the phone and she told me that she had forgiven me for what I had said/written, but no longer cared for me as a friend and did not want me in her life. And that was that.

Over 2 years passed. I still feel like I'm mourning our friendship. She's since got married and is now expecting her first child - and I'm so pleased for her, but also sad that I'm not able to celebrate with her. Our mutual friends feel a bit awkward - not being able to talk about her around me and visa versa. We saw each other for the first time a few months ago at a party - it was super awkward, we were both nervous and after an awkward 'hi' we ignored each other for the rest of the night.

I have to accept her decision to not want me in her life, because it's her choice and clearly is what she feels is best for her. But that doesn't stop me feeling sad, hurt and full of regret. I'm still having difficulty in just accepting this loss and letting it be...

Has anyone had to deal with similar issues? Any advice?

NotAJammyDodger Thu 02-Jul-15 22:15:46

Sorry to hear you lost you friend. I think whenever you lose a close friendship you mourn. I have lost friendships for other reasons and I think if they don't want to rekindle it you have to move on. Allowing yourself time to mourn the loss is important, but after two years you need to accept the change and look forward.

MrsRiggins Fri 03-Jul-15 09:57:46

Thanks NotAJammyDodger - I agree with you.

I've given myself mourning time, and I think the recent incident seeing her helped me realise that a) the ball is in her court, and she may never want to pick that ball up and therefore b) I need to move on. Its just easier said than done...

NotAJammyDodger Fri 03-Jul-15 11:24:21

It is really tough. For me I felt very helpless and vulnerable. It's hard because you want to regain control and there are all those, "if only I had done... / been different towards them / was a better a person....." self recriminations. Mine was a close friend that just stopped talking to me. Wouldn't respond to my emails or calls. I felt so frustrated and rejected. To this day, I don't know why.

It's a very personal process and it will take time. I don't think there is a specific 'right' solution / fix. I guess I just had to accept it for what is. It still makes me sad but I think that's an ok feeling to have. I still valued and enjoyed our friendship, but I don't self recriminate anymore as to why it ended.

There some saying that goes 'you can't change the past but can ruin the present by remaining stuck in that past'.

Be gentle and kind to yourself flowers.

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