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Have lost a dear friend: can I fix this?

(8 Posts)
mayapapaya Sat 27-Dec-14 12:19:42

I will try to make this short. A dear friend and work partner has cut off ties with me and I'd really like to know if I can fix this. She suddenly cancelled on some work arrangements at the very last minute. I lost my temper a bit and asked her what was going on because she seemed to be evading me. She then unleashed a series of quite mystifying accusations as to why she no longer wanted to have anything to do with me. These were some of them (1) You flaunt your children in my face ( I have children, she doesn't, but has always told me she does not want them because they are such "pains in the asses" which I took at face value. I don't recall ever rubbing her nose in it though. (2) We share a common interest in reading and often recommend books to each other, but lately I haven't recommended books to her. ( This is true, because lately I have been reading some books I didn't think she would enjoy) (3) I didn't pick up some post for her, which she asked me to pick up. True, because traffic was bad that day, and had to get back in time to pick up DC. (4) When she moved out of our town, I sent her an email saying I would really miss her and moaning about work together. She interprets this to mean that I am only using her for work purposes. At the end of the conversation, she burst into tears and said she had been on antidepressants for ten years and had just come off them. So, the next day I sent her a nice mail apologising if I had caused her any pain, wittingly or unwittingly. No response. I let it lie for a while, then sent her Xmas wishes. Again, no response. Can I fix this? I feel really terrible about this, but if I am honest, I also feel a little unfairly targetted. I know little about depression and would appreciate some help.

RaisingMen Sat 27-Dec-14 12:25:26

I think you've done enough. Do you know if she came off the tablets herself or if she is weaning off them slowly on her doctors advice? Stopping taking them can have awful side effects. I was a horrible person when I came off them, I was irrational, nasty and emotional for a long time.
I don't think you've done anything wrong, you're friend is having a difficult time and I'm sure if you let her know you're there for her and give her some time she'll come back to you x

MarjorieMelon Sat 27-Dec-14 12:25:44

The problem is definitely not you, sounds as if she is working through some difficult issues right now.

I have no knowledge of depression so can't advise you on that. If you want to maintain friendship I think I would probably send her a gift and a card (maybe books if that's a shared interest) and tell her that you are there for her if she needs you.

aeon456 Sat 27-Dec-14 12:27:08

I have taken anti-depressants long term and always go downhill if I come off them - she possible either came off them too quickly instead of tapering or shouldn't have come off them at all. your brain gets used to the tablets and being off them is like being very vulnerable emotionally - you get far more touchy and unable to just let things pass and getting upset an having arguments is far more likely. I'd give her a week or so to calm down then just send a basic message asking if she's ok and that you're there for her if she needs someone to talk to. She might well have become depressed again and not feel in a social mood but it's important not to give up on her as if she's depressed again she could go downhill very rapidly without her tablets. I advise she gets back on them ASAP but she needs to see her GP for professional opinion. After 10 years brain won't adapt well to lack of the support of the tablets.

simontowers2 Sat 27-Dec-14 12:30:50

She sounds like a fucking nutter tbh, you're well shot.

mayapapaya Sat 27-Dec-14 12:43:06

Thanks all for the replies, and sorry, I meant to split this up in paras, but I forgot.

RaisingMen: I am not sure abt how she came off the tablets, but she just moved to another town, so it might be that she changed doctors, and possibly dosages. I didn't want to make it appear that I am blaming her depression for anything that I have done wrong, so didn't ask. But your mention of irrational is spot on: it was a v bizarre conversation unlike anything I have had before with her.

Marjorie and Aeon: I might take your advice and just send her a book or something as an olive branch. I do think she is seeing a GP so not sure if I should intrude further on that.

Simon: for years, she's been a great friend to me, so I am assuming that this is the black dog of depression, which I know can make anyone crazy.

rationally, I know it's prob depression, but as it's the end of the year, I was just feeling really miserable and maudlin about losing such a good friend. I don't have too many of those and they seem harder and harder to make once one gets older.

mayapapaya Sat 27-Dec-14 12:43:48

Thanks all for the replies, and sorry, I meant to split this up in paras, but I forgot.

RaisingMen: I am not sure abt how she came off the tablets, but she just moved to another town, so it might be that she changed doctors, and possibly dosages. I didn't want to make it appear that I am blaming her depression for anything that I have done wrong, so didn't ask. But your mention of irrational is spot on: it was a v bizarre conversation unlike anything I have had before with her.

Marjorie and Aeon: I might take your advice and just send her a book or something as an olive branch. I do think she is seeing a GP so not sure if I should intrude further on that.

Simon: for years, she's been a great friend to me, so I am assuming that this is the black dog of depression, which I know can make anyone crazy.

rationally, I know it's prob depression, but as it's the end of the year, I was just feeling really miserable and maudlin about losing such a good friend. I don't have too many of those and they seem harder and harder to make once one gets older.

phoenixrose314 Sat 27-Dec-14 13:14:13

Hi mayapapaya, hope you're well and not worrying too much over this.

It sounds to me as though she was suffering a lot of anxiety when she said those things to you, which is not surprising if she's had a lot of change recently, add withdrawal from medication and I'm not surprised she had this reaction! It was nothing to do with you, but equally she can't really be held responsible for her reaction either.

I also wanted to say that, during a period when I was told I may not be able to have children, I went through a phase of being overly vocal about NOT wanting children (even though the absolute opposite was true). I found every reason under the sun to not like children (too loud, too demanding, too messy, too inconvenient) - but it was just a defence mechanism, because I didn't want my pain to be visible to anyone but me. I may be reading too much into things but the way your friend mentioned you "flaunting" your children seems as though she may be experiencing a very similar thing... be sympathetic, she may have a battle going on that you know nothing about.

I agree that sending her a book may be a good olive branch, and depending on whether or not her anxiety would allow it, perhaps just turn up on her doorstep with a bottle of wine or some such (without your children!) and say you just fancied stopping in for a chat and to see the new place.

If after all your efforts she is still not responding, then perhaps let her go.

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