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To give up on a life long friendship?

14 replies

dancermoonlight · 01/11/2018 20:53

I'm young (uni student) and this is someone who I would've considered my best friend for the last 10+ years. We would meet weekly, chat on the phone daily - often it was nearly like having a second boyfriend. I suffer from some mental issues, which she's briefly known about from the beginning. Over the last few months I've been fluctuating and she saw a few episodes of the worst of me (uncontrollable crying, panic attacks) which I usually would've kept hidden.

In the last 8 weeks it seems she's very much keeping her distance. No more talking daily, rarely meet up etc. So I've put two and two together in my head that it was those episodes that have turned her away. It's always on my mind.

Basically I'm wondering what would you do in my position? I really regret allowing myself to be seen like that as now I feel I'm seen as a problem and too much of an issue to be friends with.

Do I discuss the fact I feel she's pushed me away? Do I move on and continue this half hearted friendship?

I realise reading this it may seem silly. But she's been a huge part of my life and now suddently it just feels she's gone.

OP posts:
Jlynhope · 01/11/2018 20:56

I think you have to give her some space and just check in now and then. Is it possible she's struggling with her own stuff and just feels too overwhelmed right now to help?

ChasedByBees · 01/11/2018 20:56

She might be feeling overwhelmed. And then she might also be feeling guilty that she has kept her distance when you need someone.

I think I’d try talking to her first.

Loopytiles · 01/11/2018 20:59

Sorry you’re going through a bad time.

I wouldn’t give up on your friend. The friendship sounds intense and that probably wasn’t sustainable for either of you now you’re adults.

She may no longer want to speak or meet quite as much. Hopefully you can still be friends, just in a different way.

Hope you already have good, local support for your mental health - if not do seek it, I regret not doing that back when I was a student.

Polkasq · 01/11/2018 21:02

Ask her? If you are close hopefully you can talk openly. What other support do you have?

Birdsgottafly · 01/11/2018 21:04

She may need to distance herself to protect her Mental Health.

My DD (20), has a Friend with MH issues and on occasion has come to me for advice because she's out of her depth and scared of doing/saying the wrong thing.

We usually share the information with her Mum, who is a good support.

From my POV it's my DD's right to decide her boundaries, as much as her Friend has our sympathy.

Your Friendship doesn't have to be 'all or nothing'.

poglets · 01/11/2018 21:11

Allow her a little space. Chat to her about it when you are both ready. Use this time to gather yourself and try to be strong again.

dancermoonlight · 01/11/2018 21:18

Thanks for the prompt replies, I really appreciate them, it's given me a much better sense of the situation.

I just have a question, sorry I'm quite naive. Should I avoid discussing mental health with friends in general? I'd never ask a friend for mental health advice, I appreciate that's what doctors are for. I just mean, sometime I feel I should mention the fact I have anxiety incase a panic attack happens while with them - I don't want them to think I'm over reacting. But maybe this brings too much baggage to a friendship?

OP posts:
Allthewaves · 01/11/2018 21:20

Perhaps she's just took a step back as she is hqvingnher own issues

Jlynhope · 01/11/2018 21:23

Personally I would be incredibly nervous if I knew my friend might have a panic attack when we went out. Others might be much be better in that situation but I would feel a lot of pressure to make sure you were ok the whole time.

user1497863568 · 01/11/2018 21:24

Mental health issues scare people unfortunately. I have similar issues and really have to keep it under wraps.

ButchyRestingFace · 01/11/2018 21:26

I would think perhaps she feels overwhelmed and/or useless. Hope you're getting support elsewhere. Flowers

TooExtraImmatureCheddar · 01/11/2018 21:28

Are you both at the same uni, or is she working instead? If you’re both at uni, are you doing the same course? This may have nothing to do with your mental health issues and more to do with natural distance forming as your day to day lives diverge. Doesn’t mean you can’t be friends if it’s that! Just lower your expectations a bit and don’t expect to talk every day.

AuntMarch · 01/11/2018 21:33

My friend has always shared her (incredibly complex!) MH issues with me and I have always supported as best I can. We have been friends for over 25 years. She has had various struggles for at least 15.
I do have to step back sometimes though, it's tough emotionally exhausting and she does get that.

8 weeks to come to terms with having witnessed panic attacks sounds like she is either
A) a bit freaked out because she knows nothing about them and doesn't know what to say
B) maybe a bit of a shallow dick

You'll only know if you start a conversation. Anyone who makes you feel bad for talking about MH isn't a friend. Even when I step back I am still checking in!

Jlynhope · 01/11/2018 21:46

I should add I have a ds with mental health issues, and spent a few years in out of hospital myself for anorexia as a teenager. I'd still feel very overwhelmed. She may have her own struggles as well.

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