I was reading through some of the great accounts I follow on social media yesterday, and this subject popped up which i feel is very close to my heart. It’s a subject that, to this day, still touches a raw nerve. It’s something I feel very passionate about, because I experienced first hand exactly how you should never treat a friend who is suffering from a mental illness.
When I first started feeling the effects of my mental illness I isolated myself from all my friends and family. There’s no sugar coating any of this subject – I completely withdrew myself from any kind of social circle, that i had in my life.
This wasn’t because I wanted to do this, or because I was “boring” (a word i know my friends would use to describe me, because i wouldn’t come out anymore). It was because I really wasn’t very well at all.
What really infuriates me, was that one of the last things my supposed “best friend” told me was :
“Don’t worry mate. I know exactly what you are going through, because my mum was agoraphobic. I totally get it.”
That was probably 5 or 6 years ago now… I haven’t seen or heard from him since.
Another supposed “best mate” told me :
“I’ve had anxiety problems myself mate, so i know exactly what you’re going through.”
I haven’t seen him in about the same time period.
I don’t know how I am supposed to react to the way these “friends” have treated me.
These two in particular, were supposed to be my two best mates. I was best man at one of there weddings for goodness sake! I must have meant something to him at some point in our lives? Something must have changed? Maybe I was just boring, because I didn’t want to come out anymore and pretend like everything was all ok in my mind.
It’s still really fucking hard for me to say this but – I could have ended my life on more than one occasion. I desperately searched for help and answers – as to why I was suffering from this mental torment and pain?
I really sympathise with the people who decide that suicide is the only way to end the hell they are living in everyday. I came very close to taking the same route. I never thought I would feel this way – I certainly didn’t ask for myself to feel this way. But it did and I can acknowledge it now. I accept that it happened to me, and that I had these thoughts.
This may be a really bad way of describing it, and I apologise if it offends anyone but – I kind of fantasised about death, and how I would end this pain. What method would I chose to take, so that I didn’t have to carry on living in hell anymore? Would I jump off the nearby cliffs? I would hold a knife to my wrist and question if this was the best way out? To even have these thoughts is awful. I wouldn’t wish them upon anyone. Especially a friend!
If I had chosen to end my life, then none of these “so called friends” would have known anything about it! Because they didn’t keep in touch. It’s that simple… They did not keep in touch, so they would have been none the wiser!
I lost pretty much all of my friends due to my mental illness. None of them kept in touch. Over 6 years has passed by now and still not heard a peep from any of them. Surely if you hadn’t heard from your mate in even 6 weeks (6 days even), you would ping him a text message? Give him a quick call? Anything, just to check in and make sure everything is ok? Especially when they know you were suffering at the hands of a mental illness!
I constantly question myself and ask: “Is it my fault that I have no friends anymore? Is there something I could have done? Is this all my fault? Am I just boring?”
The answer to all of these questions is = NO! 100% NO!
I know it’s not my fault deep down, but it doesn’t stop me doubting myself even more than I do already. Mix in with the doubt – a whole lot of anxiety and depression, and you have the recipe for a serious head fuck!
With that all being said – I don’t need friends like that, if this is how they treat you. Especially when they need you the most!
Shame, on every single one of you. You know who you are.
They probably won’t ever read this anyway. But if they do, I hope they feel guilty and ashamed of themselves.
You should have been there and supported your friend through the dark time.
Your friend was never asking you for the world.
Just a quick text message – to let them know you were there if they needed you.
It really is, as simple as that.
I know this was quite brutal and too the point, in places. As I mentioned at the start – I don’t think there is any way of sugar coating anything I have described. I really hope this doesn’t offend or upset too many people. I just felt so strongly about the whole “friendship” subject, that I wanted to share a little bit of my own life story.
Maybe my experiences, will help those who think of themselves as the friends I didn’t have…
This is the link I was reading yesterday :