Friendship and mental health
The hardest thing…
One of the hardest things about having a mental illness is losing friends. I never really know whether to take it personally or whether it is as a result of my diagnosis and symptoms. All I do know is that as an impact of my conditions (Borderline personality disorder/possible Bipolar), I find it harder to make and maintain friendships than the average person seems to.
Firstly, I’m unpredictable. One minute I’m happy-go-lucky, impulsive and sociable, the next minute I’m isolating myself, paranoid and hostile. I can understand why people would struggle to have patience with that, but it hurts when people promise that they will stick by me then let me down for more ‘fun’ friends.
I was in a psychiatric hospital for about four months. The majority of ‘friends’ were either afraid or unwilling to visit me during that time, especially after the initial week or two. It hurt to watch other patients with their visitors, the lift it usually gave their mood, as my ‘friends’ distanced themselves, even when I was on day leave from hospital.
Perhaps they were worried about what sort of state they would find me in, how traumatic it would be for them to experience.
When it suits them
Then I got out of hospital and, apart from the occasional invite out, when it suits them to have me around -events they are going to anyway, etc, I haven’t heard from them.
Whenever I need their help and advice I’m either ignored, given a bunch of excuses and the knowledge that they have better things to do with their lives than deal with me.
I’m trying to move forward with life after hospital, but alone, it is so much harder. I have no-one to call and share with when good things happen, and no-one to turn to when I need a shoulder to cry on.
Without the support I get from readers of this blog and the Twitter community, I would probably have given up by now. So thank you, to my virtual friends.