I recently posted a guest blog from my friend Lauren in which she talked about being around me when I was at the bottom of my depression. It prompted several emails, but one stuck out among them. It was from a woman who talked about being in a situation just like Lauren who eventually came to a decision.
At this point I figured I had two options, to talk to his wife behind his back (which I didn’t want to do and had a feeling would come back on me in some way) or just end the friendship. It was starting to affect me in a really negative way. He is really brilliant and is very effective at making me feel like the problem is all mine…so much so that I had several people I know and trust read our correspondence to tell me if I was imagining things or being unreasonable. They all to a person said he was completely off the deep end and I needed to get away from him. Now.
The first sentence is the part that caught my attention. When I was at rock bottom, my friend Amber contacted my parents to tell them she believed I was suicidal. When she did it, she suspected I’d find out eventually and that it may very well cost us our friendship. It was a selfless thing Amber did, and it was the right thing.
As I’ve written before, people with mental illness often get attached to their conditions. Their loved ones need to be in the loop. They may be the only ones that can get them to get help. It’s not subversion to talk to someone’s loved ones, it’s care.
Also, even as someone who was unquestionably saved by the dedication of my friends, I can admit there’s only so much a person can handle. You can’t make your life miserable waiting forever for someone to get better. There is no guilt if you decide you can’t do it anymore. You are already a good friend for doing what you’re able.