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I'm experiencing the loss of a friendship and I'm looking for support.

Amelia
Community Member

Hi, my name is Amelia and I am a new member of this online community.

For the last two months my closest friend hasn't spoken to me. We have been friends since I was six years old. She is my soul mate (not in a romantic sense) and somebody I thought I would grow old with. I cannot describe here in words what she means to me, and how integral to my life and happiness she is.

I am seeing a psychologist but would like something to turn to for support during the interim between sessions. 

I feel worse each day. I am incredibly depressed (I have been suffering from clinical depression for 2 years, for various reasons including genetic) but it is the grief that is hardest. I have great physical pain in my chest, arms and back. Breathing is often difficult and on several occasions I have suffered from hyperventilation. I feel nauseous. I am underweight and dehydrated from crying heavily every day. I am exhausted all the time and feel unwell. I see very little point in living, other than not causing my family the pain of losing me. Thoughts of self harm are becoming more frequent, though so far I have resisted. It doesn't feel like reality that this has happened.

I basically just want people to talk to. Perhaps some advice on how to manage day-to-day, if anyone has any?

Thank you. 

12 Replies 12

The_Real_David_Charles
Community Member

Dear Amelia,

It's kind of hard to communicate fluidly with the 24 hr moderation updates but there was one thread by "christacat" that recently ran for 4 months and provided her with constant input and advice.  Is that what you mean ?

Maybe going for a day to day solution is over reaching if you really are in a bad way.  Working out what's best hour by hour is less pressure and you can always change your mind.  

It's hard to tell if your best friend isn't talking to you because of your depression or is the cause of your depression.   Losing contact with those close to us is heart wrenching but we can't control our family or friends.  The crying sounds very deep and concerns me that you are grieving regularly over this issue.   I lost a good friend through his partner's boundary and, even after 4 years, I still think of them now and again.  Infact this week we nearly went to the same event !   By total surprise.  But it was not to be - something came up at the last minute for me and fate was denied.

What are you sure of ?   How are you gonna manage if this carries on for longer than is bearable ?  When all is lost there is usually another opportunity out there ready to grab out attention.  Finding an alternate being to the one you grieve over is pretty hard work.  But this site offers wishes aplenty.   Keep well and post every day until the cows come home.

Adios, David.

lostllama
Community Member

Hi Amelia. That's tough. I have lost a couple of friends and I think it is one of the hardest things to go through. I can remember when it happened to me people said "It takes time" to get over it. And I felt like they were just trying to shut me up and that it didn't matter because all I could think of was how much it hurt *right now*. They were right, though, of course. It did get better in time. 

It's strange, how at the time the friendship with that one person feels like it's everything in the world. Then one day it's like there's a little gap in the clouds and you notice there are other people out there too.I think that really helps.

Anyway, I hope you are feeling okay. Feel free to tell us more about it if it would help

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

dear Amelia, thanks for posting to us.

There is nothing worse than a true friend dropping us or not talking  or communicating with us, we just feel so lost and always say to ourselves 'why'.

You both must have been through a hell of joys and hardships along your journey together, and this must be a total shock to your system.

I am just wondering whether or not she is also suffering from depression herself, just as you are, as vanity plays a great role here, that's why we don't tell our friends what we are going through, because if we do explain to them about our own depression we would seem to be the weak link.

But really we aren't the weakest because what we have to endue over a period of time, requires a great deal of effort and painful endurance, something that our friends have never had to endue, because their life just bounces along, like did you see the lastest episode of 'the bold and the beautiful', but to us we couldn't give a damn.

I am really concerned about your weight loss and because of this maybe that's why you are feeling nauseous.

How often do you have appointments with your psychologist, and secondly can you email him/her in between these visits.

There are so many loving and caring people here on this site, and we all do it in our own way, some can make jokes but this is to crack the ice, but I have to stipulate that all of us have been through our own trials and tribulations, from hell and back several times, but even people still suffering have the fortitude to try and help you as well as other people with their problems.

It's a difficult and disappointing period for you at the moment, but we are here for you to talk to us anytime you want, and I really hope that you can do this. Take care. L Geoff. x

Amelia
Community Member

Thank you to everyone who replied to my original post. I was so touched to read all your messages and it brought tears (this time good ones) to my eyes. 

In answer to David's post, I guess what I'm looking for is just somewhere to safely talk and to hear about similar experiences other people like yourselves have gone through (and how you got through them). For those moments when I really need instant support, my psychologist has recommended that I call the BeyondBlue or Lifeline helplines. I am interested in trying this, but haven't had the courage to give it a go yet. Has anyone else tried these helplines, and were they useful? Would love to hear about your experiences.

"It's hard to tell if your best friend isn't talking to you because of your depression or is the cause of your depression." Both, I would say. Because of my depression, she said I was "using her as a crutch" and this became too much for her to bear. I agree and disagree with that - yes, my depression was overwhelming for her and I regret that deeply. But many times I tried to keep my problems to myself - in an attempt to not burden her - and every time she would say that made her feel un-trusted and useless... So I felt pressured into telling her whenever I was depressed because I didn't want her to feel those things. Therefore it is because of my depression that she isn't talking to me, but it's also because of her behavior, and I am also depressed now because of her not talking to me.

What you said, Geoff, about whether or not my friend is also suffering from depression... I believe she is, or something like that. She lost her mum when she was 12 and I don't believe she has ever dealt with that. She doesn't like appearing "weak" and represses all emotions. Right now it seems like her whole character has changed - she really can be the greatest person I know, but now she has turned to a reckless, fun-loving lifestyle of parties, alcohol and meaningless relationships. This is hard to watch, especially when she won't let me in to help her actually fix her problems rather than ignore them.

I'm seeing a dietitian regularly about my weight loss. As for my psychologist, I have an hourly session every week with her. We do email during the week sometimes.

Thank you again, everyone. It is nice to feel understood.

Amelia
Community Member

Hi again, just wanted to talk...

In the first few weeks after my friend stopped talking to me, I really broke down. I was sobbing, screaming, hyperventilating, not eating... but after that, I think I became an "automaton" (my psychologist suggested that word, bless her) and I actually had an almost reasonable control on things, though I still felt terrible underneath. I had emotional outbursts still, but it was almost like they were 'scheduled' - once or twice a day it would happen, but for the rest of the time, I got on with work and study.

In the last few weeks, as I talked about, it hasn't got better. It got worse, with the crying and breakdowns an almost constant state of being. Last night I actually was so overwhelmed that I put my hands over my ears while my mother was talking, because I couldn't process anything and I was going into sensory overload and stressing out. I even shut myself in the pantry and sat in the darkness, organizing the cans of food so that their labels all faced the same way as I cried (O.C.D. tendencies forming...). The pain in my body is excruciating - I keep pressing my hand to my chest because it just hurts all the time.

So today I had an appointment with my GP. My psychologist (after asking me if it was okay) had called her and had a chat about my declining mental/physical health. My GP prescribed me a minimal dose of antidepressants. I've never tried them before and I begin tonight. What are everyone's experiences with these (especially regarding grief, not just depression)?

I am not keen on the idea of medication simply because I don't want to become dependent on it, or suffer from side-effects. However, I agreed with my doctor that the time is right and I'm in a place where this is crucial. Also, one of the side-effects is weight gain which will actually benefit me as I am currently 42 kg.

Anyway. Thanks for letting me rant.

Amelia

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

dear Amelia, goodness me your only 42 kg, that's rather frightening and some concern, however with what you have had to cope with quite understandable.

I'm not sure whether we have discussed your OCD, my half a brain, lol.

Antidepressants aren't addiction forming, so you can't get hooked on them, simply because when you take them there is no benefit from any 'high', so you just take and feel nothing, it just goes along and does it's job.

Personally this medication will help you and let me give you an example, when my little Tessie passed away, I was devastated and cried a hell of a lot, so my grief was still there, but when I didn't take my meds I was twice as bad, so with regard to this they may have helped me, but didn't stop any grief.

I was however on the maximum dosage and with a small dosage it will only help you in a small way, in other words not a great deal.

Once you start taking them your body has to adjust to this medication, and you may feel a little strange at first, but this will settle down.

Try and give them a week or so before you go back to your doctor if the side effects make you sick or nauseous, because sometimes these settle down, if not then there are plenty of different types to try.

It took my antidepressants a few years to work, but my psychologist encouraged me to keep taking them, and by having OCD I was reluctant to change. L Geoff. x

BlueEternity
Community Member

Woo antidepressants take you for a ride. I hated them. I was rotated over three different once but they just made me feel worse. They arnt supposed to give them to people who feel suicidal.  In my case anyhow because it meant I tried to suicide twice.

I had pretty much the same problem. Man life sucked with a capital S.

Its really only time that makes things better. 

I have to admit, it does get better. 

Maybe you should do some meditation and reflect on who you are and what you want. That's what did it for me. Every day for an hour or two I'd sit in a room light up a candle and think about who I was what I needed and what I wanted. Eventually you rewrite your own brain and you snap out of it.


i still remember it. It's like you're in a fog. Jumping from one point to the next but each point is temporary. You're sh!t scared and you feel like you are treading water for it to end or for something to happen. 

Things only happen when you want to make them happen. It's really something you need to have click inside you and make you realise, what the hell am I doing, this is BS, I'm not taking this anymore. You stand up. Start walking and suddenly you realise the fog was yourself. The world was always there. And it was all ok but it was because you shut down that it seemed like it wasn't. 

I still meditate every couple of days just to really cement in all the things I want need and can do. 


Oh and I remember the chest pains ooo crushing 😞 sorry you have them but it goes away. 

Thanks for your replies, Geoff and BlueEternity 🙂

Wow, the drowsiness from the antidepressant was instantaneous! I must say I appreciate the ability to sleep soundly... it's been a while.

I have an appointment with my GP in a few weeks time, to assess how the medication is working. So far I have had no bad side effects other than drowsiness... I'll see how things go. I'm not expecting the medication to do much for the grief - I feel what I feel, and I believe it's quite natural to be devastated by what has happened. My friend and I were almost inseparable before this, and it's so hard to be abandoned in this way, like I mean nothing to her. But I am hopeful that the medication will "take the edge off" the pain and make coping each day a little bit easier.

I don't think I have O.C.D. well normally I don't, but the other night it was the only way to calm myself down - focusing on the task of making everything neat, so that I could get a handle on my inner turmoil.

As for meditation, my psychologist gave me a relaxation CD which has helped whenever I've used it. Meditating is something I probably need to be doing a lot more regularly... although at the moment it is very hard to motivate myself to try anything because it seems so pointless to try anything as I feel like I 'know' that nothing is going to make my life better... I just want my friend back.

Yesterday I broke down in tears because I was thinking about how after a 14 year friendship my friend didn't have the decency or courtesy to say a proper goodbye. Our friendship deserved more respect than what she gave it. I guess I don't exactly want to hear a goodbye - that would be so final - but it's worse having this endless, hurtful silence. I don't want things to end this way.

I want to just let it all out, but I hold back because I just feel like I'm going to be too negative for anyone to handle. I feel like I'll "poison" their happiness or scare them away. I feel like it's not worth it. But really, I hate this life - this life without my friend. I refuse to live it and yet I have to, because the alternative will ruin the lives of the people I love. Every day is awful, like I've woken up in my own personal nightmare. It feels so horrific. It feels worse knowing this could be my reality for the rest of my life. I just want things to work out between us, so that I can start working on my other problems (depression etc) without this grief sucking the life out of me. And it breaks my heart that she is probably blissfully happy being in denial about everything, while I am shattered and completely destroyed by this. That makes me feel like I am worth nothing to her.

I have moments when I think "I'm not taking this anymore!" but it doesn't last very long before the crushing grief just hits me again and I realize it doesn't matter whether I'm taking it or not, it's still happening to me. What can I do? If I talk to her, she will probably just shut me out. If I don't talk to her, she'll probably just forget me. I am not in control of my own life and that is so frustrating when I'm trying to do all the right things.

Sorry! Just completely rambling and venting here...

Thanks again everyone for your positivity, support, understanding and advice.

lostllama
Community Member

Hi Amelia. I identify with so much of what you say about losing somebody! You describe the emotion very well. I always think one of the hardest things is the way that the other person, and indeed the rest of the world, just moves on and as much as people try to understand, in the end it isn't that big a deal to them. They just carry on and that's so hard to accept, when it's something that tears you up inside. At least, that's how I felt. I felt like the whole world should like, stop and recognise how horrible this situation was! Lol. But of course they don't. 

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday about a very similar topic, and we were saying how when you feel this way, you kind of sometimes overlook all the other people in your life, because you're so focussed on the relationship with this one person who has hurt you. And I think sometimes we privilege the people in our lives who *don't* give us the response we want, and tend to take for granted the people that treat us well. I don't know if you ever do, but I know I certainly do sometimes.

Anyway, the point is, I think the moment I started to feel better was the moment when I started to look around me a little, and realise there were other people in my life, good people. It doesn't even have to be a new best friend, but you will wake up one day and realise that there are other people around you who are kind of cool, too, and all of a sudden that one person won't be everything to you anymore. It might take some time but I think that's the first step in getting over somebody; that realising that, oh yeah, there is a world outside of them.

Anyway, I hope that thought helps. Hang in there, and know I am thinking of you.