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My friendship is suffocating me

Community Member

Hi, I hope this is an okay place to post this. I'm a teenage girl with anxiety (lifelong, but recently worse) and depression (started developing ~1 year ago), and I'm having a friendship problem. I have this friend, we'll call him L. We've been friends since primary school and have now been at different high schools for a few years. I used to consider him one of my best friends. Now, it ruins my day to think about him.

L always wants to hang out. Like, every weekend. I don't think he has any idea that he has such a negative effect on me. I'm making up excuses every week as to why I can't meet up. Because being around him is suffocating me. I can't relax when I'm with him, I'm always tense. I get home on a Sunday after hanging out with and cry for ages. I cry just thinking about having to hang out with him. It physically and mentally exhausts me, on top of the fatigue I already have to deal with. Unlike the lightness and moments of calm that my other friendships give me, he drains me completely. I never want to see him. I only have negative emotions connected to him. And now I don't know what to do. I feel guilty about thinking/feeling these things because he hasn't actually done anything wrong. He's not mean to me, at all. He always wants to hang out because (I quote) he "really likes it" and "it's a highlight" (which really doesn't make me feel any better). But he makes me so unhappy. I get a stab of panic every time I see he's sent me a text. He clearly values our friendship a lot, but at the moment it's ruining my life. I'm just so lost on this.

1 Reply 1

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Florablue~

Welcome here to the Forum. I can well understand how you can be torn two ways in this situation, between you own health and not wanting to hurt someone who does not deserve it. I think it shows you have a caring and thoughtful personality.

It looks from what you say you either let the situation continue or break off with L. Would you say those were in fact your two options?

I guess it is a matter of priorities, as someone with a long term anxiety anxiety condition and now with depression as well it is really important to get your life as stress-free as you can, and this friendship sounds as if it is not helping at all.

I made the mistake of hanging on and not changing my life and really fell over as a result. Crying like that, having to make up excuses and the heart lurching at incoming texts is no way to be.

Do you think you are capable of telling L either face to face or in a letter/text that the time has come for space and you really need to be separated from him? This is something people do all the time, relationships become one-sided and then fail, for no fault on either side.

A kind person will say so and not leave the other person hanging. True it takes bravery, and can feel awful, but in truth it is a sign you care enough to undergo those feelings.

It may be in time you might feel differently, but for now peace, less stress and calm would be good.

Can I ask if you are under medical support for your conditions? As I said I hung on longer than I should and would not like you to make the same mistake.

Having someone to talk to about all this can be pretty good. Is there anyone you can discuss this with who cares, in you family perhaps?

I do hope you come back here and talk some more