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My friend doesn't like to be around me when I'm in a low mood
I've been dealing with anxiety and depression for about two years now and my best friend was the first one I told and the only one who knew what I was going through for six months. As time went on I became more confident with talking about my mental health with both professionals and other friends and families but it always seemed like this one friend was there for me because she had seen me deal with so much.
However, she started to become distant and when she noticed I wasn't having a good day she would avoid me rather than speak to me. A lot of my fears surround the fact that I am alone and I start overthinking things so when she avoids me it feels like I've done something wrong. We have been avoiding the topic of my mental health for a few months now, and our relationship has been somewhat strained. We used to be so close, we used to see each other every day and talk all the time on the phone, but it's like she doesn't want to see me at all.
Recently I feel like my mental health has been declining and I've been having more bad days than normal. She has noticed this and messaged a few times to ask if I'm okay to which I usually respond with "not really" but don't elaborate and she doesn't ask. However last night she pushed with more questions which meant I was talking to her more and forgetting to keep my guard up and I stopped filtering my words, telling her everything I had been dealing with recently and apologising for not being there for her. She got upset with me and said she can't handle it when I constantly apologise for everything and this is why she tends to avoid me at this time.
But when I'm apologising, it's just how I speak and feel when I'm in a low mood. I am aware of it and try to stop it, but it's not really something conscious. I told her this and she doesn't seem to understand. Now I'm frustrated because it feels like she only wants to be friends with me at certain times and can't accept this other part of me that I am sick of pretending doesn't exist. I don't think I can just hide this part of me and pretend everything is okay just to be friends with her, but I really don't want to lose her, she's been my best friend for years now.
I guess there are a couple of thngs for you to consider. Being the freind and support of someone with depression is not impossible but it is hard and wearing over time. It is also quite possible for you to miss-interpret what you hear.
There is an inbuilt urge in all of us to 'fix' things, and if after her best efforts you have not improved there may well be a tendency to shy away from hearing the worst. Look at it another way, if she did not care she would not worry if you felt better or if she had 'fixed 'things.
One of the very hard lessons a supporter must learn is to accept and listen, then more the conversation as best one can elsewhere. When repeatedly supporting a family member on the phone I'd allow 10, then 5, minutes of repetition then change the subject -or better yet get them to do so.
You too have to learn to say and do things she enjoys, even if you do not feel like it, friendship is two-way after all. If you can select something both of your are attracted to so much the better.
Apologies are funny things, in her eyes you may be belittling yourself by making them, I'm not sure, so ask.
I doubt she only wants to be friends at certain times, but does not want her nose rubbed in the fact her powers to help are limited.
Perhaps more reliance on professionals for help when down, our 24/7 Help Line on 1300 22 4636 might be worth a try, also talking here. We are used to people who are down and in pain and can at least understand