Not coping with my friend's sudden recovery
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Not coping with my friend's sudden recovery

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Old 04-25-12, 07:04 AM   #1
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Unhappy Not coping with my friend's sudden recovery


This message may sound a bit odd and I feel bad even writing it, but I'm so confused as to why I feel this way that I thought I'd reach out and see if anyone else has experienced something similar. I'm not sure how to explain this so I will start from the beginning...sorry for the ramblings.

Here of my friends (a close friend but of only about a few months at the time) become severely depressed about 7 months ago. We had been good friends for about 5 months during which time she acted completely normal and we had a great friendship. Then she confided in me about some awful things from her past and after returning from a trip, appeared to not cope with these issues and became really badly depressed. I was the only person who knew and I was supporting her on a daily, even hourly basis from then on. She continued in a downward spiral, I had to find her drunk and passed out late at night on the streets, took loads of abuse of her and felt like I couldn't confide in anyone because she swore me to secrecy about her past. It was an awful time in my life, I felt all alone, and basically sacrificed my own life to be there for her, not knowing what else to do as she would threaten suicide if I suggested getting her help. For about 3 months she maintained a front with all out other friends, acting normal around them, while ignoring me around them (but still speaking to me all the time in private). I found this so hurtful but accepted it was what she needed to do to be OK. Eventually they all realised something was wrong as she couldn't keep up the facade in front of them and also started ignoring them as well but I was still the only one who was trying to help her and stuck by her. I eventually managed to convince her to see a doctor but it was a huge struggle and she was still very reluctant and wouldn't go back. At this point I was so far removed from my own life that I felt I had to take a step back in order to sort myself out. I tried to explain this to her but she said some hateful things to me and said she was going to kill herself and it would be my fault. I still stepped back from the situation, but sent her a message everyday to just check in. She was just hostile and harsh and so eventually I stopped doing this.

Then, about a month later (we play on a sports team together) she came back to training and appeared be her old self. She was laughing and joking with everyone but still ignored me. I was so confused as I didn't understand what had happened to make her seem ok and also why afterall I did for her she was still ignoring me. I asked her about it and she just said she was all alone because I left her and she was doing things by herself. I was so hurt and angry and confused. Why was she acting OK with others and still treating me badly. We had a big blow out and it came out that she checked herself in for a weeks intensive therapy after I stepped back. She said she realised it was all or nothing. I still couldn't understand why she hadn't told me this earlier and just ignored only me. I was so angry I just asked her to leave me alone and not contact me. She retaliated by saying that she had talked to everyone else and they were supportive so why wasn't I? Why did I hate that she was getting better? This was about two weeks ago. I think I also felt really sad that I didn't actually help her get to a place where she felt OK. Despite all my efforts, I actually left her when she probably needed me most (or not as the case seems to be as she got better alone). I just feel guilty.

And this is where I'm struggling. Because I don't hate that shes better. I sacrificed 6 months of my own life to help her. I'm so happy and so proud of her and I have since apologised for not telling her this, but I can't help feeling a little bit used. That she is making an effort to re-integrate with everyone else but has just not bothered with me. She seems to be doing really well and while I'm sure she's not fully recovered as depression is a life long illness she is so much better than she was. For a while she apologised, said she needed my friendship back to be OK but at the time I was not ready to hear it so I just threw it back at her. Now she doesn't really seem to care, she said she doesnt need me, that she confides in other people and she got a new boyfriend. I feel ashamed of how I acted by not being supportive and letting my anger and hurt get in the way and I have recently apologised but I feel like she doesn't care. She seems to just be trying to be friends with all our other friends and I ironically I can't help but feel a little bit sad. We were really good friends before all this and I feel that I was her one true friend, supporting her, while everyone else didn't get involved and I've been the one to lose the most. As angry and hurt as I was (maybe still am) I miss the friendship we used to have before everything, but I feel she may not care anymore.

I'm struggling with feeling guilty for feeling this way as the most important thing is that she is getting better and as much as I know that, I still feel upset.

I know I've gone on and that this is a very particular situation but any advice from anyone who had helped someone through depression and felt at all like I do would be really appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 04-25-12, 08:05 AM   #2
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Hey hey,

You're not going to like this much and I hope you'll forgive me but I'll just spit out what I'm thinking:

You've set yourself up as your friend's rescuer. That would all be fine and dandy but it seem's you want something back for that. The bad thing is, you can't demand things from other people and expect them to deliver.

I'm sorry, that sounds really unsympathetic. I really don't mean it like that at all. I think what you did was an amazing thing but it's actually totally unrealistic for your friend to be able to tell you that.

He/ She has moved on from a really bad situation. And, sadly, she has moved on from you. I know, I know. That sucks. But that's what people do.

I'm sorry if come across as an asshole. I don't mean to. I've been in that place myself, from both sides of the fence. And, yeah, it feels wrong.

The one good thing is that you did your very best to help some who was in pain. And it looks like you succeeded. I'm so very sorry you didn't get to be there when things got better. You deserve better than that.
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Old 04-25-12, 08:29 AM   #3
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Hi N77. Welcome to TTL - glad you decided to come on here to seek answers.

You sacrificed so much to help your friend, and I'm sure you were a very important person to her. It's not healthy for you to get so far removed from your own life as you did, and you had no choice but to step back. And in the end, it was good for her because it left her with little alternatives and she chose the therapy that she needed. So even your stepping back ended up being beneficial to her. And through it, you kept texting her daily. Wow - you are an amazing friend!! Either she must already realize this, or it will hit her one day. Maybe time will give her some perspective on it. It's very understandable that you would be upset - I hope your guilt will lift. You're only human, and I think this situation would make anyone upset.

Maybe the issue she has now is that you are the only one who knows everything she went through - all the serious pain. The others don't know that about her, because she hid it from them. So she can more easily re-friend them without worrying about what they must think of her. Maybe she thinks you see her differently than they do? Maybe she thinks you may be likely to judge her? Maybe you remind her of how she was, and now she is trying to move past it? Maybe she feels so thankful to you, but doesn't know how to express that. I think that she is showing anger, but maybe that's not what is underneath.

I'm sorry this has turned into such a difficult situation for you. I hope that in time it an get better. If you feel like you can communicate with her at all, maybe let her know that you miss her friendship, and that you would love to start over. Starting over clears the past away. Maybe don't mention the past - let her bring it up if she wants to.
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Old 04-25-12, 08:36 AM   #4
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Thank you for these responses. As hard as they may be to hear, I have been thinking the same things and I know I cannot expect anything in return. I don't expect anything. I didn't help her for the glory of it...just because she was my friend and needed me. I think the hard part for me now, is that I have come to realise all this and we have spoken about it all. I am putting it all behind me, as is she, but despite her saying she wants to get back to being friends, her actions speak differently and it seems you maybe right, in that she now sees me differently and wants to move on from our friendship. It is just hard to deal with when I see her so often (due to our sports team) and I see her re-building other friendships. That's life I suppose...and accepting all this, doesn't make it easier to deal with. Thank you though.
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Old 04-25-12, 08:48 AM   #5
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Hi N77,

I agree with the other posters... We know it doesn't make it easier, but maybe all you can do now is be content that you did all you could? Personally, I'd talk to her again about how I'm feeling, you know the 'her actions are saying otherwise' part and see if she is thinking the exact same thing about you. You may allow some time before you bring that up again and see if the 'awkwardness' clears naturally...

Sometimes, two people are thinking the same thing about each other and some openness may help clear the air. Maybe you are not as free as before and she sees that and is thinking what you are thinking about her?
You did try to help, maybe not enough in the way she wanted it, but you did all you could. Maybe it was you giving her a break that forced her to seek professional help too... I know this probably doesn't help, because you really wanted to be there all through,but sometimes it happens this way and is totally beyond our control.

If you do decide to have a word, please accept that she may see things differently and like P.Dawn said,she may feel you know all about her...
I think you should try to tell yourself you did do your best,because it seems you did
Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Last edited by celery; 04-25-12 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 04-25-12, 08:51 AM   #6
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Yeah, that's life. But sometimes life doesn't provide me with a sense of rightness either, even if I've done the right thing and more.

I guess what I wanna say to you is don't forget what you did. You've supported someone you care about through a really rough time. You've talked about it and dealt with the fact that you've, for whatever reason, lost a friend in the process.

You've been through a tough time.

If there was a badge for that you would have got it, no argument :=] In all seriousness, I admire you.
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advice, depressed friend, guilt, lost friendship, recovery

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