Nowadays, it seems like everyone is talking about mental health. You have a rough day – how’s your mental health? You’re feeling emotional – how’s your mental health? You’re feeling numb – how’s your mental health? Doesn’t it sound a little excessive? But here’s the thing, the state of your mental health doesn’t impact just you. Bad mental health impacts how you feel. How you feel affects how you react. How you react impacts those that love you… I bet you know where I am going with this.
Growing up, I spent over a decade living in my own bubble. After losing my mom, I couldn’t cope both physically (insomnia, anxiety, etc) and emotionally. Looking back, it’s not something that was ever taken seriously by my family, and that had a significant impact on those that I cared about. So today, I will share a snippet of what that looked like to my friends. How they had to deal with that phase of my life, and how that left ended some friendships. Of course every case is different, so I can only share my views.
If you didn’t realise it yet, this isn’t Olivia. I’ll let you guess my identity for now, and reveal it at the end of the post. So stop right now and post your guesses!
Done? Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
THE STATE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH DETERMINES THOSE YOU ATTRACT
Have you noticed that when you are feeling down, you seem to be surrounded by people who are always depressed? And if that isn’t the case, you find the ‘fixers’ diving right in? It’s not a coincidence, it’s the law of attraction. If you haven’t heard of it, it basically states that in life you attract what you choose to focus on.
As the friend who was dealing with loss, I couldn’t see anything beyond my problems. Life was about my struggles, my challenges, my feelings… In isolation, that wasn’t a train smash, but when it boiled down to maintaining interpersonal relationships, it couldn’t just have been about ‘me, me, me’.
So you’ll attract the kind of people who love your mood. What’s the problem with that, right? Well, what happens when you finally get back on track? Or will you get back on track?
You Might Also Like: The 5 Types of People You Should Surround Yourself With
YOU MAY LOSE SOME FRIENDS
We all want to be that amazing friend who will be there no matter what. That is until it’s time to be there no matter what. I know from experience that dealing with someone’s short bursts of depression is doable. However, when this stretches out for months or even years, no one can carry that load. The thing about us humans is that we are selfish beings. We say we want to feel needed and loved, but when it becomes too much, we run away.
If you are reading this and thinking that a good friend will never leave you, I’d like to challenge that school of thought. What exactly makes a good friend? Is it someone who will consistently sacrifice themselves for your benefit? Or is it someone who will do what is best for both parties? What about if being around you potentially puts their mental health at risk?
You Might Also Like: Asking My 3 Best Friends The Same 5 Questions
OR YOU WILL DRAG THE ONES LEFT DOWN A HOLE
So those of you who still stand by the theory that you will never leave a friend whose mental health isn’t great, I commend you. However, I would not blame you if you eventually reached your breaking point. Carrying someone else’s load can have a detrimental effect on your own mental health, if you aren’t actively doing things to keep it in check.
I remember times when I would call my friends to come over in the middle of the night because I was having a panic attack. There are a handful who were always there. But I also remember the times when I would talk negatively about my body image with someone who had her own issues. Not even a few months later, we were both drowning in our eating disorders.
And the friends who were the collateral damage of my daddy issues… I have seriously lost count of the number of people I convinced to stay with their boyfriends regardless of how badly they were treated. I seemed okay when giving such advice, but I had my own demons.
Now I ask you again – would you stay with your friend through the darkest of times if it could potentially lead you down the wrong path? If you answered no to that, flip the coin and ask yourself why your friends should stick around for yours.
You Might Also Like: The 4 Types of Negative People to Stay Away From
Do you agree that the state of your mental health affects your friends?
If you’re struggling right now, don’t fret, we’ve all been there. It’s important to work on your mental health not only for you, but for the mental health of those we love too.
Before I forget to reveal my identity, it’s Shelly from Growing With Spawn. If you’ve never been to my blog, I would describe it as an ‘organised, millennial, life crisis’. If mental health is your thing, join me over there and share your random thoughts! I’m really grateful to be here and honoured to have my dear friend Olivia share her thoughts on my blog too. So make sure to hop on over to my blog and read her post!