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?
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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?
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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.
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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!
Another thought provoking post, Shelly! I have always supported my family, friends and colleagues through the worst of times (yes, it does get to be a heavy weight, but it’s one step at a time), and they have done the same for me too. We are all in this together 😊
That’s amazing! I’ve also had some very supportive people stay through the tough times, but I’ve also lost a few who really couldn’t carry the load. Neither are better than the other in my opinion~ we can only carry what we can at the end of the day!
Thanks for reading Sean! I hope you are well!
This post of yours made me think about the time when I was struggling to cope up with some hard times. But I must say, I had a good supportive family and friends.and I have tried my level best to be the same to the person in the same situations.
Thank you Olivia, for this beautiful post! 🙂😍
Nothing beats having supportive friends and family!
That’s absolutely right. 😃
Thank you 💖
I’m glad you had such a great support structure!
I would like to add to this, that many times, EXACTLY because of your mental health struggles, you end up with the wrong friends. I’ve noticed how people who struggle or have a similar past tend to “team up” and become besties, which is not always a good thing. You kind of feed off each other’s sadness which holds both of you back from moving on and overcoming your struggles. And thus, when your mental health does in fact improve, you find you have not much in common with these friends anymore, and the friendship dies a slow death… Don’t know if that makes sense. 😅
It makes absolute sense! And that is what I was alluding to with the attracting certain company. Thanks for reading 💖
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rebecca s revels
I have a friend who seems to have this dark cloud always over them. We have been long distance friends for a couple of years now and bless them, its always something. I try to be the friend on the other side of the phone, but even that gets difficult. Thankfully last time we actually talked they seemed to be doing better and getting on track. Who knows though about tomorrow. I do find that after long, sorrowful, angry conversations, my own mental health needs rescuing. It is not easy, and it is risky being the ride or die friend.
It can be so hard when your friends are far away from you. I have multiple long distance friendships, and it can be really hard to try to help them when they’re going through it!
rebecca s revels
I agree. I have always felt so limited, but at least I am here to listen, and sometimes that is enough.
Sometimes the best help you can give might not come from you… Some people just need professional help to work through their problems. It could also be that by being the listener, they’ve made you the ‘therapist’ by default and only share the bad. Please don’t lose yourself 💖
I’ve had trouble with mental health my whole life. What friends I do make usually don’t last long, and I think it’s partly due to me having anxiety and being awkward. I have one good friend that sticks around so I guess I did something right haha
One good friend is better than a bunch of mediocre ones!
I so agree, Shelly! The mental state you’re is what attracts people and things to you. When you’re broken and don’t focus on healing – you often attract other broken people. Afterall the universe responds to our energy.
But I’ve definitely cut off from people who weren’t working on their mental health and bringing mine down too. So it definitely impacts your friendships!
This is soooo accurate! Wow
Thanks for sharing Moksha 💖 I’m glad you’ve chosen the hard road since it’s better for you and your energy 😉
This was so good. I have done this because of my mental state. Great Post
Thanks so much for reading!
I can relate this with one my childhood friend, not sure what exactly she was going through but at that age I knew only that she has some disease. But never stopped accompanying her, her parents feel her safe with me.
Coming to your post, it has touched one of my digged feel and again you make me feel grateful by bringing this up.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Keep smiling 😊
Thanks so much for sharing that and reading the post! So glad to hear you liked it.
Thank you 💖
I think if we are honest we can keep our friends but honestly is not just about what we say and do but also about what they say and do. It makes a difference in keeping relationships strong. Mental health is life long for most of us.
Yep! Friendships work both ways.
Well… Good post brings back some memories
Thanks for sharing.