25-10-2014 07:25 PM
Do you find it hard to connect with others or have you lost friends due to having a MI? How do you broach this topic with new friends? How do you know when to open up? I read this insightful article by Michael Hedrick and would love to hear your thoughts about it.
Here's a snippet:
"I have a hard time making friends.
Getting to trust people well enough to call them a friend takes a lot of work. It’s especially hard when you are living with schizophrenia and think everyone is making fun of you.
Schizophrenia is the devil on your shoulder that keeps whispering in your ear and, no matter what you try, the little demon won’t stop. He hasn’t stopped in the almost nine years I’ve lived with the illness, and he’s not about to stop now. He’s just quieted down a bit. I’d call him my companion but that would imply a degree of friendship, and there’s no way in hell I’m the little devil’s friend." (For full article by Michael Hedrick, click here).
26-10-2014 01:58 AM
26-10-2014 02:33 PM
I must admit having without knowingly doing it have managed to close out all my old friends, I don't have the little demon whispering in my ear..... well not that I know of.....
my reason looking back at my actions in the last 2 years when I thought I was ok when I was really untreated was my way of protecting myself from getting hurt emotionally ie. Severing the friendship before they could get in first
I have tried reconnecting with a couple of friends, I explained to him the situation and he took it well, but I haven't heard from him since so I think it was too much for him
the other friend knows and understands me extremely well he is very supportive
I think I am scared of friends rejecting me and my illness....
it is early stages of me getting proper treatment and hopefully in the near future I can have the guts to catch up with more of my old friends but I feel like it will be different and not the same as it used to be.
26-10-2014 03:50 PM - edited 26-10-2014 07:05 PM
CherryBomb, all I can say is that it is hard to comprehend what you are going through, but you have my heart felt thoughts.
26-10-2014 09:36 PM
@kato you raise an insightful point: feeling scared that your friends might reject you and/or your illness is something that I think many people with MI can relate to. You can never really tell how someone is going to react when you reveal that you have an M, all you can know are your reactions. In the end, I think it's our own acceptance of ourselves first that matters. The friends that stick around MI or not are gifts.
I had a friend who once described friendships like a bus ride. Some will stick with you throughout the journey, while other will head off in different directions. It hurts to loose friends, and it's painful to feel rejected but I think acknowledging that you've shared part of your journeys together is something.
@Uggbootdiva, it's great to hear that your friends are so supportive and accepting of you. Can ask if your old friends knew you before you were diagnosed with bipolar?
26-10-2014 10:01 PM
I relate completely to this story. I've never in all my life considered myself to have many friends and whilst I know I get on with most people I don't make 'friends' easily because I don't trust people. I also didn't know what to consider a friend or simply an aquaintance until someone told me to look at my friends and decide who I could call on for help. End result is I have a couple of friends who I consider friends and the rest are just people I come in contact with. Whether that has anything at all to my with my MI I will never know.
Did I lose any friends because of my MI? Who knows. One might say they weren't really friends if they aren't still around. Again I've never really had long term friends that I've kept in continual contact with. Most tend to revolve with what ever interests me at the time.
How do I broach it? As some have found already on here my MI and I are a package deal. I don't get hung up on being politically correct and there is no separation of person and illness. I am open, honest and up front. Like me, like my MI otherwise keep walking.
26-10-2014 10:06 PM
26-10-2014 10:19 PM
27-10-2014 01:04 PM
JT, I have found, over a long period, you will know a lot of people but if you have 2-3 people that are true friends you will be extremely lucky. Sorry
27-10-2014 06:53 PM
Sandy, I whole heartedly agree with your words of wisdom especially in respect of this forum. It is very important they all members feel free to express their feelings without fear of negativety.
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