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Friendships are punctuated with memories, hurt, happiness, and growing. However, some people can often misunderstand the idea of a friendship. I first defined a friendship as mutual togetherness, when that is truly not the case – as I found out. Unfortunately, it was this relationship that “broke my back” so to speak and led me down the path towards depression once again.
I had someone that I fell into mutual loneliness with and called her a “friend.” We were “friends” for four years. We both offered some warped idea of friendship to each other. But don’t get me wrong. Some of it was well-enjoyed, and she helped me from falling off the edge during my depression during the beginning of our relationship. However, when I began to come out of the dark cloud of my depression my mood and outlooks changed, while hers stayed in the same depressed, defeated state.
Constantly she would go from city to city trying to find something within the streets that would offer her some shelter from her depression, not wanting to choose to change her views and outlooks and get the help she desperately needed. Through that, I was her “friend.” And through that, she brought me into a state of relapse.
One thing that I vowed to change when my depression started to lift was that I would try and spend time with people that benefited my recovery, rather than those who jeopardize it. It was the same for what books I read, movies I watched, and media outlets I used. This plan was just at the time where I was most vulnerable in my recovery so as not to fall down into a pit of relapse.
My “friend” didn’t mean to bring me down and in her defence, I never tried to talk to her about how she was affecting me. In fact, I almost used her as the one last cord that tied me so strongly to my depression. I don’t blame her for a second and realize that it was not just her that brought me to my relapse, but myself also.
However, the eventuality of it was that I ended up relapsing because of the relationship I had with my “friend.” It wasn’t anything specific that she or I did; it was just the constant inflow of her depressive state that punctured my newly forming skin… and the fact that I just couldn’t let go of that one aspect of my life that threatened my depression.
It’s hard to let go of a “friendship” that lasted so long and that was, at a time in the past, healthy. However, our “friendship” ended in a fight that was pretty brutal, but in the end was probably for the best.
Because after we fought we completely severed all communication with each other. I was unfriended on Facebook, my number was blocked, and I never knew her email.
It was pretty hard at first, as I considered her a “best friend” and at a time she was. But when our friendship fell apart over a text message, I realized our titles had changed over the past few months. We weren’t “friends” for the last year of our relationship, we instead fell into mutual emotion and togetherness.
My relapse into my depression caused by my volatile relationship with my “friend” was pretty bad and I began to quickly fall back into my old ways. I harmed myself by constantly exposing myself to media, books, and visuals that pulled me further into my depression. The scariest thing looking back was that I actually began to revel in that state. Why? Because it was comfortable. I wouldn’t call it an “easy” state to be in, but it certainly was familiar. And with familiarity comes comfort, something that I can’t seem to let go of.
I think (this relapse passed in a blur) that my depressive episode lasted for a few months until I was driving to the very city my “friend” lived in. I began to talk to my family in the car about how our friendship ended (as I was pretty hurt and guarded about the whole thing before this) and in talking about it, something happened. I began to heal.
I talked about it to my family, but it was almost like an internal monologue of my own where my mind started to shuffle through the emotions that I had and logically figuring out something about my “friendship” and the relapse.
When I ended that “friendship,” there was a weight that seemed to lift off of my shoulders. It was as if I could breathe fully again. And this deep breath reminded me of the same feeling when I decided for the first time to take control of my depression and my life. And I realized that my relapse was over, all because I decided to talk about it and end a “friendship” that was digging me into my grave.
It’s always a tough thing to get rid of the cliché “frenemy;” but when you do, it is almost as if a cloud is lifted from around you and you begin to see clearly again. It certainly was the case for me when I realized that my relationship was so unhealthy that it caused my to relapse into a place I never wanted to be in again.
I don’t regret the “friendship” I had, but take it as a learning curve. I learned that sometimes falling into mutual togetherness may not be a “friendship” but can be quite the opposite. In this, I have taken a critical look at the people around me and surrounded myself with the people that can build me up and keep me on my feet, and in that I have found myself happier and more whole than I have ever been.
Mark is currently in high school and hopes to study International Law in the future. He struggled with depression for four years until finally winning the battle. Upon first hearing about Libero, he made the decision to bring his story about depression and how he has dealt with it in hopes to spread awareness and bring support to those going through depression. With still being in high school, he will offer a teenagerʼs perspective on depression and relationships through sharing the many challenges and victories he has faced with both. Mark hopes that through his writing he can help others understand that brokenness can lead to wholeness.
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.
"One thing that I vowed to change when my depression started to lift was that I would try and spend time with people that benefited my recovery, rather than those who jeopardize it."
I totally agree with this line and recognise just how hard it is to do. I thikn it's something that we have to keep going back to because as we grow our needs change. Thanks for a great post. I found if really helpful. Cate 🙂
Happy to see you all over the site in the comments! I'm glad you've found our page and have been getting as much out of it as I have!
As hard as it is (especially ending a relationship that is unhealthy) it is just so worth it in the end. Our needs constantly change, and therefore our lifestyles do as well. And certain people will fit into a certain lifestyle, so going back and looking at what people fit and don't fit, I think you always surround yourself with the right people that will benefit you.