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Accepting loss

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bluebell24

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
106
Does anyone have any tips for coping with friendships that have been lost thru MH issues?

I've come a long way, taking my meds, looking after myself and feeling a million times better but still having trouble coming to terms with a the loss of a friendship 9 months ago when I was really ill. I still have the occasional urge to try & contact this person to try and make amends but know I cannot do that as he doesn't want to hear from me again.

It's really tough and as much as I feel really positive about life now it hurts so much to have ruined a good friendship.

Any ideas to help me move on once and for all or is it really just time & space that'll get ne thru?
 
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*Sapphire*

Guest
Accepting loss can be a grieving process. It can be worse if that person is still around and you might hear things about their life.

It might be worth looking into the stages of the grieving process and suggestions on sources of help.

I found that by getting on with my life the friends who I lost through my illness started contacting me again, it was then my decision whether I wanted to keep in touch with them.

I have also found that when one friendship dies another blossoms.
 
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bluebell24

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
106
Hi Sapphire,

thanks for your reply; I very much agree that it's akin to grieving but the struggle is I'm acceptance. I've lost people very close to me in life but the harsh reality that they're no longer here is so different to knowing someone has moved on without me.

My relationship with my husband is vastly improved, a definite positive outcome as, illness aside, I think he found it hard at times to know I had a close friendship with a man. In truth though the closeness I had with this other person was in part due to the lack of boundaries I felt being hypomanic but also shared interests that are things my husband appreciates in me but doesn't have a passion for himself. I hope a new friend might appear who can be equally excited as I am about particular things.

I'll still keep striving to accept i've lost a friend but it feels hard - I want him to know how much I've changed but I guess I just have to think there will be new people who'll benefit from the improved me even if he can't/won't.

It's so sad tho, I know there was a good friendship that could have been for life if it weren't for the negative impact of my ill health.
 
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*Sapphire*

Guest
I was taught about radical acceptance a couple of years ago. It is about accepting things we can not change. It does not mean liking them, but just accepting the situation as it is.

I have had to do it today. I have had to accept something that I would rather not have to accept but in doing so I am freeing myself from the ifs, buts, maybes, would haves and should haves. Everytime I think back on it, I just re-accept that I can not change it.

Someone once said to me you can be stuck in a traffic and be angry about it, or you can be stuck in a traffic jam and not be angry about it. Either way you are still stuck in a traffic jam.

There is more about it on here;

http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/dt_handout_5.html
 
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skyblue

Guest
Bluebell:hug: - You've been talking about your friend for awhile now, he must have been such a special friend to you. I too agree that it's the same feelings as grief.
It must be so hard for you, it's a very sad story and such ashame. But please don't blame yourself, you were unwell at the time, it really is not your fault.

Bluebell, can you not just make contact again and try and make amends ?

Thinking of you :flowers:
 
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Adi01

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2010
Messages
60
Location
Berkshire
Bluebell, what harm can it do it recontacting your friend? They maybe really pleased that you have. If they say,go away,so be it. You have tried and you can put it to bed knowing you have tried. I know from my own experiences that i have many regrets and the ones that nag me most relate to friends gone by and me not trying hard enough at contacting them....Go for it
 
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bluebell24

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
106
I really wish I could contact him again but it really isn't an option. He asked me once nicely to cease contact and a second time not so nicely after I'd disregarded his wishes. I did it again still and then he asked a third party to intervene; it really wasn't pretty.

To contact him again now would be unwelcome and disrespectful in equal measure so I really do have to find a way to accept what has happened and move forward. He really was a very special friend to me but I suppose losing him is the price I have paid for not taking care of my mental health.

It's not been an easy lesson. I hope I am able to stay well and that I never have to lose someone I love again, nor in the same way at least, I know there is no certainty in life.

Acceptance is proving a difficult pill to swallow.
 
mr_c

mr_c

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2010
Messages
106
He really was a very special friend to me but I suppose losing him is the price I have paid for not taking care of my mental health.

Im right with you there im really struggling at the moment trying not to contact my ex fiance, im sure you have lots of feelings of guilt and remorse and how if you could just tell them, it would make you feel better?

I hope it works out well for you
 
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bluebell24

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
106
Guilt and remorse in buckets. And once again an overwhelming urge to apologise.

The clarity I have nowadays gives me the ability to attempt to explain, never to excuse my behaviour. But it also provides the acknowledgement that to do what is right for my former friend I'll never be afforded the opportunity to apologise.

The past few days have made me realise that, as much as I still care for this person, there really is no turning back. I'd accepted there was no likelihood for reconciliation but suppose I still hoped I could at least try to say a real sorry. And that despite improvement in my health I could really do with some help from a third party in accepting lots of things I've said and done while ill and to enable me to move on.

Mental illness ... the gift that just keeps on giving! If I knew the emotico for a wry smile I'd be popping one in here right now!
 
mr_c

mr_c

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2010
Messages
106
I do know what your going through espcially if you loved and cared for them. People do change though and everyone deserves a second chance, if there unwilling to give it then maybe they werent who you thought they were.

Sorry to hijack your post its not meant like that, i will give you an example of whats happened with me. My ex and i broke up in jan mainly because of my behavoir at that time she suspected i may have some MH problems but never confronted me. Since then we have been on relitive speaking terms and always says if i need her just contact her, well i put it to the test on sunday when a member of my family was involved in a nasty car crash, she was nowhere it really put things into perspective

I do hope though that your friend gives you the oppurtunity to explain your actions because it may make u feel a whole lot better
 
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Hatstand

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
15
Location
England
It's all about "Closure" (hehee, as our friends in American would put it). Explaining, apologising and saying goodbye really does help doesn't it?

You're still grieving Bluebell. Sometimes we never get the chance to say our peace. It's a lot harder and it will take alot longer but it eases up.

Fill your life with other "stuff" that's makes you smile. I miss my ex-friend so very much still but I don't think about him everyday now. I know he must be getting on with his life and I'm sure he's happy so really.....if I care about him then I'd just leave him be.

:hug:
 
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bluebell24

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
106
Hi Hatstand,

You're so right, closure would be a marvellous thing ... even if it is a wee bit Oprah-esque!

And like you too I just want my former friend to live a happy life and respecting his wishes to stay away is the only thing I can now do to contribute to that and I do it gladly, because I know it really is the right thing to do. I wish I'd realised that when I was ill instead of making a bad situation worse. I hate looking back and knowing I put him through still more stress and/or distress. Learning the hard way ...

One thing I see often on this forum, and no offence intended to anyone here, but when friends turn away from us they are criticized and the comment is made that they then 'weren't good/real friends in the first place'. Having experienced both sides of MH issues (my mum has been ill most of my life) I know that certain behaviours or the weight or responsibilty can push the best people to breaking point. I had a good friend, I don't any more, but when we were friends he was incredible in understanding me, making an effort with me and being very, very patient. He is still a good person, I just pushed him too far that's all.

I just wanted to stick up for the good former friends out there ... sometimes the toll MH problems take on others are just too much and we need to accept that I think. : )
 
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bluebell24

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
106
Really poor grammar at the end of that post but hope you get the gist of it! ; )
 
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philmriv

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
52
Location
Hawaii
Very painful.

This has happened to me before.

As hard as it is, taking some time out to sit with, and embrace, the painful feelings will allow them to be less overwhelming and pass more quickly.

(Note they will 'increase' temporarily if you sit with them, but this will also cause them to pass more quickly and they will actually drop / dissolve after they rise up for w little while -- so this approach is really worth it).

Very centering and grounding.

**Good for grief, but also GREAT for any anxiety problem...

Strangely (never forget that life is full of contradictions).

It can help to balance this approach with changing your focus completely away from the pain (find things to do that have meaning and purpose for you to 'lose yourself' in for a little while. This will also help you to deal with very strong, very painful feelings).

Avoid addictive behaviors though. They will multiply your pain (and damage your life) over time.





Does anyone have any tips for coping with friendships that have been lost thru MH issues?

I've come a long way, taking my meds, looking after myself and feeling a million times better but still having trouble coming to terms with a the loss of a friendship 9 months ago when I was really ill. I still have the occasional urge to try & contact this person to try and make amends but know I cannot do that as he doesn't want to hear from me again.

It's really tough and as much as I feel really positive about life now it hurts so much to have ruined a good friendship.

Any ideas to help me move on once and for all or is it really just time & space that'll get ne thru?
 
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Moonrat

New member
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
4
Hi Bluebell, what a sad situation. I've just read right through the thread and you seem to be saying that you need to deal with your feelings about this. Don't know if this will help you but I've had a lot of success with just a pen and paper. The last time I had to do it was about my mum, I couldn't speak to her on the phone because she was being so unreasonable but I did write her a letter and put in it all my feelings and everything I wanted to say to her. There was no-one around to read it to (I definitely wasn't going to send it! Would only cause more trouble) so eventually I read it aloud to a very nice collie dog that used to live with us. He listened intently, head on one side until I'd finished, then I tore it up, stopped crying and took him walkies! I find it isn't always that I need to say the stuff to the person concerned, I just need to say it at all! I pinched the letter and the wastepaperbin idea from AA but it really does work, good luck to you.
 
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