Friendships with a pinch of salt

By Adaora Williams

Sadly, I have lost both relationships and a few friendships because of my mental health. Many people don’t understand that depression can make others appear to be shady and/or disengaged.

The reality is we are all silently suffering, and as humans we have a tendency to allow our emotions to get the better of us. Many of us remove people from our lives for not checking up on us. Meanwhile, they’re going through problems of their own wondering why we are not checking up on them. 

 Depression and mental breakdowns are a real and pressing issue in today’s society and are becoming increasingly common in the younger generation. One day you could be having the best day of your life, and the next day you just don’t see the point of it all. Even though it is a real thing, it is also invisible. An invisible illness, one that many of us struggle to deal with.

Sometimes I feel misunderstood. This illness makes me angry. Angry at myself, angry at my friends and most definitely angry at the world. I feel misunderstood and lost within my friendship groups. Leaving me feeling isolated and lonely during my darkest times because I am unable to express how I truly feel. And if I’m being completely honest, my toxic trait is - I hurt in silence and hope that someone cares enough to notice that I’m not okay. Although, it may be considered toxic, it’s somewhat justifiable because I would consider myself to be a natural helper even during my darkest hours.

Throughout my lifetime, I have experienced an unbalanced give and take when it comes to my friendships. I assume because I notice when others aren’t themselves that they will do the same when it comes to me, but that is not always the case. In spite of this I have recently discovered that some people are oblivious and it’s not their fault. Despite understanding that some people can be unaware of their surroundings resulting in them not being able to notice when I need their help, I have told myself that it is important that I do not go out seeking friendships with everyone. As some people will never be capable enough to understand my pain which will leave me feeling unwanted and vulnerable.

2019 has really be an eye opener for me. It has taught me that pain is not just a feeling, or an emotion, it’s a part of us. It’s a part of me. It’s what makes our stories so beautiful, and when reviewing my journey so far, I can testify that when it comes to friendships in particular it is not about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life and never left your side. 

I gather after reading this you might ask, so what happens next. The best advice I can give you right now is to take some friendships with a pinch of salt. Yes, go to your friends when you’re feeling low but do not depend on them to solve your problems for you, as it then becomes a problem when you’re struggling and you realise that they can not always be there for you when you want them to be. With that being said personally, I don’t want my friends to save me. I want them to stand by me as I save myself.

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