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Relationships

Rebecca L. 

Relationships are a difficult thing to navigate, especially when you suffer from depression. If you are one of the fortunate people that has found perhaps a handful of people that understand your pain, your mood swings, and your sadness, consider yourself extremely lucky. I have spent most of my adult life terrified I was pushing people away, so I over compensated. When I was feeling healthy, I was too giving, offered too much of my time, and sometimes even my finances. 

Eventually, if I hit a bad patch or wasn’t able to be there for those people as I had been, they considered me too much of a burden, or selfish and no longer wanted to be friends.  In the 20+ years that I have known of my illness, I have one friend who has always stuck by me. Unfortunately for me, she lives in another state.  She has a very fulfilling life with a beautiful family, and I will admit I don’t think to contact her during the dark times, because I know she will be so busy, and I don’t want to feel resentment at having been “rejected” in a sense. 

So, I lean on my husband….perhaps too much. I am very grateful to have found him. I never have to worry that he won’t be there or won’t understand. However, I still long for that bond with a girlfriend that I can chat with about anything, when things are bad or good. None of these relationships ever work out. I have lost 2 in the last 2 weeks.  Perhaps because I have been walked on, used, and treated like garbage, I am too defensive and too ready to confront the behaviors that bother me. I don’t know, but the one thing I understand that in all of these failed relationships, whether they be with friends or family, I am the common denominator. 

That is a heavy load to carry. The day you realize that is a difficult one. I struggle to convince myself that I am a decent person, I am just misunderstood.  et, how can all of these people, most who don’t even know each other suddenly decide that I am no longer worth the effort.  I don’t want to believe that I have to change. It’s too overwhelming when you factor in the burden that I already deal with daily. 

The hardest part about all of this is that I just don’t trust anyone anymore.  I have always struggled with self-esteem, and if anyone paid me a compliment, I rolled my eyes and said, “Yeah right”. Well, it seems as if the eye roll is back when it pertains to someone telling me that they care and are “there for me”. 

It’s a hard lesson to learn that the only person that is ever truly there for you is YOU. Especially as you get older and the people you love begin to pass away, move away, or just become too busy to maintain a strong bond.

The biggest irony in all of this is that people either love me or they hate me.  There’s never any gray area. There have been times when I know that I have deserved to be told off.  I can own that, but I also know that there are times when I have NOT deserved it, and I struggle with my resentment over those instances.  I think for now, I won’t be concerned about popularity or creating friendships. I think I will guard what is left of my heart, and love the people that truly matter and somehow find a way to love myself. 

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