Mental Illness Stole My Friendships Away

By Kelly Gonzalez

Before I was diagnosed with Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, PTSD and OCD, I was the social butterfly of my group. We had people at our house everyday. My calendar was so full of activities you could barely read the dates. My phone rang contently. Invites flooded the mailbox. I couldn’t keep up with the weddings, birthdays, and baby showers.

Then in a simple doctor visit, everything changed. All of a sudden the labels weighed down on me like lead weights. I felt exposed. Everyone could see them. I was being looked at differently. When I spoke out about my illnesses, people started to treat me like a child. I had to be treated like a breakable item.

The invites started to slow, then came to a halt. The phone calls taped off. The company at the house became less and less frequent. The calendar was so empty I started writing in any small appointment to make it look like i still had some sort of life. The mailbox was only full of junk mail and bills. Years past and nothing changed. I began to accept it. It became normal.

Now I’m so used to being alone it has become a huge accomplishment to get someone to hang with me. Stop treating me different because my brain doesn’t work the same as yours.

I still like human companionship. I still like going out and being social. I want friends not more doctors. Don’t look at me different, I don’t look at you any different.

I just want my friends back.

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  1. Loz 6th January 2017 at 11:12 am - Reply

    I think that’s a well written piece and so sad that this happens to people. However it would be good to see the other side of it written about so people have more awareness. I’ve hurt a lot of my friends by pushing them away; not bothering to go to parties because I’m to depressed, forgetting special dates, not being organised to think of presents for special occasions, not even bothering to text people anymore because your embarrassed you forgot said special occasion. I avoid social situations because I’m crippled with the anxiety of having to go talk to people. What would I say? I have nothing positive to say and I worry that I will become the moaning friend that people want to avoid. To save my friendships I sacrifice them. The isolation becomes paramount and I am ashamed I have let my friendships fall by the wayside. But then I’m too embarrassed to do anything about it and my mind tries to justify this by finding fault in those friends so that I don’t feel the overwhelming emotions that come with the realisation that I’ve sabotaged myself…again!

    • Cm 10th January 2017 at 3:32 am Reply

      I agree 100%

    • iam1in4 6th January 2017 at 11:28 am Reply

      So sorry to hear your situation, one that too many can identify with (myself included). I will look to either write such a piece or get one of our regularly contributors to write such a piece so people can see there is a positive way out of it,
      Thank you for your comments

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