I was lucky enough to have supportive friends and family during my depressive episodes, which gave me a positive outlet to vent to. Unfortunately, this caused me to rely on them too much, and my problems became theirs. It was especially difficult for my friends to deal with my breakdowns and negativity when they had also started university and faced a lot of stress. Sadly, some friends who were very close to me decided to leave my life once I recovered, I was just too much for them to handle.
This wasn’t meant to be negative, some friends did stick it through and have seen me at my worst, and they are still friends with me today. But from my experiences (and from talking about it with my therapist) I have learned to cope more independently. When something was anxiety provoking or upsetting, my previous coping strategy was to immediately call up a friend while crying on the phone to seek help and reassurance. I did this for years until I finally learned to first be with myself, to let myself have that crying breakdown alone in my room for a few minutes, calm down, and then tell a friend or family member about it.
This current coping strategy is challenging for me, since I coped using the aforementioned strategy for many years, but hopefully it will work out, and I won’t push any more friends away for that reason. I really do miss those friends who left my life, but I’ve been moving forward meeting many new people and forming new friendships.
About Elena B.
Elena is a 21 year-old college student, sales associate, and volunteer living with depression and generalized & social anxiety. Formally diagnosed with social anxiety in high school, Elena has struggled with it for the majority of her life. During her first year of university she experienced high levels of anxiety and had her first major depressive episode, which was followed by another the following year. Since then she has been recovered and focuses on her recovery daily. She currently runs a tumblr blog, where she shares inspirational quotes, images, and tips to help others with their recovery. Follow Elena’s story on HMC’s Supportive Minds Blog.