For some, the challenges of maintaining platonic, romantic and familial relationships can be stressful. Low self-esteem and a fear of abandonment can negatively impact an interpersonal relationship. One’s doubts, imagined or real, can be the cause of tension, miscommunication and fights.
A person in recovery can respond more strongly than others to the dissolving of a friendship.
My support system is vital to my well-being, and losing any one of my friends can catapult me into a depressive episode. By no means is this intended to elicit any ‘aww’s. There is a fine line between devotion and dependence, though they can surface in very similar ways.
At the start of my friendship with Nicole (not her real name), I felt supported and seen. We worked in the same office and had lunch together six days a week. After hours, we would text each other too.
She showered me with praise and validation, something I was starved of. But Nicole herself struggled with low self-esteem, which was displayed in manipulative behaviour.
When our friendship ended badly and harsh words were exchanged, I cried for weeks. It was undoubtedly timely and impertinent for my safety, but all I could think about was how “everyone leaves in the end”. My preoccupation with her absence drove me into a dark space.
The significance that I had placed on Nicole was not where I went wrong. It is always worthwhile to invest in ‘good’ people, or people who are good for you. Over time, one’s ability to weed out the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’ grows, though only through experience.
It may feel disheartening, but healthy relationships are possible with patient and understanding loved ones. And it is courageous and rewarding to open oneself to the possibility of a strong support system again and again.
For more targeted practices, self-help resources, and peer support, check out SG Support Group on Discord.