The Company You Keep

When my work best friend and I were venting out our frustrations with our new jobs in our company, I started to have the feeling that I should probably tell her about my illnesses. From the outside looking in, it would seem as if I am complaining. So I pondered on whether I should tell her so that way she would be able to get the full picture of why I'm frustrated. But would she understand? Is it too soon in our friendship to relay that information?
One really irritating trait of BPD is that in the midst of an episode, I can easily spill way too much about myself to just about anyone and regret it later when I'm no longer having the episode. And as private as I am about everything in my life, that aspect can be very, very annoying. Surprisingly, I controlled myself (which is a big win in terms of BPD for me) and decided not to say anything. Granted, she was frustrated too so we were complaining together.

Still, for some reason I really wanted to tell her but I went against it. I started to feel that if it was meant for me to share that information with, it will happen when the time is right. However, I didn't expect the time to be five minutes later after coming to that conclusion. In in her follow up email to me she wrote that she battles with severe depression and that's part of the reason this job was getting to her. Well, I'll be damned. The universe provided a gateway for me to share my struggles with her being that she too was battling a mental illness.

But when I received the email, I was shocked. Though I am aware that mental illness has no color, no specific looks, attitudes, or whatever, I couldn't believe that my work best friend has depression.  If you would to meet her, you would think the EXACT opposite.She's typically very happy, outgoing, friendly, and talkative and that's just on the first meeting. But her sharing that personal bit of her life with me proved that you never know what goes on with folks behind closed doors.

So after she shared her mental struggles, I shared mine and for the first time I felt like I had someone that was not a psychiatrist I could relate to.

Sometimes it can be very hard to talk to people in my life that do not understand mental illness. They're "normal" so of course they wouldn't get it. It's more than just taking some medication. It's a life long battle that needs life long treatment. Most times, I don't even discuss my mental struggles with anyone in my life. So it was almost like heaven sent that I met my work best friend and she has her mental health struggles. She, too, also relayed that she wishes she had someone to talk to about her issues and happy that I was able to relate to her. I think we both breathed a sigh of relief that we were both able to find someone who truly understands what we're going through.

As someone who battles with mental illness, I think it's beneficial to have a friend or someone in your life that has mental illness or at the very least understands mental illness, This is because sometimes you just want someone who gets where you're coming from, understands what you're going through because they're going through it too. Because the truth is, having a mental illness or two can be very frustrating, life altering, irritating, and all the above. Sometimes you just want to vent about the constant episodes of depression, how much you love having manic episodes though it's not healthy, how you hate everyone because people are a constant trigger. It's true that birds of a feather flock together and that perhaps misery does love company.

I'm not miserable though. But I do enjoy the company.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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