Maintaining Relationships

Relationships, be it family or friendships or romantic relationships, I find really hard to juggle alongside the ED, depression, recovery, running a household and raising a child. Something’s got to give, a plate has to fall in order to keep the others spinning. I can’t just ‘drop’ the ED or depression (if I could, I would have a long time ago), running a house and raising a child aren’t really options, more necessities, which leaves relationships and recovery as the 2 plates that could be dropped, neither of which are ideal to go without. The 2 kind of co-exist to a certain degree. My relationships won’t thrive without recovery and recovery isn’t possible without a support network. I don’t want to drop recovery because I don’t want the ED and depression continue to determine everything, I do and feel. I’ve put all my remaining effort into attempting to keep that one going. Maintaining essential relationships, ie. With my parents and Harvey, has been hard at times but they’re my priority relationships. The majority of all others have been forced to take a bit of a back seat, not because I don’t value them, I do greatly, because I haven’t had the mental or emotional capacity to develop and maintain them. In an ideal world this wouldn’t be the case but I simply cannot manage everything all at once. My mind is frazzled and at full capacity. I can’t think of anything more.

I hate that it has come to this but, while I continue to be held down by mental illnesses and battling the recovery process, my relationships are unlikely to flourish. When recovery is nearing the end and I’m no longer spinning the depression and ED plates as vigorously, I will be able to put more time, energy and effort into my relationships and friendships and, I hope, rekindle some of the bonds that have gone by the wayside in recent times.

At the minute, I’m not the most reliable friend at all. I beat myself up for it. It’s one of the things I hate the most about this stupid illness. I love the idea of going out, seeing people, making plans and having things to look forward to but in reality, things don’t go to plan for whatever reason. In fact 80-90% of the time I’m having to change or cancel arrangements. I find myself backing out of things for various reasons and sometimes for no reason at all other that I’m having a bad day and would rather shut the world out and keep my glumness to myself. I definitely do not want anyone else to suffer in my sorrow, that’s for sure. Part of me craves the company of friends and is in need of the distractions but at the same time I don’t want to bring anyone down. There are days when facing up to people is harder than you’d imagine. It comes down to which side of me fights strongest on any particular day or at any specific time. Pot luck really!

I want to be a good friend, I want to be someone people can rely on and turn to, I need to be needed, I need the support and distractions and I’ve already lost way too many friends as an indirect result of the situation. As things stand, I can’t be that star friend. Striving for perfection, perfect plans, there for everyone, life and soul of the party, is doing nothing more than setting myself up to fail and giving me a reason to beat myself up. I’ve recognised this and taken a bit of a step back, if you hadn’t already noticed. I can’t juggle everything and take on board other mind boggling issues and thinking and worrying about certain circumstances and situations. As of late I haven’t made as many plans with people because I don’t want to be a let down and end up cancelling because I’m in pain or too tired or just can’t face it, but then the inevitable happens. Friendships widen, the closeness is lost, people stop getting in touch, i no longer get invited to things and subsequently the isolation and loneliness is exacerbated. It’s a bit of a catch 22. I don’t expect any of my friends or family to fully get it, I just want to draw a bit of an outline. I don’t get it and I’m living it!

So where do I go from here? I guess things get put on hold while I fight my own battles, I’ll try and do what I can, when I can, with who I can, without overwhelming myself or burning myself out. You could say I’m being a bit selfish. I am. I need to be. If I’m not I’m going to be stuck on this stepping stone forever, never moving forwards. I hope any family or friends reading this post know that I love and care about them and do think about them all. I miss the company and laughter and joy of being surrounded by you. But, at times, it’s hard, mentally and emotionally, to pick up the phone or make plans and meet up. I’m at war with myself. All I ask is please don’t give up on me. I will get there and the lost time will be reclaimed one day. For the time being, I will never say never. I do like going out and seeing everyone when the days are a bit better. It’s positive having something to look forward to at times. It’s a frustrating position to be in, however the other options, running on the spot and dropping the recovery plate, would be much more detramental to my health and relationships in the long run.

If I do cancel plans or haven’t been in touch. I’m sorry. Thank you for sticking by me.



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