Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

A Friend I Wish I Didn’t Have~ Rae

on February 26, 2013

HH_depressionfinal

How honest should I be about this?  Humans are not usually very truthful about this topic.  I guess I can safely admit is that there are people and things in my life that I often wish would go away.

Don’t we all have that “thing” in our lives that is burdensome:  A person or problem we wish would either move out of our lives entirely or change?  Someone who gets invited to events out of guilt or habit?  Something stuck to your soul, like gum sticks to the sole of a shoe?

I have a friend like this who is really not good for me.  Let’s call her “Dee”.

Dee had been on the periphery of my life for many years, but in 2007-2008 she became a treacherous influence which I can’t seem to shake.  Before then I was able to manage this relationship better.  I could stand up to Dee and tell her no when she was attempting to coerce me into doing things that I knew were wrong or dangerous.  One would think that as an adult it would be easy to get this piranha out of my life.  Nevertheless, she has a hook in me and I can’t pry her loose.  Oh I try: I ignore her.  I make plans that don’t include her.  I try to avoid situations where I know she is likely to show up.

Strangely, there is also a certain part of me that is drawn to her.  She is a comfortable known.  She speaks her lies so reasonably in my ear that I find myself listening to her.  It is just easier to go along with her than fight her. Then again, I find myself weary of this struggle.  I mean for goodness sake – I am 38 years old and if I don’t want to play with someone, then by golly, I shouldn’t have to.

Easier said than done.

I don’t know why I am so pathetic when it comes to Dee.  Before 2007, I scoffed at people who would tell me about toxic friends. I would tell them suck it up and be a grown up.  However, after my life fell apart for a while in 2008, I lost my moxie.  Dee sunk her claws into me at my weakest moment. She drew strength from my pain.  She squeezed her way into the forefront of my life when I was paying attention elsewhere. Now she sits there, smirking.  Now I give in easier than I used to, which multiples her power.  I would rather just pretend to agree than have conflict.  I have always been a Passive Aggressive Queen, but for the last few years I have struggled to not just be completely passive.  Ironically, I can now relate to the people I used to belittle for not being able to remove someone malevolent from their lives.

What does Dee trick me into doing?  What could be so bad about Dee?  She convinces me I am worthless.  I am not sure how she does it, but she makes me lethargic.  She drains my energy and makes me want to crawl under the blankets and just stay there.  Forever.  She plants seeds of doubt in my head.  She causes me to imagine horrible scenarios that MIGHT happen.  She makes me nervous, fretful.  She viciously tells me the people in my life don’t truly love me, nor do they have any reason to love me.  The worst part is she smiles while she does this, because she knows I fall for her tricks.

I am going to admit something here I have never admitted before: I have frequently contemplated finding a way to remove her very existence from the face of the earth.

You gasp, right? You are contemplating calling the police right now aren’t you? Those of you who know me are running the names of all my friends through your head, wondering if you need to warn everyone that I have lost it.

Well I have definitely lost it, but before you call in the cavalry let me give you her real name so you can be accurate when you turn me in to the authorities.

Dee’s full name is Depression and she sucks.  I hate her.

And while I know she is not a real person, I have personified her because it truly feels like I am in a war.

According to statistics I am not alone in my battle with Dee, “Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year” (http://www.upliftprogram.com/depression_stats.html ).  There are many of us who have this sick- twisted love/hate relationship with her.  Maybe it’s hereditary. Maybe it’s environmental. Whatever the case may be, Dee needs to be defeated.  She needs to be stopped.  And one way we can destroy her is by exposing her.

I have rarely admitted my relationship with her or shared with others that I have this battle waging inside me.  It’s hard for me to admit that I have had to seek help and take medicine.  It makes me feel weak.  In reality, fighting her through any means necessary is not weakness; giving up would be weakness.

So I fight and if you are struggling, I encourage you to fight. She is not stronger than we are together.  She is a sneaky little witch, but we cannot let her win and take away our joy.

Some resources to help hinder Dee:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_tips.htm

http://www.helpfordepression.com/

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2010/10-ways-to-help-someone-whos-depressed/


6 responses to “A Friend I Wish I Didn’t Have~ Rae

  1. Shan says:

    I can relate! A few years ago I realized that just about every time I have looked down on how someone else handle a situation, I have come to experience things that open my eyes to the other side. I am hoping the “wisdom of my years” (ha!) will help me keep my mouth shut and avoid some of those painful lessons. We’ll see how THAT goes!

    Like

  2. kick her to the curb. 😉

    Like

  3. Becky says:

    Never, ever give up! One step at a time, one day at a time….and thank you for your honesty! You are amazing!

    Like

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