Anxious friend

ccarolinec

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Hello all. I sort of just need a place to vent, but advice/wisdom will be greatly appreciated :thanks:
I have been friends with (I'll call her T for this posts sake) for 7+ years now. Part of the reason we bonded so deeply was over our shared struggles with anxiety. Though mine is more panic focused and hers is more generalized, we understand each other on another level and I feel I can be my full self around her.
All was fine I'd say up until 1-2 years ago. She moved a bit further away from me (she's still driving distance) so naturally, the amount of time we saw each other became less. It was still quite frequent though.
However, in these past couple months especially, her anxiety has gotten worse and worse. She tends to avoid any situation that makes her anxious, (so she doesn't work or go to school), but it's gotten to the point now where she refuses to spend time with anyone other than me and one of our other mutual friends. Any trips, plans, or activities not in her normal routine are completely out of the question now. Which of course is heartbreaking as I hate seeing her upset that she's missing out on opportunities, and many of our future plans are now nonexistent.
The biggest thing that's getting to me though, is that now it's progressed to a point where she gets anxious to even spend time with me. Of course I try to be patient, but I find myself in a cycle of getting frustrated that she refuses to push herself or when she makes solid plans to meet with me then bails last second, then guilty for even getting frustrated in the first place, etc. We used to see each other once or twice a week, now it's once a month if that.
I guess I just don't know the balance between being patient with her and trying to encourage her to push herself. I realize I can't force her, but as time wears on I'm beginning to wonder if I can even maintain this friendship anymore. Yes I can text and call her, but I'm a very face-to-face type of person, and I feel myself tempted to move on (which of course I feel horrible for).
Anyone gone through anything similar? Am I horrible for wanting to move on?
 

Jeniferdwn

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 21, 2010
I am alot like your friend. I can go to work and church because those are in my routine. I can go to most places with my hubby or one of my kids. DD is 17 and is seldom home because she is such a social butterfly. I try to go places with her and it makes me very nervous to the point I usually try to get her to ask her boyfriend or girlfriends to go with her. I feel so bad for not being the kind of mom that loves to go off and shop and go places, but I just hate those things. I did go Saturday before Easter and bought a new outfit because she begged me to and DH insisted i go get something new. I don't shop! That was a very hard thing to do and I went to a store that i felt "comfortable" going to. DS is almost 12 and doesn't like to leave the house either. I do take him to Taekwondo. He was being bullied in school and this was suggested to us. It took us literally weeks to work up the courage to walk in, but I also knew it was soemthing I really needed to do for him. I don't talk to people when we are out, I don't make eye contact with people and it's not fun! I have to make myself go to my BFFs house. she has been my friend since 3rd grade. But sometimes I just don't want to go. My mom pushed us so hard to go visit her during spring break. We went for 3 days and I couldn't wait to get back home. I will think of something I want from the store and it'll take me weeks to get up the nerve to go to these stores. It's hard to say if pushing your friend would help. Maybe tell her in advance that you are going to go somewhere or whatever it is and give her a couple days to get prepared to go. Then again, she may be able to go without thinking about it. Has she talked to a doctor or anyone? I am on anxiety meds and BP meds to calm my whole self down so my BP won't go too high. Does she have DH or kids? Can she do things with them? Maybe talk to her DH if she has one and see if she has confided in him. It almost sounds like she is suffering from depression as well as anxiety. I am opposite from you. I can text and email and chat online all day, but I only talk to my grandma on the phone. I don't even talk to mom. We text. It's hard to be this way and it's frustrating and scary and sometimes it makes you feel ashamed to be this way because most people don't understand it. One part of me says to give your friend some time, but then I think maybe someone needs to keep behind her so she doesn't give up. It's very hard to say. Wow, it felt good to admit all that!!!
 

ccarolinec

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
I am alot like your friend. I can go to work and church because those are in my routine. I can go to most places with my hubby or one of my kids. DD is 17 and is seldom home because she is such a social butterfly. I try to go places with her and it makes me very nervous to the point I usually try to get her to ask her boyfriend or girlfriends to go with her. I feel so bad for not being the kind of mom that loves to go off and shop and go places, but I just hate those things. I did go Saturday before Easter and bought a new outfit because she begged me to and DH insisted i go get something new. I don't shop! That was a very hard thing to do and I went to a store that i felt "comfortable" going to. DS is almost 12 and doesn't like to leave the house either. I do take him to Taekwondo. He was being bullied in school and this was suggested to us. It took us literally weeks to work up the courage to walk in, but I also knew it was soemthing I really needed to do for him. I don't talk to people when we are out, I don't make eye contact with people and it's not fun! I have to make myself go to my BFFs house. she has been my friend since 3rd grade. But sometimes I just don't want to go. My mom pushed us so hard to go visit her during spring break. We went for 3 days and I couldn't wait to get back home. I will think of something I want from the store and it'll take me weeks to get up the nerve to go to these stores. It's hard to say if pushing your friend would help. Maybe tell her in advance that you are going to go somewhere or whatever it is and give her a couple days to get prepared to go. Then again, she may be able to go without thinking about it. Has she talked to a doctor or anyone? I am on anxiety meds and BP meds to calm my whole self down so my BP won't go too high. Does she have DH or kids? Can she do things with them? Maybe talk to her DH if she has one and see if she has confided in him. It almost sounds like she is suffering from depression as well as anxiety. I am opposite from you. I can text and email and chat online all day, but I only talk to my grandma on the phone. I don't even talk to mom. We text. It's hard to be this way and it's frustrating and scary and sometimes it makes you feel ashamed to be this way because most people don't understand it. One part of me says to give your friend some time, but then I think maybe someone needs to keep behind her so she doesn't give up. It's very hard to say. Wow, it felt good to admit all that!!!
First of all, sending lots of love your way as I know how debilitating anxiety is. I'm truly sorry you struggle so much with it. It really is a nasty thing.
Second of all, nope, no DH or kids. Dating is another thing off the list of possible things for her at the moment. But yes, she's currently testing out meds but not sure how consistent she is with it, though I know she sees her therapist regularly.
Again I agree with you, maybe there is no solid answer to this situation. I don't wanna just cut her out of my life obviously because I care about her very much and I understand she's not enjoying this either. My fear is I'm making her feel worse because I'll always ask to spend time with her and of course she feels very guilty when she cancels last second. By move on I guess I meant more letting her reach out to me. I really don't know. I am willing to give her all the patience she needs but also fear she isn't getting the encouragement either.
 

4Mickeys

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
But yes, she's currently testing out meds but not sure how consistent she is with it, though I know she sees her therapist regularly.
Hope things are going better by now - but noticed this sentence in your reply. As you may know some meds actually increase anxiety whilst your body gets used to them or may not be the medicine for you due to that reaction to them. If she is not taking the dosage properly or is going on and off different ones this may be contributing to the increase in anxiety you are talking about. Anxiety is tough - I have experienced to varying levels for 18 years now - I have not taken meds in a long time. Everyone is different but yes sometimes you do need someone to give you some support (push) but also this can feel overwhelming if done the wrong way.
 



Connect

Disney News and Updates

Get Daily Email Updates

DIS INSTAGRAM

Top