Friendless and Forgiveness

Recently I experienced a rash of bad luck. You could call it less of a rash and more like a spread of incurable, flesh eating diseases. I bombed a premier performance, I have lost my drivers license, passport, buss pass, school ID and social security card, I can’t register for classes because I have a $50 fine on my account (college!), I was rejected by someone who I wasn’t even dating, but the most harmful… I was let down by my closest friends.

On Tuesday (it is now Wednesday night) my friends and I were supposed to go on an apartment hunting trip, but I didn’t have the strength. I was lethargic, suffering from ennui and no one said anything to me. Nothing. While waiting for the bus, they had their backs turned to me, making small talk about classes but not a word to me. Not a single, “How are you?” “Are you okay?”. For context, I have known these people for years, some of them since around the time I moved to town. Some of my longest relationships with anyone in the city. I have confided, consoled, and connected with each of these individuals in a way that I thought was unique and meaningful. I thought.

I was so burdened under the mental strain of what I was going through coupled with the feeling of stigma and isolation from my own friends that I started to cry. On the bus. This led to even further alienation, no one sat next to me, no one looked at me and when the tears grew noticeable to the people around me the only person who had the kindness to talk to me was a woman sitting in front of me.
It wasn’t until I texted my “friend” who was sitting two feet away from me, that he came over and spoke to me. He apologized, half-heartedly, about what an asshole he was and how much he was too afraid to come speak to me. What I couldn’t understand was why. Why did it take me, telling him I was hurt, for him to come and talk to me, the friend he claimed to care for so much? Why did he feel it was appropriate for him to ignore me? What did he think I would do? Stop crying, cheer up and ask everyone if they were up for fro-yo?
These were my closest friends. People I trusted so much I wanted to move in with. People who left me crying alone on a bus, while they laughed.

What do you do? How do you move on from people who were so ingrained in your life that you have to rearrange your daily life? People who think so little of you and your feelings that you will never get an apology out of them.
In life, we are often confronted by people like this. People who take what you’ve given them without a single thank you or thought of what you might be going through. People who when it is their turn to return some of that, they come to you with empty hands.
These people will never apologize, more often than not, they won’t even feel bad for what they’ve done to you. The world is like a minefield, we are blind to navigate, never seeing those people who would blow us apart and shatter us before we can even see them coming. We can do nothing, but gather the pieces and put ourselves back together. It hurts to think that these people can replace you, they can just blow you off and move onto other friends, as if the time you have together was nothing. But the truth is, they did you a favor. They exposed themselves for who they really were, not your real friends.

Another truth: you will find new friends. It may take time, it may take years but it will happen. There will be a time when you won’t even think about them. Hold on to your anger, you have a right to be upset, it will prevent you from going back to a friendship with people who don’t care for you. Don’t worry about forgiveness just yet, when you are so happy with your new friends, that’s when they can have your forgiveness, when you don’t even think about them anymore.

My friend has depression…

Over the course of 10 years since my diagnosis of bipolar disorder and manic depression, I have had many friends come in and out of my life. Many of them were exposed to my depression and the symptoms that it has. Some of theme helped me and supported me, some of them withdrew from me, but most of all of them wanted to help me in some way. It can be hard to know how to help a friend during these times, they can seem irrational, hopeless and stubborn, you may run out of things to say and feel awkward. But just being there for your friend is actually a huge help. So whether you have a friend, a relative, or a significant other here are ways you can help them.

 Depression is a serious condition. Don’t underestimate the seriousness of depression. Depression drains a person’s energy, optimism, and motivation. Your depressed loved one can’t just “snap out of it” by sheer force of will.
· The symptoms of depression aren’t personal. Depression makes it difficult for a person to connect on a deep emotional level with anyone, even the people he or she loves most. In addition, depressed people often say hurtful things and lash out in anger. Remember that this is the depression talking, not your loved one, so try not to take it personally.
· Hiding the problem won’t make it go away. Don’t be an enabler. It doesn’t help anyone involved if you are making excuses, covering up the problem, or lying for a friend or family member who is depressed. In fact, this may keep the depressed person from seeking treatment.
· You can’t “fix” someone else’s depression. Don’t try to rescue your loved one from depression. It’s not up to you to fix the problem, nor can you. You’re not to blame for your loved one’s depression or responsible for his or her happiness (or lack thereof). Ultimately, recovery is in the hands of the depressed person.
Signs that your friend or family member may be depressed
· He or she doesn’t seem to care about anything anymore.
· He or she is uncharacteristically sad, irritable, short-tempered, critical, or moody.
· He or she has lost interest in work, sex, hobbies, and other pleasurable activities.
· He or she talks about feeling “helpless” or “hopeless.”
· He or she expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life.
· He or she frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain.
· He or she complains of feeling tired and drained all the time.
· He or she has withdrawn from friends, family, and other social activities.
· He or she is either sleeping less than usual or oversleeping.
· He or she is eating either more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight.
· He or she has become indecisive, forgetful, disorganized, and “out of it.”
· He or she is drinking more or abusing drugs, including prescription sleeping pills and painkillers.
How to talk to a loved one about depression
Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when speaking to a loved one about depression. You might fear that if you bring up your worries he or she will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns. You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive.
If you don’t know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. Encourage the depressed person to talk about his or her feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment. And don’t expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.
Ways to start the conversation:
· I have been feeling concerned about you lately.
· Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.
· I wanted to check in with you because you have seemed pretty down lately.
Questions you can ask:
· When did you begin feeling like this?
· Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?
· How can I best support you right now?
· Do you ever feel so bad that you don’t want to be anymore?
· Have you thought about getting help?
Remember, being supportive involves offering encouragement and hope. Very often, this is a matter of talking to the person in language that he or she will understand and respond to while in a depressed mind frame.
What you can say that helps:
· You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.
· You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.
· I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
· When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold of for just one more day, hour, minute — whatever you can manage.
· You are important to me. Your life is important to me.
· Tell me what I can do now to help you.
Avoid saying:
· It’s all in your head.
· We all go through times like this.
· Look on the bright side.
· You have so much to live for why do you want to die?
· I can’t do anything about your situation.
· Just snap out of it.
· What’s wrong with you?
· Shouldn’t you be better by now.

Help! I’m a girl and I have a crush on my girl friend!

Help me Monster Girl! 
I’m a girl and recently a friend of mine (also a girl) has started dating a new boy. I was very excited for her in the beginning but then I started feeling really jealous, especially when its just the three of us. I cringe when they hug, I feel sick when they kiss and don’t even get me started when they do all the cutesy, baby talk that couples do. I discovered that my jealousy came from the feelings I have for her, the romantic feelings that I have for her. What should I do? I don’t want to ruin my friendship, but I can’t deny my feelings for her. HELP! 

In the eternal words of my fantasy gay grandpa, George Takei, Oh my! You’ve got quite the not-so-really love triangle going on.  But I have been through the same thing many times in my life. When we build relationships between people, we often begin to feel feelings that are not defined as being the strictly platonic heterosexual relations that happen between friends. It’s natural to love our friends, but consider their feelings too. Love your friend, channel this crush into a healthy loving friendship but don’t take it too far. But lets be real, she’s not dating you, she’s dating him. It’s not your place to intersect into their relationship, it’s not right. That’s your friend right? You care for her? Then respect her decision to date whomever she so chooses. Also you have to decide what is more important to you, your friendship or these feelings?  And I hate to be a buzzkill but these feelings only surfaced because she was in a relationship with someone else, maybe you are jealous of the time she’s spending with someone else and you’re getting a little possessive. That’s why I say chill, just keep being a good friend and be there for her. Support her, and hopefully you’ll be able to figure out how to love her, as a friend.
In the meantime, listen to this song about girl crushes called “Jenny” by Studio Killers


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Why You’re Single

Having recently renounced any search for a relationship in the bid for a more peaceful and internally beneficial life, I still have my hang ups. Why am I still single? Is it the negativity, the narcissism, the love of animated cartoon porn? I don’t have an answer for that. I just know that right now, here, at this age, I’m single and I don’t know when I won’t be. It may be soon it may be never. I just read this on Thought Catalog a couple of days ago and I wanted to share it with you.

                                                               Why You’re Single

OCT. 17, 2012

You’re single because you’re single. It’s not because you texted too much or too little or waited 33 minutes to respond because he took 23. It’s not because you met up with your ex that night at 5 a.m. that no one knows about, or because you kissed another boy after a date with a loser.
You’re not single because you spit food on that date or tripped coming out the the movie theatre. You’re not single because you hurt your first boyfriend really badly when you were 15 or because you have yet, to this day, to apologize. It’s not because you were secretly jealous when your friend got a boyfriend or that a guy you dated for two months now has a really cute girlfriend and looks really happy. And you’re happy for him. But still ill that he found someone before you.
You’re not single because you slept with your ex boyfriend. You’re not single because half the world found out when you didn’t even want to remember it yourself. You’re not single because you think the guy your friend wants to hook you up with is ugly or not tall enough. It’s not because you’re not willing to put up with someone who doesn’t brush their teeth on a regular basis.
You’re not single because your standards are too high. Good for you for having standards. It’s not because you didn’t like that really, really good guy who wanted to take you on a date and you just weren’t feeling it. And it’s not because you like to wear pajama pants as soon as you get home and wash all the makeup off your face. You’re not single because you didn’t learn enough from the past or would rather chill on a Friday night with your blanket and a cold beer than shower, get ready, and go out. You’re not single because something is wrong with you.
You are single because you are single. It’s really as simple as that. You haven’t made the connection with another heart yet. You can get dolled up, dress cute, cut your hair, dye your hair, tweeze your eyebrows, put on lipstick and you may still. be. single. You can go out to a bar hoping to meet the love of your life and not find a damn one in the place attractive. And it’s going to remain that way until it’s time for you to find one. Stop hoping for it. Start living the life that you do have instead of wishing for things that you don’t have. There will come a time you’ll meet a boy and you’ll have to give up some of this single freedom you currently have. Start being more thankful. Start doing that now. TC Mark


Found here at Thought Catalog

Living with a Mental Disorder

From the film ‘Girl, Interrupted’


When I was 13 I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was hospitalized and medically treated in a children’s ward, for three months. Since 13 I have had six suicide attempts and three additional hospitalizations. My condition has been improving, marginally since 21 despite not being medicated, but over Christmas break I had a sort of relapse. I was not suicidal but rather listless, depressed, and I refused to eat or get out of bed. My family was so concerned for me that they called a mental health center who came out and saw me immediately. I was put into outpatient therapy and am currently getting back onto a medication treatment.
There were days when I couldn’t eat.
There were weeks when all I did was sleep.
There were months when I would harm myself and cry myself to sleep.
It was terrible. Terrible for my family, terrible for my friends, and terrible for my significant others who wanted to help, didn’t know how, but were caught up in the windstorm of my emotions.
I failed many classes, lost a couple of jobs, and ruined several relationships because of this. I am filled with regret mostly because I don’t even have a clear reason for these things except for the fact that I was sick and unable to make clear decisions.
Since January I have decided to make my life the best that it possibly can be and I wanted to share some of my methods of living with a mental disorder.

“Sorrowing Old Man (At Eternity’s Gate)” – Vincent Van Gough
  • Admit it to yourself. Understand that you have a mental disorder, you are not a bad person, you have a condition that affects your emotions and brain chemistry. These things need to be treated, like any other health issue, and if you don’t treat it it may continue to worsen. Saying that, having a mental disorder is no excuse for being destructive you are responsible for the management of your condition. A person with a disease cannot expose themselves to other irresponsibly, right? 
  • Seek help. Inpatient treatment is admitting yourself to a hospital if you feel like you are a danger to yourself or others and/or if you cannot continue to function. You will have access to doctors who will asses your condition and put you on the proper path to wellness. If you are suicidal or homicidal I would recommend this option. Outpatient treatment are options like therapy, group therapy, and counseling, this may be once a month, once a week, or several times a week. If you don’t feel like you need extensive care you should seek outpatient care. Having a professional help you sort out your issues and ways of dealing with them, is the best way to come to terms with your disorder.
  • Let go of your old life. The way you used to do things is not working, let it go. The way you approached your health, your relationships, your career, your daily life is over and you need to accept the change. You may discover that the things in your life are contributing to your condition and they need to be changed or abandoned. I have panic attacks triggered by a fear of failure or looking stupid, and I have to start learning how to let go of that fear to live a full life. 
  • Research your diagnosis. This is your life, your health and you need to take responsibility for it. Look up what your diagnosis means, what is this disorder what are common symptoms and treatments for it. What are the effects of the medicine that you were given and what is the rate of success. Is cognitive therapy available for it and are you able to start enacting some personal therapy of your own to help you deal with the disorder. 
Designs from a candy store in Barcelona called “Happy Pills”
  • Take the time. Tell people that you are making moves to get well and have patience with yourself. You are not going to get well over night and you need the time, the space and the understanding to get well. If you are living in a toxic environment that is counterproductive to your health, you have to address this. You can’t get well on the inside if the outside is also a mess. Taking the time and making the steps to get well may require you to make changes to your environment. Evaluate the people around you and if they are not encouraging you to get well, then you need to move away from them and take care of yourself. 
  • Try some physical therapy. I used to hate when people told me to try exercising. I was like “are you calling me fat?!” but it really does work. Exercise regulates our bodies(to help you sleep), releases dopamine (the feel good chemical), and gives you an excuse to focus on something else in your life. There is scientific evidence that having a healthy body can help us mentally as well, sharpening focus, reasoning, and stress levels. Exercise is sometimes the last thing I want to do but I do it now because its a habit for me. It’s me time. 
Hopefully these things have helped you. I can’t tell you that I have completely recovered, it is a daily struggle to stay well and reach happiness. My goal in all of this is to live a peaceful life and come to an acceptance of myself. I am on the road right now, there are good days and bad but I am making the decision to keep trying. I hope you keep trying too. 
Here are some resources:
http://www.befrienders.org/ – International
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/ – for Gay, Lesbian, Trans, Bisexual teens in the US

Nice Girl Syndrome – Surviving the "Friend Zone"

You are now entering…. 
The Friend Zone

We have all been there. You’ve been his friend for a long time, you’ve been there for his ups and downs, supported him, and always felt an attraction but he has never noticed you. Your other friends know about the attraction but you can’t seem to just tell him how you feel, instead settling on the security of the relationship as it is. You’d rather stay by his side as a best friend than risk losing him. You fear that saying anything will make things awkward, but that doesn’t stop you from thinking about him every night and day.
You’ve heard all about how if a guy likes you he will do everything to get you. Perhaps you already know he has someone that he likes, someone way different than you. You’d like to be seen as a potential mate but you can’t seem to show him anything other than your buddy-buddy “just like one of the guys” side.
You’re trapped.
Not much is talked about the “Nice Girl Syndrome” because most attention is given to the “Nice Guy”, a destructive often emotionally demeaning male who thinks that any girl who doesn’t want to date him is a ‘dumb slut’. But I am here to say that first hand, girls often suffer from “Nice Girl” just as much, if not more. Often mistaken for just being nice, the girl who is good friends with a guy is afraid that if she is forward, she will be labeled as “pushy” or “aggressive”. But ladies, how are you supposed to get the things you want if you don’t go out and get them?

  • Okay first, evaluate this relationship  Look at this guy. Is he dating material? Or would it just be better if you stayed friends? Sometimes we think that we are attracted to people when really they are just the focus of our obsessions or fantasies. Are you just physically attracted to him? What would you gain from moving this relationship further? Would you be any better off as bf/gf than just friends?
  • Okay now think about this guy, has he ever given you signals that he is attracted to you? Does he get jealous when you talk about other guys? Does he ask you about your dating life? Is he interested in what you find to be attractive in a mate? These are subtle signs that this person wants to date you but is also too nervous to ask. But don’t be too sensitive to this, he may be a possessive friend, watch out for that!
  • Have you ever discussed dating each other? Have you ever discussed the nature of your relationship? What was their reaction? Did they recoil in disgust??? Because that may be a sign that they don’t want to date you.
  • I’m going to say this and it’s the most important piece of advice, BE DIRECT. This is scary as hell and don’t I know it! Rejection sucks! But if you want something you have to go out and grab it! Tell this guy you like him, you’ve liked him for a while and you’d like to move onto something more.

Then you’re done right? You’re dating and you’re like totes in luuuurve! Wait no- he did what? That fucker!

Okay Part 2
How to Survive Rejection.

He didn’t want to date you. He said that you are better as friends and he doesn’t want to ruin that. Before telling him he’s a fucking loser who lost out on a great girl and you could do better STOP and breathe!
BREATHE GIRL!
It hurts. It hurts so bad and all you can think about is how are you going to move on from this? But its not the end the world, its not even the end of the relationship if you so chose.
Ask yourself if you want what he’s offering you. Do you want to just be friends? Was your friendship a healthy relationship and did it satisfy you? Or were you just holding on so that you could ask him out or eventually be asked out one day? If this friendship wasn’t working out for you then maybe a romantic relationship wouldn’t have been any better.
Take a break for a minute, focus on some other things. Talk to your other friends about it and look elsewhere. It can be hard sometimes when you live in a small town and the intimate relationships with boys are few and far between but there are other people out there. There are. Your friend may feel like the only good guy out there but he may just be a good friend, but not the right romantic partner. Widen your views, there may be a guy out there that you are friend zoning, and you should give more people a chance.
But just understand that you haven’t lost anything. You still have a friend and things can move on with your friendship if you don’t let your pride or expectations come in between that. Friendships can be just as good for you and just as enriching, if you allow them to be. And when that combination of friend and boy comes together to form a boyfriend hopefully your friend who is a boy will still be there to support you. 

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