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Thread: emotionally supporting a friend when you are running on empty?

  1. #21
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    If she won't help herself through therapy, then there is little you can do. I do think that the government or other agencies should be helping her. You are not qualified.

  2. #22
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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    You are not qualified.
    I'm not trying to address all of her issues. I was focused on this one thing. . . the business about staying in the RV. I listened as any good friend was. I validated her feelings of being upset. I tried to reassure her then I tried to change the subject. After 2 hours of this, I did not have the wherewithal to continue propping her up. I know I am not qualified to address her grief or her employment problems. I am also not trying to.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    You aren't a bad friend for being tired and needing sleep like humans do.
    She wasn't in an emergency situation, you said she wanted to stay up drinking. She wanted to cry into a beer bottle some more. Why do you feel bad for saying no to participating in that?

  4. #24
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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    Why do you feel bad for saying no to participating in that?
    Because she was crying so hard.

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  6. #25
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TeeDee
    Because she was crying so hard.
    Do you think maybe she had a few drinks in her by that point maybe?

  7. #26
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    No. She had 2 glasses of wine.

  8. #27
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    Originally Posted by TeeDee
    Because she was crying so hard.
    If she was hysterical over such a minor situation, she clearly needs help. I think you should be pushing her in this direction.

  9. #28
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Your friend is an energy vampire. Google those words.

    I have a cousin whose life reads like a Greek tragedy. Her insurmountable problems are fraught in endless turmoil. I did everything for her for many years. I gave her a ton of money, gift cards, gifts, handmade gifts (quilts & other sewn items), clothes, shoes for her, her children, food, we emailed daily, visited one another with long road trips and I did "the right thing" morally. I eventually burned out. I was sick 'n tired of being in hero mode. It's not my responsibility to save the day. While I felt sorry for her, it's her life, her problems. I have enough troubles of my own. I had to cut her loose.

    For a while, it was hard and I felt awfully guilty for leaving her high and dry. Then eventually I realized how I grew to enjoy a stress-free life, my immediate family, local relatives / in-laws, being with my Golden Retriever and felt relieved! I actually began to enjoy my life normally as opposed to making other people's my problems.

    I agree with others regarding enforcing healthy boundaries. You have to draw the line somewhere. You are not your friend's caretaker and therapist.

    What you need to do is learn how to say "NO." Initially it was difficult for me to learn to decline for fear of disapproval and lack of acceptance. I eventually grew to practice declining in order to save my own sanity and it does wonders for your soul. Suddenly you'll have FREEDOM.

    Certain people feel like a heavy ball 'n chain. You need to cut it off in order to have the right to live your own life joyously.

    In the past, I helped everyone (neighbors / friends / relatives / extended relatives / in-laws / acquaintances) with home cooked meal deliveries, money, gifts, my time and labor. I don't do that anymore. I enjoy my quiet, stress-free life which is better. I also finally have more time for me and my immediate family which is incredibly refreshing. Instead of focusing on others, I prefer to cook special gourmet meals for my family, immerse myself into my hobbies, exercise and the like. I didn't have time to focus on what I wanted to do when I was so busy catering to energy vampires.

    You don't have to feel sorry for everyone. Live your own life. It's sad about your friend. She needs to be responsible for her own life just like everyone else on this planet. We don't bother nor burden each other. No one should be an imposition.

    I still have sympathy and compassion for others. I just know my practical, realistic limits nowadays and hopefully you will, too.

  10. #29
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    You listened to her for two hours, until your own energy levels ran out. For very good reasons - both for yourself and your husband - you opted not to take on this woman's sorrows as she got increasingly drunk and passed out on your sofa. It was probably good for her not to be encouraged to drink any more alcohol, since it IS a depressant and she was already feeling upset.

    No matter how well intentioned you are, we all have limits. You gave her everything you had to give at that point, and you are no more a bad friend than someone who gave away their entire stock of food to someone who nevertheless needed more. You gave her all you'd got, and to point out the blindingly obvious - that was all you'd got. No need to feel lousy when you'd already done your best.

  11. #30
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I listened to her be upset for almost 2 hours.
    I would have cut this off with a change in subject after 10 minutes. If she resisted, I'd tell her that I can't speak for her, but I won't allow that woman's stupidity to cloud my day, and she can either join me in the present to discuss happier subjects, or not, but that's where I'm going.

    Indulgence is not support. It only feeds a monster that turns trivia into tragedy, and I'm clear that none of that is 'good' for anyone involved. I'll support a quick vent, but if the person isn't willing to find the joke, or a solution, or an otherwise benign ending to the matter within a reasonable amount of time, then they are welcome to take it up with someone less dedicated to mental health rather than a mental spin into a deeper hole to climb out of.

    So there would be no misgivings on my part about moving friend along. She may not 'like' it, but's that's too-bad-so-sad. We all need to learn how to cope with unfairness, and my definition of support is to model how to do that rather than dive into the mud and wallow with someone.

    The woman who rejected the 'drama' had the right idea.

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