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5 Reasons Why My Friends Make Me Afraid Sometimes in Mental Illness Recovery

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First off, I want to thank you. I have so many things to thank you for. Moments when you have cheered me on, moments when you have held me while crying, moments when you have made me smile, even while in the throes of depression.

You are some of the reasons I have continued to work toward my goals. The reasons I have not given up. The reasons I am still alive today. Still, you’re also the reasons why I’m afraid. The reasons why I get wrapped up in my own brain, hesitating to tell you anything I am going through. These are the reasons why.

1. I have never had someone who has known some of the darkest moments of my life.

This is mostly because too many have left me behind as I’ve begun to trust them.

2. My mask is not as strong as is used to be.

I’ll admit, I can be far too proud at times. My mask is not as strong as it used to be, but there are times when I cannot let myself show the emotions I feel, because my brain and experiences tell me it is weakness.

3. I’m scared I will say too much. 

I’m afraid you will get scared when you hear of the times I almost left this world and the ways I coped with my pain.

4. I don’t want to be a burden.

I’ve been feeling this pain for so long now that I never want anyone to feel that way — even if it is secondhand.

5. I don’t want you to think I only appreciate your friendship because you listen to my problems.

I appreciate your friendship. Enormously. But I do not ever want you to think it is only because you listen to my problems. I value you and the crazy and wild moments we share together too much.

All of this said, there are so many reasons I love having you around and confiding in you.

1. You have never judged my past.

But you’ve always understood how it shaped me into who I am today.

2. You somehow convince me happiness is possible.

You show me things will not always be as dark as they are right now.

3. You understand I do not want to feel this way.

You know I am fighting this battle almost every day of my life. You have seen it firsthand.

4. You embrace my wild days.

You allow me to say and do weird things like walking around the kitchen like a dinosaur.

5. You make me feel loved. 

You make me feel like goofy friendships are worth the annoyances we may cause each other, because we know there will be somebody in our corner when we need them.

So yes. I am afraid. I’m terrified. But more than anything, I am grateful for your friendship, your love, your goofiness and your support. I’m sorry for the moments when I run, hide, shut down, cry or need someone to carry this weight with me. I will never be able to thank you enough.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via shironosov.

Originally published: April 18, 2017
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