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Why Friendship Is Fundamental to Mental Health Recovery

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A fundamental part of the recovery process, particularly for mental health problems where isolation of oneself is wontedly found. And when I say friends, I mean by my own personal definition of people who raise you up and cheer you on, always radiating positive vibes; the few people who exist in your own world for the sole purpose of enticing you to smile and platonic love.

When you’re feeling as if you’re caged and entrenched in an endless spiral of melancholic darkness, we need a support network of people who make us feel a little less lonely. I always feel reassured texting a close friend knowing I’ll get a response, or they’ve at least acknowledged and appreciated my existence, instead of feeling trapped inside a small space within my cranium. I always profoundly appreciate my friends who withhold a non-judgmental stance and still array affection for me at my most euphoric and depressive episodes. I appreciate them for how I have someone so beautifully brilliant in my life.

My most significant friendships are the ones that can see my own aptitude for success in life; they see my flaws and love me despite them. They’re the friends I can call late at night, blubbering in tears and snot, and also trek around the capital of England in quest of vegan burgers and free toilets. They offer me all sorts of priceless memories I can cherish.

And these friendships can in fact seem impossibly far-fetched. For someone who used to live in a world of social seclusion, it would have been inconceivable to say one day I would have friends with whom I would laugh until I cried as we paraded down central London with glitter smeared across our eyes. To say I’ve traveled in the name of companionship would have seemed like an impossibility. In actual fact, if you could have found a person who could define lonely, it would have been me. There was a point in my life I felt utterly unable to connect with others.

Thus why I believe friendships to be so fundamentally important. They can encourage you to come out of your shell in ways you could never have dreamed of before. They can help you to not only brave but embrace the world. It helps us to reconnect with a world we perhaps were at a disconnect from with a void of despondency. Friendships are so eminent to our well-being, and we need to constantly remind our friends of how much we love them (because I know I love mine).

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