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When Your Mental Illness Makes You Feel Like You're 'Too Much' for Your Friends

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There is a famous quote, or maybe it’s just super over-pinned on Pinterest, that says: “You will be ‘too much’ for some people. Too loud, too soft. Too this, too that. But you’ll always be perfect for the people who need you.” As someone has been dealing with mental illness for the past almost eight years of my life, this quote rings truer than words I can write.

There have been many times where I’ve sat on my bed alone, sobbing over a friendship wrecked. There have been many times where I obsessed over the words I said and the things I did, berating myself over the what ifs. There have been so many dark nights where I sat replaying ever word they said to me: “I just can’t,” “You are exhausting”, “Do you even try anymore” and the all to well know, “you’re just too much.”

But for all of those times, there have been friends who sat with me while I packed my bags for break, and friends who brought me because they knew I needed it, and friends who sat in the lobby of my therapy appointments, and friends who listened to me ramble hours of incoherent words over soft sobs on the phone at midnight.

There are the people who love just where you are. And just because they aren’t always shouting their love or care from the rooftops doesn’t mean they don’t love you or care for you or worry about you.

While dealing with mental illness drastically affects your friendships – and sometimes in the hardest and most inconvenient of ways, it doesn’t make you unlovable. You will never be “too sick” or “too crazy” or “too much” for the people who are supposed to be in your life. In fact, your sickness or “too much-ness” will probably point out the real gems of friends you actually have much earlier in your life than if you weren’t sick. No, I’m not saying being sick is a blessing, far from it, but I’m saying being sick can provide you with

Now the next time you lose a friend, whether it be in a dramatic I-just-can’t-handle-you monologue in public (where you sob like a baby in front of an embarrassingly large number of passers by) or over the slow ghosting of contact (though lack of text message replies and abruptly cancelled plans), let yourself have a good cry and a nice bowl of ice cream. Or the next time you feel alone and you sob for hours on your bed about how you’re a bad person or you’re too broken, remember you are not a bad person or friend or anything. The friendship just wasn’t meant to be. There is a difference.

Then (if you’re me), put on something other than yesterday’s pajamas and go and meet your friend who once texted you asking if you were OK after you missed class or the one who sat with you through a panic attack, if they’d like to go grab brunch. And chances are if they are free, they will willing accept the offer and brighten your morning with coffee and conversation and compassion. Because that was meant to be.

The people you are “too much for” aren’t the people who you need in your life anyway. And honestly, good riddance.

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Thinkstock photo by Marija Radovic

Originally published: March 10, 2017
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