Wow, I thought “It’s not just me” when I read the heading. This isn’t just with friends either. It is sometimes with people I don’t even like or who are just acquaintances, but the interaction still bothers me and upsets me. I ruminate and still remember past “offenses” that are years old. But I’m getting better.
I have ADHD and depression. My youngest son has mild depression and ADHD, and my oldest son has high functioning autism and is at a special school in a state on the opposite side of the country then we are because he could not leave his room. Both of our sons severe struggles came out in the last two years and I truly found out who my friends were. I was barely functioning and keeping it together and all the friends with whom I had spent a lot of time with prior to this were NOT the ones that helped or reached out to me. I realized that I had kind of two sets of friends:
Those that were fun to hang out with (mostly) but I always ended up not feeling very good about myself if I spent too much time with them
AND Those that were fun to hang out with (almost always), didn’t see as much, but always ended up wishing I could spend more time with them.
Guess who provided the most support in the last couple of years? We get different things out of friendships. Some are meant for deep connections some are not. I’ve learned to figure out who serves what purpose. (Not on a calculated level, just based on interactions, etc) I have friends that I love to grab a cup of coffee with, go get my nails done, take a walk, see a movie, but deep meaningful supportive conversations are not possible. I sort of call these “human interaction” friends. I love to be alone, but I can also get too much in my head if I don’t get out and do stuff. I know I can not count on these friends to provide the emotional support I need so I don’t try to get it from them anymore, but I do enjoy their company with in limits. So I CHOOSE to keep them in my life and believe we both find value in the type of friendship we have.
Because of all the challenges my boys have had, I have been learning a lot about myself. My younger son and I did a parent/teen DBT group and I must say, out of any ‘therapeutic’ help I’ve had in the last 30 years, this has provided the most immediate and useful tools. It helped me ‘accept’ my feelings, and also helped me realize that I was in control of how much I suffered from them. I don’t ignore them or judge them, I just try and look at them from a different perspective. It is sort of like hitting the pause button. Not ignoring, or beating myself up, or telling myself to stop, just telling myself to CHOOSE how I want to deal with the emotions. Just giving myself that power helps minimize the impact. My favorite skill is RADICAL ACCEPTANCE. A different approach to “if you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry”. That is so passive in my opinion, but to Radically Accept something? That makes me feel powerful, like I’m in control.
Sorry if I sound preachy and I know this is long, but I can’t tell you how many years I have struggled with being sensitive and emotional and over reacting and suffering because I seem to just be so much more of these things than others. DBT has been the only thing that has helped me really feel like it’s ok, I don’t need to bury the sadness, anger, frustration, etc. But I can control what I do with them. Seems like a simple concept but it really wasn’t for me until someone helped guide me.
If you want to private message me, I will be glad to listen and support you.
Hang in there and try and be kind to yourself.