Constructively criticizing a friend

A true friend is someone who has your best interests in mind. A true friend is NOT someone who tells you what you want to hear all the time and sugarcoats everything. A true friend is NOT someone who tiptoes around you, always afraid of offending.

Susan was someone who believed everything should always be butterflies and rainbows. She hated conflict, and avoided confrontation at all costs. Dana considered Susan to be her best friend. Sometimes Susan would get on Dana’s nerves. She would avoid any confrontations and always changed the subject when Dana wished to speak about more serious topics. Whenever things didn’t go her way, she would avoid anyone and everyone who she felt was being unfair to her and wouldn’t talk to them at all. One day, Dana became fed up and spoke to Susan about this. Susan clammed up, and rejected Dana from her life. She claimed that she was “practicing self care” by rejecting a toxic friend like Dana from her life.

This is not an example of a friend being bullied by another. This is an example of someone trying to be a good friend, and having that sentiment taken the wrong way. Now, with Susan’s refusal to communicate, this could lead to the loss of the two’s friendship.

As long as you are not relentlessly putting down another person and you have the best intentions in mind, you have every right to voice your concerns if they are directly involving you or your relationship with the person. Do not feel like a bully or a bad person for honoring your own frustrations and issues with your friend. Be true to yourself. If you would want a friend to point out their concerns when they came up, then it is not wrong for you to do this to another friend.

Lack of good, constructive communication destroys relationships. Remember this.

April 2015

Dear you,

You told me to call you whenever I needed someone to talk to. The only person I wanted to talk to today was with you. You told me you felt unwell last night, and I tried to make you smile. At 7pm I texted you. No reply. At 10pm I texted you again. No reply. I didn’t sleep last night just in case you called. I could have been there for you. But no, you swallowed a bunch of pills and ended up in the hospital. I could have been there for you. Yes, I’m angry. But I also understand. I hope you get the help you need. I’ll always be there for you. I wish you knew that.

– N

Journal entry, 11pm.

I’m sad. Sad I couldn’t be there for you. I feel so helpless. Part of me feels guilty even though I know there’s really only so much I could have done.

I’m angry. Angry that you had so much support while I stayed silent. I hid my pain, it was my fault. But I can’t help but think that your pain is valid while I’m just a psycho.

I’m angry that my visit to the hospital was horrible. He knew I was BPD therefore I’m a faker. My pain isn’t real.

I cried for you this morning. I lashed out and screamed at my mom until my voice went hoarse. And then I cried some more. I wanted to cut so badly. I took my own advice and went for a run. I left the house as the sun began to set. I ran. I held back tears and I ran for as long as I could. Ran until my throat burned from gasping for breath and my legs trembled. I walked and stumbled upon the field while wandering through previously unexplored paths. I went into the middle of the field and sat. I just wanted to talk to you. I was so mad. I was so desensitized and apathetic and unempathetic, yet helpless. Yet my heart ached for you. I fell back and laid there for a while, as the sky went dark. I laid down and let myself cry. I’m home now and I feel like I can’t cope with the pain. I want my own pills to knock me out, just for tonight.

Gratitude 

Thanks for picking me up and carrying my when I was down. I blog about my pain, heartache, and troubles a lot – I often forget to acknowledge the overwhelming support I have. It would be an understatement to simply say I was “lucky”. This was no luck of the draw. I am blessed and eternally grateful for the people who walked into my life and never left. Practicing gratitude humbles our struggles. Make a point to do this more every day.

Thank you SC; CLB; RN; ACN; EG; TK; FC; EM; PW; RC; AEM; WC; SP; AV; DRB.

People say when it comes to friendship, it is better to have 4 quarters rather than 100 pennies. I am grateful to have so many people who support me, who are all worth more than their weight in gold.

I am grateful for the people I have only met within the past few months, who were kind enough to listen, value my friendship and remained in my life. I am so grateful for their willingness to have open and honest conversations and withholding judgement, instead replacing it with genuine curiosity. I’m grateful for the people who spoke to me and were open to me, even if it wasn’t always easy.

I am grateful for the family who stand by me no matter what and listen non judgementally, and respond with love and honestly. Words can’t express the gratitude I have. I may have had many difficult experiences with people, my diagnosis, and my self image, but I was given the most supportive people imaginable to be my closest support network. I am especially grateful for my parents for being so calm and open about my situation. I am always afraid to tell them when I relapse, yet they always respond with nothing but warmth, love, and concern. I am grateful for my sister and cousin, two of my best friends. I am grateful for their love, ambition, and honesty. I love the unconditional support they give to me; the support that I am eagerly willing to return.

I’m grateful for the girls I work with or went to school with, who have come to be like family: always supportive, always a shoulder to cry on, always a friendly pair of listening ears. Their unique and distinct personalities all provide me with insight from many perspectives, and though they are all very different, their love is all equally strong and supportive of not only me but each other. I’m grateful to be surrounded by such intelligent, caring, genuine women. They are an inspiration and after many difficult experiences in my past, they showed the profound impact of women sticking together and supporting each other unconditionally. I am not only inspired by the times where we were loving and supportive, but also by times of conflict. They always proved my fears wrong, and our friendship always shone through.

I am grateful for my guy best friends from home, who each lend me their own unique perspectives. Again, they are all very different, but they are all the same in their love, concern, and friendship. They are all the protective brothers that I never had, each offering their insight when it comes to my boy problems. After the experiences I have had with previous boyfriends, I have come to realize that love is not only the one who is in a romantic relationship with you. Love is also undying support, the strength of friendship, and wanting the best for one another. I have many perceptions and suspicions about boys, but I also need to remember that they are not all like the ones who have hurt me.

Having BPD is hard. Having depression is hard. Being chronically suicidal is hard. But I have come to realize that my pain and suffering has brought out the good in so many people. It has given all these people the chance to shine and it has given me the privilege of watching them do so. It has attracted the biggest hearts and the most genuinely wonderful people. I honestly do think that my friends are truly good human beings. After having so much love in my life, it has made it easier and easier to shut out toxic people. Thank you all for being there for me; I sincerely hope I have given as much to you as you have given to me.