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Old 05-15-2019, 11:10 AM #1
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Default Meeting with a fallen away friend from the past?

I guess this is the right forum for this.

I have bipolar disorder, and unfortunately my illness (and past circumstances) have caused me to lose several friends in my life. I imagine people with other mental health issues have experienced the same. It's a sad situation, but in my case, I have grown used to that happening in my life, though there is still some hurt that lingers.

Pretty much every year, an old friend that had faded out of my life contacts me on my birthday. The contact is usually just "Happy Birthday! I miss you!" In past years, I'd get a little excited that she'd write "I miss you!" but when I'd respond to that, I usually heard nothing back. I then realized that that statement was empty.

So this year, as usual, she emails me on my birthday again. I then simply thanked her for the birthday wishes and wished her happy Mother's Day. She is a mother, but I'm not. I was going to just leave it at that. Then today I get another email from her saying "How on earth have you been? It would be wonderful to grab lunch together one day. How about the next time I'm working from home, we catch up over lunch? Are you up for that?" [She happens to live in the same town as me.]

I am very reluctant to answer. A little afraid to, because:

1. Things haven't been doing that well lately. Perhaps if they really were, it might be different if I could say so. I guess I could talk only about future plans that could be interesting-sounding, but the fact is, I'm still on disability and things are still tough.

2. I don't like the thought of saying yes, then not hearing back from her.

3. My husband doesn't like her, and has told me that she said something kind of hurtful about me once during one of my psych hospitalizations. He thinks she's superficial. She is, a little, but a lot of people are. I guess a concern I have is that she's gossiped about stuff to me about her best friend that I really think she shouldn't have. Knowing that, I think it's likely she's gossiped about me to others.

4. I feel a bit guilty, because I sort of reneged on a promise/offer to her and her husband years back.

5. She'll likely only be talking about her two daughters much of the time, and frankly, I really am not interested in them. Yea, I know that sounds horrible. Sorry!

However, I am in dire need of friendships. I have basically no one outside of family and other mental health support.

Even if I agree to meet the above-mentioned friend, it couldn't be until I feel a bit better. I don't know. Next week at the earliest?

What do people think about this? Can you relate to such a situation? If enough people think I shouldn't bother meeting with her, should I just ignore her email? Or perhaps say that it isn't a good time right now, and thank her for thinking about me. It's all so uncomfortable.
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I have Bipolar type 1

Tegretol XR generic (1200 mg)
Lamictal generic (100 mg)
Seroquel XR generic (600 mg)
Latuda (20 mg)
Klonopin generic (0.5 mg)

PRNs - Seroquel IR generic (25 to 100 mg in a day), Ativan (1 mg, up to 3 mg/day)

Others: Propranolol (40 mg), Synthroid (150 mcg), OTC multi-vitamin, OTC iron supplement (during periods), Biotin supplement (for my otherwise thin fingernails)

Last edited by BirdDancer; 05-15-2019 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:21 AM #2
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Default Re: Meeting with a fallen away friend from the past?

I can relate! Plus, having someone want to celebrate my birthday makes me sooooo uncomfortable. But i do appreciate when an old friend understands that even though i cant keep up with the usual pace of a normal friendship, i do like to touch base once in a while.

So many amazing things are going on in the world, it doesnt all have to be about you. People ask me what i am doing now, i tell them, "Absolutely nothing, and yet it takes me all day! " Im sure there is no rush as to when she wants to get together.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:02 PM #3
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Default Re: Meeting with a fallen away friend from the past?

Aw, BirdDancer. I am so sorry that you're having these struggles. Feeling disconnected or lacking solid friendships can exacerbate the unpleasant feelings associated with mental health problems....a tough cycle.

My instinct, just based on your overall post, would be that perhaps it is not a great idea for you to meet with that particular friend. I always reply to people's messages so I would say something like "What a lovely offer, thanks for asking but my schedule is full. Hope you and your family are enjoying spring! Best wishes."

You sound like you are in a very vulnerable place right now (me too) and so I think self-protection may be the priority particularly as something does sound a bit off with that particular woman. I'd say when you are feeling stronger, you could stretch you wings by looking into some volunteering opportunities or joining a "Meet Up" group. Perhaps those could be ways to more comfortably and safely connect with others? Perhaps you need a fresh start with some friends you have not yet met?

Wishing you peace, hope, and a bright future. Do something nice for yourself today (If you ever need a hug or a cheer-up, feel free to PM me)
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:16 PM #4
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Default Re: Meeting with a fallen away friend from the past?

I completely understand what you mean, BirdDancer! I'm so sorry that you're struggling SO MUCH! i completely agree with what unaluna and SilverTrees have already wisely said better than I ever could! You've been given PLENTY of great, kind, wise and wonderful advice on this thread! I'd suggest to follow it AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN IF YOU WANT TO! I DO believe that you need to take care of yourself first and that that should be the priority! I'd suggest to just be honest to her and tell her that you're not feeling very well at the moment and that you'd prefer it to postpone it to another time and that you'll contact her back when you feel better! I'd suggest to just talk to her about ALL of this and see how it goes from there! Hopefully she'll listen to what you have to say and understand what you mean! That way you'll also have some time to better decide what you want to to and to take GREAT care of yourself with NO PRESSURE! I believe that'd be the best option if you can do that! Just try it tou and see how it goes! Hopefully she'll reply to you soon! You can always change your mind later after all! Please DO consider and please keep us updated about ALL of this, ok, my friend? Remember that WE DO CARE ABOUT YOU! We DO want to know how things are going for you and if things are getting ANY BETTER AT ALL and if there's ANYTHING AT ALL that we can do to HELP YOU OUT! I PROMISE YOU ALL FO THAT BECAUSE IT IS TRUE! PLEASE REMEMBER ALL OF THAT AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN BECAUSE IT IS TRUE! Just take GREAT care of yourself, ok, my friend? WE ALL CARE ABOUT YOU! THAT'S A PROMISE! Sending many hugs to you, BirdDancer, my altruistic, AWESOME, caring, dear, generous, gentle, kind, sensible, sweet, wise and WONDERFUL friend!
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:54 PM #5
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Default Re: Meeting with a fallen away friend from the past?

I think your gut is correct that if she gossiped about her best friend then gossiping about you would be no big deal to her.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:26 PM #6
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Default Re: Meeting with a fallen away friend from the past?

I think youíve presented good reasons not to pursue the friendship. Itís kind of you to wish her well and I think youíve done a good job of keeping things on good terms with her. But from what youíve said there is just not a good foundation for a healthy friendship. There are reasons you donít feel comfortable so trust your instincts. Meeting with a fallen away friend from the past?
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:05 PM #7
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Default Re: Meeting with a fallen away friend from the past?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdDancer View Post

I am very reluctant to answer. A little afraid to, because:

1. Things haven't been doing that well lately. Perhaps if they really were, it might be different if I could say so. I guess I could talk only about future plans that could be interesting-sounding, but the fact is, I'm still on disability and things are still tough.

2. I don't like the thought of saying yes, then not hearing back from her.

3. My husband doesn't like her, and has told me that she said something kind of hurtful about me once during one of my psych hospitalizations. He thinks she's superficial. She is, a little, but a lot of people are. I guess a concern I have is that she's gossiped about stuff to me about her best friend that I really think she shouldn't have. Knowing that, I think it's likely she's gossiped about me to others.

4. I feel a bit guilty, because I sort of reneged on a promise/offer to her and her husband years back.

5. She'll likely only be talking about her two daughters much of the time, and frankly, I really am not interested in them. Yea, I know that sounds horrible. Sorry!

However, I am in dire need of friendships. I have basically no one outside of family and other mental health support.

Even if I agree to meet the above-mentioned friend, it couldn't be until I feel a bit better. I don't know. Next week at the earliest?

What do people think about this? Can you relate to such a situation? If enough people think I shouldn't bother meeting with her, should I just ignore her email? Or perhaps say that it isn't a good time right now, and thank her for thinking about me. It's all so uncomfortable.
1. If she was a true friend then telling her that you're on disability shouldn't be an issue of embarrassment or shame for you. Also, it's not information you need to share with her just b/c there's been time and distance between you both. That is your business -- the disability.

2. If she has ghosted on you before, she will ghost on you again. Patterns repeat themselves with friendships no matter how much time passes.

3. Your husband sounds very smart. I'd listen to him.

4. So what if you reneged on a promise that happened years ago. Always look ahead, never behind you.

5. If you know what the topic of conversation will be, then don't go.

I can relate to your situation. Each time I try to rekindle former friendships, I've been disappointed. And the blame is on me for thinking that what caused those friendships to fail could be addressed again and corrected. It can't. Maybe it can for some people in this thread, but not for me.

I wouldn't waste your time with this woman. I'd join Meetups or other social groups available to your community like knitting circles, book clubs, wine clubs, etc. and meet women to befriend that way. New experiences, means new friends.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:58 PM #8
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Default Re: Meeting with a fallen away friend from the past?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdDancer View Post
I guess this is the right forum for this.

I have bipolar disorder, and unfortunately my illness (and past circumstances) have caused me to lose several friends in my life. I imagine people with other mental health issues have experienced the same. It's a sad situation, but in my case, I have grown used to that happening in my life, though there is still some hurt that lingers.

Pretty much every year, an old friend that had faded out of my life contacts me on my birthday. The contact is usually just "Happy Birthday! I miss you!" In past years, I'd get a little excited that she'd write "I miss you!" but when I'd respond to that, I usually heard nothing back. I then realized that that statement was empty.

So this year, as usual, she emails me on my birthday again. I then simply thanked her for the birthday wishes and wished her happy Mother's Day. She is a mother, but I'm not. I was going to just leave it at that. Then today I get another email from her saying "How on earth have you been? It would be wonderful to grab lunch together one day. How about the next time I'm working from home, we catch up over lunch? Are you up for that?" [She happens to live in the same town as me.]

I am very reluctant to answer. A little afraid to, because:

1. Things haven't been doing that well lately. Perhaps if they really were, it might be different if I could say so. I guess I could talk only about future plans that could be interesting-sounding, but the fact is, I'm still on disability and things are still tough.

2. I don't like the thought of saying yes, then not hearing back from her.

3. My husband doesn't like her, and has told me that she said something kind of hurtful about me once during one of my psych hospitalizations. He thinks she's superficial. She is, a little, but a lot of people are. I guess a concern I have is that she's gossiped about stuff to me about her best friend that I really think she shouldn't have. Knowing that, I think it's likely she's gossiped about me to others.

4. I feel a bit guilty, because I sort of reneged on a promise/offer to her and her husband years back.

5. She'll likely only be talking about her two daughters much of the time, and frankly, I really am not interested in them. Yea, I know that sounds horrible. Sorry!

However, I am in dire need of friendships. I have basically no one outside of family and other mental health support.

Even if I agree to meet the above-mentioned friend, it couldn't be until I feel a bit better. I don't know. Next week at the earliest?

What do people think about this? Can you relate to such a situation? If enough people think I shouldn't bother meeting with her, should I just ignore her email? Or perhaps say that it isn't a good time right now, and thank her for thinking about me. It's all so uncomfortable.
to be honest it sounds like the situation is contentious at best and considering that you seem quite anxiety ridden about the whole thing, do you think this person is the right person to connect with for the fact that you are in need of companionship? Regardless of whether what your husband says about her is true or not, the fact is you seem anxious yourself and kind of give credence to his opinion if only in an indirect way.


I know it's hard to meet new people and depending on your age that could exacerbate the difficulty of it but I do believe in your situation finding some people that don't already have a contentious history with you will be a better path.


As always I could be wrong but just sharing my view.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:32 AM #9
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Default Re: Meeting with a fallen away friend from the past?

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts/feedback on this! I have not yet responded to her. I likely will eventually, but will find an appropriate way to put it off so that it never happens.
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I have Bipolar type 1

Tegretol XR generic (1200 mg)
Lamictal generic (100 mg)
Seroquel XR generic (600 mg)
Latuda (20 mg)
Klonopin generic (0.5 mg)

PRNs - Seroquel IR generic (25 to 100 mg in a day), Ativan (1 mg, up to 3 mg/day)

Others: Propranolol (40 mg), Synthroid (150 mcg), OTC multi-vitamin, OTC iron supplement (during periods), Biotin supplement (for my otherwise thin fingernails)
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