It’s almost been a year since my best friend told me she was thinking of leaving her husband. The news suprised me a bit, as she had a habit of bragging about how great her marriage was. However, I do not judge, and maybe she did all that bragging to try and convince herself. In any case, it was clear she was questioning her relationship.
I see my friend daily, as we have a morning ritual of a run and then coffee. The first few months after her confession to me, I played the part of an active listener. I gave her a sounding board to bounce her own thoughts off. It was pretty apparent to me that she had checked out of her marriage long ago. I was careful not to offer advice; instead, I shared my own experience with going through a divorce. I shared my experience of anxiety, sadness, fear, etc to let her know that what she was feeling was perfectly normal.
I won’t get into the details of my friends situation, as it isn’t relevant to this post, nor is it my story to tell. I will say that it has been a pretty terrible year for her, and she is still going through the split. I have been there for her daily to listen and offer support. Her family does not live close, as she moved to Canada to be with her husband. She is my dearest friend, and it is important to me that she knows she’s not alone. However, I am starting to feel the effects of starting my mornings in an anxious state.
It is difficult for me to stay detatched from my friends emotions. Partly because of my anxiety disorder (GAD), and partly because I have been exposed to every detail of what she is going through. I’ve been scared for her; I’ve felt her anxiety; I’ve seen her lose so much weight; and I’ve basically re-lived what it was like when I divorced. I’m tired, and I’m starting to lose my ability to listen without wanting to snap. Somedays I handle it fairly well; others not so much. Today was a not so much day.
There has been a lot on my plate at work this week, and I’ve been working 12 hour days. I’ve also had a pack-rat problem under my mobile home, which has caused me some angst. I’ve had little time to get into the new course I’m taking; my grass hasn’t been cut in 2 weeks; my housework was missed this weekend; and all I want is a little reprieve. So this morning when I met my friend at 6am for coffee, and she dove straight into everything on her plate, I couldn’t take it. I literally shut down inside and hardly listened. That is until she said, I need your help this weekend. She does not want to be alone with her ex to discuss the division of household items, so she has asked me to come with her. She also wants to spend some time packing up the house.
I’m at a lose as to how to handle my role as her friend right now. If she had family here, I know things would be different, but she doesn’t. I completely understand her need for support, and I’ve done my best to be there for her. Unfortunately, I’m starting to crumble under the pressure. I feel ashamed that I’m not stronger, and I feel terrible about feeling the way I do. I can’t tell her that how I’m feeling, as she would feel guilty about it. However, I need a break. I need to go back to starting my mornings with positivity, and I need to have my weekends back. Do I just get over what I need, and be there for my friend? Do I leave her to find others to help her? I don’t know what to do.
I’m too warn out today to make any logical decisions, so I will have to let it go for now. I just hope and pray that soon things will change. My anxiety levels have been extreme this week, and my head feels ready to burst. It’s time, I think, for a little self-care.