I have wanted to write about abandonment for a while but I was sort of worried people may think I am writing this for attention. Of course I am not, people that know me know i wouldn't do this. It is just abandonment is such a huge huge issue for many MH sufferers and most people would not realise or know this. Unfortunately, in me this feeling is enhanced by my BPD.
Abandonment is a funny thing when you struggle with mental health issues…
On the one hand you want to be on your own, to hide away from everyone so they can't see what is happening. Then on the other hand you don't want to be alone and feeling like people have forgotten you. This balance makes it very difficult for friends to know what to do, as one moment you are pushing them away and the next needing them so bad it hurts.
It is a huge issue for MH sufferers. Unfortunately in me it is enhanced with my BPD.
For me, every text message that wasn't replied to or took more than a few hours to get a response from would send my mind into overdrive… Have I done something? Am I too much too handle? Do they not like me? What is going on? Had something happened to them?....?...? These thoughts are often made ten times worse by those 2 bloody little blue ticks on Whatsapp letting me know the message was read and when!
Not hearing from someone for a couple of weeks meant “they don’t like me”, “our friendship is over”, which then turned into “I am have no friends” … and the list of irrational thoughts goes on. Only to me they do not seem irrational. I end up believing these thoughts so much I am scared to contact people for the fear of any rejection, and not wanting to hassle people in case these thoughts are true and they have had enough.
No matter how many times my therapist or family reassured me by saying "they are busy" or "they must have seen it but could not reply", in my head all I could hear was, "I am a burden", "I am too much to handle", "no one wants me", :they want to leave me", "I am nothing" . . . . . There was no rational thought in my head, and no amount of reassuring could help.
But then you eventually hear from someone and for one brief moment these thoughts subside.
Believe me, I am not the only person with mental health problems who thinks like this. It is so common and most fellow sufferers I have met and spoken to feel exactly the same way. However even knowing I’m not the only one does not make it any easier!
You cant help but feel alone, that no-one misses you and feel like you are behind on everyone, as your life feels like it's on standstill and everyone else is moving forward. They all seem to be effortlessly gliding through life - this obviously not true as everyone has their own struggles. Rationally you know that but you brain becomes so irrational when you are in the midst of it you forget. It is not that you become self-absorbed it is just that merely surviving each day is an effort on its own.
Being a friend to someone with mental health issues is difficult as sometimes you just cant win. What I can say to a friend or family member trying, and no doubt struggling, to support someone is, try not to let the person feel as if they have been forgotten. Check in with them even if you just text some kisses or a ‘hope you are ok’. This may seem ridiculous but the smallest gesture like this really can make the hugest difference to lift that persons’ day, just knowing that they are being thought about and not alone makes the world of difference.