To The Friend I Pushed Away Because Of My Depression

Peter Hershey

I hate making excuses for myself, and I hate making excuses for my behavior, or worse, blaming it on a mental illness. But, for better or for worse, my mental illness is a part of me, it is who I am.

I didn’t intend to cut you out of my life over a period of time, it just crept up on me. It was in no way, shape, or form a reflection on you as a person or a reflection of our friendship.

I was anxious at every moment of the day, I was unhappy, I was depressed. I didn’t know how to or who to ask for help because I’ve never been the kind of person to admit that I needed help. I couldn’t swallow my pride.

So instead, I lashed out. I didn’t know how to explain to you or to anyone else the way I was feeling because at the time I couldn’t even process it myself. I felt like I was drowning. Day in and day out, anxiety would envelop me and I couldn’t catch a breath.

I couldn’t tell you that every day I would cry quietly to myself in the bathroom at work, I couldn’t tell you about the darkest thoughts that ran through my head, I couldn’t tell you how many times I would wake up and I wanted to die – because our friendship wasn’t like that.

Our friendship was fun and carefree, our friendship was about the jokes and gossip and banter.

I knew you would be there for me if I told you how hard I was struggling, but I couldn’t do that to you. I couldn’t burden you with a problem that was my own. I felt the instinctive need to protect you from me. You were there for me through thick, and thin, thinner and thinnest, but I couldn’t find the words and couldn’t gather my thoughts long enough to explain the way I was feeling.

Not about you, not about this friendship, not even about my life, but I couldn’t find words to explain the feeling I had inside. It was a dark and menacing feeling, an inner turmoil – like dark clouds on a sunny day. I was facing these demons every day and struggling to find some inner peace, which was something I had to do on my own.

You were my best friend, you were my rock. But there are some battles that I needed to fight on my own. There are just certain times you can’t lean on anyone for support, and this was one of them.

I will always love you, and will always be grateful for the times that you helped me out of the dark without even knowing it. You made me a better person, even though it wasn’t always expressed that way.

I want to say that I hope that you understand why I did what I did, but I don’t want you to understand. Nobody should have to understand something as dark as depression. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, let alone the best person in my life.

In time, I hope that our friendship is able to find its way back to what it used to be. And if it doesn’t – I know what I did seem selfish because it was – but I needed to be [selfish] to feel better.

I will always love you, and you’ll always have one of the most special places in my heart.

Let me know.TC mark

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