How do you cope when feeling pretty exhausted?

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eviifreon
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27 Mar 2024, 3:57 am

Hi, I’m new here. I just want to know how others would cope (if ever) they have gone through a situation whereby they have no control over?

TL/DR: I have a colleague/friend who went through a hypermanic episode (she is diagnosed with Bipolar Depression), whereby she did alot of bad things, and had made me an accomplice (at first I had no idea how bad, was bad), and along that episode that she went through, it has been alot of on and off communications regarding herself. I also found out recently that during her episode she has told my secret to some people at work. A secret which had kept me in control, so to speak, of how people viewed me at the office. Now that was weeks ago. During the whole ordeal, I had to be “a friend, supporter, unpaid therapist” because as she said “only you would listen!!” During which time I had felt lost and betrayed but still has to maintain our friendship. I was told by her husband and herself, to not tell her what bad thing she had done in those past weeks because “we must not trigger” her again into full blown manic. She kept texting me about how she’s having a hard time and forcing me to help her out despite I am also dealing with the entirety of her past episodes, and the betrayal I felt but could not express. I feel immense pressure and stresses. I could barely function as it is. I have no one I could talk to currently.

Sorry if this was too long. But in conclusion, I would like to know how, if possible, I could cope?


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bee33
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27 Mar 2024, 1:34 pm

It seems to me that although you feel like you have to take care of your friend because she needs you, it's actually been too much for you and you need to take a step back to take care of yourself. Someone with a serious mental illness needs help from professionals. It's not your responsibility nor do you have the training or the emotional strength to deal with something that severe, it seems to me. Do what you need to do for yourself to take care of your own wellbeing.



eviifreon
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27 Mar 2024, 5:23 pm

bee33 wrote:
It seems to me that although you feel like you have to take care of your friend because she needs you, it's actually been too much for you and you need to take a step back to take care of yourself. Someone with a serious mental illness needs help from professionals. It's not your responsibility nor do you have the training or the emotional strength to deal with something that severe, it seems to me. Do what you need to do for yourself to take care of your own wellbeing.


Thank you so much for taking your time to reply. I really appreciate your advice. I have been trying to avoid engaging whenever she comes to me with “I did a terrible thing” or “I feel like I’m dissociating again”. I have also, told her before that she needs to talk to professionals about her situations, not to me. Is just that when I didn’t reply to her texts, she would unsend them and send a “why can’t you understand?” thus making me feel bad. The other day she said she wants to come and take her parcel that she left at the office, but didn’t do so and made me take the parcel home and she will come and take it from me (she is taking a month of unpaid leave from work by this time). I did and she never came, and then the next day she said she will come, but all of a sudden “my kid fell asleep, I will take it tomorrow.” She also started talking non stop about her dissociating again and wanted to see me so badly. I told her that she really shouldn’t see me but a professional instead. She got annoyed. I did not reply afterwards. And then by the time I was ready for bed, her husband called me and said they are at the gate to come and pick up the parcel. I was really not ready for this and it overwhelms me so bad I had my partner hand the parcel over (I lived with my partner). She called me saying why I avoided her, so I told her I am not, just overwhelmed so I cannot come to the door. She was quite upset on the phone to me.

Sorry again for this long reply. I have been keeping this with me for a while and it felt good to just talk to someone about it.


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bee33
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28 Mar 2024, 12:25 pm

It must be hard because you want to help, and you don't want to be on the receiving end of her complaints either. But you have to do what works for you and keeps you healthy and emotionally safe. If she has a husband she is not alone.

I don't know if she would listen if you tried to tell her that you can't cope with her difficulties, since you already tried to tell her that she needs help from a professional and that you are overwhelmed, and she did not react well. But I would once again urge you to take care of yourself, and try not to take it personally when she is offended that you didn't do what she wanted. It may be that it's not possible for you to avoid hurting her feelings, but that has to be okay.

Best of luck to you.



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28 Mar 2024, 2:49 pm

Assuming she has no particular power over you, you're free to do as much or as little for her as you see fit. I suspect there's some emotional thing at work here that's making it difficult for you to say no to her demands. I mean nobody likes saying no, but some folks have more of a problem with it than others, and some of the people who make demands seem to have a way of making it particularly hard to deny their requests. Are you very close friends with her? It's less appropriate for somebody to wear themselves out trying to look after somebody who isn't very close to them. It's much more common with relatives, but even then I always think that if the helper exhausts themselves so much that it makes them seriously ill, then the help might suddenly become impossible, and so it's better to moderate the help so that it can be sustained over the long term.

It seems to me that her problems may be too heavy for an ordinary person to deal with. She certainly needs help by the sound of it, but I strongly suspect it would be better coming from a good health professional. You sound like a very kind person, and I think very kind people are at risk of getting trapped. I doubt that you're going to be able to have the kind of conversation with her that's going to lead to her calmly and responsibly accepting limits on the demands she's making of you. At this stage in her life she doesn't seem grown up enough to do that, so if you decide to apply limits to her, you may need to accept that she's going to take it quite badly and make you feel very guilty. But although that would be horrible for you, it's probably less horrible than burning yourself out by throwing all your energy into a bottomless pit.

It's a very hard situation to be in, and I don't see any solution that will be painless for both of you. But if you can apply firm limits, then in time she might learn to respect them.



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28 Mar 2024, 7:45 pm

I find some old music on YouTube and put that on low as I sleep for an hour or 2. I also have entire days that I spend at home.


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eviifreon
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29 Mar 2024, 4:40 am

bee33 wrote:
It must be hard because you want to help, and you don't want to be on the receiving end of her complaints either. But you have to do what works for you and keeps you healthy and emotionally safe. If she has a husband she is not alone.

I don't know if she would listen if you tried to tell her that you can't cope with her difficulties, since you already tried to tell her that she needs help from a professional and that you are overwhelmed, and she did not react well. But I would once again urge you to take care of yourself, and try not to take it personally when she is offended that you didn't do what she wanted. It may be that it's not possible for you to avoid hurting her feelings, but that has to be okay.

Best of luck to you.


Thanks (again!) for your advice. In many ways, I am also dealing with my own mental health and the only way I could possibly manage is to let her know I will most definitely not be of assistance to her on days when I cannot even assist myself. I appreciate your kind words and I hope you take care always


_________________
“No one size fits all. We are all our own personalities, and yet we are also autistic.”

Self-stigma is real and exists because of how we have been conditioned to believe that everyone has the capabilities like NTs.

Healing is a journey, not a straightforward process


eviifreon
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29 Mar 2024, 4:47 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
Assuming she has no particular power over you, you're free to do as much or as little for her as you see fit. I suspect there's some emotional thing at work here that's making it difficult for you to say no to her demands. I mean nobody likes saying no, but some folks have more of a problem with it than others, and some of the people who make demands seem to have a way of making it particularly hard to deny their requests. Are you very close friends with her? It's less appropriate for somebody to wear themselves out trying to look after somebody who isn't very close to them. It's much more common with relatives, but even then I always think that if the helper exhausts themselves so much that it makes them seriously ill, then the help might suddenly become impossible, and so it's better to moderate the help so that it can be sustained over the long term.

It seems to me that her problems may be too heavy for an ordinary person to deal with. She certainly needs help by the sound of it, but I strongly suspect it would be better coming from a good health professional. You sound like a very kind person, and I think very kind people are at risk of getting trapped. I doubt that you're going to be able to have the kind of conversation with her that's going to lead to her calmly and responsibly accepting limits on the demands she's making of you. At this stage in her life she doesn't seem grown up enough to do that, so if you decide to apply limits to her, you may need to accept that she's going to take it quite badly and make you feel very guilty. But although that would be horrible for you, it's probably less horrible than burning yourself out by throwing all your energy into a bottomless pit.

It's a very hard situation to be in, and I don't see any solution that will be painless for both of you. But if you can apply firm limits, then in time she might learn to respect them.


Thank you so much to have taken your time to reply me! I will try and take on the advices I get. She is just a work friend to me but because I had never said no to her before, she assume this as in I am her “best friend”. I know that one way or another, I have to stand firm on not being able to assist her all the time. I have reminded her time and time again to get professional advice instead of coming to me. I even told her to try and do some reading on her diagnosis as to better understand it herself (if needs be). Seems to fall on deaf ears. I know in standing up for myself to her will mean that she will be upset but I know that now it is for the best for either of us. I appreciate your kind words and advice. Hope you take care always!


_________________
“No one size fits all. We are all our own personalities, and yet we are also autistic.”

Self-stigma is real and exists because of how we have been conditioned to believe that everyone has the capabilities like NTs.

Healing is a journey, not a straightforward process


eviifreon
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29 Mar 2024, 5:00 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
I find some old music on YouTube and put that on low as I sleep for an hour or 2. I also have entire days that I spend at home.


I love doing that too! Mine would be some Youtube podcasts, like MrBallen. His storytelling often lulls me to sleep. You are also super lucky to get to spend entire days at home! I always have to work, even on weekends. It’s quite exhausting.


_________________
“No one size fits all. We are all our own personalities, and yet we are also autistic.”

Self-stigma is real and exists because of how we have been conditioned to believe that everyone has the capabilities like NTs.

Healing is a journey, not a straightforward process