A Good Friend is the Right Medicine

mental health and the workplace

Last night, I met with a friend who just happens to be bipolar l just like me. We met in the bipolar depression support group that I go to on occasion. It is almost one year ago that we met. On that night of group when we met, I happened to step out of my anxiety comfort zone and extend a hand of friendship and welcomed her to her first meeting. We instantly became friends.

We have had our ups and downs like all friendships. But I have been able to share the junk that comes along with a bipolar diagnosis without her judging me, criticizing me, making me feel like a child, ignoring what I say or even forgetting what I said. She is a dear, sweet friend that I hope I will have the privilege of cherishing for a long time. I have a lot to learn from her about life and love and friendship. I just hope I can be a good student.

If you remember two weeks ago, or if you weren’t here two weeks ago, look back on October 13, 2016, I had suicidal ideations. That day I reached out to my psychologist and my sweet, sweet friend of whom I have been writing about. Even though she was at work, stressed and over-worked, she took time out to text me and read my crazy texts. I am forever grateful for her presence in my life that day.

If you do not have a friend with whom will walk you through the valley of depression and into the bowels of suicide ideation, I encourage you to begin looking for one. It can be an old high school friend, girlfriend or boyfriend, spouse, parent, sibling, other family member, co-worker, someone you met at the gym, someone from church or just a friend.

If you are not already attending a support group, I would encourage you to go. Whenever my social anxiety allows me to go to group, I feel much better after attending. I learn so much from the many diverse people there. We are all the same, yet so very different it is beautiful.

If you have difficulty getting out of your comfort zone because of anxiety or negative thoughts, try the following. I have used them and they have helped me.

  1. Deep controlled breathing. This helps me to focus on the breathing instead of my racing negative thoughts or frazzled nerves.
  2. Self-hypnosis. This does the same thing as the breathing except, it takes you to another place.
  3. Meditate. You can meditate on words, phrases, quotes, scripture or music lyrics. Sometimes I meditate on the music itself. I listen to a lot of classical music. I feel like I am floating on the notes in the air. Plus it brings back wonderful memories of a time when I was a musician.
  4. Pray. I use prayer a lot. I do not believe you have to have a Ph.D. in Divinity to pray to God. I simply speak to him what is on my mind. “I need a friend. Help me get past my comfort zone.”

If you do not have a friend who will walk to hell and back with you, get out of your comfort zone and go look for one. It is so critical for your life! I doubt Santa Claus is going to stuff a friend in your stocking this Christmas.

Below are some websites to further help you in your quest.