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Quite apart from all the physical shenanigans, I find myself really avoiding ('recoiling from’ would be a more accurate description) some of my friends. Partly that's because it's what I've always done when I'm feeling crappy, and experience has taught me that I recover from any mood dips far quicker that way. I invariably prolong the low mood by sharing it with friends (plus I'm lucky to have family who are supportive). The wisdom of this strategy was borne out the last time I spent time with a friend when I was really depressed ..... Which leads me on to my point.
As I've said, I realised many years ago that I'm really best left alone when I'm low .... But a few months ago I decided I'd test it out - a friend wanted to come over and I thought it might be OK, and perhaps it might even help. After all, it's what people do isn't it? Anyway, this friend is a good friend – I recently went on holiday with her, and we have a laugh. She's not entirely insensitive, and means well. However, she CAN be completely and utterly insensitive about certain things. Exhibit A: she feels very resentful that she doesn't earn as much as her contemporaries (who have holiday houses abroad, go on elaborate holidays etc.). Now, as she earns at least £10,000 more than me, you’d think that she’d choose someone else to complain to …. But she does choose me, despite the fact that compared to me she's got riches. I had started dreading this conversation, as I always feel terrible afterwards and any subtle attempts I made to derail it failed to stop her. To cut a long story short, she came round when I was very bad – which I explained – and promptly started going on about how badly paid she is again. I was so upset that I actually said something (nothing very strong, just said it was a sensitive subject – I was crying at the time), and she did change the subject and I thought that was it [Upshot: she left, I felt 10 times worse, remembered why I don’t see people when I'm bad and vowed never to do it again!]
However, this wasn't the end of it – I was dismayed to find that she brought it up again last time I saw her. I wouldn't mind, but I’d love to be able to do some of the things she's able to do, but I have to not get screwed up about it because I know how dangerous that can be (both to my own mental health and to my friendships).
And here's my point (finally!). I’m a) terrified to the point of feeling sick and panicky that I will see her, b) constantly thinking about it (the insensitivity/injustice of it all), c) getting really angry when I see Facebook posts by her from all over the place (theatre/city breaks etc., which frankly I can't afford), and d) holding ‘conversations’ with her in my head (whereby I tell her exactly what I think etc.). It's totally disproportionate, and its totally doing my head in! The only person suffering is me, and although I know this academically, I just can't shake it loose.
Perspective was never my strong point, but I have worked really hard on myself in order to stop these sorts of unhealthy thought patterns and my tendency for self-sabotage. I had made loads of headway, but it all seems to have gone down the pan. I just get beside myself with anger/resentment/sadness/you name it, and most of it is centred round this friend. So my question is: are these exaggerated feelings part of the whole menopause thing? I strongly suspect that they are, because I don’t normally want to kill my friends when they’ve p*ssed me off …
More importantly, how can I stop it – it’ really unhelpful (understatement).
Anyway, I’ve gone out quite long enough! Comments/thoughts/advice are all very welcome…
Thanks in advance,
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