Moodscope's blog

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July


Married, Single, or otherwise Engaged. Thursday July 27, 2017

When I was young, I remember saying to my mum "I am depressed". I wasn't sure of the true meaning of the word, but I knew something was horribly wrong.

"So am I" she said.
"But you are married" I said.
"Doesn't make any difference" she said.

Of course she was right.

Thankfully, I do not believe she suffered too badly, but for me, it was a cry for help.

Putting depression aside, now I am married myself, I often think about that comment.

I feel people do not bother as much as they used to... because I am married. Perhaps it is because they feel they are interfering and do not want to disturb you.

Friends come and go for many reasons, life moves on, people have other commitments etc.

But we still need our friends, whether it be for their support or to support them.

I rather like being needed. I don't want people to think I have enough on my plate or that they cannot ask for help... because I am married.

There is another side of the coin...

I once phoned a friend (many years ago) when I was in complete distress, she said to me she couldn't come to me 'because she was married'. I actually never forgave her for that.

Personally, I would be there for someone I cared about, if they were in need.

Married or not.

Would you find it easier seeking help from a single friend with little or no commitments? Or do you feel like you do not want to trouble them regardless?

Toss the coin over and people say "I will always be there for you." Do they mean it?

We are often told to put ourselves first and learn to say 'No'.

So I am interested, would you be there for a friend or family member in need? Would you feel inconvenienced? Too busy? Ready to make an excuse?

Or do you actually get satisfaction out of being needed and helping someone?

Molly
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Mary Wednesday Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 12:28am

Hello Molly. You are often the first to comment on my blog; I thought I'd return the favour.
Sometimes, when you're married, you have to put your family, or your husband first. Your first commitment needs to be to them, or what is the point of being married?
Having said that, of course one has also a duty of love and commitment to ones friends (or else there is no point or validity to that friendship).
To me, a real friend is someone you can phone at 3am and know they will be there for you. They may not be able to come to you physically (2 of my dearest friends live thousands of miles away: only one lives near enough to be with me in minutes), but they will listen and pray for and with you: they will carry you in their heart.
If one of my friends needed me I would try to be there for them. It saddens me that I cannot physically be with one right now. She needs my practical help. But she is 5000 miles away, and besides, I am needed here by my family: I have taken on a duty of feeding 10 children each night, so their mothers are released to support my own daughter as she oversees the sailing activity week. All I can do for my friend is think of her and send messages of support.
But to answer your question, there is satisfaction in giving support to someone in need, even if you are sorry that the need is there. And any spouse who prevents their partner offering support outside the family is insular and selfish (unless the needs of that family are all-consuming, as might be the case where a child or spouse has special needs).
Every case has its own merits and must be judged individually, but married or not, I hope my help would be asked, and that my husband would support me in my offer to help.

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 1:34am

Good response Mary, you outweighed my blog but that is ok, I appreciate your replies. My blog was written one evening when a thought popped into my head and I just wrote my thoughts down. Of course I understand that every case has its own merits. I would never expect anything from someone who had a child with special needs for instance. I think the point I was trying to make is that people are generally selfish. I wasn't implying it was about a husband that stopped the wife. My husband would not stop me doing anything (he knows there is no point in this) as I do what I want regardless. Does that sound bad? I will always be my own person but of course I put him first. I guess I was trying to say that friends are less likely to keep in touch or be there for you, because they know you have someone with you "so you must be ok". This is what I resent. Also, the fact that they are less likely to come and ask for help if there is another person around and they feel they do not want to intrude. Thank you for opening up the discussion. Molly xx

Mary Wednesday Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 8:42am

Oh no! I never meant to outweigh your blog! My fault for writing it after midnight. I am so sorry! I am just about to write a piece about lions, bears, wolves and dolphins. When you read it you will understand!

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 4:48pm

Mary, there is no need to apologise. It was a compliment as your reply made so much sense xx

David Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 1:04am

My wife of over 40 years is to die for then my friends before myself. The pleasure in serving others including Queen and Country is insurmountable.

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 1:45am

David, I thought you were saying there that your wife was going to die. She is to die for, meaning you think the world of her? Can I suggest you buy her some flowers - just get some from the supermarket or something, it would make her day. I wish my husband would do that for me. Small thoughtful things mean so much. You must be proud about the job you do, does nobody make you feel proud? I am not sure what to make of your comments but you sound a bit sad. I hope that this site helps you. I look after everyone before me but remember to look after yourself, it is a must. As said previously, if you don't look after you, you will be no use to anyone, including the Queen and Country. I salute you! Take good care xx

David Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 9:01am

Hello tried the flowers once it did not work for me but the words I Love You would but they are the hardest to say!!!As you say always look after your self as no one else will know you as much as yourself.

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 4:55pm

I wonder why "I love you" is so hard to say, do you think it makes us feel vulnerable. I'm not very good at saying that either, although my husband says it alot and then I say it back! I challenge you to tell your wife you love her! Molly xx

Leah Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 4:09am

Molly, I like the honest and refreshing style of your blog.
Years ago I found out that friend was keeping things from me about her life as she was afraid she would upset me due to my illness. I explained that I wanted her to tell me what was happening in her life good and bad. I know she felt she was helping me but I felt she thought I could not cope.
People make assumptions about other people's lives.
Leahxx

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 5:08am

Thanks Leah. My blog was full of twists and turns really. I can relate to what you say about your friend. Once I had a friend who had an abortion and didn't tell me. I was totally offended she felt she could not confide in me. You are right, people do make assumptions or maybe they choose who they want to turn to, for completely other reasons, and just make excuses! Gosh I am completely confusing myself. Thank you for your response and kind words xx

Leah Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 11:49am

Molly I just realised you asked several questions and I did not answer them and you know how I like asking and answering questions! I don't think it matters if some is single or has little commitments because we can't really know exactly what people are coping with. I knew a woman who people wondered why she never helped with Scout activities when she had 3 children in Scouts until they found out she had a terminal illness. I think people generally mean they will be there for you but sometimes things happen that prevents that. They want to be there for others but circumstances can change. I am and have been there for friends and family members . Since Idon't drive I am limited in some ways I can help but I tell friends and mean it they can ring me anytime day or night if they need to chat and people have rung me at midnight, The comments have been very informative , all inspired from your blog, so thanks for starting this discussion. Xx

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 5:07pm

Yes Leah, you are the Question Queen !! I don't usually ask that many questions but it is not compulsory to answer them, although I am glad you did. I wish I could think more along the lines that you do. I am mindful that everyone have their problems etc but I am rather cynical, have you noticed? :-) Molly xx

Eva Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 6:47am

Hi Molly, my husband and I got married quite young, it confounded our friends who thought we would settle down and stop going out, that didn't happen and it confused them, but they accepted it. I found it hard to believe even 20 years ago that people whom I thought were on the same wavelength as me were so stereotype driven! I believe in equality and the right to do whatever I want as long as it does not hurt anyone no matter my sex, status etc.

I don't think marital status should have any impact on helping a friend, as a single person you may have children or other commitments that mean you can't drop everything to be by someone's side, but there are always degrees of help.

I have had friends keep troubles from me while I've been ill so as not to burden me, I understand their motivation but for a while it made me feel that they confirmed my 'broken' state and viewed me as fragile, and I felt sad that they didn't feel that they could come to me for support, I mentioned this to them and let them know that I would have been happy to help them and that their burden wouldn't have been mine, but I could have empathised and indeed it would have helped me in giving me a further perspective from which to view my own troubles. Now with a bit of time I feel that their protective stance is fine, it's not what I would wish but it's their choice.

I have a history of not asking for help and working out ways in which I can be autonomous, it's from having to be that way as a child, this is something I am working on with my counselling, it's an ongoing process.

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 5:25pm

Hi Eva, thank you for sharing your experiences. You come across as very level headed. I wonder if some people don't ask for help because they fear rejection. Maybe not in your case, just a thought that came to my mind. Good luck with your counselling. I have found counselling helpful in the past and keep meaning to seek to have some more but I am not very good at helping myself! Molly xx

Marmaladegirl Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 7:03am

There seem to be givers and then there are takers. I am highly sensitive & a giver - as I will bet many, many people are on this site because those two things can make you more vulnerable to depression (it seems to me). All the advice nowadays is to ask for help if you have mental health issues - but I have asked and I don't get help. I asked my husband first (now ex). He said i wasn't depressed; I had personality flaws and i should make more effort. My parents and siblings hope that it will all go away and that I will grow out of it (I'm 53 now and they are still waiting - and not helping!). When I became a single parent I specifically asked them for emotional support, for my children's sake - that didn't work either. "Self help" is what I rely on, but it has not been easy accepting that those who are supposed to love you are not capable of giving the time to share a few kind, supportive words. I have a partner now and he is fantastic (the down side of which is that my parents and siblings now openly say, "You have xxxx now; he will do it" and are in touch with me even less!). Tricky, but thanks Molly for your blog which has made me feel that I am not alone with this issue. Good luck Molly, i hope you get all the support you need (& ask for!). Love from MG xx

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 5:53pm

Hi MG, what a great response. I absolutely relate to all you say here. You are so right about givers and takers and that being highly sensitive and a giver makes us more vulnerable to the depression. It is often something silly that has bothered me that will bring the depression on even if I am aware that I am overreacting. So many people do not understand depression (same in my family and some friends) I wonder if that is why they sometimes stay away seeing me as too much hard work! I used to try and see people when I was feeling 'good' but am starting to give up with that if people cannot even be bothered just to ask how things are now and again (easy enough to do these days with a quick email or text). It's not help I need as such but a few supportive words can go such a long way, can't they? There was a quote somewhere that said something like "If you cannot see me at my worst, you don't deserve to see me at my best" But Yes! You have understood me and also made me feel that I am not alone either - thank you! Molly xx

Marmaladegirl Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 8:20pm

What a lovely reply Molly! One of the best things about Moodscope is that we find people who understand. MG xx

Jane SG Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 7:52am

Hi Molly, good blog. The answer - always. I'm always there to support my friends. Unfortunately I can go too far and then get used/taken for granted. Now it's my turn to need my friends- where are they? Sorry, I sound a bit bitter. Don't mean to. I need to put myself first a bit more xxxx

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 6:02pm

Hi Jane - so so true ! I have gone out of my way and been used and taken for granted. Like you, I try and hold back now, but firstly that is difficult if you are naturally a caring person and secondly, what a sad world it would be if no-one helped eachother anymore. You don't sound bitter, just truthful. Again, you have made me feel less alone. Thank you xx

Orangeblossom Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 7:58am

Thanks for the blog Molly. I frequently say that God chooses your family and you choose your friends. If the two coincide the person is fortunate. Some people are better out of my life as they sometimes have a toxic effect. My Mum & brother live in the States and we have agreed to have minimum contact with one another. Mum does love me but her idea of love is possession and she has never brought out the best in me. I also bring out the worst in her. Better if we have limited contact with one another.

Poppy Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 10:30am

I can relate to what you say about your mother! My mother and I have come to an uneasy truce after a number of unsuccessful cease fires. The relationship we have now is all we're capable of, she being who she is, and me being my unforgiving self. I've asked myself if I will feel guilty and full of regret when she's gone (she's 84), and I can honestly say no. Although I've certainly not been perfect, I've made real efforts to reconcile and rebuild. Some things are just not gonna' change.

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 6:14pm

Hi Orangeblossom and Poppy. I totally agree. I have had to have limited contact with family for fear of them upsetting me. I also have issues with my mum and after I have seen her - I find myself feeling in a bad mood. I don't know the answer to this as I would feel guilty if I didn't see her and to be fair she does try and be supportive but she normally says the wrong things and I am bitter about things from the past. Thanks both for your comments xx

Kelly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 8:27am

I am a rescuer by nature and get a great deal from helping people, that said boundaries can often become blurred and I have in the past become exhausted mentally as a result of an over needy friend! I have learnt to put my own needs first, followed closely by my family. I am embarking on a career to help people and this comes with the security of concrete boundaries keeping the helpee and myself safe!
It's a tough one, maybe telling your friends explicitly that you could use an ear would help, implicit assumptions rarely work for me?

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 6:30pm

Hi Kelly, I can relate to this, having an over needy friend. Eventually she betrayed me and I wish I had not done all that I had for her. So I get that there is a thin line. My career involved helping people and I got so much satisfaction out of that and like you said there are boundaries as you are a professional and cannot get too involved. When I get back to work, hopefully I can have a similar role and then maybe I won't be so concerned about the people who do not seem to bother. It is not really an ear I need, just a 'hi how are you?' would be nice or if they have a problem, tell me about it! I feel I am always making the first move and whilst I realise everyone are busy, I am really starting to isolate myself and wonder if I were not married, relations with others might be different. Things were different when I lived alone, so that was kind of the point of my blog. As time goes on without contact, the harder it gets and I will always remember who actually bothered whilst times were hard and those that really did not want to get involved. Thank you for your interesting response and good luck with your career xx

Susannah Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 9:05am

Hi Molly
I completely empathise with you.
Many years ago I was in a very bad place. I needed to call a friend to ask for company - I knew that I needed to be with people.
So I turned to a girl I had known since we were babies. She was always the darling of the community - kind, intelligent, thoughtful, pretty, always the centre of any social group.
I went to the phone box (yes, it was that long ago), explained my situation and asked if I could see her that evening - join in with whatever she was doing.
I was flabbergasted when she told me she was going to the cinema with friends, and that I couldn't join them.
Now, had it been a date with a boy, I wouldn't have wanted to be a gooseberry, but this was a dozen friends, and I wasn't welcome.
Downhearted, I called another friend - as she lived with her parents at home, so had a phone. "Hi xxx, I'm in need of a friend. Can we meet up?". "Sure" she replied. "My parents and I are going to a concert. It'd be lovely if you came with us". So I did.
The girl who I thought would always help, turned me down flat. She became a doctor, and all the parents of the group still think she's a darling. But those her own age have dropped away. A "much lesser" friend turned out to be the true friend.

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 6:40pm

Hi Susannah, isn't it strange that the people we least expect are the ones that help and the ones that we thought would be there, are not ! It's also interesting that the types of people who are not as caring as some of us, seem to be more popular. Somehow they get more respect ! I wouldn't want to change as I get something out of helping people but I do find myself 'holding back' more now, which may be a shame but we do need to think of ourselves, as it seems that is what many others do ! Thank you for sharing your story. Molly xx

Mary Cecilia AVFTFS Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 9:51am

Hi Molly, I love helping people. It's part of my DNA, and I get a real kick out of it. I feel as though I'm paying it forward from all the help I got when my husband died. I will do whatever I can to help, but what I'm also learning that my children need to come first sometimes, although not all the time. I hope with age has come wisdom, as I have also learnt that it's often not advice that people are looking for, but just someone to be present and listen. I have friends who do that for me too, so it's very much a web of interactive friendships.

Sheena Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 11:25am

Hi Mary Cecilia, I am sorry that you were widowed and with children to care for too. Your comment that being present and listening is more useful than handing out advice is so very true. It sounds as though you attract people with similar traits to your own. Sheena

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 6:55pm

Hi Mary. I am the same about helping people. Did you feel that everyone rallied around when your husband died and then disappeared? Sorry to be cynical again, I guess it depends on the quality of your friends, but it does seem to me that some will jump in when there is a tragedy and then feel their job is done and off they go. Children definitely need to come first, whatever age they are. Myself and my siblings were put aside when our parents met new partners and they do not seem to understand that this is rather wrong! Maybe that is why I need more from my friends than they are prepared to give. I totally agree that advice is not what is needed, we all usually know the logical answers! Just talking on here and hearing other experiences are so very helpful to me. Thank you. Molly xx

Poppy Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 10:42am

I've come to the conclusion that the "me" generation has kinda' spoiled the loyalty that true friendship can bring. I've stayed up late, dropped everything to respond to a crisis, send small gifts and little comforts to friends and family in need, but I just don't find others who are willing to sacrifice. Sacrifice and loyalty are rare qualities in my circle of influence. It makes me cynical, but I'm learning slowly to leave the bitterness behind. Unfortunately, if it were not for my husband and people I pay to care about me (therapists, doctors, etc), I'd be quite alone. I think the pendulum has swung too far over "me first." I'm too tired and broken to fight cultural mores.

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 8:09pm

So true Poppy ! So what do we do when we are supposed to look out for 'me' yet we are disappointed with others that do so ! I have also stayed up late, worried about leaving someone in need, "go to bed" is the worst thing I think people can say, even though it might be the best thing to do ! I have also sent gifts etc to make someone feel better, not known much in response! Thanks so much. Will take a leaf out of your book and try not to be bitter. Just so nice to know others are in the same boat xx

Sheena Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 11:20am

Gosh is this blog thought provoking Molly! My thoughts? It is impossible to demand that other people behave in a way that we prescribe. However thoughtfully we behave someone might still be offended. So, what to do? I guess one can only try to be decent, with a proper respect for our own health and wellbeing. Sometimes the way to assist is to give someone else credit, where it's due. In the end sincerity is important. But wow this blog certainly stirs up some response, Thank you and well done. Sheena

LH Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 5:36pm

Hi Sheena, I like, and agree with, your reply. LH x

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 8:15pm

Thank you Sheena for your kind words. It has made me think, what you have said. It is hard isn't it, knowing how to react and knowing if we are right or wrong in how we react. Your comment has kind of made me look at the fuller picture. Thank you, Molly xx

Lexi Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 1:40pm

Hi Molly, great discussion this morning! I remember feeling so guilty asking my friends for help. I felt so needy. I also got married late, way later than my friends, so on top of being depressed I also felt like there was something wrong with me. In fact I got married because I thought it was the "right" thing to do and I wanted to feel "normal." But of course depression doesn't care if you are single or married. So then I was really stuck. It took me a long time to reach out to my friends. And some dear ones stayed away. They didn't know what to do. Others jumped right in. I am not sure if it was a selfish act to stay away; for me, it was more my friends did not know what to do and they were frankly terrified when they saw me at my worst. I have forgiven them for that and I have also learned whom I can speak with in my darkest hours and whom to avoid. I have friends for different things now. Well, I guess we all do, right? But to answer your question, I would drop everything to help a friend in need, no questions asked, marriage or not. xo Lexi

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 8:27pm

Hi Lexi, I was so pleased with all the responses I had today and I can really relate to yours. I also got married late in life. I never really wanted to 'do' marriage so it was a bit of a shock to me. I know my life has changed so much since I got married, people do not bother much now and yes the depression continues with us, to the point I sometimes wonder who I am and why I am married, and what happened there? I agree I would drop everything for a friend in need. I am not sure how to forgive but I know who I can turn to at my hour of need and who I can't. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. Molly xx

LH Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 5:35pm

Hi Molly,
Did you ever see the episode of Friends were they were arguing about the belief that there could never be a truly selfless act because of the way that we get some payback -either by feeling righteous or needed etc-for any action. I find that interesting and tend to agree.
That doesn't mean that you shouldn't do the good deeds or offer the love and support but to try and be aware of the motivation behind the action.
I also know that I have often felt disappointed when family or friends have not offered me the support I needed or when others have not wanted the support I wanted to give but am learning that lowering my expectations of others lessens the likelihood of disappointment and allows us all to do and be what we can manage x

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 8:49pm

Hi LH - what a great response, it made me think so much that I don't want to be thinking ! I didn't really watch Friends. But how right you are - this response has actually made me feel so much better. How you have put all this in a nutshell is impressive. Thank you xx

Another Sally Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 6:43pm

Gosh this is an interesting one Molly. I believe I am a friend who can be relied upon, but as I am in a happy, secure marriage, perhaps people might not call on me as they don't want to intrude on our time. My husband would be very supportive.
We have recently experienced the loss of our daughter. Friends and family have been very supportive and I have been touched by the offers of support from people. We have not had the funeral yet and I wonder how we will feel after that.
I made a friend about 6 years ago, when we met on a 'Coping with Life" course. She, after the loss of her father, me with general difficulties. I learnt yesterday that her mother has died. Friend on holiday and unlikely to rush back - what can you do? - but when she comes home I want to be there for her, even in my own grief. We have become close because we can share our trials.

I wanted to share before, but don't want to rain on anyone's parade. We are managing at the moment, but time will tell how we will be as the weeks go by. Have been in organising mode for 2weeks and am now in holiday caravan just chilling with husband and another daughter.
There is no card for grief on Moodscope. I am only slightly below average as the need to use scared and afraid has now passed. :-(
Another Sally x

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 9:18pm

Another Sally. The loss of your daughter? I am really stuck for words. I don't know what to say to you. Please don't worry about raining on someone else's parade, this site is so supportive and I think people might want to help. I have no idea for the right words to say to you. I hope your strength will pull you through. I can only really send you a hug and realise that my trivial problems mean nothing. Yet you still had the time to respond to what I was saying, pretty admirable. Am I right or wrong to carry on talking rubbish when you have just announced that, I don't know. I guess no one knows how to react in some situations. I feel so sad for you. But what a lesson you may have taught me this evening. Much love and strength to you, Molly xx

Jane SG Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 9:30pm

Another Sally, oh I'm am so, so sorry. Sending you warmth, hugs and so much love. Like Molly, I am stuck for words. You are in my thoughts. And what courage to write and to also still be worried for your friend xxxxxxxx

Jane SG Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 9:35pm

Dear Molly, your response to Another Sally, and all your other responses today, have been very thoughtful and caring. You have provided a safe platform today for people to share, including some who haven't before. Well done. Sending you a hug xxx

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 9:54pm

Oh Jane, thank you so much xx

Leah Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 10:36pm

Another Sally, I am so sorry and sending kind thoughts. It must be so hard to share at this difficult time. I don't want to say either but I hope you will feel safe to let us know how you are going. You are such a special person to be worried about your friend , Take care xx

Susannah Fri, Jul 28th 2017 @ 10:32am

Another Sally. I'm thinking of you. In the midst of your personal hell, you still think of others. Remember to be kind to yourself too. xx And Jane SG - well said on both counts.

Another Sally Fri, Jul 28th 2017 @ 4:23pm

Hi Molly, my holiday caravan has intermittent wifi, so I have been unable to reply till now. Nothing you have said is rubbish and I have found strength by continuing to daily things. I like to log onto Moodscope and see what others are up to. Also, I am in that strange state where what has happened hardly feels real. Being in the caravan, a few minutes walk from a fabulous view of the sea, is very therapeutic for me. (Just scrolled up to see what Molly had written to me and realised this comment is in the wrong place) Thank you to those who have written kind notes. Take care all. Another Sally xx

Molly Fri, Jul 28th 2017 @ 5:11pm

Thank you for your response Another Sally. You didn't comment in the wrong place, I don't think you can comment straight after a comment, if you know what I mean (only at the end of the thread). I can understand that what has happened must feel so unreal - it is nice that you can find some solace being in your caravan by the sea. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are going. With love, Molly xxxx

Starryjen Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 8:22pm

Hi Molly, this is the first time in ever commented on one of the blog posts, though I read them every day.

I went through treatment for cancer a few years ago at a time when all my friends were getting married, having babies and all the other things that people do in their 30s. It opened my eyes to which of my friends would be there for me and which wouldn't. I saw friends who said they'd be there for me disappear, whether because they couldn't cope with my diagnosis or due to things in their own lives, I don't know which. A good friend who was single when i was diagnosed, was there for me all the way through my treatment but has disappeared since it ended, she started seeing someone who'd been away in the army and his return coincided with the end of my treatment which fits somewhat with what you're saying, and I feel that she was filling time giving me her attention. However out of the handful of friends that I know I can depend on, one of them is a single parent, someone who went through treatment at the same time as me, and I know she would bundle her young child into her car and come to me in the middle of the night if I needed her. so I think it's less about marriage and children meaning our friends have other commitments and more about the strength of the friendship.

Molly Thu, Jul 27th 2017 @ 9:53pm

Hello Starryjen and welcome to this site, I am so pleased that you felt you wanted to comment. I feel grateful that you were able to tell your story and relate to what I was saying. It always seems to me that when someone meets a partner (or one in your case, in the army and re-appearing) their attentions are elsewhere. Personally, I have never been like that. But as you say, it is the strength of the friendship and I am so glad you said that. I am really thinking on that now and your response was brilliant. Thank you so much. Molly xx

Valerie Fri, Jul 28th 2017 @ 9:36am

Having had to act like an adult from a ridiculously early age (quite literally,went into puberty at age 9) I have always been the person others turn to.I used to feel this was a good thing about me,but I am now older and wiser.
If someone-married or single-was in great distress I would do all I could to offer help and comfort.And yes,this would include times when I felt dismayed to be needed.
If someone phones every night,just as I am preparing supper,to launch into an hour-long moaning monologue,without once asking how I am-then no.The answerphone is a great invention.

Care is also needed "helping" married friends,if the cause of their distress is their relationship.You agree that it is time they walked away from abuse,infidelity etc,maybe mention that you and others can't stand the spouse,only to have them get back together.Your words repeated,so neither wants to speak to you again-until the next drama.

If it comes down to a stark choice,my partner and my dogs are my first concern,no one matters more.

Molly Fri, Jul 28th 2017 @ 5:23pm

Hi Valerie, you made me smile here. I ignore my phone if I am cooking or in the middle of doing something. The person will have to wait but I do always get back to them. I really do dislike the people who want to just talk about themselves. Obviously there could be an exception and if I have deep depression, I find it hard to be interested in the other person but I hope I make up for it when I am feeling well. It can feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall with some can't it, when they are going on about the same issue but do not want to do anything about it. Thank you for putting a different take on things, I found your comment really interesting. Molly xx

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