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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Very close friendship detereorating - August 31st 2021, 11:23 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Hi everyone. I'm back on Teen Help after years, it's always the place I go to when I'm low.

*** Please note that this contains mentions of depression, please read only if it's okay with you ***

So. I am currently doing an MBA, it's been hybrid (I was on campus for a few months, otherwise mostly home) due to Covid. I made a really good friend, a senior, let's call him VT. He is a senior from my undergraduate college so we connected here. We have lots of fun and also deep conversations. We were together on campus and got really close.

Then a couple of things happened. I went into a low phase on campus - I got depressed. It took me a while to figure it out, and I didn't tell VT till much later, only when I was comfortable with it. So, I'm struggling with lots of things: academics, friends, missing meals, sleeping too much or too little, and so on. Meanwhile, it's his final year in MBA (it's a two year program, I was in first year then) so he's focused on spending time with his friends and girlfriend, all of whom are great. But I kind of always really looked up to him, so this gap kind of starts getting to me. He doesnt take my calls, sometimes ignores my messages. But time passes, and I stop reaching out as much.

Finally, I decided I couldnt go on like that with my depression, so unhappy, so I decided to seek help and come home earlier than anyone else. Best decison I ever made. And a few days before leaving (please note that while my other friends would still see me again in our second year, he was graduating), I tell him. He was kinda taken aback, but honestly he reacted like he was sad only the first time I told him, then when we actually sat down to talk, he didnt seem like he minded too much. I tell him about my depression, and he's clearly upset by it, like anyone would be. And he says he feels bad he was unavailable, and honestly its okay because it's not like he could have prevented it from happening. It was bigger than all of us. So I leave. We keep in touch, and we still are in touch 4 months later. But this thought is always in my head: he ditched me when I was at my worst, in a place I wasnt familiar with, and at that time he was the only person I truly relied on. Granted, he may not have known that, but it happened. I tried talking about it casually but it didnt help, so I dropped it. Now we text normally, have fun, etc. We are in different cities now.

A few days ago, he made a joke, a really silly one with absolutely no meaning, genuinely really light-hearted, but I snapped. I wasnt hurt by the joke itself, it was harmless, something about our college, but I just stopped replying. Its been two days and I havent responded, and I dont plan to. He has tried talking to me a couple of times but I've given one word responses and generally have not responded at all. My exams start in two days anyway.

So now: I dont know what to do. I feel like I cant get over what happened, and I cant go on pretending like it didnt really hurt me. To be honest, I even know what the issue is. I have kind of always wanted an elder brother. Someone who would look out for me, have fun with me, I could be honest and myself and yet also joke around. And with him, I felt like I finally found it. But I get it, not everyone gets attached so deeply, and no one in the world (except you guys now) knows about my "older brother issues". I get it, he already has a younger sister. So he was never looking for another one, and he may not have ever been that attached to me. But for me, I felt like I had found an older brother. And now it feels like me over-depending on him made him pull away.

What do I do? I am so fond of him and think very highly of him, but a part of me just wants to let him go.

Note: The title itself shows how I feel about it, but I guess it doesnt go both ways. Sorry for the long post.
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Re: Very close friendship detereorating - September 2nd 2021, 04:47 PM

Do you think it's worth sitting down and talking to him about this one last time, and letting him know that you want more than a casual discussion? You can let him know that you realize this happened a little while ago, but it is still on your mind. You can also let him know that you are worried that the friendship is starting to deteriorate a little bit and see what he says. Make sure that you use "I statements" and try not to accuse him of being malicious, because this may put him on the defensive.

If he doesn't take it well that you want to talk things out and either laughs it off, doesn't take it seriously, or argues with you, maybe it will be a good idea to pull out of the friendship. But right now he probably doesn't know what is wrong so he can't try and work on it with you, if this is something he wants to do. The reason I say this is he seemed surprised about your depression at first, so he may not know that this is weighing on you still.

If you do have to end the friendship, either because you don't feel it is worth it to try and repair things or because repairing things doesn't go well, don't feel guilty. Sometimes friendships unfortunately run their course. It happens in life, and even though it hurts, you deserve wonderful friends.

Do you ever get a little bit tired of life
Like you're not really happy but you don't wanna die
Like you're hanging by a thread but you gotta survive
'Cause you gotta survive
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close, depression feeling lonely, detereorating, friendship

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