Sometimes, I don’t even want to see my friends.
I’m not sure what to do. I have a great group of girlfriends, but when we go out to dinner and they ask about my daughter, sometimes I just don’t even have the energy to talk about it. Many times, they also give me advice, but they haven’t experienced this pain. I end up bursting into tears, filled with all kinds of anxiety. I want to hear about their lives so I can escape from my own. I don’t want to offend them, and I know I am blessed to have them in my life, but I find myself making excuses to not go, just so I don’t have to “hear it.” How do I approach this? —Barb
You are right; you are so very blessed to have a group of friends who love you so much. The reason they ask is because they do care about you and your daughter. Many times, people give advice because they think they need to; they want to FIX the problem, often suggesting things that you have either already tried or that don’t apply to addiction. If it is painful to talk about at times, I would be honest with them. Try an approach of “Friends, I am so grateful that you ask about my daughter. There are times when I’m feeling really strong and good and can respond in a healthy way. There are other times when I’m not; it’s too painful to discuss—and today is one of those moments. Today, I just want to hear about you. Your life, your career, your funny moments with your kids. Something, ANYTHING, so I don’t have to think about addiction. I need to laugh and just be here with you, my girlfriends whom I love so much. Please keep asking, though, because it makes me feel cared for. If I do share, what would help me most is to have you just listen, hold my hand, and surround me with love.”
Disclaimer: The above advice is not meant to be construed as medical or legal advice. If you need professional medical, psychological, or legal advice, please contact a doctor, lawyer, or medical center.
Katie Donovan is a family, life, and relationship coach; keynote speaker; and writer with a passion for empowering women. She has been interviewed on ABC, NBC, and Fox Sports and featured in cover stories in Time and Money magazines. Katie’s award-winning blog, www.amothersaddictionjourney.com, reached over a million views and was seen in 146 countries within thirty days of its inception and has been syndicated in over thirty publications, including USA Today and Disney’s blog Babble.
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