But Jesus, this is BOTHERING me.
We all have friends who make us feel better about ourselves. I don't mean in the "they lift you up" way. I mean in the "I'm a terrible person" way. Friends who makes you feel smarter, more attractive, more successful, more together, etc. because they are less of something compared to you (at least in your shallow little mind). Generally, I have no issue with this. I'm friends with people because I like them--any self-esteem bump I get is just an added benefit. I have no doubt some of my friends get the same sort of bump from me.
You know what sucks though? The cause of the potential bump depressing the shit out of you.
We all know I'm mentally off-balance, right? Hell, for the past week the only thing I've had going for me is the mantra "at least I haven't pulled any of my hair out, at least I haven't pulled any of my hair out." Break out the celebratory cake and ice cream, I've managed to resist impulse control issue #2 FOR A WHOLE WEEK. Someone get me a "1 week clean" chip/keychain/coin, stat. We'll just ignore the absolute failure of everything else. (Oh, I'm sorry, did I forget to give you an invite to the pity party? Let me just order some more from Shutterfly, and we'll be good.)
Suffice it to say, I could kinda use a bump.
I figured I'd check up on someone else who I knew had been dealing with mental peaks and valleys--focus on someone else instead of myself, maybe do a little good. I imagine some part of me even suspected she might be bump-inducing--an added benefit of checking in with her. Win, win.
Not even close.
After communicating with her, instead of the "hey, at least I'm not THAT crazy" bump, I ended up with my head in my hands, wondering if she'll be able to survive this self-destructive descent that's going to lead her straight back to the "happy home" (as she puts it)--the happy home IF she's lucky. With the way she's taking care of herself, I don't even know if she'll have the presence of mind to drive herself there . . . again.
You see, when someone's bump-inspiring tendencies are kiiiinda that person's own fault and relatively harmless (I'm looking down at the scale RIGHT NOW), it's all good. You get your bump, they never know (or don't care), and life goes on. You wanna hang out with me because you like me, and you just happen to feel in better shape when standing next to me? Cool. Keep your mouth shut about it, but cool. Hell, I'll even let you buy me a cookie. Gotta keep the symbiosis going, right?
But when the tendencies are dangerous, like life-shreddingly dangerous . . . there is no bump. Yeah, I might still think, "wow, I'm crazy, but at least I'm not THAT crazy," but there's no positive to it. There's no brief, smug, internal smile . . . no momentary bloom of self worth. There's just, "Oh shit. I'm either going to end up visiting her at the mental hospital or going to her funeral. Maybe both."
Your heart aches, your eyes tear up, and even though you've pretty much left religion in the dust, you start to fucking pray. Because God, the universe, the stardust, WHATEVER knows she sure as hell isn't listening.