The title of this post seems like it is a no brainer.
Of course you should have friends that are good for your mental health. But, this one consideration can be overlooked as you are navigating your way through life and trying to manage your illness, and the ups and downs of everyday life. I have never been a person with an overflow of friends. I am an introvert, and I am more interested in quality over quantity. I have to say I love my friends, they are great but as I have been on my mental health journey, I did not realize how important they are! Before I was actually diagnosed I would have my periods of being MIA, I would brush off plans and do other things that are consistent with a person who is in crisis. For years it was like this and frankly, I seemed like a big ole flake. I mean looking back at some of the stuff that I had done, I would think that I was a flake also.
One of the turning points for me in my interactions with my friends was my willingness and level of comfort with sharing my diagnosis with them.
I had to get to a point where I was comfortable talking about it to the people in my life. That took some time. Once I let them in on what I was dealing with, my behaviors from the past suddenly had a reason for it. It took some time to get to that point, I am glad that I finally got there.
Having friends in your life that know about my diagnosis and understands how I am affected by my illness has been a tremendous effect on my recovery.
When I am with them, I feel normal, I feel like myself, and that is the time when I can really kick back, unwind, and enjoy myself. I need that. I think, that we all need people like that in our lives. Having good friends who love, support, and accept you no matter what can make the difference in a recovery success story, and a recovery not so successful story.