Our expert says:
I think many of us in helping professions experience this sort of situation, where your daily supply of the milk of human kindness gets used up at the office. Maybe CBT counselling could help you cope een better with the stresses of your work ? Explain that your work has become much more demanding and when you get home now, you don't even have the energy left to growl at the cat. That you really worry that she needs to develop other contacts, maybe see a personal counsellor, as though you are unable to meet her needs, you do want them to be met by someone better able to do so. Explian that having moved, you really can't manage to visit her now.
Anyhow, this clinging and deeply needy friend. Can't you explain to her calmly and quietly, that since you have developed Bipolar Disorder, you find it very difficult to be as supportive to her as you'd like to be. ? Don't allow her to make you feel guilty --- there is nothing wrong, especially after having put up with her for so long, with you wanting to move on and leave her to her own devices --- that's a very healthy ambition. And tell her that your own psychoplogist srongly advises you not to meet more with her, or anyone else connected with your past.
She can only manipulate you if you allow her to do so. And it may actually help her if she can't dig back into "the old days" but will have more motivation to look for a future. Don't go there again ( it gives her far too many opportunities for manipulation ) --- send her an e-mail or a letter. You are not aterrible person --- SHE IS.
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