ISO: Housemate and Advice

one comment | December 29th, 2011

(story submitted by Sara, a 20 yo Chestist)

Have you ever been hesitant to do the right thing – because you think it's the wrong thing for you?  She ias and here's her story:

My friends and I are looking for an extra housemate for next year. A girl we all know has asked if she can live with us. We have always been good friends, but she has taken this year out to have therapy. She had depression and has a personality disorder. She says she is doing much better, and is taking medication etc, but I am cautious about living with her.

I really want to help her out, I'm just wondering whether it is a good idea. We all like her a lot, so it may well be better than if we had to live with a stranger, but if it turns out that coming back to study is too much for her, I don't want to have to deal with it too much. I have also suffered from stress and anxiety related problems, although not to the same extent, and I know I will be stressed coming up to my final exams.

I mean, I am happy to support her as I would a friend, but that is not the same as providing so much support to someone with a serious mental health problem. I'm torn. It may be that she is pretty much fine next year, and it isn't much of an issue, but I know that stuff like that doesn't really have a cure. I don't want the world to be a place where people can't talk openly about mental health problems, and I don't want to say no just because of it, but I don't want to blindly say yes either. I feel a bit like if we say no because of it, we are sending a message that it is better for her to lie, and not tell people about these problems in the future.

Any thoughts? {end story}

Sometimes the line between helping others and having their problems become ours isn't as big and thick as we might like.  Have you ever been in a position like Sara's?  What'd you do?  On the other side of this story, have you ever found yourself trying to bounce back from the past but being stigmatized because of it?  How'd you deal with it?  Like Sara said at the end of her story…any thoughts?  Bring 'em, people, bring 'em.




1 comment

  • Tracy

    Posted on December 29, 2011

    I think in a situation like this you have to really want to be supportive and available. You sound conflicted, which is completely understandable, so I would say, there’s your answer. Don’t live with her. Be her friend in other ways, but keep some distance. Unless you feel like you have the time, energy and desire to help her if she is struggling, don’t put yourself in the position of supporter. You’ll end up resenting her. Just my opinion…

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