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“I have a friend struggling with grief, health and emotional issues. She is extremely negative, sarcastic and angry in all aspects of her life. She has no other friends and thanks me for being a positive example in her life. Very slowly, she is trying to change to more positive thoughts and actions. Problem is I am getting drained being her only friend in life. Her complaining is constant and she needs me so much of the time..I have a husband and other friends and I love to journal and read. I don’t seem to have time for much anything else. I don’t want to give up on her. I care deeply and couldn’t bear knowing she has no one. What can I do?” ~ Patti, Oregon City, OR

Dear Patti,

As a friend, of course you don’t want to abandon her, but you might suggest that she get involved in a support group. It is so much easier working through traumatic issues when you are embraced by those who understand and care, because they have “been there, done that”.

A trauma recovery coach to guide her through the process of recovering from her issues is also very beneficial for a similar reason: the coach has likely also been there. A coach can help her find out the things about her trauma that are keeping her locked in a negative state, and look at what can she do to reconcile this.

Also, point out some uplifting books on healing and recovery, such as my book Radiant Survivor: How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences and The Root of All Healing by Misa Hopkins. Perhaps if you have time, you could even read the book(s) along with her and share each other’s thoughts about them, hopefully providing a more positive environment for your friendship.

Erica Tucci

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Erica is a 50something-year old woman (59 to be exact!) who led a very fulfilling life as she knew it. She was a corporate manager at a Fortune 500 company in Houston, the owner of a healing arts business and an author of three books (six now). All that came crashing down on June 10, 2011, when she had a stroke! Needless to say, her life was changed dramatically. She went from running as fast as she could on the treadmill of life to scooting along at a snail’s pace.

During her recovery (which is ongoing), she has gained much wisdom about what’s really important in life. Although she has been an author, a Reiki master, massage therapist and fledgling life coach as well as a corporate cog, she has realized that she needs to focus and get clarity in her life, instead of grabbing at every shiny object. She is now focusing on giving Dream Board workshops to help other like-minded souls find clarity in their lives so that they can manifest their greatest dreams. And as she loves to write, she will begin writing her 7th book. Her primary website, which needs to be updated and revamped, is


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Important question and helpful response. Also, remember that excessive support can also be harmful; the friend will need to learn to cope independently eventually, regardless of how much interim help is given. There is a subtle line between being a supportive friend and being an emotional crutch over an extended period of time (we all need to be crutches in the short-term, that’s part of friendship).

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