“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
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.