Isolating again and I feel like an awful friend

It’s been a while since I last posted here, mainly because everything in my life has been going pretty good. Lately, however, I noticed I’ve started isolating a lot more.

I don’t talk or hang out with many of my friends as much as I used to. I really don’t want to blame anyone for MY actions, but I think I’m isolating because I’m taking care of my mom who struggles with chronic pain and pretty severe psoriatic arthritis. The past few months specifically have been really hard for her… There are times where she can’t even move; and there are times where she’s in pain, yet manages. My mom and I (thankfully) work from home. I don’t have my drivers license yet, so she’s my main source of transportation. But when she’s in so much pain to where she can’t even get up & out of bed, that ultimately means we’re not going anywhere for the day… and it hurts me knowing that I can’t do anything to help her except just to be there & watch her flinch in pain as her muscles spasm uncontrollably.

On top of that, my friend who I’ve known since 1st grade is really struggling with her mental health as well. She’s anxious, depressed, and is self-harming cause she’s got her own stuff going on. She wants to get together because it’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. This is going to sound like a REALLY shitty thing to say, but I keep putting off seeing her, and I feel like such an awful friend for it… and i probably am…

am i truly a bad friend for saying “no” about getting together with my friend who is struggling & who desperately wants to see me? do i tell her that maybe now isn’t a good time to meet up because i’m taking care of my mother?

thanks for reading,


Hi there! I totally feel you on that guilt of seeing your friend and I think a lot of people would be the same way, but I think someone you’ve known that long and have in your life would be forgiving even if you aren’t able to help out often. You definitely have your priorities straight with your mother and bless you for doing whatever you can for her even if it’s just being there. For your friend I suggest even if you’re just able to call and talk on the phone, people really appreciate when someone’s just willing to listen. It’s better than doing nothing at all. If the time comes where you are able to see her, great. But I think she would love a listening ear to pour out to when she is struggling. If you’d like me to pray for you, your mother, and your friend, I happily will do so.


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Thank you so much for your advice and kind words, Leon.

My friend and I talk on facetime often and we have a good communication system between each other; when either of us are feeling down, the other is there to listen & pick them up. I think the next time my friend mentions getting together, if i’m still in the same situation i’m in now with my mom, maybe i’ll just let her know a few things are going on & meeting up is going to have to go on the back burner for now.

I would definitely appreciate some prayers for my mom & my friend. That would mean a lot.
Again, thank you.

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Hi Neon, it’s good seeing you back!

No it doesn’t make you a bad friend at all. I recently went to go see a friend of mine who also takes care of her mom. She works full time and then cares for her mom the rest of the time. Honestly, she rarely ever has any energy left for socializing. Even while I visited, she’d wander off alone to get some of that alone time to recharge her mental batteries. Part of why I was there was as a mental health break. I needed to see a friend. But I didn’t let her need of alone time take away from it. There was a balance.

Can your friend maybe come over for a movie night with you and your mom some time? Maybe you can get some ice cream or popcorn or even a pie. And just enjoy a nice dessert over a movie. Or maybe even order pizza. That way you don’t even have to leave home.

You’re not a bad friend. You both are just going through your own hardships. Hopefully she can understand that or maybe you can find a medium somewhere. My friend found it easier if people came to her. Especially since she had to handle her mom if she went anywhere and it was just too hard for her.

Don’t beat yourself up for not feeling social. I go through this without care taking for another person. I burn out easy.

Like I said, maybe a movie night would be a fun idea.

  • Kitty
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Hi Kitty! Good seeing you as well :slight_smile:

That’s actually a great idea. The next time my friend and I facetime, we’ll have a talk & hopefully find a middle-ground.

Thank you for the reassurance as well. I really needed it <3


neontrapdoors, my friend. I was streaming on twitch tonight and came across your post. Your situation absolutely hits home to so many. Feeling as though you just need your own time can be so difficult for those of us who are used to being helpful to others before ourselves. The other viewers and I worked together to formulate a response that you can see here:

I wish you the best. -



You’re not a bad friend. You just need time to figure out. Your mother needs you. If there is a good time where you and your friend will see each other, it will happen. Take it easy on yourself, my man.

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