I wish I had found this forum six months ago. My best friend and I have been friends for two years and roommates for one year. She is one of the most upbeat, fun, loving, caring, and kind people that I know of. We go to the same church and have a lot of the same friends. My friend has always been very sensitive about certain issues, and if her nerve is "hit" by someone accidentally she usually goes into a negative spell that lasts for a day or two. However, in the past several months her overall mood has gotten more down, with more frequent and lower spells. Very often I myself am the one who sets her off-- one time during a vacation I deleted pictures she had taken on my camera when I needed more room; another time I was clumsy and dropped her open contact lens case on the bathroom floor. When things like this happen, she gets extremely upset and verbally berates me for being "stupid," "useless" and "mean." I try to be patient but at times I snap back when I lose it. Then things get worse and she tells me that I'm not her friend, I don't understand or care for her, and that she is on the verge of depression and doesn't want to do anything at all. Mornings are the hardest for her because she doesn't want to face the day, so I wake her up and get her breakfast ready. She is constantly worried, terrified actually, that her friends, even good friends, don't like her, and I think she believes that they don't care, even though I feel that it is the opposite in reality. It took quite a while, and many arguments before I slowly realized that she is mean to me because she is so unhappy, and that she doesn't truly mean it. It is still very hard for me to accept it when it happens.
Both of us don't have family in the area, and her family is in another country, so we're kind of like adopted family to each other. I suspect that I am the only one who knows that she is depressed, as she shows a happy side to other people, and doesn't tell her family anything is wrong. She might be getting counseling but I am not sure. I don't know if she has accepted the fact that she is depressed; she might not be there yet.
I'm not sure if what I am doing is the right thing, if I am being supportive, or enabling her, or doing too much as a friend. I often feel underappreciated because I feel like I have to patiently listen, encourage, and if I mess up one time there are dire consequences. When things go bad I feel like she makes it seem like it is my fault for not caring enough or being a good enough friend. I love and care for my friend but from what I've been reading here, it sounds like there is no real end to any of this. I feel like a lot of people would tell me to just cut off this friendship and let her figure it out but I don't want to be that kind of friend. But can I live with being told how bad a person I am, when I feel like I'm actually doing more for her than anyone in her life right now?