I know, I know: you CAN'T. It just goes against every fiber of my must-fix-ALLLLLTHETHIIIIINGS!-being to throw my hands up in defeat: trying to fix things is one of the ways I show love (which is kinda screwy, but there it is).
I was talking to a friend last night on the phone: what was meant to be a quick call with a simple question turned into 2.5 hours of her talking about how unhappy she is, how much she hates her life, how disappointed she is in... everything. She started asking me questions about my antidepressants - how long did it take for them to start working, DID they start working, what difference did they make, etc. (I don't think she realizes that, not only am I still on them, but Dr. GP issued a prescription refill for another nine months, which will put me at a year and a half on them (which is... weird for me to wrap my head around)).
I answered her questions the best I could, interjecting with snippets of the conversations I've had with Dr. GP. At that point, she burst in to say that she doesn't even feel like "bothering" with her doctor because he's SO hands-off: he doesn't ask questions, he doesn't explain things - hell, he doesn't even use a stethoscope when she complains of chest pains, just writes another bloody prescription. I got a little tough with her at that point and told her that it's up to her to be her own advocate (thanks again to @beautifulwreck2 for that extremely helpful kick in the pants <3), because no one else can (or will) do it for her. More excuses.
She talked about how she feels like her whole life has been a waste and how she feels like such a failure. When I chimed in to commiserate, she told me that my perfection issues and low self-esteem aren't "as bad" as hers, while saying in the next breath that "it's not a competition." Oooookaaaaay... O_O
To be completely honest, I don't think she wants help or a solution: this is the same refrain I've been hearing for years - her life "sucks" and she "hates" it, yet she's not willing to do anything to fix or change things. When I make suggestions, they're shot down with comments of "that's not going to change anything." To be even more honest, I have a (guilt-inducing) feeling that she... well, not likes having something to complain about, but really identifies herself by her problems and is likely afraid of what life would look like if she did make positive changes. At the same time, I feel slightly judged (and sometimes ridiculed) by her reactions to the things I've tried or done to improve myself and my outlook on life; while I know that I'm the only one who can control how I react to someone, it still makes it hard to continue wanting/trying to help when I'm feeling embarrassed by my dippy-hippie exploits.
It's hard and frustrating and emotionally draining. It makes me question myself and my issues and the work I've done. However, no, I can't just wash my hands of this "friend" - it's not that easy. But then, stuff like this never really is that easy, is it?