Minerva's Breakdown: Social Graces 

Dear Minerva:

Many of my friends have been celebrating accomplishments and milestones in their lives via social media lately. A lot of them are taking trips and making big purchases to commemorate these achievements. The last few years have been difficult for me and I am, unfortunately, still playing clean-up and getting back on track. I love my friends but I am having a difficult time feeling happy for them. Am I a bad friend? How can I be supportive while also trying to deal with my own hardships?

—Sincerely,

Wrung Out

Dear Wrung:

I am sorry that you've been going through difficult times. It can be defeating in many ways when others seem to be thriving while one is in the midst of struggle. While you may not outwardly find it easy to be happy for your friends, I am sure that, deep down, you truly are. Sometimes when I am feeling particularly downtrodden, I actively engage on social media in ways that are opposite of how I feel. If I am feeling disappointed and defeated, I will make a point to comment something positive on people's celebratory posts. I find that, before too long, I feel better about my own troubles and more hopeful for the future. After all, if the shoe were on the other foot, I would hope my friends would do the same. Give it a try and stop beating yourself up. We are all human and sometimes getting through the hard stuff is dirty, painful business.

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