I don't normally like bringing up my personal issues in a public forum, but I wanted some advice about how other people might deal with this predicament. Hopefully my little rant here will make some degree of sense and that I'm expressing myself even somewhat properly.
I have a problem with a friend who is... how do I put it... unhelpful in her attempts to be "supportive" of me. I understand that from her perspective she's likely just trying to help me improve myself, but that doesn't make my emotional response any less troubled.
I guess a little context on my end would be that I'm mentally ill; I take medication and that helps significantly since I can at least function with my medication, but it's still difficult for me to behave and work at the same level as a healthy person. I also try not to be sensitive, but my brain is already doing a great job of tearing me down and I don't exactly need my best friends to do the same.
She knows this about me, as I've had problems with severe mental illness since she met me, and I try not to be too secretive about it since I know it can often cause problems in my relationships.
So, my friend has a habit of never offering me any supportive criticism about my art and/or stories; her comments are always either neutral or, more often, harshly critical of what I do without offering any positives. It's hard for me to feel her support when she tears me down about things I'm already insecure about and have openly stated that I know aren't "good" yet. When I try to be optimistic about it, she'll tear me further down and repeat how bad it is until I just accept her POV that it's no good. If I fix it, she'll never encourage me or say I've done better.
It's just a little... discouraging to have someone who is supposedly one of your "best" friends, but will only ever indulge themselves in criticizing you. I've stopped talking about my art and writing with her because of this, but she'll bring it up to me and force it upon me when she feels like it.
I don't mean that I want her to lie to me and say she likes my stuff, though, of course! I just wish she would offer some degree of encouragement or support... but anyhow, I know that I probably can't change her, because I've tried to tell her to consider my feelings about things, but she refuses to do so (for example, she'll take uncomfortable pictures of me without my consent and then laugh about it when I get upset and explain my feelings to her).
So... I guess I'm asking for advice on two things:
1) What should I do about her? I know she doesn't intend any harm, but it does hurt me. It's hard for me to just... not be friends with her, too, because she thinks I'm her closest friend + including her, I could count the number of "friends" I have on one hand.
2) Because of her comments, I can't even bear to look at my comic pages right now, which makes it... very difficult to produce more pages. But I have to work enough to keep up with updates, among other things. How would you overcome those feelings of frustration and insecurity?