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How can I help my friend? I can't lose her!!

Discussion in 'Help Me! I Need to Talk to Someone.' started by mystery, Jul 13, 2014.

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  1. mystery

    mystery New Member

    This is long but please read on, I am truly lost and helpless :(.
    For me, my friends problems come before my own. I am always ready to offer a shoulder to cry on after bad break-ups, family issues, exam failures etc. I'm extremely lucky to be surrounded by incredible friends and an amazing family. My tight knit friendship group consists of me and 6 other girls. We've been friends since primary school! My closest friend of the group is a happy, beautiful, amazing girl who I love loads. If you met her you would think she was like any other bubbly young woman, she has a great family, good job, kind spirit and loving nature. But recently things have changed...
    She still acts her usual self around others, so it seems all is well. But as I know her inside out I could tell something heavy was on her mind. My fears were confirmed a couple of weeks ago. We were walking home from a party, I was a little tipsy but she was completely sober. Then she started telling me how she has felt very down recently but can't explain why. That all of a sudden she will feel suicidal and can't help it. She had no idea why these thoughts came upon her but they took such force that it scared her. When she saw my unease and shock she tried to explain how it wasn't all the time but I was still shaken so she continued to explain. She said how no one would really miss her if she wasn't around (which is insanely untrue!!) and as I exclaimed against this she kept cutting me off. She went on to say how she had done "personality tests" and "suicidal quizzes" which had rated her as depressed and in a bad way. As we approached her house, she said very sternly that I wasn't to worry and that telling me was a sign that she would do something about it in her own time. Also that I was not to tell ANYBODY. Then as I walked home I felt really dizzy. I couldn't cry and I wasn't even sad just emotionless. I sat on a bench outside my house trying to figure out what was going on. I realized I was shaking. The next morning, in a blurred hazed I remembered her words. I also remembered how badly I had reacted. I hadn't said very much and felt incredibly guilty!! :( so I wrote her a long inbox explaining how I was always there and that she could always rely on me. She wrote kind words back and then we lapsed into a usual casual conversation like nothing had happened.
    Over the past couple of weeks she has appeared fine and I know I should have checked up and talked to her more about it but I didn't want to be patronizing. I told myself that she had told me so hopefully like she had said that she would seek help. But last night we were at a friends house and she took me upstairs for a gossip. But the chat became very dark... We was talking about our holidays and suddenly she said "I've set a date, in September when I get back." At first confused I just looked at her blankly. Her returned gaze was with sad eyes, never had I seen such sad eyes!! In realization I was rendered speechless. But when she began to speak again I cut her off adding "no no don't say that!!" and the same guilt i felt a couple of weeks back consumed me as my brain paced to try and think of the words to say to her, to console her, to make her stop saying and thinking things like that! I wanted to ask her what was truly on her mind, find the core of the problem, persuade to get help right now! But the words didn't come and we sat in silence. Then another friend burst in the room dragging us downstairs to dance. The awful thing is I continued as normal. I know that was so insanely crazy- my best friend just told me she had set a date to end her life and I just danced and laughed right in front of her. But I do care beyond imagination and I felt so bewildered I didn't know what to do :(
    Now the next day sitting here I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I have no idea what to do. My best friend is truly in a dark place and there is nothing I can do to help her. I feel ridiculous and ashamed that i can't say the right things or help her in some way. I feel so lost. What on earth would I do if she did commit suicide. I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing I knew but did nothing. She means so much to me I can't lose her!!! This is why I came here in desperation!! What can I do to help? What can I say to make it better? To make her realize how much she is loved and needed. That she has her whole life ahead of her. How do I persuade to seek medical advise to rid herself of these dark thoughts and uncontrollable depressing forces/feelings?
    Thank you so much if you have read this I appreciate it more than you can know. I would be extremely grateful for any replies!
  2. Perfect Melancholy

    Perfect Melancholy SF Friend

    It's a hard situation to be out in you cards very deeply about your friend and that is lovely, at the same time you are not trained or qualified to help her. It's a tough scenario of course she trusts you to speak and talk to you, and at the same time you well know you cannot sit there and do nothing. Do not feel guilty for having a silent reply when she first spoke to you, sometimes we need to collect our thoughts and think and absorb what has been said.

    She needs help, that is the bottom line, depression untreated can simply eat away blind you to the reality of what is around and the support that is there, it can make you believe no one would miss you even when this is so clearly not true. It pains me to say, but have you thought about speaking to her family yes it may be breaking that trust she bestowed on you but at the same time, your friend needs family and professional support. All I can say is hopefully she will understand in time and forgive you.

    Or if you are not ready for that keep talking to her if you are able to, tell her about crisis numbers of people she can talk to even give her contact details to email the Samaritans or someone similar if she is unable to talk on the phone and keep asking if she got a reply and talk through it. There are some useful links on this forum that could be of help to her and telephone numbers, depending which country you are in.

    I would add you are incredible for caring about your friend so much, so please don't be so hard on yourself.

  3. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    As said hun all you can do really is be there and listen to her To get her professional help now is what is needed Talk to a councilor at your school see if they can intervene without giving your name They can step in and just say they notice something is not right crisis numbers get them for your area and have them ready so if she is suicidal you can make the call to get her help ok rather her safe and mad at you then not here at all

    Talk to her parents let them know what she has told you they will be able to step in and get her the help s he needs as well. Your friend reached out to you because she wants help hun she will not be upset with you but will understand that you could not sit by and do nothing

    You need to look after you as well there is a lot of stress that has been put on you and if cannot be your responsibility alone to care for her Hugs
  4. mystery

    mystery New Member

    First of all thank you for your reply! It's very kind of you to put me at ease and I totally understand what you are saying. I am definitely going to offer her some of the links/helplines. Only thing is: how do I go about that without me seeming like I'm pushing her?
    I would like to speak to her family, but I wouldn't know how to approach them about it, if you see what I mean?
    It's these feelings of uncertainty that make me feel helpless and scared to take action in case I make the situation worse. For so long I have never understood suicide or depression but watching my friend go through it is frightening me!!
    I would like to say again many thanks Rich, makes me feel soo much better knowing there are people out there willing support others in difficult situations!!
  5. mystery

    mystery New Member

    Total Eclipse,

    Thanks hun, means a lot you took the time to reply. But certain things worry me like, how do i provide helplines without pushing her? how would i approach her family about it? :(
    I appreciate all your advise and I'm starting to feel like i'm coming to terms with everything better, it is just a very stressful time and I hate this feeling of helplessness!
    Slowly hopefully I can help her but truly thank you for the support, I'm very grateful!
  6. Perfect Melancholy

    Perfect Melancholy SF Friend

    It takes a lot of patience, you know your friend better than any of us. I wouldn't suggest thrusting these things on her but give her a choice different options ask her to pick one. I think it's important as well to reassure her you will be there for that journey and make her understand why you want to help, be honest with your own feelings.

    Of course there is no answer as such on how to approach these, perhaps make her understand she isn't alone in these thoughts and of course that she deserves to give herself a chance to feel better to get better and that she won't have to suffer alone, doctors can be scary I know this but they are there to help at the end of the day and family and friends are there to support.
  7. Hatshepsut

    Hatshepsut Guest

    I admit not reading your entire post. The first sentence in its body is enough.

    This is only my opinion, but your problems come first, before anyone else's, even a friend or dear loved one. It simply has to be that way. And, it should be that way for your friends also. Presumably, they look out for themselves.

    I'm not saying "don't help your friends." It seems like you listen to them, and that's OK. But as a human being, your ability to help a friend is constrained somewhat. Unless you are Saint Agnes & Saint Andrew in one, you really can't sacrifice your well-being to be helpful. A brief scan of what you wrote suggests that your friend may need professional intervention. Perhaps this is the thing you can relay to your friend, while stating that the needed helps are beyond your capabilities, in the event your friend won't seek out a reliable source.

    Best wishes, and all the power of Pharaoh Sen-Wos-Ret to you.

  8. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    What a wonderful friend you are! She is very lucky to have you in her life! :hug:

    I know you don't want to be pushy. Offering her the crisis numbers is a great first step! Perhaps asking her if she has considered counselling is a less pushy way to raise the idea. Maybe you could suggest she see her family doctor to rule out a physical cause for how she is feeling. A good family doctor will spot the signs of depression and find the best treatment(s) to offer the patient.

    I imagine it is hard even to think about talking to her parents. You don't want to upset her and make her angry, and of course such news will be disturbing and upsetting for her parents. However, as noted above, better that she's here and angry, than to have no friend because she does something to herself. If you were to speak with her parents, simple honesty might be the best bet. "Your daughter is a wonderful friend to me. I'm worried about her. She told me that she has been feeling sad and has been thinking about harming herself or worse. I don't know what's behind these thoughts, but I wanted you to know about them. She didn't want me to tell you, and she doesn't know I decided to break her trust."

    Or you could encourage your friend to talk to her family herself - maybe you could offer to sit with her while she tells them if that would help.

    Not telling someone is likely worse and harder for your friend and for you...she needs professional help, and as her friend, that's not what you can give her and it's a big secret and burden for you to carry.

    One of the most important things is to reassure her that you care no matter what and that what you really want is for her to get the best help and support possible.

    Thinking of you and your friend...take care!
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