My best friend of many years has become grumpy with me. This may seem like a stupid post but honestly i don’t know what to do. she’s had a few suicidal problems and she used to cut, when i was talking to her over skype she started playing music when i said “i have a headache can you possibly turn it off maybe?” which then she replied with “I had a razor before close to cutting i feel really suicidal and you like ‘sarah’ more than you like me go away and go talk to sarah, you like her way more than me!” (sarah isn’t her real name i just wanted to keep it as confidential to my life as possible) what do i do?
There seem to be two issues here you’re worried about why your friend is self-harming. There are loads of websites and telephone lines she can tap into that address these issues and get support. Secondly you are not responsible for her behaviour and choices what you do or don’t do doesn’t make her, self-harm, it’s much more complex than that. Maybe once you’ve pointed her in the direction of help, parent, carer, youth worker, health carer, website etc, you can back off for a bit.
Friendships are difficult, we fall in and out of friendships and we grow in and out of them as we meet different life stages. Don’t take on something you can’t cope with, acknowledge her distress but don’t take it on as your own if you are unable to help. When people feel this low they sometimes go round in circles and you can find yourself being dragged in and it doesn’t help either of you.
You may not be able to change the situation but you can change how you react. Reacting in a different way may make you and your friend feel uncomfortable at first but may move things in a different direction towards a more positive outcome.
Offer support as a friend, but back off when you’re out of your depth or when you are being pulled in too far, to give yourself space to think about what’s really going on here. The phone number for the Isle of Man Samaritans is 663399, they also have a website. This would be a good place for your friend to turn to for support where there is someone to talk to 24hours a day.
These things have a way of working out given time and the right support.