Friendship struggles, I guess? I’m scared and hurt

This is not an easy post for me and it takes all my strength to even write down what I feel and think about this whole situation.

My best friend; I talked about him before. He tried to take his life once and I fear he might’ve done it again last night. (We don’t live close to each other, I can’t really check up on him)

And on one hand, I want to text him. Ask him how he’s doing right now and be there for him.

But on the other, I just can’t. I cant bring myself to it anymore. I’ve been feeling like the friendship got toxic, in a way. He only seems to care about me on his “good” days. I’m being used as an emotional outlet, someone he can dump his shit on and it makes me feel like I’m responsible for whether he lives or dies. He’s been using me as a form of therapist, something he couldn’t get. And it hurts and drains me. Normally I wouldn’t get so hurt over this, but he completely ignored my attempt to be vulnerable a few days ago. It took so much out of me to tell him what I told him and he ignored it.
It happened before; i opened up, he ignored it and made it about his issues instead.
It’s the reason I closed off to him so long ago.

I dont know if this is insensitive of me. I dont really know what friendship is supposed to feel like(wow that feels so sad to type out).



You’re a good friend. I don’t know if you hear that a lot, or not at all, but really, you are a good friend. Being there for your friend, showing that you care, listening without judging… maybe this is almost natural for you, but those are some precious qualities that you have, and it’s so needed in our world these days.

But I also hear what you say about this relationship. Indeed, there is some imbalance in the way you interact together. As much as you are here for him, the relationship seems to be one-sided lately, which can become unhealthy and hurtful in the long run.

I’ve been in your shoes, several times in my life. If I truly appreciate someone I’ll show them that I care about them and I’ll try to be around in times when they might need someone to listen. But sometimes the line between being a friend and a therapist can be very thin. So once I realize that this line is likely to be crossed, I know that I have to talk about it with the person, so we can create a difference balance together. With time and several experiences, this will happen less often as you’ll also learn to set some boundaries with your friends. It’s a process in itself, something we all learn to adjust all the time with every person we know, just because every relationship is unique.

There are a few things that are sure in your situation: 1/ you are not his therapist, 2/ you are not responsible of him, of his life or his emotions, 3/ a friendship requires a minimum of reciprocity, otherwise it can become damaging for someone. Your friend probably doesn’t realize that he’s very focused on himself, to the point of ignoring/invalidating what you share when you feel vulnerable too. Unfortunately, when we’re struggling, we can be self-centered. Which is not a bad thing in itself! It’s just what’s needed at the moment. Unfortunately, that makes us less able to listen to others and emphathize with what they’re going through. So in other words, your friend is probably not in a position of being able to listen to you right now. It’s not your fault. It’s not really his fault either. It’s just that we can’t always be that kind of person for the people we love, even if we want to.

On the other hand, it sounds that your friend will need to seek some help with someone else too. Being a supportive friends has its own limits. Just because being supportive is part of a friendship, but it’s not all of a friendship, unlike a therapist’s job whose only role is to support someone. It sounds that, right now, a calm, respectful and loving discussion about this could be beneficial, both for you and your friend. For you, as this could help you to be the friend and human being that you are, and not just a supportive person. For him, to receive the help they need in more appropriate places (like with a professional). It’s the kind of conversation that can be difficult for him to handle, especially if you’ve been in that situation for a long time, because it’s a way to initiate some kind of change in the way you interact together. But a change is needed, and if it’s done in a loving and respectful way, then your friendship can also overcome this. You can try to work, together, in building a healthier balance that would work for both of you. Although you can’t control his reactions and his willingness to try, but you can, on your end, focus on what you can do to make this relationship more fair and equal, which generally happens with honest and calm conversations.

In any case, how you feel makes sense really. As much as you’re willing to help, you also need to be able to rely on your friends and family. We all need this to some extent. It’s okay to acknowledge that, it’s okay to say it, and it’s okay to set some boundaries when it’s needed. You’re not insensitive. You’re just trying to figure out what to do in that situation. It shows again how much you care and how much you want this situation to be resolved in the best way for both of you.

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It’s funny how this almost brought me to tears. I barely get told these kind of things.

I’ve tried this discussion with him already, he doesn’t really seem to actually want it. I guess parts of that is also because of his mother not believing in depression and that he’s just lazy.

I will try that, if it’s not too late already. If he’s still here. I can’t say for sure if he attempted to take his life again, but judging from his messages I wouldn’t put it past him. Although I’m gonna be honest here; I won’t text him just yet. I can’t bear to deal with all this right now, when I can barely hold myself together today.

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Hey HeresA.Gun.KillMePlease,

The HeartSupport Houston Team responded to your post. Watch the response here. Hold Fast friend, and lean on our community.

  • HS Houston
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