Scared my friend will hurt himself

Okay, this is complicated and where I am, it’s getting late (past 11pm, I live in the UK) but I am so stuck and helpless and unable to do anything at the minute apart from type this up and pray that nothing bad happens but I don’t know because bad things happen to good people.

Basically, it’s my friend Sophie’s 16th birthday tomorrow. Just over two years ago, she killed herself in the woods in our town and the Police found her body the morning after she went missing. It was the most horrific thing we have ever been through but I am terrified that I am going to go through something similar again with my friend Robbie, who is currently in the Philippines and I have literally no way of getting hold of him, despite trying multiple ways for ages.

We did our exams this year, my friends and I, but I haven’t actually seen or heard from Robbie since January. I don’t have his number and he suddenly stopped coming to school, and nobody knows very much at all. My friend Mary just said that he’s taking some time, which is good, but as it is Sophie’s 16th tomorrow and he misses her a lot, I am terrified that because of his history with mental health, he’s going to do something potentially dangerous and put himself at risk whilst being thousands of miles away.

I have tried and tried again to contact Robbie by email, getting his other friends to try and message him, through Instagram, Facebook messenger, even his cousin who said she will try and pass on messages for me, but nothing has worked. I couldn’t send him any letters or any packages because I don’t have his address and nobody will give me his number or address because he doesn’t like people passing that stuff around without asking and nobody has been able to ask him. His cousin hasn’t had a proper interaction with him since February. All his social media pages haven’t been updated in months and he’s basically disappeared, apart from the fact that we know he has done his exams, as his name was on the list and he was in small rooms on his own for every single one. If he had come to serious harm before leaving the UK for his trip, I would have known because Mary would have called me,but it could be days before the news reaches us if something happens, and that’s if his family contact someone over here who can pass the message on.

Normally, I wouldn’t worry so much, but considering Robbie’s history, I do worry. He has a history of self-harm (and the last I knew of it was November 2017, two months before I stopped seeing him), suicidal thoughts (previous attempts on his life also likely) and domestic abuse as well. He hasn’t been answering his messages for anyone at all and the only thing I know is that he is on a charity project in the Philippines at the moment. I don’t know when he is coming back or if he is okay. We haven’t spoken in eight months. The fact that when Sophie went missing and everyone said “it will be okay, they’ll find her” and they were too late also worries me. If it happened once, there’s nothing stopping it from happening again and I am panicking so much about him right now. He found it so hard on the anniversary last year and both of Sophie’s birthdays we’ve had so far since she died (this is the third one since she passed) that he was in tears and it was the first time I had ever seen him so distressed and upset. He couldn’t bear to be in the room for the one year anniversary we had because it was too much and I know that he relapsed back into harming himself around the one year marker, because the marks on his arms and his knees were fresh and he was wearing his hoodie in the super hit weather despite teachers at school asking him to take it off. Something tells me that he could relapse again if he hasn’t already, and seeing as he has an extensive self harm history, that suggests to me that he has incredibly easy access to tools he could use on himself.

I’ve tried contacting people who have his number or contacts for family that might be with him or might be able to get hold of him, but nobody is answering their phones (they’re probably all asleep or on holiday). I don’t know what to do or where exactly in the Philippines he is and it worries and upsets me so badly because if I haven’t seen or heard from him in eight months despite how close we are, something is definitely wrong and I don’t know what it is.

Sophie’s birthday and the aftermath of her death is stressful enough without worrying whether or not Robbie is safe and I’m just sat awake rocking backwards and forwards praying that someone will text me back if they have information that could put me at ease. I miss her so much and I know I wasn’t good enough for her and it makes me worried that I’m not good enough for Robbie, because I’m a mess and I don’t deserve him and he deserves better friends and I’m only one person who can only do so much but it’s not enough. I don’t know what I am going to do but I know that I’m probably going to sit awake hating myself to no end, maybe have a panic attack, I don’t know yet.

All my music is reminding me of singing with him because he loves music and if I keep it on I’ll probably cry and panic more, so I’ve lost one of my only coping mechanisms as well. I just want him to be okay and this is scary. If he was still in the UK and something happened, I could get to wherever I needed to go pretty quickly but not when he’s halfway across the world. I hope he is okay but I don’t know anymore and it scares me more that anything. He could do anything if he’s too upset to think properly. There’s nothing stopping him at all from putting himself in a situation where he might not bounce back. I really hope that this year I will not be celebrating his birthday without him.


That sounds like a lot of stress. First you have this anniversary of your friend, and then you have this other friend that you haven’t spoken to in a long time and now you don’t know what’s going on. The unkown care be so scary, and it’s hard to now focus on the negative. I want to know how you are doing with all of this. I know this worry you have, but I want you to know that we are here for you in all the uncertainty.

Your friend,


I can’t imagine the amount of stress this has been putting you through. I know you said music is how you usually cope but that you aren’t able to use it the same way anymore, so is there any other way you know of that maybe has helped you in the past that would help you cope and that maybe doesn’t involve music?



I am so sorry to hear about your friend Sophie and about your friend Robbie. It sounds like you are in a very difficult situation. You can’t contact your friend and you are really worried about his well being. You’ve also tried contacting his family, but that isn’t really working out either. I’m so sorry you are going through this.

Please don’t blame yourself for not being “good enough” for your friends or for not “being there” enough for them. Ultimately, people make their own decisions and that responsibility is on them, not you. Please don’t bring that condemnation or guilt upon yourself. It is not yours to carry.

Hold fast. We are here for you.

Hey Ray,
I am sorry that you are going through this right now and I know how hard is it to worry about a friend and a situation that you have no control over. I think its important to remember that since you haven’t had contact with your friend, you don’t really have any reason to think the worst has happened. If he has had a lot of mental issues before, it is very likely that he needs this time and space away to heal and reflect. I know it’s scary to not know, but maybe this time away is good for him. Just trying to give you a positive outlook on the situation…
It’s also possible that your grief for Sophie has put you on edge a lot more than you would be if you hadn’t gone through the tragedy of losing her. Every situation is different and just because her story didn’t have a happy ending doesn’t mean that Robbie’s story will end the same way.
I know that all of this doesn’t make it any better and I know you will probably stress about it until you know more about what is going on with Robbie, but I hope you can find some peace in the situation and I really do hope you hear from your friend soon.
If you need anything at all, or just need to talk, we are all here for you.
Stay strong my friend,

@HeyitsRay, I’m so sorry about your friend Sophie.
Keep trying to contact Robbie, just keep at it. And just because hope failed you once before, does not mean it will always fail you. You’re trying, remember that. If you weren’t trying a single thing to help Robbie, you wouldn’t deserve him for sure then. I know this is scary, and life is like that.
We will always be here, for support, help, advice, humor, hope, anything.