Don't Know What to Do

I spent the night at my best friend's house.  She has a drinking problem but has been drinking less but when she drinks it is obvious that there she has a relationship with alcohol that is unhealthy (or unhealthier than most people).  When everyone has had a few drinks, she is always the drunkest and drunk first...you can tell that she is escaping something/herself, that she seeks out being drunks, that tipsy isn't enough, and it always ends with her regretting getting that drunk. 

Last night my best friend was drunk and kept saying over and over "I just want to give up".  I asked her how long she has felt like this and she said, "three years".  She told me that she thinks that she might be bipolar.  She is very much in love and is planning her life with her boyfriend, moving in with him in another country, excited to have kids that she never wanted before, etc.  I asked her if she has this feeling only or more often when she is drunk and she said "no".  She said, "I was sitting on a terrace after an interview that went great, drinking a coffee, the sun shining, sitting next to the person I love, and I just wanted to slit my wrists"..."I just can't find a point, I can't find a purpose...I feel like I am so down so often and I don't see a point in any of it and it's just so hard to be happy, I wonder if it wouldn't just be easier to give up."  Then she said, "Don't worry though, I will give you better warning, I promise I won't tell you like this, I'll let you know ahead of time." She was able to talk intelligibly for about 15 minutes, half an hour...but was clearly very drunk.

I tried to talk to her without acting hysterical and I stayed completely calm and tried to show her that I could empathize, that I often feel depressed and that I sometimes wonder if I am depressed more often than I am happy; and that if I am happy more often than I am depressed that that may only be because the moments when I am happy or depressed are separated by the hours I spend a day doing nothing...being totally unstimulated...permitting me to be neither happy nor sad but just occupied.  I told her that I understood the feeling that it is hard but that feeling the ups and downs seems better to me than feeling nothing at all.  As a sidenote, I do not judge suicidal feelings or judge people who have committed suicide...I hate when people say that it is "the ultimate selfish act"...as if it isn't selfish to ask someone to continue existing because their absence would be to hard for you even if living is killing them mentally.  I also told her that she is someone so ambitious and focused on always doing everything right, for her studies, her career, her friends, her boyfriend, her family, etc...that she may focus to much on the outside world and not enough on herself.  We talked about how neither of us do or ever could believe in any type of god-like entity and that she almost envied people who do or could believe in some type of higher power because it would assign a reason to things that she feels or experiences.  (please no religious/faith debate or advice based on either...it won't help her =).  I told her that it is hard for us to accept the fact that, for us, there really isn't a purpose outside of the one we create for ourselves.  I told her "maybe you're bipolar and I'm depressed and I really don't see why you wouldn't talk to a professional about this...you may not like the idea but it is better to be diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder than to remain undiagnosed, untreated and miserably unhappy.  She fell asleep shortly thereafter.

This morning she said she was sorry for what she said and that she really didn't feel that way and that she really was talking about just the absolute deepest darkest thoughts that she has that she wouldn't actually act on. 

I have known people who have committed suicide but they were barely friends, more acquaintances.  I have heard of some of the warning signs but I am hoping that someone out here on EP has some personal or professional experience that he/she could share with me.  My best friend has always been there for me and has told me when she was worried about me and my mental state and I know that I am not going to let this go without more conversations.  But if anyone has any input as to how worried I should be, what I should look out for, who I should contact (I'm not in the US by the way), how I should go about discussing this with her and any other steps I should take.  I'm particularly worried because I am moving back to the US shortly and she is moving to another country as well so it will be the first time in 5 years that we won't be living close to each other. 

I'm sorry for the long note.  Any advice would be greatly welcome.  Thank you

 

 

av789 av789
26-30, F
1 Response Mar 20, 2009

Be there for them of the best of your ability. And try to reinforce the idea that you are there for them, but without trying to scare them.<br />
<br />
Seeing this post made me turn on the song Black Balloon. =(