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Friend: "I need your help to live..."

Ditto, JMH, what's your own needs first? Meet those.

Shitty, it totally isn't. You're trying to organize him help. In both effective and caring ways. That's not really going behind his back.

Also because normal rules about communication fly out of the window in life-or-death emergency, like acute suicidality.
Thread starter #14
I. am. so. tired. from my own stuff. It took so much to get me on track today and I'm all out of sorts again. Now fighting my head.

You all have great input. Really helpful.

Last time this all happened we walked through everything, and he said he would do numerous things as the alternative to crisis intervention... only to tell me days later he never followed through on any of it, he's fine and on the up and up.

I talked it through with mobile crisis, and they said there are more than enough red flags to warrant reaching out, it was the right thing to call them. They could tell I wasn't 100% ok and checked in with me on that. I can't even talk to them much, I'm that spent. I explained I was in a bad spot before this, I really just need sleep and to disconnect from being the "I need you to save my life..." person so I can take care of me. They asked if I wanted follow up. (Follow up? Uh what about his privacy?) I said no. Please no.

Even as I write this he's texted to say mobile crisis reached out, and he's talking to a friend. My guess? He said he was ok now, doesn't want to die, may not even remember saying that, etc. I dunno.

The hardest part for me now is disconnecting from it. Back to dragging my own mind back on track.
Are you focusing on taking care of yourself?
I see the same emotions playing here that I have when I am "triggered".
Have a quiet time. A long one, if needed. Repeat as needed. A deep breath.

It is my belief that there is a Power greater than ourselves that is in charge of the world.
Sometimes I just have to turn things over to them for awhile. Whilst I rest. Or contemplate. Or gain strength.

I do agree with the others.
There are trained professionals and resources.
He asked for help. Delegating IS helping.

Peace & strength.....
Thread starter #17
The words “are you effing kidding me?!” Almost came out on text this morning with him. I have to take miles of space from him.

He announced he has never been suicidal. No suicidal thoughts or plans at all ever. He’s just afraid he will die, that’s all. There is zero reason I should have been concerned he would take his life. His plan to recover is prayer. If he needs crisis he’ll call them. But he doesn’t need them.

He went on and on about this. Not excessively but it was weird.

I’m not handling it well. I don’t know what’s up with me. I know I don’t do push/pull stuff.

I probably did not handle it well in my response...

I told him all the things about how reaching out is great and etc... glad he does... and I did something that I’m not sure was wise: I listed the statements he said to me and the number of times he called me in a panic expressing he didn’t think he could keep himself alive to see tomorrow and unable to indicate he could keep himself safe.

I told him that these statements come across as suicidal to me —- and to the crisis team when I told them and asked for their objective input. Even if he has no actual thoughts or plans of suicide, then “I can’t keep myself alive, I want to die. I’ve been thinking I am better off to end my life here than...” will prompt a response.

I told him that no matter what he intended to communicate, “if a friend contacts me in a crisis saying theses types of things, is unable to indicate an ability to stay safe and expressing they have plans to die and they are unwilling to speak to trained crisis supports, I will contact crisis. I have to do that.”

He then agreed maybe he is passively suicidal. (Right.) His plan for safety is prayer and submission to God’s will. Alright dude. Instead of chasing trying to explain faith can be a tool, God can use prayer and people... I remembered myself I don’t have to intervene on this anymore.

I just repeated that if someone contacts me and says (the things he’s been saying) and I have reason to believe they will not stay alive and safe, I will contact crisis. I care too much about him not to do so.

He’s rambling on... thanking me for my support and reassuring me he’s safe. I dunno what to think or make of it.

If I was better at this, better at relationships right now, I’d probably handle it differently.
I think you handled it very well, JustMeHere.

So not 'need be better at this' at all... you are his friend, not a support worker or a therapist, and you went way beyond necessities expected of a friend, imo.

Now back to you - Do you have an idea what might help you clear your head off it altogether?
Thread starter #20
Not sure - my head keeps getting "stuck" on relationships more lately. Flexibility in focus is really hard lately. I think it's an anxious thing, but I'm really unsure. Untangling it seems like trying to bite my own teeth. I've been working on trying to distract with things that REQUIRE my full attention, and shove out the thoughts to shift gears. But I want the flexibility back. It's not 100 percent new problem, but pretty persistent lately. I have flexibility for relationships at work just fine, despite the anxiety there. So I don't know. I got anxious about my friend. Still am a little.

My friend texted that he got to a bad spot today and contacted crisis and was surprised that they were helpful and he's going to keep the number handy and is glad he can text them too. I started to get all teary when he texted this. Huh. I have such mixed personal feelings about crisis lines, maybe that's adding to the stress I feel - but I'm going to celebrate him checking in with trained pros so that when the shit hits the fan again, he's not fearful of them, but knows there are options. The mental health safety net system has huge flaws here, but they have tried to really put in a lot more options in addition to 911 because suicide rates are high in my area.
Thread starter #21
He's stopped the cycle of crisis calls to me only to also declare he's fine the second I respond with the suggestion of engagement of professional interventions. That's good. It's going to be his go-to habit though. I ran into him yesterday, at a socially distanced matter for a mutual friend. He walked up to my car, said, "Hey, good to see you. I am doing terrible. Had my first episode of schizophrenia."


I said hi.... and I asked about what leads him to conclude that.... (Mistake. I should have just said "that's rough" and changed the subject.) He said he had been hallucinating and had delusional thoughts. I told him that's quite worrisome, and suggested it sounds like good time to call your doc. Could be medication induced. Breaking from reality is very serious and the sooner it's treated the better or it could really lead to a lot of tough situations.

He immediately back tracked and said it was just a dream, he wasn't hallucinating, it was just one time and he's very ok.

I hope he's getting the message that if he indicates serious mental health crisis situations I'm going to handle it at face value. Straight up. Any more of these I'm in a crisis, but totally ok push/pull moments - I'll just keep handling as if legit. Not sure if they are or are not anymore. He's clearly not mentally well either way. So much pushing and pulling,
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A suicidal friend said this to me today.

Don't know where you live but is there a Department of Aging in your city or State? Contact them. Know virus causing delays. You can also contact a crisis line asking for their direction.
But I'm reminded of what I was told once......people rarely commit suicide unless they are alone. He may need some kind of nursing home.

Take care of yourself. Situation very exhausting.
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