What do you do?

What do you do when you’re watching a friend kill himself?

When you’ve talked to him, over and over and over, about his choices and their consequences?

When you know he needs comfort, but all you really feel is anger?

When you’ve told him before you’d walk away?

What do you do?


  1. You walk away till you’re not angry anymore.

    Then you try again.

    Lather, rinse & repeat.

    Sometimes, though..there’s nothing you can do, ‘cept walk away.


  2. You acknowledge that you have a right to be angry with him, but you try to accept that you can’t make him change. And then you keep trying.


  3. This is always a tough situation, and forgive me if I sound a bit callous, but here’s how I approach it.

    If a person is drowning and needs a life preserver, I’m more than happy to throw one to them or help them however I can, provided they ask for it.

    If they don’t, that’s their choice. You can’t force them to take the life preserver. However, I don’t have to watch them drown, either. So, I walk away, but stay in earshot, if that makes any sense.

    We always hear about people needing to “bottom out” before they’re ready to accept help. Well, in my experience, it’s absolutely true. You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved, or help someone who doesn’t think that there’s a problem.

    Best of luck in dealing with it. It’s not an easy path to travel.


  4. Honestly, it depends on the person who needs that life preserver… it depends on how long you’ve been throwing them out to him/her… it depends on if they are ready to take hold of it and keep hold of it.

    I went through this with a close family member, and I’d be glad to give you any insight I might have from my experience. Just be aware that there will be ups and downs and ups and downs, good days and bad days. And sometimes you have to do the hard things and trust that it’s the right thing, and hold strong to that. Sometimes it doesn’t work.

    Ultimately, it’s up to the other person, and how it effects you is directly related on how much you’re willing to hurt for that person.


  5. Bottom line…..making changes and hearing the message from family and/or friends is very hard. It’s personal and that hurts. You must continue to be supportive of the person and hope that their eyes and ears will start to open so your message can become reality. You have to want to make the changes and until you reach that point, the ultimate goal may be far away.

    What do we care about? Family, friends, health, religion, money, sports teams. We must put it in perspective and sometimes, it takes a “wake up” call to move toward change. Until then, it is painful for all parties involved.


  6. Beyond all of the emotions, he’s my friend. I’m going to help until it hurts me or my family, and we’re not there yet. So I’m still in, whole hog or none.


  7. Many questions and no good answers.

    We’re at a flash point and hopefully he’ll begin to understand and listen – this behavior is his own choice but it is also selfish – the impact on family and friends is not usually taken into account –

    Next steps – I don’t have a list – but reading the other’s input I’d say you need to still reach out once the short term events are over (you would anyway, so my idea is not that radical) – but I also think you need to be tough at times, as Dawn indicated – hopefully to help him out but also to preserve UC.

    We’ll also help – as you’ve requested elsewhere.


  8. I’ve been thinking about this and have no great advice because this has not been something I’ve been through personally.

    I have a very wise friend though who always says, “have no expectations” which I think applies to this. You can’t assume, or expect, that anything you say or do is going to change this friend’s actions – they have to want to change.

    If you decide to “walk away” you still won’t be totally free. You are too kind and too good of a friend to entirely let it go.

    Without really knowing the history here, I’d give it one more shot and then close the door only after letting him know that it will open again when/if he’s ready.

    Sorry that you and others are having to deal with something so unfortunate.


  9. When you find the answers to those questions, you will no longer need the answers. It’s a slippery slope to walk. But, know that you have a network of support and friendship whenever you need it.


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