How I Almost Lost My Best Friend to Suicide
By Ashley, age 16, Texas
My best friend almost killed herself. She's the one person I can tell anything to, the one person I would do anything for. She texted me at 10:30 on Tuesday morning while I was in lunch at school. I have never been the kind of person who breaks down, but when she told me she wanted to end her life I saw my heart break in two. How could I deal with this? If she were to end her life I would not know what to do with myself. She means the very world to me.
How did I deal with this?At first, I cried till I couldn't breathe, then I cried till I couldn't breathe or see. I continued to cry till there was nothing left. But as I cried I told her how I felt about her, how much I loved her, and how much she meant to me. About two months ago I made my best friend promise me if we were not married by the age of thirty we would marry each other so we would not die alone. I felt like the one person who was never going to let me be alone was giving up on life and was deserting me, so I was mad, sad, hurt, and most of all, scared.
How I was able to helpI told her there was no way in hell I'd sit back and let her take her own life, so I gave her two options. She could either want help or she would get help. So either way I was not going to lose her. I had 911 pushed in my phone ready to go at any moment. Then she texted me and said, "How can I get help? I don't want to live like this, but I sure can't give up." So after I got out of school I picked her up and we talked for quite some time.
The systemWhen we got to the emergency room at 4:42 PM she signed the paper and we waited to be called. We were the first to be seen since her life was in danger. We got in there and faced our first set of problems - she's 17 and had no parent with her. At first they tried telling me there was nothing they could do, so I told them we were not moving till they agreed to help her. After almost thirty minutes of talking to other nurses and head shift leaders they decided her life was more important than the law. They also thought of a way around it - they called her mom and told her because she was in imminent danger it was legal.
I had to stay calmAfter she got a bed, about two seconds later, a doctor came up and started asking questions. The first question was did she have a plan? (Mind you, I had not asked her this question because I knew, and I didn't want to hear the answer or the plan.) She answered, "Yes, I do. Take a handful of pills and go to sleep and pray I never wake up." At that moment I had heard the thing that would kill me, but I knew if I broke down it would hurt her, so I had to stay calm. How? Her feelings were more important at that time than mine. It was about her, not me, and I couldn't cause her any more pain.
Watching her goThey called a psych unit. It took them four hours to get the paperwork done and another thirty minutes to get there to transport her. It was hard to watch my best friend leave when all I wanted to do was hold her and tell her everything was going to be okay.
NowMy best friend is now in the hospital getting better. They are expecting her to get out on Monday or Tuesday, depending on her response to treatment.
About every nine minutes someone dies of suicide; every ten minutes someone has to deal with it. It's never easy to help someone who is suicidal, but it sure is worth it.
Me with my best friend