I have a close friend who’s always been curious about getting high, but she cares too much about school to risk becoming a junkie. Today, though, she showed me some scars on her wrists and said very proudly that she started cutting herself. She also said that it makes her feel high and that it’s kind of addictive. I really don’t know what to do. I don’t want to risk losing a friend by betraying her trust, but I don’t want to lose a friend because she couldn’t control herself and ended up really hurting herself. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately, and this is really pushing me over the edge. Please help me.
If after you talk to your friend and you see she’s not heading toward some sort of self-induced resolution to the situation, you may want to convince her to seek other kinds of help, whether it is talking to a trusted adult or visiting a counselor. Should the situation escalate, you may want to think about speaking to a trusted adult directly about your friend’s problems.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that you aren’t responsible for living your friend’s life or for making her decisions, no matter how much you love and care about her. Part of friendship is supporting someone when they are going through difficult times, but you aren’t a therapist, and if you feel that this is simply too much of a strain for you, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with giving yourself some distance from your friend.