Helping someone in crisis

I talked about this topic in an abstract way earlier. Today I am going to talk about it very personally. Today I got a call from a friend who recently moved to my state in order to receive better mental health care. The friend was in crisis.

We talked for over 1 1/2 hrs. I kept sharing how things were when I first moved here. It was a living hell. I shared what I did in order to recover to where I am today.

The fact of the matter is that she didn’t want to listen. She was closed off to whatever anyone could say to her today. It was very stressful. There was talk of self harm. I talked of how to break the cycle of self harm. (I will probably talk about that topic in detail later.) She doesn’t want to break the cycle.

I was picked up and dropped back in the past three years ago. It was emotionally wringing for a while. My stomach was in knots. Chest tight. Tears stung my eyes.

But I have learned coping skills in the past three years. I talked to someone. I journaled. And I called my PSR. My hours have been dropped so we can slowly discontinue services by the end of the summer, but I was distressed today by this situation, so I called. She came. We talked.

One thing I learned today is that I have to set my boundaries with my friend. I have brought her here to get help. I have gotten her set up in counseling even on an emergency basis. I can’t allow her to pull me down into her illness.

I said the Serenity Prayer several times throughout the day. Each time more peace would come to me. I have to let her go. She wants to go running back to where she was. If she does, she won’t ever get better. She will probably die from self injuring or suicide. There is nothing I can do other than what I have already done.

I have worked very hard to get to where I am right now in my recovery. As much as I love my friend and want a similiar recovery for her, I can’t risk my own recovery for her. I have to be selfish to a certain extent. Recovery is selfish in a certain way. You have to do it for yourself. Whether it is mental health recovery or addiction recovery.

So it has been a very emotionally trying day today. I just got back from the store. I bought a large bar of chocolate. I have already changed into my pj’s. I am going to put my son to bed early and go to bed with a book of fiction for a change.

I rarely read fiction. Most of the time I read books on the craft of writing, business marketing, personal development, or something like that. Not tonight. Tonight, I am going to read a good Love Inspired. Nothing like a good love story to take you away from life’s troubles sometimes. I have a cabinet filled with books that I have kept to be reread at some date. Today is the day.

So, if you have a loved one in crisis, you do your best to get them help. Then you have to step back and set boundaries. That is all you can do. Love them and pray for them. And hope. As long as there is life, there is hope.