One of my best friends is going though a really difficult break up right now. I’ll call her Sarah and her boyfriend John.
Sarah and John had been dating for around 2.5 years and her and I became friends during our sophomore year of college. We have been getting closer over the years and recently have become best friends. She has confided in me about her family life/friend issues for a while but recently she told me about John’s bi-polar disorder and the toll it had taken on her as well as their relationship. She was very stressed because not only was she dealing with schoolwork and her job, but also trying to help him during his episodes and being a support for him. Despite their struggles, her boyfriend seemed to be improving after being given a new medication.
Two days ago John told Sarah that he wasn’t in a place for a relationship right now and that he didn’t want to hurt her even more. He wanted to fix himself first and suggested that they might be okay after his mental health improves. Sarah is distraught and doesn’t know if she can handle a break with so much uncertainty. They officially said goodbye tonight and she has been very upset all day.
I’ve been trying my best to listen and support her during this time. I have offered to help her with schoolwork, given her food, tried to alleviate some of her concerns. Tonight I saw that she had some horizontal cuts on her wrist and I asked her about them. She immediately pulled her arm away and said “nothing” and tried to change the subject. We were in a night lab class so I couldn’t press the issue further.
She is with her mom right now and I am worried about her. I don’t want her to harm herself further but I also don’t want to bring it up if it will upset her more. I don’t have much experiencing supporting loved ones with mental illness so I would appreciate any insight. I have suggested that she speak to a school counselor as I have done so in the past and found it to be very helpful.
**tl;dr**: My close friend is struggling emotionally and psychologically after her boyfriend broke up with her for his own mental health. I am concerned about her and want to know how to provide her with the best support possible. I care about her a lot and want her to be safe.