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To the Friend Treating Me Differently After Finding Out About My Suicide Attempt

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Dear friend.

I know you care, and I know you’re concerned. I’m sure you have no idea what to do around me anymore, and I’m sure you’re just trying to do the best you can. I know something about your view of me changed when you found out I’d attempted suicide. I know because everything is different now. The way you look at me, our conversations, everything. I don’t know how you feel. I’m sure you’re in some sort of emotional pain, and I’m so sorry I’ve caused that for you. But what’s done is done, and all we can do is keep moving forward.

I just want to ask you one thing. Listen to me. Just for a moment. The girl you used to know, the one who dances around a store just because she likes the song playing, the girl who’s always smiling and chatting away, the girl who loves socializing and horses and dancing; the writer, the girl you used to call your friend, is asking you to hear her out. Not the new girl you look at cautiously, overanalyzing everything she says.

I’m still here. It’s still me. I still love horses and dancing and writing and talking and laughing. My words carry the same amount of weight they used to carry. My jokes are still real and aren’t some sort of secret cry for help.

Maybe I’m not the girl you thought you knew. Maybe you were one of the many people who saw my smile and took it at face value. Maybe you were one of the people who thought my life was going well and I was happy. Maybe you were one of the people who would guess out of a hundred people that I’d be the last one to possibly have depression or be suicidal. I know I don’t always show exactly how I feel. 

I’m not your friend because I want a person who’s constantly concerned about me. I’m your friend because I like spending time with you as you and me. Just two humans. Not one normal person and one suicidal person. I’m still a person. I’m still me. I’m still the girl you spent countless hours talking to about anything and everything.

friends at prom

I want you to know something else. I miss you. I miss my friend. Because you’re not the same person you were before you found out about my suicide attempt. You’re suddenly afraid and analytical. I’m still me. I’m still here. I want my friend back. I want the friend who would make a face at me from across the room just because you felt like it. I want the friend who would make jokes freely without overthinking them and laugh genuinely. I want the friend who would play a game with me and really play the game, not let me win out of fear that a loss would make my depression spike.

Please, just look at me. It’s still me. I’m still the same girl you always knew. I’m not a different person than I was before. But you are. So please, bring my friend back. I miss you.

With love,

Your old friend

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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Originally published: May 9, 2016
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