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To Sam

Help needed!

My friend has recently been acting up, and shes been going crazy in school. She has been suspended now for a week and was in isolation for a week too. She threw her books at a teacher and tipped over a table during a lesson and she also smoked outside of school.
I am very worried about her behaviour, because we are only fourteen so she shouldn't legally be allowed cigarettes anyhow. She was before this a straight A* student, who was shy, but so nice and was very sensible. Now she turns up to school with pink highlights in her hair and she acts like she doesn't give a damn about anything.
We used to be so close but since she changed a couple of months ago she's started hanging out with people from rougher schools and looks like she is out late drinking with them and being rude to people (from what I can see on her facebook all of her pictures are now either of her drinking or playing horrible pranks).
Please help :'( I want my old friend back!
Ask Sam

Sam

Hello there

Thanks for writing to tell me how things are for you right now. I can hear that you are really worried about your friend's behaviour and have done the best thing in trying to get some help in dealing with it.

From what you have said you and your friend were really close until a few months ago when she started hanging around with some other people.  It sounds like she has changed her behaviour to match that of these other people and it could be she is trying to fit in with them. It can be really hard when we feel that we have lost someone as a friend and sometimes they do not realise how much they might have changed.

It can be really difficult watching a friend change from being a straight “A” student who was really nice to somebody who doesn’t seem to care about anything anymore even if it means hurting herself or others. You have said that you want your old friend back and I am just wondering what you think would happen if you told her that? 

It can be really helpful to talk to somebody to explore ways of talking to your friend about how her behavior is affecting your friendship. ChildLine counsellors are there to listen to you and to help you do that.  It might be good for you to talk about how this has affected you as well because it can be really difficult to cope with the loss of a friend especially when you can still see them and see what they are doing to themselves.

ChildLine counsellors can be contacted at any time either online using the 1-2-1 chat service on the website or ringing the freephone helpline on 0800 1111. If you don’t feel ready to talk you can always take a look at the message boards to see what other young people have done to cope when their friends have changed in a way which affects their friendships.  Many young people with similar experiences are able to support each other and share their stories.

Thanks again for you letter

Take care
Sam

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