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To Sam

My best friend

I have a best friend C. She's like a sister to me. Once when I was feeling suicidal I explained to another friend that C was the only reason I was still around. I couldn't tell C because I didn't want to put that weight on her.
So can you become too attached to a person? Because she is ill and the hospital don't know why, shes had MRI scans and blood tests. If I lose her I'm worried about how I could react. At times she is late for school and on those mornings I panic and run about the school madly. Sometimes if I can't find her I'm in tears by the time I find her.
Should I talk to her about it? Am I too attached to her?
Ask Sam

Sam

Hello,

Thank you very much for your letter. I can hear how hugely important your friendship with C is to you. It sounds like your reaction to her illness has made you wonder if you’ve got too attached to her.

Being a good friend means doing your best to be there when your friends want help, as well as giving them space when they need it. I can hear that you’ve been worried about making C feel too responsible for you. The fact that you consider her own feelings as much as your own tells me you’re a caring person. You asked if you’re too attached to C and this is a difficult question to answer. You both deserve to be heard and supported, but it’s important for everyone to try not to rely too much on just one person. As you’ve found, focussing all your energy on one friend makes it very difficult when that friend can’t be there for a while.

I can hear how hard it is for you to think that C might not always be around for you. There’s so much going on for C right now with the uncertainty around her illness. It’s natural for you to feel worried and frightened about what may happen in the future, but it sounds like this worrying is exhausting for you.

In your letter you said you have been suicidal, which makes me think you’ve already been through some tough times. It feels really important for you to be supported with talking about your fears about C. It might be very difficult for C to speak with you about her illness herself, particularly if she’s feeling scared or upset. Perhaps at the start it’s just enough to tell her that you care and that you’re there for her, or ask what you can do to make things easier for her.

You talked about another friend in your letter and it sounds like you were able to trust them enough to share your suicidal feelings. Are they someone that you could talk to about C? Or perhaps there is an adult at school or home who you feel you could try asking for support? You can also talk to a ChildLine counsellor about all these worries and uncertainties by calling 0800 1111 which doesn’t show up on a telephone bill, or logging in for a 1-2-1 chat.

Talking about your fears may help you to feel stronger and more able to be there for C if she needs you. It’s taken a lot of courage to write to me and C is lucky to have a friend who cares so much about her.

Take care,

Sam.

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