Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My friend needs a Saviour

My friend has been cutting for a while and I have no clue what to do. We can barely talk anymore. She moved to a different country. Her family is very religious. When her family found out that she was cutting, and they were not scratches from her cat, they went a bit mental. She sends me strange cryptic messages. Sometimes they’re not even cryptic. She just says: “Would you miss me if I was gone?” .

It really makes me upset as she stopped me from doing things I would be ashamed to say, but she lives like a zombie. I’ve given her everything I could. I feel useless now. Completely useless as she was there to help me, but I can’t be there for her.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Supporting someone else through difficult times can be hard on you too. It's important to look after yourself and to remember that there are limits to how much you can help as a friend. It's not your responsibility to keep her safe, no matter what.

When we care about someone who is going through such a difficult time, it's natural to want to help. We want to be able to fix their problems and help them to get better - especially if they have helped us in the past. Sadly, it's not always possible to help someone directly and what we can do as friends can be limited.

The reasons why someone harms themselves can be complex, but what's important to remember is that it is their choice to do that. Whilst you naturally want to help her, the only person who can really decide they want to make that change is your friend. It sometimes takes time for a person to get to the point where they are ready to stop. That personal journey is tough to watch someone go through, but you can't usually do it for them.

As friends and even as family, there is only so much you can do to support them. That can be difficult to accept. Even though your friend is far away and you don't feel able to help, sometimes just being there to listen and showing that you care can be enough.  Make sure you are looking after your own feelings as well. If this begins to affect you then you should look at getting help for yourself.

If you need to talk about what's going on, Childline is always here for you.

Take care


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter