Ask Sam letter


To Sam

No idea what to do


My name is H* and i have a problem. One of my friends have died and i, myself, is sad, but i have not taken it as badly as my other friend

Ever since my friend died, my other friend has been going out late at night and not coming back for ages, making me worry. I have seen that she has started cutting herself and i have tried to talk to her about it but she just told me to shut up.

She has started drinking and i saw her inject herself with something last night, and i am scared that its heroin. I think she takes other drugs too, because she came home one night and smelled of weed.

I want to help her, but since she is older than me, i kind of want to do what she is doing, since she seems to be less sad than me... But i know its wrong, so i think i wont. I have no idea what to do, and i heard that you can die from drugs. I really cant cope with losing two of my closest friends, and it makes me feel sick whenever i think about her death.

Please help me...

Ask Sam


Hi H*,

Thanks for your letter. Losing someone close to you is never easy and it can bring up a lot of difficult and complex feelings. I can’t say enough how glad I am that you were able to write to me.

Sometimes trying to support other people while you’re feeling this sad can make it even more difficult to find a way through your own grief.

Different people express grief and sadness in lots of different ways. It sounds like even though you are worried about what your friend is doing, it almost feels tempting for you to do the same because on the outside it looks like it’s helping her cope.

It’s important to remember that hurting yourself by cutting, taking drugs or drinking doesn’t ever take away your sadness. Sometimes it can feel that in the moment it’s the only way to express your grief, but that is never true. Hurting yourself like that can leave you feeling worse later on and regretting what you’ve done.

Showing that you’re feeling sad doesn’t mean that you’re not coping. It’s normal and healthy. Showing sadness can help you get support and find ways to accept what happened while still remembering your friend. Our page on When someone dies has lots of information on ways that you can express how you’re feeling without hurting yourself. We also have a page about helping a friend, which includes information about supporting a friend when someone has dies.

One of the hardest parts of seeing a friend in pain is when they push you away. It sounds incredibly difficult when she has just told you to shut up. You never deserve to feel shut out. Sometimes it can be good to think about what you’d most like to say if you could express everything that you’ve been feeling about her. You could perhaps write this down in a letter if it felt easier.

Telling her how you feel in a letter doesn’t mean telling her off for what she’s done or blaming her. Writing a letter can give you a chance to say everything you want to and let her see it without her immediately pushing you away.

It’s important to remember that when someone has a lot going on in their life it can be a lot of responsibility to try to bring them out of it alone. Drugs can have a lot of different effects on people that will make it incredibly difficult to support them alone.

It can be good to think about who else can support you if you are struggling to be there for your friend. Talk to Frank has a lot of information on drugs and getting support. It can also be good to think about the adults that you trust in your life and what it might be like to talk to them.

No matter that’s happening, ChildLine counsellors are there to support you through this. They can give you a space to think about how best to support your friend. Even more importantly, they can give you a safe space to talk about your sadness without pressure, judgement or the need to know what to do. You can call on 0800 1111, send an email or log on for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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

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