What It’s Like Having A Friend Who Has A Mental Illness

It’s not just hell for them. You feel that hell.

I wake up every morning feeling hungry, excited to see how the day goes. I stress out a little bit about my missing assignments as I try to maintain all A’s to get Spotify Premium, but it’s different for my best friend who lives two houses down the street.

My best friend, Hanna, has been my friend for three years. We’ve been through thick and thin together, and I’ve helped her with so many things. I helped her get away from her abusive step-father, and she’s helped me with my behavioral issues when that was a thing (because I thought being a rebellious kid was a good thing).

But Hanna is different. Hanna was recently diagnosed with severe depression, insomnia, bipolar disorder, and severe anxiety. That girl is one of the strongest people I have ever known because going fourteen years through suffering and so much sh*t without any medical help is one heck of a thing to do. But it doesn’t stop there. A diagnosis does not automatically stop all problems.

In fact, she hated going to the psychiatrist. She cried over it for days. Hanna hates opening up to anybody, but I told her that she could do this. I told her that if she can spill her guts out to me, then she can do it to someone else that can do more than give verbal advice.

It didn’t turn out so well. In fact, it made her worse almost.

Seeing someone suffer more and more each day is one of the worst things you can see ever in your life. You go day to day, greeting your soul sister, but all you hear back is an “I wanna shoot myself, how are you?”

You go throughout the day, laughing at your clumsiness in a gym, trying to hit each other playfully with dodgeballs, then some rude comment makes Hanna feel so bad. Why are people so mean? But then she’s fine and laughing again at lunch. Ah, the sweet smell of bipolar disorder.

But what hurts the most is seeing your best friend come close to suicide so many times. Recently, I’ve come close to it again. I thought my best friend, the one that I have stuck to for three years, the one that my family has accepted as another (unofficial) child was going to go away. She sent me a message on Snapchat, and it was so similar to a suicide note. I was in tears, and she was having a mental breakdown, and we were a mess. Why do so many people have to suffer from these types of things?

I feel the darkness, but not as much as her. I would feel an emptiness without Hanna, but I don’t feel empty as near as much. I feel sadness, but never as much as her. But I will never stop caring for her or worry about her, and I will never leave her side. And my advice to you reader is to never leave your friend’s side when they’re in need.

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Elizabeth is a 13-year old girl who is pursuing a career as a FBI agent, although journalism is one of the other things which she enjoys. If she's not writing or reading anything, she's taking care of her family or focusing on school and taking care of her friends.

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