Hello there everyone. I have just got off the telephone with a good friend in NYC. She and I are from the UK, early 40s, I used to live in the US but left before she moved there. Unfortunately.
I am really worried as she is turning suicidal again, having tried already once about 2-3 years ago. Her background is that she basically has no family. She cut all ties with them long ago. At a minimum it was a highly dysfunctional family, I get the feeling there may also have been outright abuse. She had a partner for many years but split up with him about 9 years ago. Since then, a small number of deeply hurtful relationships with complete bastards for which she has come to blame herself ("always happens, must be me"). Even though she is physically attractive, highly cultured and shockingly intelligent. She works in an extremely high pressure environment, generally works 7 day weeks, for which employer shows no appreciation. Work environment totally poisonous. She has very good, loving friends in the UK, but made the mistake of taking horrendous job in NYC where she is totally alone.
Right now, she tells me she can't see a reason to live. All of her friends have their problems but they at least have the beauty of children, partners, family support, whatever. She has none of this at all.
So what I'm wondering right now is (1) what on EARTH do I say to her? I understand totally how empty her life must feel without the social supports that most of the rest of us have, however problematic. How do I help her (from the other end of a telephone!) to feel that life is worth living? I have found myself telling her to look closely and see the beauty of flowers and the like, but god, it sounds so pathetic.
And (2), please, anyone living in NYC, can you suggest any resources there that I can tell her about? Really excellent therapists for instance? She was seeing one in the UK - one that could match her intellect (if they don't the relationship is doomed, isn't it)? Any other resources that she won't feel threatened by (for instance, I can't see her taking kindly to a suggestion of calling a crisis centre). She is advanced at yoga but right now feels she can't even move her limbs. (She is suffering quite severe chest pains as well, it seems).
So grateful for any suggestions you can offer!
You are a good friend.
How hard would it be for her to find a new job back in the UK? I know jobs are not always easy to come by, but if she hates her job and feels isolated where she lives it seems moving might be a better solution to suicide, yk?
Would you be open to taking her on a vacation where she can at least unwind and do something pleasant? If she could just get out of her environment for a week or so and sit somewhere lovely with a frosty drink it might help her through this very unpleasant patch.
I get bad chest pain from anxiety too. Does she have a doctor? She might benefit from seeing a pdoc and not just a therapist. Sometimes I take Ativan (sp?) for chest pain/anxiety. Has she tried anti-depressants?
I'm just throwing out suggestions...