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  • Andrea Schultz

I Found My Friend After He Attempted Suicide

No response. Again. I called more times than a mother, and still, no response. I praised the Universe for getting his address the night before and stepped foot outside of the hospital, only to step right back into another one later that night.



Trigger warning: This blog post is about a friend who attempted suicide, in which I have permission to share this story from him for awareness purposes. For those that are struggling or have attempted before, please take a breath before proceeding or navigate to another page if you wish to leave this page. If you’re in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or DM me on Instagram @thebdpd.

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When I turned on my phone after being hospitalized for a week, I was flooded with dings and buzzes, each text becoming more aggressive than the previous one. One text in particular caught my eye, “I’ll hold on as long as I can.” Confused, I checked the sender and found that it was French, the friend I made in inpatient who had just been discharged two days before me. The second my eyes read the texts again of “losing control” and “don’t know what to do,” my heart instantly dropped.


Stunned, I slowly made it to my car trying to process what was going on: I just got discharged from inpatient, I haven’t been out for more than five minutes, and my friend was not responding to my calls. Without hesitating, I whipped out my phone and sent, “I’m on my way to you right now,” then got in my car and headed in his direction about 20 minutes from where I was.


In front of his house, his concrete stairs seemed daunting, as if they were warning me to stay outside. I wish I would have listened. I got to the front door and quietly called out his name, as if my voice wanted to savor the silence and unknown a little bit longer. I knocked a few times and when there was no answer, I tried the door handle. It was open.


As I crept inside slowly like a character does in a horror game, I called out his name while looking around. And that’s when I spotted him, unconscious on the couch, sleeves stained red, and empty pill bottles on the coffee stand. I called out his name louder - nothing. When I went to him, I slowly perched on the end of the couch at his feet and poked him, my heart sinking further and further. Did I just discover someone who committed suicide? I did not, because within a few seconds of me rattling his foot and yelling his name, he gasped.


His eyes fluttered open as I checked his hands, covered in dried blood from cuts he had made on the backs. I looked around the room, taking in the evidence of multiple methods of self harm, as he grudgingly came back to life - literally. I asked if he was okay, and he barely gave me a nod in response. I found some hydrogen peroxide and paper towels and began cleaning his hands, the dried clots falling off like dead moths. I asked him if he had taken any pills - another nod. How many? Silence. And then a weak, “36.” At his answer, I let out a huge sigh and just hugged him. And as I held his frail body, a girl whom I’ve never met before walked in the door and just stared at us. This is how I met his sister.


Refusing to go to the hospital, he began putting his boots on and said he wanted to go on a walk. As an enthusiast of the outdoors, both myself and him, I actually thought this was a good idea. Fresh air, a little exercise, a good conversation - a brief break in life before facing the situation had to occur. Because it did have to occur. So we did just that, we went to a nature preserve on campus and took a walk through the woods, just listening to the sounds of the birds and squirrels and breathing in the fresh, cool air. Of course I was trying to convince him to go to the hospital every 10 minutes of our walk, but he reluctantly said no.


This was the first time I told French I loved him. Because I do love him, as a great friend. As someone I connected with in inpatient and talked for hours on end about anything and everything. It was so natural that I found it hard to believe I could make a friend like this in a place like that. And now for the time being, we’re best friends and still love each other in the most platonic way possible, and for the first time in my borderline life, I’m okay with that.


It wasn’t until we were done with our walk that his feet started hurting, and not just sore from walking, but extreme pain. The fear in his eyes told me all, and it was at that moment he was convinced enough to go to the hospital. Once we arrived at the nearest hospital, I had him write down what pills he took and how many of each, then watched him hobble to the entrance. When the nurse took him up, she first asked if he needed a wheelchair, in which he insisted, then asked what brought us here. That’s when he looked at me, and I told her, “he took some pills.” It wasn’t long before we were wheeled into a separate room where the doctor would ask him about his thoughts of suicide and current plans. We ended up staying there for 9 hours, in which I stayed by his side until he was transferred to a separate unit for mental health.


When it comes to suicidal friends and loved ones, it can be difficult to wrap your head around the situation, especially when you’re the one to find someone after an attempt. Here's what you can do if you ever find yourself in this situation:







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