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Losing a close friend


Laura20

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I was with my ex boyfriend for 3 years, he had a difficult upbringing which led him to be quite depressed and drug dependent, he worked really hard and I helped support him with getting off drugs in our early months, we moved in together but he was still very sad, as much as he was always there for others, he never pulled through for himself. Eventually we split, and I moved out. This was the start of him becoming more depressed and returning to the drugs, I tried really hard to support him but I didn’t feel like I could when I was the one who had made him sad, but he didn’t have anyone else. Nonetheless I was always there for him, a few months ago i called him and he told me he no longer wanted to be alive anymore, that was the last time I heard him speak, crying and in despair. I messaged him to say I’d always be here if he needed me, but why didn’t I go and visit? Go and help him more? I found out through a friend he passed away from organ failure due to drug abuse, alone, in his bedroom. I can’t help but feel immense guilt and responsibility and I will forever feel sad and miss him forever. 

Any advice on how to cope with the guilt?

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Guilt is a normal part of grieving someone who had a difficult life before they passed, especially if they took their own life or were self-destructive.  We always think we could have should have done more, but we need to realize that we did the best we could. ( I lost 2 friends to suicide and 1 to alcoholism)  If you haven't done it already, you might consider writing your friend a letter or doing some kind of ritual to honor him. Let your letter be an honest expression of your feelings, all of them.   But please realize that you are not at fault here; your responsibility now is  taking care of yourself and allowing yourself to gradually move towards acceptance, as hard as that may be.  Best wishes  and hugs to you in this difficult process. 

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Sheila With Love

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, and can understand the guilt you must be feeling but it sounds as if you did the best you could in trying to be there for him. You were struggling with your own problems and could only do so much, so try and not blame yourself.  It sounds as if you would have done so much more if you were able.  Try to find peace in what you were able to do for him. The guilt might not all go away but knowing you wanted to do more and did so much will hopefully give you that peace.

Hugs to you!!!

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Thank you so much, I have found it so hard to not feel alone in this as it is an isolating feeling if no one you knows has been through anything similar, but I’m starting to take some comfort in that - I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to feel this. I am starting to feel slightly less guilty (although I’m never truly sure guilt will go away completely). I just miss him so much and I feel guilty that the better I start to feel about the situation is like I’m letting him go and forgetting about him. 

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