Need help with a loved one.
My girlfriend broke up with me a couple of years ago, and she never really explained why but I accepted it. However, last year she was admitted to a hospital ward with anorexia; she was in there for a year, and about 2 months before she left she texted me and I started visiting her again. At this point, I knew nothing about depression, anorexia or her life situation and naively assumed anorexia was something you just 'get over'. However, after we got back together, she told me that she had been self-harming for over a year, was seriously depressed and had tried to commit suicide three times.
She was eventually let out of hospital; however, by this point, her mother had decided she couldn't deal with it anymore and so said that my girlfriend would have to find somewhere to live (she's 18, just starting her final year of school now, and her parents are divorced), so she's living on benefits in sheltered accommodation. Since leaving hospital, I can see her becoming more and more depressed, she's losing weight again - at a rapid rate - and she's been saying things to me such as 'I just wish someone could take all this (pain) away', sounding increasingly suicidal, she isn't sleeping well, and told me that recently, while self-harming, she couldn't actually stop herself and cut herself seriously badly.
I watched your video on how to help people with depression and have been trying to do some of those things, such as shopping for her, and have been seeing her and trying to talk to her about her problems.
However, I am going to university next week. I tried to arrange a gap year with my university but was unable to, and am now going next week (which I know is a very selfish decision, but one of the hardest I have ever made). The university is about 4 hours away from where my girlfriend lives. What can I do to help her while I'm away? I do plan on coming back a lot, phoning, skyping etc but I feel terrible at, basically, abandoning her.
Thank you for any help!
Will, thanks for caring for her. I encourage you to recruit some help for her. Does she have a counselor seeing her regularly? How about a crisis worker? I have taken young girls who are cutting themselves to crisis counselors and who have prayed over them. Prayer is huge. I don't know how you feel about God but I urge you to call out to Him. I encourage you to connect with a pastor of a local church and ask for help or referrals to someone within their church who has worked with similar people in need. Basically, you need to recruit others who can care for her. It's not all up to you and please don't put it all on your shoulders otherwise you too will be dragged down.
Here are some words of Scripture to encourage you which encouraged me... God's Word is the most read book and for good reason...
"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
1 Peter 5:7
"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."
There is hope for your friend. Seek out another who can offer the support she needs. I am so grateful for the friends and family who did this for me and the many prayers they prayed for me.
Way to go Will. Don't give up. Recruit some help!
Merri Ellen :)