I’m in a rather crisis situation with a friend I have known since we were little girls. I’m not even sure where to begin. We are both in our early forties, she lives over three hours from me, I believe she is going through a severe manic episode and I’m worried about her.
When we were young I hated going to her house because her mom was such a strange person. She would comment on the oddest things in a sweet voice topped off with a smile, but the words coming out of her mouth were cruel. I distanced myself from this friend during high school because our social groups became more different and her mom disgusted me, though I kept in touch with her off and on even when she moved away. Twenty years later we have shared a lot of ups and downs with each other. I share with her that I have social anxiety, I see a therapist, I have deep fears that I can’t seem to overcome. She admits to similar feelings. Though for her it goes deeper.
I have only witnessed her in a manic situation once prior to this, but the last week has been like nothing I’ve seen before. I’m not trying to diagnose my friend when I say she is manic, but that’s the only thing that comes to mind. She calls me crying hysterically and accuses people of spying on her and taking her things. She won’t use credit cards, refuses to drive, fears all doctors, refuses therapists and psychiatric help, won’t call numbers we provide her for crisis lines, won’t go to homes or other resources we provide her. Out of nowhere, she accuses me of leaving her at a carnival, and I have no idea what she’s talking about. She’ll talk to me on the phone and tell me her pet rabbit is ill, then suddenly she is crying and telling me she used the N word a year ago and hates herself for it. She’ll send me texts begging me to come to pick her up and drive her to the ocean. Then she gets mad at me when I don’t and tells I’m not a true friend.
I couldn’t handle this alone so I brought in our other friend from grade school whom I am still very close but my ill friend is not as close anymore. We both agree she needs a serious intervention, we have contacted her family but they have done nothing.
I’m at the end. I don’t know how to help her. She mentioned that bi-polar has been diagnosed in her family and she believed her dad had it (he has passed). However, when I bring up the words mental illness she gets angry and defensive. I tell her I have a mental illness, that’s what anxiety is. I have panic attacks. But I’m in a good place and getting help. I have encouraged her to do the same for years and she refuses.
She is sucking me down and it scares me. Her rantings are sparking old habits in me, I’m having a hard time lately. Part of me wants to cut her off since she won’t listen to anything I say to help her, but turning my back on a friend or anyone who so desperately needs help goes against everything I believe in.
Advice welcome. I’m lost. I can’t keep running in these circles with her.