Until just the other night, I’d never really been in a situation which was a proper emergency. And don’t worry, this situation felt like a crisis at the time, but it’s all fine now! What I found really interesting was how differently me and my friend handled it.
So, setting the scene. Me, my best friend, and my other best friend/her boyfriend, staying in my room after a party. He fell asleep, we stayed up talking for ages. He woke up, a bit drowsy but enough to talk to us. He needed to pee, so he got up to go. When you walk out my door, there are two doors going to other bedrooms, and one going into the lounge that’ll lead you to the bathroom. Apparently, this was too much, and he seemed to get a bit lost. We could hear him breathing right by my door, so my friend got up, and I heard her telling him she’d help him get to the toilet. Weird, but he’s just tired, of course. It was 4:30am, fair enough!
Later on, she told me this next part of the story. When they got to the bathroom, he grabbed on to her, staring at her but not saying anything. She was telling him to let go, but he wouldn’t. Eventually she pried him off, and came running to get me, and I found them in the same way, him grabbing on to her as if he was trying to hurt her. She just kept saying “help me, help me,” so I instantly thought she was in danger. But as I walked up to them, he started falling, and she sort of let him down instead of letting him thump on the floor. She was sobbing and saying his name over and over. My mind decided he needed water, probably to splash on his face if he was unconscious when I got back. She was begging me to go and get my parents, but they heard her anyway, and found me and him sitting on the floor, me making him drink some water. He was insisting he was fine, but dude, he COLLAPSED. I was looking after him, but also telling her to breathe and calm down, and my mum was trying to help but sort of just cleaning.
Anyway, he was absolutely fine, and once we had him walking back to bed, I stopped to explain what had happened to my mum, and realised how hard my hands were shaking. It took me that long to click with what was happening, and that was when it properly terrified me! When it came down to it though, I was fine in the moment. Scared, sure, but I went into action before panic, and if it had been worse that could have really helped him. We decided he was probably just sleepwalking, not dying, but obviously I didn’t know that at the time.
My friend, apparently, does not handle a crisis well. She was hyperventilating and crying and yelling for my parents, and how does any of that help? It probably made it a little worse, because he couldn’t remember a thing, so instead of drinking this very helpful water, he was worrying about her. Worry about yourself first, please! Of course it isn’t something you control, but it’s scary enough without feeling like you also have to comfort your other friend. She wants to be a doctor too, which makes it even worse. Can you be a doctor when that’s how you respond to things like that? Can you move out when your initial reaction is to cry out for adults? Again, this isn’t a criticism, it’s more just me being thankful that I know how to handle a crisis. I can actually function as an adult on my own, which is important!
If you’ve been in a crisis, how did you handle it? Pretty well, or did you make the problem maybe a little worse? Do you think it’s something you can learn to improve?