How Asking 'Are You AF?' Can Save a Life

How Asking 'Are You AF?' Can Save a Life

Written By Finesse Our Minds Leader Roman

As human beings, we all go through challenging times and experience emotions that we
may not know how to handle. In middle school, I had a feeling my friend was going
through a dark time by the way she behaved. So, I asked her if she was AF.
One day, I was chatting with my friend in art class when she started talking about
death and her self resentment. I had already known something was going on because
she had cut her luscious long blonde hair into a bob with a scarlet stroke sprouting from
her bang. Her style became somber and grim, and I noticed cut marks on her wrist. Not
to mention, she would wear heavy layers on blazing hot days. Often, she would share
her dark thoughts and threaten to cut others with scissors. I thought at first this was
just her finding herself until I realized how serious she was. I was concerned for my
friend’s well-being and didn't know how to react at first. But, I knew I had to be there for
her. I told her that she could always talk to me about what was going on.
She didn’t want to talk.
I felt helpless, I didn’t want her to act on her suicidal thoughts but she clearly didn’t want
me to help her. As a friend, I wanted to see her happy but also I didn’t want to overstep
my boundaries. I knew nothing about her home life, and I didn’t want to make her life any
harder by telling someone. I was conflicted and burdened. What if I tell someone and
her life gets worse? What if she actually does act on her thoughts and I did nothing to
stop her? Either way, I would feel guilty. Figuring out how to do the right thing is difficult.
I observed that she had been kicked out of her friend group over drama and that her
behavior became sporadic and somewhat dangerous. She literally tried to cut people
with scissors. I was one of those people. I tried my best to be there for her as a friend
and not a therapist. Sometimes people just want to be themselves without a filter and I
completely understand that. My friend told me she appreciated me for not transgressing
her boundaries and being there for her even when she didn’t want to talk.
In conclusion, asking my friend if she was AF when I saw that she had cut herself was a
difficult but crucial conversation. It taught me the importance of listening to people’s
needs when you want to be there to support them.

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