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Am I obliged to help a friend in trouble due to her own poor choices?

I have a friend who is emotionally draining to me, and she is especially "down on her luck" this month. However, her situation is a direct result of especially poor personal choices over the last year, and there is no good path to get her out of the hole of poverty and depression. We don't have much in common other than similar-aged kids, and active participation in a local moms' group, but because I have come to her aid in the past, I feel an unspoken obligation to continue. (Maybe it's guilt or pity, or empathy?) What are my obligations in a friendship that has recently become more taxing than beneficial? I don't dislike her, and we have many mutual friends, but I just don't think I can muster the time, financial resources, or energy this time to help bail her out of the latest fiasco. Is it morally acceptable to refuse to help? Should I talk to her about why now -- or wait until she's less vulnerable?

Anonymous , 11.04.2013, 11:16
Idea status: completed


DianaHsieh, 11.04.2013, 11:18
I had to delete the original question to protect the identity of the questioner... and here is a comment posted by "Jason" on the original question:

I will tell you my personal experience of being very taxing and draining on my three closest friends. It started slowly mine was a mixture of misfortune as well as poor choices and impulsivity which i'll explain why on that as I go and how my friends handled it and as the person what was mentally lost a train wreck. I wouldnt be writing you with a clear head today without the help from one and then the interactions combined by the other two. First assess their problem situation and where they could get help. Keep that part in mind. Now try to help or if you have come to the point where it's harming your emotional help ask and in my case they begged after a month of me not listening, to get professional help my first girlfriend in my entire life whom I am still good friends with explained it to me like this, Its not that I don't like you, I do care I don't want anything to happen to you and want you to be happy but I'm your friend and feel like your counselor you need a third party someone who is not involved in your life that you can tell them about and they can help you. If they'll do this if its come to that point it will take time but it will salvage a friendship and maybe make it better as once they recieve help and eventually are doing better it will give you a boost emotionally knowing that you tried it didnt work but you pointed them in the direction in which really helped them to be a happy person. See mine started off due to medical and mental problems and poor choices i made and poor people i chose to hang out with I was in a severe car accident fracturing multiple vertebraes diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy which eventually lost me my job despite intermittent FMLA(corporation secretly discriminate against people with mental&health disorders especially once they take FMLA to try to find out how to live with their problems and work) Ok so on I had already had adhd and severe panic disorder for a long time before the previously mentioned at first on all the meds for everything was a boat load of stuff certain meds made me extremely impulsive and it took a long time for professional doctors and counselors to get things straightened out for me everyone is different. My friend who gave it all he could to help me would come help me find my lost car keys at work (i had worked with him there) because i was severely unorganized he'd make sure try to that i didnt forget or leave whatever i took to his house especially my wallet. He'd pick me up before helping me and talk to me take me on a walk in the woods as nature calms me down because i'd be crying so hard i couldnt breathe. It was very waring on him. Now down by my house my other two friends including the ex girlfriend tried to tell me I needed to cut people out of my life i needed positivity. My ex girlfriend from long ago was very worried because when we split i was committed for attempting to kill myself with a .38 revolver on the other ailments i'm also schizophrenic. One night i fell asleep at the wheel of my car i knew i was about to fall asleep so i parked at the nearest safest place i could an apartment complex parking light i fell asleep for 3 hours and woke to cops banging on my side window with a flashlight I dont know why they stopped at the time i was very upset because they accused me of being drunk even after telling them ii was narcoleptic my car was filled with tons of things because my impulsivity would drive me to buy really stupid things and my car was filled with all kinds of things. after accusing me they put me in the back of the cruiser where i was at the state of being in tears and having trouble breathing i told them iwanted help but didnt know how they said they could take me somewhere but that they suggest i use my employers EPA service as they said id prefer it more. They werent letting me drive home i had 5 minutes or they were going to take me to jail so i started calling everyone begging for a ride emotionally distraught my ex girlfriend lived the closest she didnt pick up until the 5th call heard what i sounded like and she swooped over to get me. She let me in her house and i nodded back off in tears when awakening she had walked from her house after getting my keys from my pockets and drove my car back to her house. She calmed me down by talking to me because i thought i had no hope. My father had asked as i missed my epa appointments if i was crazy a nut or needed help and I boldly denied everyday he would ask me, I didnt want to be judged called crazy I just wanted to be none as me. I had bad friend who would steal my medicine when id fall asleep those are gone now, anyhow it got to a point where another friend of mine called my ex girlfriend talked and she called me begging me to get help counseling on top of the medical care i was already recieving I was emberrassed to admit it to my father. Finally after reporting being harassed over my ailments to HR within 45 minutes they came down fired me and denied me unemployment saying i could not perform my job duties anymore despite always having execellent reviews even a month prior to this happening. I was still refusing to get help my medications were low though so i went to my doctor with a long lettter to tell him what was going on, i broke down 3rd sentence in and he jumped up and said this was more of an emergency and wanted me to be committed he said he could have a bed waiting for me at the hospital i didnt want to go he offered to drive me but knew i didnt want to go because of my fears of hospitals and from being held a month when i was suicidal and younger so he gave me my meds upped the anxiety meds. I got them filled went home as i was living iwth my parents due to my medical problems and my dad hollared up the stairs asking what he said because we all see the same dr. Finally i broke down and yelled down the stairs he wants to commit me crying. Each day that passed and he didnt see me at the hospital his office would call to check on me, i told them i had opened up to my family and the following week my family pulled together to get me the professional help i truly needed. Now i'm good friends with my ex and other friends again like it never happened but my exgirlfriend stating to me it was becoming to much and she couldnt do anything and that i need professional help after a pause she said my name and said I'm your friend i always will be but you have serious problems that arent just stressing are tearing your friends apart seeing you fall apart like you have over the past year. Let me put it this way she said You need a third person party who isn't involved with you friends or nothing who can evaluate and give outside opinions and help. I got the help after getting over the humility of admitting i had problems and now i dont put stress or drag them down and i have my moment but from where i was to now im doing 98% better and my friends are starting to come around again and enjoy hanging out with me the good ones that is. Hope this gives you a situational way of thinking of what to do with how my ex girlfriend explained it to me that i needed third party help someone uninvolved with my life She was right and I'm very thankful she handled it the way she did.

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