The past 20+ hours have been really difficult for me and I thought I would share the story to process it for myself and hopefully encourage others. I have a friend whose marriage is in a real bad place right now. He and his wife have been separated for about two weeks and I've been walking with him through this dark time. We talk several times a day and I've been encouraging him as much as possible. Yesterday was extremely difficult because he had a setback with finding a new place to live and it sent him on a downward spiral as he felt completely overwhelmed and hopeless. Around 8:30 my phone rang. I didn't get to it in time as it was charging in the back bedroom. I saw that the call was from him, but that there were also some texts that had come in. The texts were from his wife who had forwarded me a text that he just sent her. The text was a picture of a gun that he had obtained. I immediately called him back and he answered. Obviously at this point he did not know that I knew what was going on. I apologized for missing the call and asked him how he was doing. He was in a good mood, which is a bad sign for people that are suicidal. It means that they have accepted their decision and are at peace with it. He literally said, "I'm cool man, no worries about missing the call, I just wanted to talk to you and make sure we were good". I responded calmly, "I know about the gun and if you are calling me to say goodbye then we are definitely not good". The next 20 minutes were extremely difficult. There were a few hang ups, but thankfully when I would call back he would pick up. He sobbed, broken by the pain, expressing that he just wanted it to end. He yelled and screamed that he hated me because I wouldn't just "let him go". I told him that if he would come to my house and give me the gun that he would never have to talk to me again. I was willing to live with his hate if that's what it would take to save his life. Fear doesn't even begin to describe what I was feeling as I genuinely believed that at any moment I could hear a gunshot. He knew that his wife had called the police and refused to tell me where he was. He said he was not going to jail and wouldn't go to the psych hospital. "There's no fixing this", he kept saying. He was convinced that the police were after him and that there was only one way for this to end. Eventually he gave up on getting my approval knowing that I would never consent to what he was considering. He hung up and turned off his phone. Many of you know that I'm a person of faith so I quickly called fellow believers and asked people to pray for him. I kept trying to call back, but it went straight to voice mail each time. I sent consistent encouraging text and left messages on his voice mail. I didn't know if he was still alive. After speaking with his wife the police decided to take a report and for some reason did not file a mental health warrant. I genuinely don't understand this because in this kind of situation an involuntary commitment order is standard procedure. However, this strange turn of events did serve to take off some of the pressure. She was somehow able to get a message to him letting him know that no one was coming after him or looking to force him into the hospital. We could only hope that this news might provide him with some kind of hope. By some miracle his worst fear had been averted, this did not have to end with his death or with him locked up. A little after midnight his phone was turned back on because it would at least ring when I called. That being said, he still would not pick up. As you can imagine I didn't get much sleep, fearing for the worst. A little after 7:00 AM his wife texted me to say that he had sent her a message that he was "okay". I called and he picked up, but said that his phone was about to die because it hadn't been charged all night and that he would call me later. I simply let him know that I loved him, was not angry at him, and would continue to be there to support him. We spoke a few hours later, but again it was brief, with him saying that he was going to get some rest and would call me later. I just got off the phone with him now and he is clear headed and it would appear the immediate threat has passed. He has agreed to meet with me later tonight and to turn the firearm over to me to establish safety. He said, "I can't believe things got that bad. I'm not really sure what happened, but I'm glad that's over." He has a history of substance abuse and admits that last night after failing to follow through on his threat that he turned back to drugs to cope with the moment. The most important thing is that he is alive, that he made it through this incredibly difficult night, and that he is saying he wants to focus on moving forward. I truly hope that this is his "bottom" and know that we have a long road ahead. If you don't know, or haven't read my signature, I am a professional counselor and am trained to manage crisis situations. I've dealt with many suicidal clients in the past. However, it is truly a different matter when the person is a friend. Last night was very scary and I am so grateful that it didn't end in the most terrible of ways. Please, if anyone reading this is struggling with thinking life is not worth it. You are not alone. There is hope and there are people who care about you. Don't seek a permanent solution for a temporary problem. The pain will not last forever and taking your own life won't prove anything to anyone.