My friend has had chronic low back and leg pain for about 3 years following an accident. He's had 3 failed spinal fusions. As a result, he lost his job and is on SSDI. And, he tells me he's only sleeping 3-4 hrs/night. And, he's made some statements that have worried me such as, "If it wasn't for X and Y, I'd kill myself to stop this pain" and "I feel so useless."
So, how do I help him cope? For some reason, he seeks me out and I really think I'm the only one he talks to about this. But, he acts sort of embarrassed when he brings it up like he's being a burden on me.
Honestly, I want to talk about his pain. I don't want to see someone that I care about suffer in silence if they need to talk. But, I'm not really sure what to say to him when we do talk about it. I usually just ask a bunch of questions about it because I'm interested in knowing what he's going through. But, how do I support him better?
Also, I never really start the conversations about his pain. Should I? I just assume that he doesn't want to talk about it if he doesn't bring it up. I'm afraid of making him feel worse because he usually ends up crying when we do talk.
Any advice is appreciated,