It’s important to temper your expectations about your ability to help your friend. You can only do so much. You do not have much power in the situation. You can be a supportive friend and suggest counseling and that’s about it. You shouldn’t try to do any more than that. Her issues should be treated by mental health professionals. You’re not a therapist and you should not try to be.
If your friend chooses not to seek help, then you’ll have to decide if you want to continue befriending someone who is not making good choices. She obviously had a very difficult life during childhood but at this point in time, she’s an adult. She can choose to seek help. If she chooses not to, then she is choosing to remain in a state of unhappiness and distress.
You mentioned that she is a bit of a “bad luck magnet.” It may be less bad luck and more bad choices. For instance, you mentioned that she has a boyfriend who seems uncaring. She has the power to end the relationship but she seems to be choosing not to do so.
You also mentioned that she drinks. Drinking is associated with depression and other negative outcomes. She makes the choice to drink but she could also choose not to drink.
You asked the specific question: “how can you keep your best and only friend alive and happy?” You can’t. Suggest that she seek counseling and support her in doing so. That would be the best way to help her. Anything beyond that is not recommended. Thank you for your question. Good luck with your efforts.
Dr. Kristina Randle