The Importance Of Creating A Support System While Dealing With Mental Illness
Having a mental illness and trying to navigate the journey on your own can be very difficult. On the other hand if one creates a network of supportive people it can be crucial to getting through challenging times. My first line of defense is my psychiatrist and therapist. I am honest and open with both of these professionals. I can share everything with them. And if I feel that I can't share everything then it is time to find new providers.
I am blessed with a large family, I am the youngest of eight and I have several sisters who are very supportive of me. I can lean on these family members in both good times and bad. I also have two grown sons who are very familiar with my mood disorder and can also be very helpful. For me, I don't burden my sons with details, that I save for my sisters and professionals. I also have several friends who have been there for me over the decades dealing with bipolar.
I cultivate and nurture these relationships because all of the above people mentioned in my network are protective factors against my mental illness. I need all of them at different times. I think of them when I am in crisis and experiencing the worst of dark, dark, moods. I wouldn't want to inflict suffering on them and it helps me to not do anything permanent like ending my life.
I know that I am not alone. Either are you.
Take good care,
Appreciating life's simple gifts may take some practice, but as I become more aware of the beauty that is all around me, it gets easier to appreciate the beauty within. -- Courage to Change