As I am writing this, I am in a Jeep in the middle of a field, smoking a cigarette and being shielded from the wind. The scenery is relaxing and it is definitely the perfect surroundings for writing. My manager is teaching her student and I am awaiting the arrival of S so that I can have a warm, well needed cuddle.
The thud of the horses hooves can be felt through the ground and the sound is echoing in the air. It amazes me how people have the skill and the nerves to jump a horse. I was only sat on a horse for amount a minute and I thought I was going to die.
Today’s post is all about having the right support network around you and how that helps you when you’re not in the right frame of mind or are having an ‘episode’. I have put episode in apostrophes because the definition is different depending on what type of mental health disorder that you have. It is different for everyone.
I am so lucky to have a small support network who help me in any given situation and would drop anything to make sure that I am okay. Not everyone has this and that is something that really upsets me. If you are one of those people, please reach out to me or someone in this particular community because we all know how important it is to have supportive people around at all times.
As I have previously mentioned on Twitter, I really hate being alone and it is important for me to be surrounded by people at all times. I don’t mind if they don’t talk to me or if they are in a different room/space than me but I need to know that I can call upon them if I am about to have an attack or if I am feeling particularly low. I feel really bad that I am so needy and I see myself as being very selfish. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place most of the time.
My girlfriend is definitely the person that I ‘rely’ on the most and she is the one that makes me smile regardless of how I am feeling inside. I’m extremely lucky to have her and I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her. She is my backbone and I owe her a lot. I’ve not treated her as well as I could have over the years but now that I am better at managing myself and my emotions I am able to give her back a lot more of the love and the attention that she deserves. She deals with a lot of her own mental torment as well as mine, she is unbelievably strong. I admire her so much. She is one in a million.
I have an especially strong connection with my Nan (my mum’s mum) and I always have done. She has been there for me through a lot. She has really severe OCD which has been difficult for her to manage over the years but she has done a lot more than anyone probably thought was possible. She struggles with day to day life and I admire her for being so strong. She resonates with my issues, especially my anxiety, which has been an amazing help for me throughout my life because it makes me feel a little less abnormal. She is the best.
We have a total of three friends, two of them are a couple and are expecting a baby any day now and the other one is my manager. We know a lot of people from work but we only socialise with these three. My manager is definitely my best friend, she is hilariously funny and makes day to day life a lot more bearable. She has a lot of commitments but always finds time for us which is nice.
I also have a supportive family who are there for me when I need them. They were supportive when I came out, they love both S and I and they have been there for me since my diagnosis. S’ family welcome me with open arms which makes me feel so much more comfortable, I actually feel as though they are my blood relatives which I think is really rare for in-laws. S’ mum said to me last night that she would be devastated if S and I broke up because she loves me like her own, this made me feel so loved and accepted and it was really really lovely.
In my opinion, it is essential to have a support network because sometimes you need people to confide in when you’re feeling low. If it wasn’t for the above people, I would not be here anymore. If I have felt as though I couldn’t carry on, I would just think ‘you can’t leave them behind, they would be devastated’. I would be distraught if one of them left me so I can’t be that selfish as to leave them after everything that they have done for me. I think that is a good thing about my progress because I can now see that I need to think of other people than just myself.
I just wanted to mention, as you may or may not know, Nicole at Navigating Darkness has created the Mental Health Awareness Project (@OfficialMHAP). If you need support from a group of people who have first hand experience of mental health issues, please DM or Tweet them because there will be people who will be more than happy to help you and to listen to what you have to say. It is a cause to end the stigma surrounding mental health but the people who are a part of this organisation all have experience with suffering with mental health issues and are all lovely people who will be willing to help you.
As sufferers, we need to make sure that we keep an open heart to those who do not have the same support group that we may have and we need to help them to feel as though they can confide in someone. It is great to talk to other people on this platform because you know that you will be understood and you will never feel alone.
All in all, support is key. It may not be what you need all of the time but it is definitely something that helps you.
Thank you for reading, please don’t hesitate to message me if you need anything 😊