Throughout my whole life, I’ve pretty much done things on my own. Being number three of four meant that I didn’t get much attention. Being average at school meant I blended into the background. And being a strong and motivated person means that I can get most things sorted myself. But I didn’t make that choice. It’s been thrust upon me and I’ve had to adapt to survive.
I can pick out so many scenarios where I could have benefited from more support. I was bullied in school and nothing was really done about it until I came home in soaking wet clothes after the little shits had made my uniform wet whilst I was doing PE. I ended up at a shitty college on a crappy degree course because no one supported me or helped me understand UCAS applications. I was forced into going back into hospital with my first baby after sitting and begging to be taken home. I struggled with my mental health for years until I got myself to the doctor. The list is endless. It makes me pretty sad. It makes me feel very lonely. I’ve always felt like I was put last, I’ve always felt invisible, I desperately want someone to stand in my corner and hold my hand.
So the biggest advice that I can give you is to surround yourself with people who support you. Yes, I have family who I can turn to, but I’d have to ask. Find yourself a tribe of people who will notice when you’re struggling and step up to do something about it. Find yourself an awesome partner who may not understand mental health right now, but who will do their very best to learn about it and support you. Talk to your work colleagues and let them know what’s going on. Talk to your family. Build a support team of people who will pick you up when you need it. You can even choose a word that when you say it they’ll know that you’re struggling. It’s very hard to talk when you’re ill but having one word to say in times of need will let people know that you need help.
Good luck and get that support team going!