I feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I read about other people who are talking about their awesome support network. From friends who check on you to a family who come over to do chores. From work colleagues who ask ‘can I help?’ to partners who step up when they read the signs.
Having a team of people that you can rely on when things go south is awesome. But unfortunately not everyone has them. Most of us have friends that are too busy with their own stuff and family who don’t get mental health. Instead of teams that help us we have droves of people that put upon us. More more more. Now now now. Quicker, faster, help me please!
I’m unfortunately one of those people. Please don’t feel sorry for me. I try really hard to say no, I ask for help, I try desperately not to take on too much. It never works. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people don’t listen or don’t read the message, or email. Or maybe they just don’t care?
I watched a cool new film yesterday ‘Encanto’. It had a really beautiful story with the wrongdoer seeing the error of their ways and saying sorry. Plus a village of people who all came to help when the family was in need. But life isn’t unfortunately a Disney movie.
So here are some tips for both sides:
For people with a mental illness:
- Ask for help
- Sit your close network down or email them and explain how to support you in times of need
- Say no
- Say no again
For anyone else:
- Offer help, support, care
- Listen, then listen harder
- Don’t put more pressure on someone who’s ill or who has asked for help
- If someone asks for help… give it.
- Now ask yourself this… when was the last time you asked someone if they were ok? When was the last time you showed care? Is there someone that would appreciate a message or call to ask ‘how are you?’
I’m staring down the week from hell. Two events at work + all my normal work + two new campaigns needed. Plus I’m running five sessions of wreath making for the PTFA. Plus life, plus kids, plus a raging mental illness. And do you know what someone had the audacity to say to me yesterday ‘well you’ve only got yourself to blame!’ My response should have been ‘FUCK YOU!’ But I’m too fucking nice so I stupidly tried to explain that I had said no and I can’t control other peoples diaries and there is a big world outside of Devon. What a waste of breath that was.
Unfortunately the people that give a shit in this world are few and far between. Everyone’s too busy, too wrapped up in themselves, too stressed themselves. We’ve lost what it means to be human. To show care. To look after each other. To be a tribe.
So to anyone who has a great support network. I’m genuinely happy for you, keep those people close to you. And for those who don’t, know that you’re not alone. We may be far apart but I’m here too. And remember that the selfish shits that put upon us are just that, selfish shits. Sooner or later we’ll find our awesome support network too. Much love xxx