Family: My Circle of Support

A good support system can mean the difference between living a possibly comfortable life and suffering alone without help. We who suffer know that support is important, but so many people just don’t have access to acceptable support or even a partial support situation. It is such a shame to see people who don’t even have familial support, let alone a doctor.

I suggest talking to your family if they will listen. Explain (without getting too emotional) that you need their help and support and how they can help you. Even though one of my children doesn’t understand, she is there for support. It is not easy to explain to her what I need. She just doesn’t have any experience with mental health besides me.

I have support both by my family and by psychiatric care in the form of therapy twice a month. Hopefully, you have support by way of family and your doctors and therapists. Don’t refuse help, including medications and therapists. Take a chance and try it first before condemning any type of support that is available to you. Give it a fair chance. That includes your family, doctors and therapists. You will never know whether support will make your life better without trying.

If you can’t afford therapy (group or single), you can search for a nearby peer support group held in person, usually at a church. There are also plenty of online support groups as well. It is an environment that understands how you feel and you can feel free to talk or not. They don’t force anyone to talk. I have been to many meetings at a local support group along with my one-on-one therapy.

I find myself thinking more about how I have given up in the past and what to do about it. My kids actually asked me if I wanted pity or sympathy. The sad thing is that they are right. I wanted pity and sympathy. This is not the correct way to seek support.

There are people much worse off than me and many with no support system at all. I am well-supported in all ways and really don’t have the right to ask for pity (by my actions).

Although the words cut through me like a sword, I am glad my kids care enough to get tough and remind me of my former life when I was younger and still raising kids (eventually, I was a single mom with one child left in the nest).

The point is that they are my support and are there for me no matter what comes up during the course of my life with bipolar disorder.

To read more from Teresa, see the rest of her posts for IBPF here or visit her personal blog here

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