I am at this moment, supposed to be reading about the origin of the author’s voice in a written piece for my university course. But as I am a multi-tasker, while I pondered this origin, I went to hang out the clothes. In the middle of pegging out t-shirts, jocks, socks and bras, I was suddenly struck by the urge to write about how our mental health support base is so important.
So there I am, pegging out unmentionables to dry
and I think,
I have a fantastic broad support base to help me rock life with a mental illness.
Then I thought,
it’s important that I , as the owner of a mental illness should, from a supporter’s perspective, consider how difficult it is to understand what it is like to spend every second of the day with it.
I recently had a discussion about this with one of my support base and for the first time, I popped my periscope up to consider that perhaps it might be just as difficult to support me having this thing, as it is for me to have it!
Anyway, this person was sharing that it was very hard for them to understand what it is that I go through because they have never experienced it but that they were there for me anyway. I have other friends who can’t cope with discussing anything to do with what goes on in my head and yet others who are almost suffocating in their concern for my state of mental health. All different types of support crew and I tell you, I need every single one.
I understand that it would be difficult to know what it feels like in my head – sometimes I don’t even understand it. And I have no idea what it feels like in someone’s head who don’t have a mental illness.
Is it even possible to go through an hour of the day without having racing thoughts which culminate in five hundred different contingency plans for one particular set of circumstances?
What is it like to not look at every single action that I am about to make and see the red string joining every subsequent action to that one?
Is it even possible to wake up every morning and be as contented as you were yesterday and even 12 months ago? I wouldn’t know. And I wouldn’t understand what that feels like. But I can guess and it sounds lovely. Except……if I were content every day, would that mean that I wouldn’t be me anymore? What does a ‘content with my lot’ me even look like??
Just as our support base don’t know how we feel, we can’t understand how they are feeling. I would think confusion, sadness, helplessness and possibly anger may make appearances. Maybe even thoughts of giving up and walking away? The only way we are going to know is if we talk about it with them.
Whatever the thoughts of those who support us, one thing is clear. We need a support base because without one, we can’t go it alone. So I encourage you to think a little bit about how you interact with your support base and that even as you find it difficult to understand why they don’t understand, it is equally as hard for them to grasp how your thinking is so much different from theirs.
With a common understanding – even if it is that we don’t understand each other’s thinking – our support base can help us rock life with a mental illness.