Feeling Better: Helping Others and Yourself
Now that I am starting to get a grasp on my mental illnesses, I am strongly cautious with what I am doing. I am making sure to be aware of triggers and stressers in the hope of not going backward. Although my journey has consisted of peaks and valleys and the lows make me appreciate the highs more, I am still trying to keep moving forward all of the time. So, how do you do this without constantly walking on eggshells?
Helping Yourself: Verbally
Sometimes it can be very hard to help yourself. Finding ways that fit for you is very difficult and can even feel impossible at times. Even though all mental illnesses and people are different, sometimes it can be helpful to look online or to peers for help. It is perfectly OKAY to reach out for help. That is a very amazing step on the road to recovery. Knowing yourself to the point where you know you need help from an outside source is an amazing insight.
I remember even when I knew I needed help, I did not reach out because I was scared to "bother" my family and friends. I actually didn't reach out for help for almost 10 years for certain things. It is hard to lean on somebody so much when you have trouble trusting people. I started with somebody I knew I could 100% trust. My mom. Now whoever this is in your life (a parent, friend, teacher, counselor, doctor, cousin, grandparent, neighbor, etc.), make sure you can trust them. You can never know how somebody will react to something you to something so make sure you have faith in them. (If anybody feels alone in this, they can anonymously message me in the comments or my Instagram is @delaneyyobrienn).
Talking About It
Please do not be embarrassed about talking about subjects that are personal. Mental health, assault, physical health, or ANYTHING, should be able to be talked about freely. When discussing the topic with your trusted person, you should be clear about what you want and need from them. Nobody is a mind reader so make sure you don't expect them to know without saying it. You can say if you need to just rant, if you need advice, help, or something else.
My dad once told me "You can not control the reaction a person has. You can affect the way they think about the topic but the overall reaction is on them." Don't beat yourself up if this person reacts in a negative way. That is on them. The important part is that you get the help you need. If this person is unable to help, that is okay. There is ALWAYS somebody else to talk to. You are never alone.
Helping Yourself: Physically
Self care is the biggest part to ones recovery. It can be hard to find time. In order to feel better mentally, you need to feel better physically. Taking baths or showers, journaling, doing hair or makeup, talking a walk, dressing up, reading, playing sports, etc. can help so much. Treating yourself to your favorite treat or drink. Going to bed early. Doing something for you. You should always put yourself before others. Especially mental health.
When somebody comes to you with a problem it can be hard where to steer them. Knowing some tips can be helpful when somebody approaches you with a situation.
Having something in common with somebody is rare. So use it to your advantage! Relating to somebody in a personal way can be a way to get them to trust you. After all, it is easier to tell somebody something if they have been through it themselves. That is called empathy. Sympathy is when you can't relate to somebody on a certain subject, but you still feel for them. That can always be very helpful. Being sympathetic is a very good key to have.
Saying no to somebody you love can be awful. Knowing your boundaries is the biggest factor. If somebody comes to you with a problem about a triggering subject, you are allowed to say no and explain why. If they get hurt by that, that is on them. It takes practice but it is helpful knowing that you can't help everybody. You are working on you and should be focused on you if you are in a time of need.
Getting Them Help
If the problem is not a problem that you can solve on your own, get help. You can call 911 (in America) for emergencies. If the issue is less urgent, then you can call their family or friends. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In the end, if you can not help somebody in need it is not your fault. Everything happens for a reason so do not beat yourself up for it.
To people who are struggling - You are strong and you are worthy. You can get through this. All of this will not last forever. All of your feelings and thoughts are validated and heard. I am here for you. Feel free to reach out. Stay beautiful. Love you all.