Family as support
Family is a critical linchpin for anyone with poor mental health. Our parents and siblings are usually the first responders to our emotional up and downs. They go through thick and thin for as long as the diagnosis process continues. They witness the highs and lows, stepping in and stepping up on a regular basis.
Yet, how we define family, especially in terms of intimate confidants, may be very different from the traditional view of family ……..it may include an aunt, a cousin, a colleague, a partner, a trusted friend, a grandparent, a classmate, even the people next door or the couple down the road may be closer to us than our own kith and kin have been at times.
Family is anyone who offers us kindness, love, encouragement, support and perspective, without judgement. It is with all these things that we gain strength to tackle the trials facing us.
Family includes anyone who understands you, truly knows you and loves you, warts and all.
Fooling people with your sunny disposition may mean they see you all too often as charming, passionate and bursting with energy, but the people who know you best are the ones who have seen you at your worst! They have real insight about your irrational behaviour and remain loyal, standing by with support whenever it’s needed.
People who are faced with the reality of emotionally distant parents or the absence of caring relatives, have found support by creating their own closely-knit groups. They have found people who are capable of listening to them, moving them forward and praising them each and every step of the way towards success. They have discovered that others can be trusted, providing the security, intimacy and insight that may have been missed in the past. Maybe they don’t share the same biological ties, but they have certainly bonded just the same.
However lucky or unlucky you may have been re: family, it’s never too late to create a supportive network by re-defining what family is and having a whole heap of more positive experiences, both in the now and in the future!