The power of Friendship - Supporting someone with a mental illness. - By Lizi
You’ve heard it everywhere. Someone has mental health issues, and you’ve probably also heard someone telling them to get up and get on with it. Or to deal with it. It’s just a problem, tackle it like a grown up and move on.
But what happens when you can’t? And where are all those people who said it’d be okay, or asked if you were okay, when actually you really need them.
Everyone assumes you’re fine. But behind the walls or under the duvet you don’t want to get out of, you’re really not sure what to do, or how to deal with it. How can you face the world when the world doesn’t understand what’s happening to you or why you can’t handle it? The nights of not being able to sleep, and being exhausted, and people don’t get why you’re tired, or why you don’t want to get up. The doctors who don’t understand, or just prescribe whatever they think will get you out of the lull to get you out of their office.
What that person really needs is someone to sit with, talking or not. Someone to make a cup of tea. Or a reason to get out of that bed everyday, be it a dog walk, a walk to the coffee shop, or just to sit on someone else’s sofa rather than your own. What they need is you. Even if you don’t know what’s going on or how to deal with it. They might just need a hug, or someone to bring them milk or make sure they’ve got up that day. When they’re ready, they’ll talk. And probably cry. But that’s a relief. Having someone that cares, maybe doesn’t understand, but is there when and if they need them. The message to say, what are you up to, or do you want to get out. Be that message.
Mental health shouldn’t be a stigma. We need to talk about it, or we don’t. But the stigma shouldn’t be assigned to it. It’s can be an illness, it needs support, care and love and the correct treatment and management. And most importantly, someone that wants to help and be there.
My dogs became my person to get me up everyday, and in some respects they still are. There’s always a wet nose nudging me to get up, and woof to tell me it’s breakfast time or they need to go out. There’s always one of them to tangle me up in a dog lead, or disappear into a forest. But they’re always there. Might not be capable of making a cup of tea yet, but that’s a work in progress.
Be that persons dog. Don’t ignore it if they say they’re fine. They might ignore messages, or not turn up to stuff, but be there. Be the wet nose that bugs the crap out of them to get out of bed.
Because in reality, they’re probably not and they just need a nudge or a woof to get the going in the morning.
Bravely Written By Guest Blogger Lizi.