Today I've got Lynette from Charmingly Simple on the blog talking about the importance of support systems for your mental health! (And this is just a good thing to for EVERYONE to have, not just those who suffer from mental illness -- support systems are so, so vital, as this post mentions). So please give a warm welcome to Lynette! :)
Mental health is a touchy subject for a lot of people. There are three people in this world when it comes to mental health; the ones that suffer from it, the ones that avoid talking about it, and then the ones that try and understand. You would be surprised how little of a percentage the latter in the world there are.
This is for those people who want to understand what and how to help their mothers, brothers, sisters, or friends. Ultimately I feel that you are the lich pin that holds people with a mental disorder or illness up. Now I’m going to highlight a book here and it’s a book that has been out for awhile but when I read it spoke to my soul that spent 4 years watching as soldiers who had come home from war be torn apart by this one subject.
A support system.
It is absolutely vital for those who live their lives each and every day with mental illness. I have seen support systems either bring someone living with a mental illness up and I have seen support systems tear people apart. The book that I want to spotlight in this post that I have seen highlight this specific need is Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. In a lot of Young Adult books, especially ones dealing with mental illness have one thing in common; their parents are either dead, clueless, or flippant when it comes to the main characters illness. In Every Last Word the main character Samantha deals with her OCD under the radar. She is considered one of the popular girls and because of that does not want her friends to know because they in turn will label her as “weird” (because you know you can’t have something wrong with you and be popular). Because Samantha does not have the support at school and has to pretend to be normal around her friends it is absolutely vital that she has a support system.
Enter her mother and psychiatrist.
These two ladies take a very important role in Samantha’s lives and I absolutely love how Tamara Ireland Stone highlights Samantha’s relationship with these two important adult figures. I don’t want to give you much about this book because I think that it should be read and experienced for yourself but it has spawned one of my favorite quotes, one that helps me with my own issues with anxiety.
“Mistakes. Trial and error. Same thing. Mistakes are how we learned to walk and run and that hot things burn when you touch them. You’ve made mistakes all your life and you’re going to keep making them. The trick is to recognize your mistakes, take what you need from them, and move on.”
Remember, if you have someone that lives with mental illness be that support system. Listen. Let them talk. Don’t tell them that if they just “did X” or “did Y” it would make it all better. If you are the one that lives with the stress of a mental illness find your voice. Speak. Those who love you will listen and if they don’t listen TEACH.