Finding Support

I stole this and am adapting this from comments I wrote on another blog. This person’s blog seems to prompt thoughts that I can express and then process … I know it is supposed to be the opposite but I am strange …

One way to get through, day after day, is to have support in recovering from mental illness – or even just hovering around stability. God gifted me with a BFF when my son was 3 and he’s 27 now. She is always there, always understanding and accepting. Such a blessing! But, on my part, I had to learn to trust her, and to tell her everything that was going on with me. Almost everything. 😉

I also am in a church that is as close to the Bible as any I’ve found, and has good teaching I can use. The pastor has required a lot of teaching about mental illness and I have done what I can lol. When he preaches however there are a few things he says that make my jaw drop – I know he has to speak to the crowd as a whole but REALLY?? People with MI might get the impression that there’s no help “there.” But, 95% of the time, the preaching and God’s word help me to stay on course and pointed to the Lord.

And when I do meet with the preacher (and my mentor, because he won’t counsel women alone, which is wise), there is a lot of support 1:1, and He points to particular scriptures that help me. He has a lot of compassion and understanding.

There are a few (very few) people within the church that I can talk to. I have stood and testified to the church as a whole a few times that I have a history of mental illness (no specifics) and how much God has helped me. I figure that tells people that God is good, and it also says “you can talk to me.”

Support groups have been minimally helpful to me (other than my 20 years in AA which was invaluable to my keeping sober). Support groups for mental illness however not so much. I’d already had much education and guidance in hospitals and out patient programs so I didn’t feel that the a-b-c’s the support groups offered were of help to me. Finding friends there also not so much, it is hard to find people who are functioning well enough to be of support. I know, support groups are also there for me to help THEM, but I don’t have that extra energy/time/stability to offer it.

I almost forgot! Medications and a good psychiatrist to help you tweak them. Compliance once you find that concoction that works. My old shrink used to call me “Dr. Bailey,” and for good reason. He was a tool that worked in treating my illness.

So to summarize it is really really hard to find support, even though hospitals/outpatient seem to think that is the primary thing that will help us to function. We’re kind of alone, y’all. I’ve found the primary help is ME – knowing what I need, knowing what helps and doesn’t help, trying to have good boundaries. But I can’t do that without God. He’s in it all. He allowed me the illness – He allows the experiences I have – He gives me the people (helpful OR not) – He gives me His Word. He gave me my brain (I mean the intelligence as well as the warped-ness). He has given me grace and faith – the ability to trust and believe. Sometimes I can’t pull up that trusting and believing –  but (I believe) He’s there anyway. Clear as mud?

Praying that you will find at least that ONE person, or a total of persons, to whom you can divulge everything. Writing is a great tool. Talking to yourself, when you need an intelligent ear (lol).

Thanks to Blahpolar (a fellow blogger) for always prompting me to think and share.

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