Building Support

Having a support team can make a huge difference when struggling with crisis or distress, whether it’s in addition to mental illness or not.

Healing from trauma takes a lot of work and effort. And going through it alone can make it even tougher. There will be a lot that you will have to do alone in order to recover and heal, but not all of it. Some of it you will need support.

Whether that support plays an active role in your healing or not is entirely up to you. You set the rules for who you will turn to for support and what role they might play.

Of course, you can’t dictate what others might say or do, and they might not always be as helpful or as supportive as you like or need, but having imperfect support can be more helpful than having no support at all.

It may take you some time and searching to find the proper support for what you need. Consider professionals and support groups to start with if you aren’t able to rely on family or friends yet.

Your support needs might change as you progress, and you can adapt your support team as needed to reflect that.

If you’re able to build a support team, consider the following:
– Whose presence makes me feel good even when I’m having a bad day?
– Who makes me feel safe when I feel threatened?
– Who makes me feel stronger?
– Who believes in me?
– Who wants me to succeed?
– Whom do I trust to give me good advice?
– Who makes me feel calm and assured, even when I feel doubt?
– Who has personal skills I admire?
– Who displays empathy, compassion, love, friendship, and understanding?

You may be surprised as to who you want on your support team. And again, if family and friends are not in a position to support you, or won’t meet your current needs, then consider other options like professional therapy, peer support groups, or facilitator-led support groups for now.

You don’t have to let anyone know that they are your support, or you can have a discussion with them regarding it, especially if you have any specific needs you may have that they can assist with, for example, if you have a crisis plan or suicide prevention plan and need another person you trust to help implement the plan in times of distress. It’s up to you.

This is about your needs. What do you need in terms of support? Who do you want for support?

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