Having had a shitty week, then an amazing 24hrs from Friday eve to Saturday evening, Sunday was like a punch in the face and back to reality with a giant bump.
I felt awful on Sunday. My kids were HORRIBLE aaaaaall day. Whining, crying, fighting, being rude, answering back, meltdowns, all the great traits of toddlers we know and love. Yes I know that they are often mirrors of my mood but it doesn’t help.
I know it’s in my head but I felt very alone and unsupported last week and on Sunday. I felt annoying and grumpy around everyone else. And talking to a friend who is trying to support her bf through depression in all the right ways, and another friend who is herself becoming stronger and more confident following mental illness to the detriment of her relationship, it got me thinking, how do people with mental illnesses need helped? It’s not obvious or the same as physical illness.
Newsflash. If you know someone with a mental illness it is NOT up to them to tell you about it and how they want helped. It is up to YOU to research, speak to people and work out how to help them.
Not only do they probably not know how they need helped, but they don’t want to ask / go on about it seemingly to attract attention.
Now we all know that dealing with a partner, family member or friend with a mental illness is not easy or fun, and very difficult for all involved. BUT, I can guarantee that they feel worse, guilty for putting you through it and they certainly don’t owe you anything for helping them.
So please, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, parents, family and friends, suck it the fuck up. Their problem is your problem. Do some research. Talk to people for your own support and for advice. Look out for the signs when your loved ones are saying they are ‘fine’ and they are definitely not. Prevent episodes or meltdowns by supporting ALL the time, not just when they are feeling shit.
And absolutely, definitely, stop saying ‘just let me know what I can do’ or ‘call if you need anything’.
I feel confident that how good I felt on Friday will become more common and regular, but in the meantime I need to continue to manage my mood as best I can.