The Mighty Logo

4 Things I Want the People Who Support Me Through My Mental Illness to Know

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

You know who you are. The people in my life I call at 11 o’clock at night when I’m about to go into a panic attack. The people I spend hours talking to about everything. The people I know I can always depend on, even if we haven’t talked in a while. Because I love you and I care about our relationship, there are some things I want to let you know.

1. Tell me when it’s too much. I tell you a lot, and sometimes I dump all of my crap on you. It’s a lot, I know. It can be overwhelming. But I would rather you tell me you can’t handle my emotions than allow me to pull you into the abyss with me. If you ever need space, let me know, and I will do my best to respect that. I care about you, and I want you to take care of yourself before taking care of me.

2. Give me boundaries. If you tell me when you can’t talk, I know when you say you can talk, you really want to. Boundaries are important for your own well-being, but they’re also important for me. When I need to talk, I need someone’s attention. If you can’t give that to me at a certain time, don’t be afraid to let me know you can’t talk. We can always talk later.

3. Hold to your boundaries. Once you set up boundaries, I will probably push against them. But I need you to hold firm. If that means letting me know when I’m pushing too much, please be honest with me. I really do care about you, and I would never want to do anything that infringes on your personal boundaries and needs.

4. Finally, but most importantly, thank you, thank you, thank you. I know I can be a lot sometimes. I know my feelings are overwhelming because I’m feeling them too. I so appreciate every moment you spend with me or talk to me on the phone. I don’t know how I would get through life without you and your support.

Please remember that as much as you care about me, I care about you too. I want our relationship to be something that benefits the both of us, and I think keeping these things in mind will do that. Thank you for all you do for me, and I look forward to all of our conversations that we are yet to have.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by lovelyday12

Originally published: December 23, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home