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When We Need to Look Past Our Inner Circle for Support While Fighting an Illness

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When it comes to chronic illnesses and/or mental health sometimes those closest to you are the worst.

Family, boyfriend, wife, best friend…all of these people can be a great support network however sometimes they can be too close for comfort. Sometimes they get frustrated because you’re not getting “better,” they may lash out and make you feel worse about yourself.

I understand that being close to someone with a chronic illness or mental health issue can be difficult, however they do need to understand how they are making us feel. They are the ones that love us most, but they can also be the ones that help us least.

This is when we need to find other ways to feel supported.

Here are some things you can do to help yourself if you find yourself in this type of situation:

  1. Talk to the individual, remind them that it’s not your fault and that you want their support, let them know what hurts you and ask them to be mindful.
  2. Reach out to similar people. There are so many good support groups for illnesses and mental health. Generally the people that go are in a similar situation and wont judge. Sometimes talking to a stranger with a common interest can help. You may make some new friends along the way too.
  3. Phone a helpline and get everything off your chest. The call handlers are trained to listen and that is sometimes all you need, they can try and make you see things on a different way.
  4. Write things down, new symptoms, bad thoughts…write them all down to get them out your head so you don’t overthink.

If those closest to you aren’t particularly helpful or good for your well-being you aren’t alone. There are other ways to be heard.

I hear you and I’m here for you.

Solidarity is the best way forward.

Who do you reach out to for support? Tell us in the comments.

Photo credit: fizkes/Getty Images

Originally published: March 4, 2020
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