I was inspired to write this when the Pandas Foundation said they are going to hold a Twitter chat on Sunday discussing this subject.
How did this affect your friendships?
Did it make them stronger?
Did you fall out with your friends or lose contact?
Did they support you?
Unfortunately I lost a few of my friends, one friend never really understood what I was going through and thought I had nothing to be depressed about as I had a husband and a baby that was healthy.
I guess the old saying, you never really understand until you have had to face it yourself, is true.
I thought they would support me or at least be there for me. I didn’t want to be a burden. But I didn’t expect them to treat me like that.
Most of my friends that didn’t have children didn’t keep in touch or check in. I guess life gets in the way and people move on.
It’s the people you least expect that step up and support you when you need it the most.
The god mother to my child, one of my closet friends, was amazing. She didn’t leave my side when I was in the hospital and she supported me when I got out.
She has listened to me rant and cry.
She has been there for me and my husband. She has a close bond with my daughter too.
I truly believe people show their true colours when you need them the most. Maybe it’s because they don’t fully understand. Maybe it’s because they can’t be bothered to get involved, or maybe it’s because they didn’t care enough.
I now know that having a mental illness can be the most lonely, isolating feeling in the world.
You always ask yourself, why me?
It’s heart breaking when someone you thought would support you turns out, to not be the person you thought they were.
I always wish that the people that criticise and say things like ‘it’s a pretty common mental illness though isn’t it, you’ll be fine’ would think before they speak.
The people that down play how serious a mental illness is, think!
Or any other mental illness.
To the person that is suffering it is everything to them. Their whole life becomes that illness in the early days and they may never get over it, instead cope with it. So when you find out that your friend has a mental illness, support them. You don’t have to be on a 24 hour watch.
Ask them once in a while if their ok. Let them know that you are there to listen if they need to talk.
Don’t make it sound like it’s the most common thing to have, like it’s the latest trend.
To them it’s a matter of trying to live.
I completely understand that people may feel uncomfortable when it comes to knowing what to say and what not to say. But sometimes a listening ear is all that’s needed.
Be as supportive as you can be. You don’t have to understand what’s going through someone’s mind to be there for them.