Tuesday, 25 July 2017

DAY 55: Secrets To My Favourite Life - 5

Companionship

I've learned the hard way that distancing yourself from others will be your downfall. When I am of ill mental health, the support of others goes a long way. You have got to figure out who is a benefit to you and who you should keep around. For a long time I felt embarrassed that I had to rely on others for emotional support, but it's better to perhaps put that little bit of pride aside for your sake of mental wellbeing. I am a person who has always been there to support others, so the few times I have sought it out - I suppose it's only fair, as it's a mutual support situation. You will find, if you have the right people around you - they will be more than happy to be there for you when you need them.

For support, I have quite a small circle. Recently I have made a lot of friends: in the past few months I've met a bunch of new people and gotten to know them better, however I do view them in more of a manner where I'd invite them out but not necessarily call them late at night to vent. I approach my closest friend a lot, because I've known her for 10 years and she has always been available for me - and she also is very intelligent, so I value her opinions and feedback when I vent my frustrations. When I need a lift up, I have several friends who are there to pick me up and make me feel good or just make me laugh. I don't think I'd be in this good place mentally now if it weren't for my friends who stuck by me through the bad.

I have a healthy love life. Although it's one thing I vow never to disclose fully anymore on social medias or anything. However, where my downfall is - I don't let people really in anymore and I recognise that's something I need to work on. When you have someone betray you in a relationship, it starts you off on peculiar footing when it comes to your romantic life afterwards, but I am okay with this at the moment. It's nice to have others take interest and know that you will not be left lonely. As a person, I'm someone who is very intimate and emotional so even though I do not need the companionship romantically or crave it, my personality flourishes when I have somebody to bounce off of. I recognise that achieving positive mental health is not bringing your damaged side to your romantic life, and I'm almost there, but in the same vein - being able to allow someone to see you for all you are and all you feel, is a special thing. Having a romantic companion can really help, but don't tell yourself it's necessary because it isn't. I have such a positive relationship with myself, and I wouldn't seek a relationship with another if it jeopardised that. I had rejected a lot of men out of fear because I felt so bereft from my last relationship, but I'm at a place now where I have so much more confidence in myself and I feel less vulnerable with men, so I've allowed myself to feel less fearful of some investment.

You choose your friends and you choose your partner, but what you can't choose is your family. Some people do pull the short straw, you might not have a wildly supportive family who care about you intimately and emotionally. I've been lucky in that I do have a really lovely, healthy family dynamic and I've never been scared to discuss things like my mental health. However, I do encourage everyone to try and speak to family members about things like this. You won't know their reaction until you just discuss it, they may be more supportive than you think. If you have a family who are vastly unsupportive, I appreciate you may feel you want to distance yourself from sharing with them - which is okay too. I've seen people in situations with their families where the best option is to move further from them, and although it's not ideal, it's about what is best for your health.

So I've described all the ways I have a good support system and companionship, however, I never really went into how I achieved this. I know a lot of you reading may feel you would benefit from this companionship but don't know how to achieve it. Go out and talk to people is my best advice. Aim to make several conversations with people everyday, I always make friends when I'm out in the evening, and it really makes my confidence flourish too knowing that I can socialise really well and that I am likeable. If you're too anxious to be so heads on, try following people you think are interesting online and interacting with a few of their posts, keep it casual - it could work! Also, if you are in a really desperate place - normally there are support groups available where you can meet others with similar mental health issues as yourself and it gives you a place to discuss it and even just meet others who know how it feels to not feel great. To find these support groups perhaps speak to your doctor, or approach local mental health charities - which you can find from a google search of your country and 'mental health charity'.

Don't make yourself lonely, it will really not make you feel great. When I surrounded myself with people who loved me, it made my life better. I also discussed cutting people off before, and thats the people who are really detrimental to your mental wellbeing, don't just cut off everyone - that's isolating yourself without good reason. Don't cancel the people who are rooting for you.