Feeling alone at a bad time can be the difference between recovery and relapse. Everyone deserves to be heard, their problems validated. Whether it’s a friend, partner, or even finding a community online, people need a person or place to go to where they feel like they’re being heard and cared for. I’m incredibly lucky to have a lot of people in my life who care about my well-being and will listen to me rant all night if that’s what I need.
It is so important to surround yourself with people who genuinely care, whether you live with a mental illness or not. It’s harder to grow without support and encouragement. If you are struggling and feel like you have nowhere to go, don’t give up. Speak to the people you’re closest to about what’s going on, chances are that they probably had no idea the extent of your troubles, or what you read as ‘not caring’ was them just misjudging the situation. It may be that you need to sit down with them and discuss your needs and expectations if they become your ongoing support. We have so much to gain from talking and being open and honest with each other.
There are other options if this doesn’t work out: The mental health charity, Mind, have over 100 branches all over the UK that offer peer support and other services. If it’s within your budget, you could also consider counselling. I felt amazing after completing 11 months of counselling and it was great having a dedicated hour every week where I could vent my frustrations and analyse every thought without judgement. And finally, if neither of these options are available to you, the internet is full of wonderful resources for your mental health. Online forums and organisations, such as The Buddy Project, The Mighty, and The Blurt Foundation, and even social media (mostly Twitter) have provided me with safe spaces and like minded supportive people who will listen and give advice. I love being on Twitter, I feel like I’m part of a huge family where we all help each other out and lift each other up, it’s such a positive community and I’m proud to be a part of it.
Whatever your needs, there is a supportive network out there for you. Go and find it, and don’t give up. You may be able to face your troubles alone, but it’s a lot easier if you’re in good company.