I know what it feels like to be this tree.
Looking at all kinds of perfect from the outside but in reality feeling isolated with an overpowering sense of drowning/suffocating/sinking. It’s the depth of feeling you’ll never believe until you experience it, and you’ll always wonder how you survived it.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It can lead us to believe that no one IS supporting us, or CAN support us, the way we need.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
But I think there are a few reasons why we often feel so unsupported, and they bear talking about as they give context to the conversation about mental illness and support…⠀⠀⠀
1. The incapacity of our friends & family to support us is an actual thing, and it’s no one’s fault. We’re getting really good at actively defining our boundaries as a way of managing our own mental health. In this rushed, modern lifestyle that has us holding ourselves to unrealistic expectations, we’re all struggling to keep the balance. And no matter how much we care about those in our lives, we can’t possibly hold space for others in great need, to the extent they need, without compromising our own stability.⠀
2. Disconnection and miscommunication. (To be expected when we’re mentally ill TBH). Who has the energy or capacity to talk about feelings that don’t even have words, to express what can’t be expressed, to be our most vulnerable when we’re trying to survive each day? Peopling is hard – and maintaining healthy, open connections when we’re shut down, with a low sense of self, utterly self-consumed with our own survival seems near impossible! (It’s not, it just seems it). This can make it *so difficult* to support or be supported! (And this is where we’d do well to take the focus of every mental health campaign off ‘talking about it’ and onto ‘connecting with others’ #connectionbeforecommunication) (Plus if you follow this page you’ll know that an overactive amygdala causes the Broca’s Area in the brain to become less active – which makes talking physically the hardest thing in the world).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3. Some people are assholes… These people are the discriminators. If you’re being excluded, overlooked or shafted because of your disability or mental health – then you aren’t actually being ‘unsupported’ – you’re being discriminated against. And there’s no excuse for discrimination, even when it stems from ignorance. We should totally focus more on ‘breaking the discrimination’ as opposed to ‘breaking the stigma’, ‘cause stigma is a concept – a self-perpetuating belief that we keep alive by talking about all the time, but discrimination is an actual, tangible thing that CAN be stopped. Bring down the assholes!! (Being careful not to confuse them for the largely unhelpful but often very loving, pure of intent, full of concern people from points 1 and 2, those people are doing the best they can).
Anyway, just a few intense theories I needed to get out of my noggin, aimed at helping us all be more gentle on ourselves. Don’t kick yourself if you feel you can’t support those in your life the way they need, and if you’re longing for greater support in your life, know that there are people around you who care. We’re all doing the best we can.
Except for the assholes. Discrimination is never ok.
Ok, story over xxx
Get instant access to this free online webinar with Alli to discover how to support your child’s behaviours using brain care not behaviour management. https://www.allisondavies.com.au/brains-webinar/