On being a support person:

Being someone’s support person is a hard job, but as a human being who needs support, we also need to be able to give it back.

Mental illness and life’s hard moments both are known for knocking us down, and when we get knocked down we need someone more than ever. But honestly, just being alive requires having support, having someone to cheerlead you on. We need that positive push to get us through, we need someone to cheer us on when we win, and comfort us when we lose.

When you have a mental illness, or have gone through a really rough patch, it’s easy to take more support than you give, that’s okay, sometimes we need that, but I really want to talk about giving support back and creating those kinds of relationships.

Going out of your way to support someone is hardly ever going to backfire, especially because to start out, those relationships don’t take a lot out of you. They start small with words of encouragement and some extra time spent caring, then it turns into some of those bigger support tasks (whether it be waiting in the ER with someone or watching their children when they need help). Support is about being there. It’s about being a kind voice of reason and being excited for people. It’s taking an everyday good relationship and pouring a little more effort into it than you feel like is a hundred percent necessary.

Sometimes we are afraid to start pouring more effort into people because we are afraid of what we will get back, but to that I want to raise the question, as long as your not dumping financial support or neglecting your life to push them forward, what really do you have to lose? It might hurt your feelings to not get the support back, but if you give support to enough people some of them are bound to return it, and those that don’t? You can count it as your service to make the world a better place. After all, not everything is about what we get back.

But even without getting support back, we do get that good feeling knowing we’ve helped someone, and that is enough.

Most of this is talking about friendships, there are certain relationships where you are the support system no matter what, children for example, and spouses, though they give it back more than young children. Giving support to family is a different level especially when your in the same household. These are people you spend most your time with. These are people who you need and who need you. It’s not a task to be taken lightly.

We talk about households that lack love or have toxic traits all the time, but I don’t think we talk enough about how much support plays into being a loving good family member. I don’t think we talk about how we need to align ourselves with our loved ones goals and have them align with ours, even if we don’t fully understand them.

We are herd creatures, pack animals. We need each other to thrive. It can be easy to forget that sometimes, but we must not neglect those we love and we need to make sure to give as much as we take, or, sometimes more.

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