Link – How to Really Support a Loved One Who’s Struggling with Their Mental Illness
There is a lot of specific things mentioned in the article, but as always it all boils down to this:
“Ultimately, the kindest thing we can do is what we’d do for any loved one struggling with anything: Be there. Be there to listen. Be there to sit with their pain. Be there to encourage them to seek help. And be there to take some of the load off their shoulders.
“It is so comforting for me to simply have the knowledge that I have people in my life that haven’t backed away and have accepted me for who I am,” Kraft said. “People who have stayed. People who have let me know that if I did need them to deliver a meal or pick up my kids from school, they would. Without judgment.”
We don’t tend to think of things like running errands, or picking up groceries as really “helping”, because they don’t do much to address what is really happening. That’s OK though, because what we are accomplishing is something that gives that person just a little extra time/support to do what they need to do to work on getting better.
We help by showing up. So many people dealing with mental health and other struggles don’t have anyone showing up for them, and that, in turn, feeds their lack of self worth and their anxiety. Imagine how different that could look if a handful of people close to them just showed up, in small ways, instead of disappearing at the first sign of struggle as if what they have is contagious?
Just show up. “Half of life is just showing up.”