My support system

17 Aug

I’ve mentioned already in previous posts that my husband, parents, brother and wife,  in-laws and my sister-in-law are all incredibly supportive and loving when it comes to helping me manage my bipolar disorder. They are the people I consider to be on the front lines of my support system. The inner circle.

But there is an additional outside ring to my support system circle. I guess you could call it my secondary support system. But it doesn’t mean that it is any less important than the inner circle. I consider them to be almost equal.

I had a call tonight from an old family friend. He’s actually one of my dad’s best friends from college and he and his wife live fairly close to where I am. He calls and checks in on me from time to time and I feel lucky to have him. He’s in my support system because he knows about my condition and he almost always asks how I’m feeling at some point in our conversations. And I know that if I ever needed help, I could call on him and he would be there. Along with his wife and their kids who I am also close with.

It’s so important to have a strong support system in place, especially when you are dealing with a disease like Bipolar Disorder. Having people who know you inside and out, and who aren’t afraid to ask you, “How have you been feeling? and, “Are you taking your meds?” can seem so simple, yet can mean the difference between life or death for some people.

I have five girlfriends who know my history and I can always talk with them about my struggles. They mean the world to me. They call me out if they notice something is off about my mood. I know that I am very lucky.

Two of these girlfriends even came to visit me in the hospital after I had my son and was hospitalized when he was just five weeks old. They came to a psych ward. The crazy house. They saw me at one of my lowest lows, and yet, they do not think any less of me. I sometimes think that I don’t thank them often enough for their support. I need to work on that.

Be thankful for those people in your life who support you no matter what. Remember that they were there at your low points, and they helped pick you back up. This way you can repay the favor when you notice they could use a little support. Because the road goes both ways.

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6 Responses to “My support system”

  1. LunaSunshine August 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    I am so glad to finally be able to visit and comment on your site. I’ll be honest, I haven’t had very good internet access outside of a Blackberry. And… well, I couldn’t figure out where I could find the subscribers to Pendulum. Haha.

    I am so glad to read that you have an amazing support system. You not only have your own family, but your husband’s family and a number of friends. Having a good support system is the first line of defense. It’s practically imperative when managing symptoms and balancing life. You are so incredibly lucky to have that. Not everyone does.

    But, here’s another support system. Us. Here, on WordPress, on Canvas. This is the support system that means the most to me. Family and friends may be able to hug< kiss, take calls in the middle of the night, make sure you get to appointments, etc. But they can never really know. You know? This is the only place I've ever found where people truly understand. And even more, they *want* to help – even though they may not know your real name, where you live, or even what your face looks like.

    Keep writing. We'll be here to read.

    • bipolarandpregnant August 31, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

      Thanks Lulu. I totally agree with you. The blogging world is full of supportive people like you and me who just want to help others. I’m glad we’re able to do it – to encourage each other to keep going – because there are people out there who are benefiting from what we are doing. I know it.

      You keep writing too. It’s important to me. And to many more people out there.

      • LunaSunshine August 31, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

        Every day, I try to find more bloggers. I always want to see what they have to say. Mostly, it rings so true. I want to connect. I just love having that network where people have been there.

        And that’s why we created Canvas in order to bring all of the bloggers together.

  2. Ruby Tuesday August 31, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    I am thankful for those people, because outside of my family, I can count them on one hand, no thumb. I’m not bitter. There was a time when I may have been, but now those people who have walked with me and held my hand through Hell, I just realize how much more incredible they are.

    • bipolarandpregnant August 31, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

      It’s good to have a strong support system, and by strong I mean in quality not necessarily quantity. And I completely agree with you – when a friend or family member “holds your hand through hell and back”, you most certainly realize just how much they mean to you.

    • LunaSunshine August 31, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

      I’m going to say this, but before I do, I want to clear it up. I’m not bitter about this. I used to be very resentful, but I’m only kind of sad about it now. Most of my friends and family would come to my aid only if I were in a serious, emergency crisis. And that’s more out of their moral obligation to do so.

      Doing this on my own has made me stronger in some ways. I know that I have no other options. If I fall, I will not be caught. So I do everything I can to stay away from the ledge.

      But even better than that, it helped me find you guys. And it’s been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.

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