It seems that the subject of mental illness generates more interest and opinion than a rowdy Parliamentary debate. With so many voices to listen to when you are seeking answers and guidance things can get confusing. This can be on many subjects: What medication should I take? What therapy should I do? Should I listen to their advice? All I can advise you through my own experience is to listen to your own voice. Only you understand your body and mind better than anyone else.

Loved ones often struggle to support those with mental illness purely based on the fact that they do not understand. They often over react protectively, blaming themselves and wondering where it all went wrong. Or you may have experienced the opposite end of the scale, a loved one who is very strong and comes from a generation of putting things in a box. I myself have experienced both. I love my parents dearly- but they both have very different ways of supporting me with my mental illness and at times it has been more damaging than helpful. My dear father is very protective, and has often blamed himself. Where as my loving mother is a very strong lady who puts together an action plan and moves on quickly. Both have been amazing supporting me, but with so many different voices advising me how to cope with my mental illness it has left me very confused and frustrated.

I was in a recovery house recently for my depression, and spoke to a psychiatric nurse about my ever growing confusion and frustration about my recovery plan when he asked me, “I understand what your loved ones are saying, but what do you want to do?” This simple question empowered me. It allowed me to recognise that I was so worried about pleasing others that I forgot the most important voice; my own.

Only doctors and nurses can advise, loved ones can only support us, but only you can speak for yourself, because only you truly understand how you are feeling and what you need. Take the advise of others, but do not forget to listen yourself. Discuss with others medication and therapy but realise that everybody is different. What works for someone else may not work for you.

And to those that want to support loved ones with mental illness, we do not need to hear your opinion and we do not need you to understand, we need you to listen.

Amy Belle


11 thoughts on “Mine

  1. Couldn’t agree more! I always say, that whatever the doctors and “professionals” may say to you, and they may have years of experience and some may actually have some insights, but no one can know what you go through on a day to day basis (except maybe, like me, the person you share a dwelling with/are in a committed relationship with) and I have had doctors in the past not believe I have the illnesses that I do. But then some have made some amazing insights for me.

    My childhood was rocky, I had one parent who was building me up as a person but the other who was destroying me. Sadly, the AssFace parent (that worm – which is an insult to worms – does not deserve to be referred to as anything other than “AssFace”) was able to destroy me faster than my mum was able to repair. She blames herself, but it is NOT HER FAULT.
    My partner, dear dear man he is, puts up with so much from me. I love him like no one else. I feel guilty that he puts up with so much, but I know that if the circumstances were reversed, I would do everything and anything to support him.

    I think I got off track. Sorry, I’m pre-coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad that your recovery nurse asked you that question and that I read this today. I needed to hear it.

    What do I want? I’ve spent so long thinking about others. That’s a very good question.

    Liked by 1 person

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