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How to be a Friend to Someone with a #Mentalillness

“Why Can’t You Just Get Over It?”

How to be a Friend to Someone with a #MentalillnessThis is a very hot and touchy thing to discuss, but we must get a dialogue to help bring people around and rid the stigma of mental illness. On this week before one of the bigger socially related holidays, St. Patricks Day, this is a big deal. It is a time where friends, Irish or not, gather, drink, eat wonderful boiled dinners (hint this may mean a recipe later this week) and enjoy each other’s company. But there are some friends who have issues, ones that may need cozing to get out of the house…. ones that have mental ilnnesses.

How to be a Friend to Someone with a #Mentalillness

Friendship is hard enough without having to deal with the bigger issues. But every one of us have friends who have those bigger issues. Issues such as mental illnesses. We as a community, as a country, do not talk about this enough. Sure, we are getting better, but we are still not educating enough so the bigger issues become less, so it is not so frustrating for those who do not understand. But this isn’t so much about not understanding, but refusing to understand.

Hello my name is the Abi (or Kriss). I am a mental health friend. You have many, I may be on, but I can tell you you do have at least one. It has been a hard journey and I discovered the hard way one of my friends locally really didn’t accept I had a mental illness. One who has been here each step of the way this last year of my journey to embrace and work on my BPD so I can improve my quality of life. Many of you have been virtual companions on this journey. As you have seen, I dropped doing the one thing that has improved my quality of life, blogging and sharing my love of books and cooking. It has been a hard journey I never want to go through again. Because of this, I promised my therapist I would start blogging again (hearing the cheers).

A friend who has the same mental health issues is still blaming someone else. Every solution I give them, they have an answer for. An answer that does not involve themselves. “I can’t!!” “It is not my fault!”… excuses …. “Just get over it and let’s keep having fun!” UGH!!! Not when it involves not taking care of myself and moving forward. I have learned not to do this anymore. I have learned how to use my tools from my Dialectic Behavioral Therapy not to let a friend be dragged into an issue be between two of us that do have issues and NOT be dragged in-between another.

Learning there are some friends who love us no matter what, no matter how bad it gets for us,  for who we are, has been such a blessing. However, with how much I am feeling blessed, I am also feeling destressed at the same time for the of the subject of this post. As a discussion point, consider the points below.

How to be a Friend to Someone with a #Mentalillness

How do you feel and how do you interact with those of us with mental illness? I am using my DBP therapy to deal with people I assumed were dear friends and learning how to set boundaries . Learning to trust my therapist and my lessons from DBT.  From the standpoint of a woman, lover and mother with mental illnesses, how do I set boundaries? Do I deal with it? Or do I let them go?

For those of you without a mental illness with friends like myself, how do you set your own boundaries? How do you feel you should be with a friend who is going through recovery from their mental illness? Should I expect my friends to listen and learn so our relationship thrives? I think so, what about you?

Let’s start a dialogue!

(oh yes and I will be posting a special recipe this week too!)

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Nicely written Abi. Just know we love you no matter what.

    • thsnk you

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