Humans are creatures whom thrive when in a group and have support. We like to think we can tackle this work alone but this has a limited life span. In order for us to progress, strive for excellence and succeed, we require the support, knowledge and presence of others.
When we feel ill, we tend to want to cuddle up on the sofa with junk food and be comforted by our loved one such as your mum.
When you face a mental illness, something which many can’t relate too and strains relationships. The support and love can diminish. Not at fault of anyone’s. Mental illness can either strengthen or weaken relationships.
Working within mental health, I’ve seen the effect the illness can have on the individual and those around them. Parents, siblings, spouses, children all get affected. If we have a community around us, we can battle anything.
Being there for someone, allowing them to feel what they are going through, allowing the to feel what they want to feel is the most powerful method of support. Trying to impose or manipulate them into your reality is detrimental. Once we realise that if we remove ourselves completely and focus on the person as a human being separate to us, we support them to be who they are and experience their reality, to which we can then be wholly apart of.
The method of being person-centred will help someone more than if you try and say “helpful quotes” or compare to situations you’ve been through. This tactic doesn’t help, as you as the supposedly listener aren’t listening, your perceiving and marking assumptions on what you think you hear. But if you actually stop and really listen to other person, be in their world, you will understand what they are going through and feel what they are feeling.
Just being there in their reality with them, sharing in their experience, wholly, gives them comfort and confidence. It can increase self esteem, self worth, being comfortable in themselves and aiding them to understand themselves and experience their reality truly in a safe space; free from judgment, perception, opinion, assumptions or feeling like they are being analysed.
This notion is difficult to ascertain and comprehend, as you have to almost be very self aware of yourself, to detach from oneself to become part of another human being, but still keeping your own self identity.
It’s easy to give up and walk away. The situation may be messy, complicated or very emotionally triggering. But by being there, being the listener can help in more ways you may not even fathom.