(April 14, 2009)

The importance of a support system is common knowledge, especially when you have a mental health issue. Actually, everyone alive needs some kind of support system. I spoke in my last post about how hard it can be to find people who will listen to us and support us when we’re going through a depression. But we need people of all kinds – for all phases of our lives – if we’re going to stay well.

What kind of support do I need? These are the ones I’ve come up with, though there may be more. They’re not in any particular order.

1. I have a full life and a mind that overflows with ideas. I need people who will listen to me as I debrief. I am close to these people and call or email them often.
2. I need people who will listen to me when I’m in deep trouble – people who will comfort me and pray with me.
3. I need my husband, a partner who eats, works, and plays with me.
4. I need friends who have the same disorder as I do – people who understand me fully.
5. I need people to support, because that takes me out of the victim role and helps me feel good and strong. In the giving I receive.
6. I need friends who share my writing and photography interests.
7. I need friends to just have fun with – to have over for a barbecue or go out with.
8. I need family to do family things with.
9. I need a pastor and a counselor in whom I can confide.
10. I need a psychiatrist who respects me and looks after my medical needs, considerate of my opinion and desires.
11. I need woman friends to have discussions with about life – to give encouragement to and receive encouragement from.
12. I need fellow Living Room facilitators to discuss problems with.
13. I need to have a close relationship with God.