Tag Archives: support system

My Support System

I am one of those people with bipolar disorder who happens to have a very strong support system.  These people include my family and friends, doctor and therapist (well, I’m in a transition with that, but my previous one was Rockin’ Awesome Therapist Lady) and also, my cat.  I can call up any one of my sisters and they will lend a solid listening ear no matter what time of the day or night it is.

I also have a simple, low-stress job currently.  It doesn’t provide much pay and doesn’t provide benefits and barely supports my family, but I can surely say it’s the best job I’ve ever had.  I have no worries whatsoever, the owners adore me, and the customers are sweethearts.  (Did you hear that?  I just said the word “customers” and “sweethearts” in the same sentence.  And I totally mean it.  I know you don’t believe me.  You should.)

So in saying all that, I’m pretty lucky.  I once was a manic mess battling myself in a mental hospital.  It gave me a deep, sincere empathy for certain populations of the mentally ill in this country – those who you might see outside a department store, homeless, muttering to themselves.  I truly and honestly believe that that would be my life if it weren’t for all the blessings I have been given to maintain a certain level of sanity in the maintenance of my bipolar disorder.

I did lose my job at one point when I had a manic episode and had to be hospitalized.  I almost didn’t finish college when I had my first psychotic episode and took time to recover.  But I did it.  Thanks to the support.

So if you are someone who loves someone with a mental illness and is supportive, please give yourself a hug.  Because it is HARD WORK and for some of you, you may be the reason that the person you care about is still alive right now.  I know that is true for the ones who helped me when I so desperately needed them.

 

My Support System

I can’t be something I’m not.  So I will continue to write here, to tear open my heart and liver and lungs and let you see inside of me.  I don’t know how to write any other way.  So here goes…

Life has gotten hard.  In some ways.  In some unimportant, typical ways that Life has always been to me and many generations before me.  I stress over all of it – bills, house, money, kids, bills, house, money, kids – it is an endless cycle that continues to perpetuate.

But even in the midst of the difficulties, there is hope.  I see that I have support from so many people in my life.  My husband is my number one – being there to listen to me, help me take care of myself, help me realize that my life isn’t crumbling before my eyes, that Allah test us with difficulties so that we can be rewarded for our patience.  Yasmin Mogahed explains this so well in this link.  (You can view the video, but below her video is a bulleted list of her key points.)

My family is always there, I am blessed with three amazing sisters who have taken care of me, looked out for me, carried me through this life since the day I was born.  There has not been one instance – not one – when they have not been whole-heartedly there for me when I needed them.

My sisters-in-laws are an amazing part of my support system.  They care for me and my family.  They buy my kids everything they’d ever need and more.  They take us out for fun when we’re feeling stressed, they drag me up from the floor when I can’t get up.  They immediately respond to any emergency we encounter (which happens more often than I’d wish!)  They have taught me that it is okay to ask for help, and they have changed their schedules, their plans, their lives for me and my family.  They are both loving, caring and nurturing and I am so grateful to have them in my life.

Yes, I struggle.  Yes, I take on too much.  Yes, sometimes I cannot breathe and I cling to the branch Allah has given to me and beg him to get me out of this.  But he already has given me all the tools I’d ever need, and he has blessed me with a wide and wonderful support system that I am grateful for every day of my life.