How To Be A Good Friend To Someone Suffering With Mental Illness

 

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As someone who has suffered with Depression, Anxiety and OCD, I feel like I can safely say this has led to some detachment, from my friends over the years. Especially when things were really tough for me. Getting ready to go out whilst suffering with depression, and feeling as if I had no energy for the smallest of things. Pair that with the added struggle of it taking me hours to get ready due to my OCD, it was just all too much. Too much to do the normal things and also too much to do the fun things, for example go out with friends like a normal teenager/ young adult would have. So what did I do? I just stopped. I stopped saying yes to things and I detached myself from people. Unfortunately at the age I was I felt not many people understood what I was going through, but that feeling is something everyone going through a hard time can experience at any age.

Can I really blame people for giving up on me when I’d said no to going out again and AGAIN. I understand how frustrating it must feel to constantly be trying with someone who doesn’t seem to want to do anything especially if they don’t explain and you don’t understand. At the same time that person needs someone more than ever even if they push you away and only want you from a far. So I thought I would try to write a list of a few things, that I think are good ideas to help you feel as if you are being a good friend to someone you may know is struggling.  You can feel so useless when its a matter of the mind, no plaster, tablet or trip to the doctors is going to fix it. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that can be done to make that person feel loved and supported, it’s just a little trickier. This can also relate to family and partners to.

 ♥ Talk to them. Let them know that you are always there to talk to and you’re not just saying it. Check in on them if you’ve not heard from them or they’ve gone quiet and you know they’re going through some stuff. This will let them know that there not a burden and you really do care and want to listen. It sounds obvious but sometimes they won’t come to you, from fear that you won’t understand or you’ll be dragged down with their problems.

♥  Invite them places but don’t be too pushy. Don’t just give up on them after they’ve said no. Try to understand where they’re coming from, and even ask whats making them not want to go out. Ask if there is anything that they would be comfortable doing if it’s not the thing you’ve suggested. I know it may feel pointless but still inviting them out even if you are expecting a no shows you’re still here when they’re ready. Perhaps they don’t want to go to that party or group event but would prefer a smaller social setting with just you and them. Keep trying but give them space too, find the balance of caring but not making them feel forced.

 ♥  So they don’t want to go out? Suggest a cosy night in, in your favourite comfies with films, face masks and comfort food. That kind of evening doesn’t require much energy or preparation and is the perfect time for you both to vent to each other and have a laugh.

♥  Confide in them about your own personal struggles if you have any that relate. Just hearing someone around you has had similar struggles, thoughts and feelings can be such a comfort when you feel alone.

♥  Talk to them about getting help if they aren’t. If you think your friend is suffering with a mental health problem, and they’re not talking to anyone about it or receiving help, you should encourage them to. If you also think that person is in danger of hurting themselves or isn’t able to see they need it desperately, it’s best to confide in someone close to them like a parent or teacher.

♥  Let them know you’re thinking of them by popping round their house spontaneously, you could even take some flowers as a little pick me up. A lovely thing I recently came across is something called a buddy box, you can send them to someone who’s going through a rough time or even buy them for yourself. There full of little cute and comforting things, which they call a hug in a box. You can find out more about that here (https://www.blurtitout.org/). Sometimes when your feeling low and happiness seems a distant memory a little thing like that can mean so much. Even if it’s just for a moment, they will feel so grateful and happy to have you in their life.

♥  Send them a positive quote, I love a good quote and they’re everywhere on the internet. It sounds cheesy I know, but I could really relate to some of them when I was struggling. It can help you see things in a positive light for a change and give someone a different way of thinking about their situation.

At the end of the day you aren’t that persons carer and they don’t expect you to dedicate all your time and self to making them better. Only they can do that. I think some of these are a lovely way to make a gesture to show your there for them in that time of need.

 Keep smiling,

Anna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feel Good Friday: Happy Nearly Easter

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So it only seemed fitting that I do today’s ‘Feel Good Friday’ post about Easter, seeing as it’s in a couple of days! I wasn’t sure what to write about on the topic of Easter as so many people have different views on it, some celebrate it because of Jesus Christ and the Bible and others just celebrate as an occasion.Which is giving each other chocolate eggs, Easter egg hunts and seeing family etc. Others might not even celebrate it at all, which is ok to. Then I thought well how ever you decide to spend your Easter, I hope it’s a good one and how you spend it makes you happy.

Even if your not receiving an Easter egg of someone, go buy yourself one and enjoy it, its Easter so don’t feel guilty about the chocolate your eating, it’s an excuse right? Another thing that comes hand in hand with Easter is holidays, which means people get time of work!! In the UK we get a 4 day weekend, so make the most of it, see your family, scoff chocolate, enjoy the spring weather and RELAX.

 Happy Friday and Happy Easter for Sunday!

Anna♥

Feel Good Friday: Memories

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Yesterday I was feeling all emotional looking at my Baby book and thinking of when I was a child. I don’t know why but looking at old stuff reminds me of who I was and who I want to be as in this crazy modern life we live, It’s easy to get lost in life stresses and petty arguments about things that aren’t important. When I look back at me as a child and all the memories I have kept in a big box, it feels me with many emotions, sadness because I’m not where I’d think I would be when I was a child instead I’m fighting OCD, depression and anxiety but at the same time happiness for all the great things I have done and its a reminder that even though things can seem tough at times, I didn’t always feel like that and I won’t always feel the way I might do right now. You can check yourself and go back to that same happiness just as an adult or slightly older person that’s gained some life skills. Hold on to memories and when you feel like you don’t know who you are or who you want to be, look back at old things and remind yourself of where you came from, where it all started. I feel so grateful to have the family I do and looking back at the memories makes me realise who the few people are who have stuck by me since day 1 no matter what. My family. Which I am so grateful for as I know some people aren’t as lucky as me.

I keep all my memories in a box under my bed from medals, swimming badges, gymnastics leotards, my brownie sash, things from holidays, photos etc all sorts,  I also have other big things that don’t fit into this box like toys in my loft! I love looking through it every now and then, don’t ever throw away those memories keep them and then you can look back and feel all nostalgic and re live them with the people you shared them with. Memories are priceless, compared to the superficial things we spend our money on, nothing can replace the feelings and sentimental value of the items that bring back happy memories.

I apologise for the quality of the photographs in this post, blame the photographer who definitely wasn’t me (cough cough).

 My huge over filled box of memories!

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 Below is my  teeny tiny gymnastic leotards,  I done gymnastics from a very young age until I was about 11! Here’s a fun fact about the long-sleeved leotard, I actually came home from gymnastics one night and waited to long for the toilet then as you can imagine it’s not the best thing to be wearing when you’re in a hurry to get to the toilet, unfortunately the damage was done, I wet myself, luckily I was at home, TMI?

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In the next photo is my Disney jumper from Florida, my brownie sash full of badges, a  giraffe puppet I made in year 6 and last but not least a huge folder of badges, the certificate showing in the picture was a swimming achievement, I loved swimming and have tons of certificate and badges from that!

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In the above picture there is a signature book from Florida, that lady’s and gentlemen is the REAL Aladdin’s autograph ;), on the right hand side I have balloon  that was given to me on my 18th birthday as 18 is one of those big birthdays in England! To the left is my baby book which I was reading through yesterday and one of the things I liked from the ‘first time’ section was this..

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My mum said she wrote this just because I had a strong neck but I like to thing it’s because I have been holding my head high since day 1 and I still am no matter what!

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This picture is a photo from my baby book of my brother holding me when I was just born, look how pleased he is with his perfect baby sis!

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Last but not least a video of me doing trampolining and as you can see from the date its old, 1998 I was only 4! I love watching this I was the  cutest thing, I want to get this put onto DVD as its pretty hard to come by a video player now a days!

Happy Friday,

Let me know in the comments if you have a box full of memories or if you like to hoard that sort of thing!

Anna

Feel Good Friday

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Lately since I have been feeling more positive and optimistic I have really been looking around me and appreciating things more and feeling very grateful for my family and also the support and happiness that has and is still growing within me since starting this blog.

The quote above is so true you should never ever sacrifice your family for anything, they are some of the people that we can rely on most in our lives, as I have found, when I’ve had no close friends my family have become my support and friends! You should never sacrifice your heart either, and by this I think it means always be true to yourself and who you are and never sacrifice your heart and happiness for someone who doesn’t appreciate your talents and how special in your very own way you are. Lastly dignity, this relates to not sacrificing your heart to, I think this means have enough dignity to walk away from anything that does not serve you a purpose or make you happy and never sacrifice your dignity in fear of not pleasing other people and them not liking you, have enough respect for yourself or people will walk all over you and not respect you.  So keep your family close, stay true to yourself and always have enough dignity to walk away from anyone who doesn’t believe in you and respect you. Today try to take a second and look around you and see all the good things you have to be grateful for, whether you’re going through a tough time or not, try to find a light in the darkness you’re facing!

Happy Friday ♥

Anna x