Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Finding the Support that is Right for You

Some days, the world just doesn't level out in the morning the way you would like it to.  Maybe you didn't sleep we'll the night before or you woke up feeling cruddy. Maybe your body has aches or pains somewhere or the fog of depression or anxiety settles over you. Or maybe things just don't feel right. Not because something is actually wrong; just things don't feel right either. 

Now, it is true that thinking positively can help elevate your mood and get you through a rough day, but what about those days when you just can't see the positive?  The days when the fog is so thick that you can't see the good ahead of you? That you can't see the potential the day holds?  That is when you need your circle of support. 

Everyone's support circle looks different. For me, part of my support comes from a handful of friends who I know I can turn to. I know they will call me out when negativity is eating me alive.  I know I can call on them to vent my frustrations, opening the path to see good again. I know they will ask me that difficult question that we rarely answer honestly, especially to strangers, "How are you today?" They don't buy into the standard automatic response of "fine" or "ok."  

Yesterday, as I whined about my headache and lack of sleep, my support circle stepped in and reminded me to stop, take a breath, and observe all my blessings. Yesterday, I found out my little circle had grown. A new friend stepped up and reminded me that not all was lost and there were things to be thankful for. She cleared the fog from my vision and reopened my eyes and I am grateful for her friendship. 

What does support look like for you? Is your support friends? Family? Medical professionals? Strangers? Coworkers? Maybe even a pet? All of these are acceptable. Everyone's support looks different. There is no magic formula for what helps you keep going every day. What is important though is that you have that support. If you don't have anyone you can trust to be honest with you or that you can confide in, find someone.  Join a support group.  Find a recreational sports group. Recruit friends and family that you are comfortable with. Explore the option of a therapist or counselor. Find that safe haven where you can let your guard down and be brutally honest with yourself and/or someone else.  Then, expand from there. After all, we don't want to overwhelm our support. One person can only carry so much of your load.  Spread it between multiple people and everyone is more comfortable and productive. 

And if you don't know if you can venture out and start your support network, start here, with me and my readers. This is a no judgement zone. Ask questions, share your feelings, needs, and struggles. If posting in the comments here is too much, send me a private email.  We all need someone sometime. Let's help each other.