I think one of the things that bother me at times when reaching out in speaking to my friends and sometime family, is when they say “I understand”, which is something that I tell the participants in my classes to refrain from saying it to patients when I teach my class. Reason being is, although people can see and sense something may be going on, until they have actually been through what the person has been through, one cannot understand. For example, I suffer from clinical depression and anxiety, with duties of being a wife and mother. My stress tolerance may vary depending on the circumstances. Most of my friends are not married and do not have children. This is not to downplay and say that they do not understand struggles, however, everyone struggle is different, and you cannot totally understand mine, especially if your you have not walked down a similar path . As I have stated before, some things are not meant to be understood and what may work for one person may not work for the other. Yet, the biggest thing that a person can do that loves and cares for a person who deals with a mental illness or who is simply going through struggles in their life is just support. Support by lending an ear, support by taking focus off the struggles (doing a activity, joking, etc.). The biggest thing is to let them know is that you are there no matter what and that you have their back. Turn your “should do’s” and “what you have to do’s” to positive affirmations or “what do you think will help?” or “What can I do to help?” Will it work all the time? No, but its a start.
The last few days have been difficult for me. Although I have a good job, great family, and enjoy helping others especially through Protect Your Crown, I still struggle. Yet, what I am learning everyday is in order for you to understand the blessings God has in store for you, you have to go through the struggle. The more I trust in myself and trust in the plan for me, the easier my struggles get and the struggle become lessons.