Being strong for those who need you, while still needing strength for yourself is one of the challenges of acting as a peer support for those around you. I have found through twitter, this blog and the support groups that i go to, that I have a following of about 8-10 people who have come to rely on me for help and support.
I know that I am strong, that I "present well" as they say. I don't look sick anymore. 6 months ago I looked terrible, these days I look fatter with side effects and sad, but not really sick. I also have always had a knack for helping people out of difficult situations, giving advice, figuring out what they are going to do with the rest of their lives, in relationships, in their careers. I have always liked playing this role. I take after my father in that respect, though he is the one that my friends go to for advice!
Taking on the role of "mental health advocate" has meant that my role as supporter within the mental health community has expanded. I seem to be a cheerleader for some, a sounding board for others, someone that they can whine or vent to when they are in a bad/sad mood, general pillar of strength for others, it feels like.
What this role does not allow, is for me to be weak, for me to need help, for me to have a bad day, for me to be depressed, for me to need someone with strength to support me. I do get strength from helping others, or else I would not do it. I enjoy being able to help people. This does make me feel better, but it is not supportive of my battle with mental health. I have found strength in some of the support groups that I attend, but even there, I have found that I have people who "look up to me as an example of strength". Does this role allow for me to be the weak one sometimes? It certainly doesn't feel like it.
Thanks for visiting my little blog, Please note that this is my online diary, thoughts & feelings expressed on this blog are mine & mine alone. I hope that you will take the time to comment & tell me what you think about the things that I write. If you do not wish to know what I am thinking in my tiny little head then please do not read on, but I will not apoloize for my spelling (although I'm trying to be better!) or my posts!
Thanks for stopping by,