Ghostbusters! Okay, maybe they can’t help you with your non-ghost problems, but it’s important to know who can. Who do you call when you’re having a bad day? Who can you reach out to when you’re struggling at school? Who do you trust when you’re struggling with your home-life? These answers are integral to ensuring you are focusing on proper mental health care and healthy communication.
What Constitutes Healthy Support?
- Listening– a person who supports you not only listens to your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, but they do so without judgment. They aren’t simply looking to change you or force an opinion on you. True support is there to hold space for you without getting anything in return.
- Consistent– a person who supports you will make time for you, especially if you are going through a rough patch. That doesn’t mean they can give you every moment of their lives, but they will work with you and your schedule to ensure you are supported and heard on a regular basis. They don’t come and go from your life. They are a consistent part of your health and wellness.
- Support Not Enable– a person who supports you listens and validates your feelings and experiences, but they will not enable you. If you are partaking in destructive behaviors or relationships, they will let you know. They will also go above your head if self-harm or abuse is involved. This thought can feel like a betrayal, but keeping you safe stems from care, compassion, and love.
- Honesty– a true supporter will tell you the truth and creates a space that allows you to do so, too. They provide a comfortable space where you can truly be yourself, so much so, you may tell them things you’ve never told anyone else. When you’re honest with yourself and, in turn, others, healing can begin.
- Safe Space– a person who supports you, while still human, has shown you no signs of abuse, toxicity, or harm. They are stable and can consistently offer love, guidance, and emotional support.
- Growth– a true supporter will always push you to be better. This may hurt sometimes to always hear the truth and see yourself through the eyes of another, but people who love us want the best for us. They help us become our best selves. People who care will help us get out of our comfort zones and help us make the best choices for our best possible future.
It’s important to remember that we are all human and to not make the mistake of putting someone on a pedestal. No one is perfect, so make sure you are reminding yourself that your supports are still humans with regular lives who make mistakes.
When it comes to our supports, we also want to ensure we aren’t creating co-dependency. It’s important to be able to reach out to people in a time of need, but it’s just as important to learn how to support yourself in those moments if others are occupied with their own lives. Lean on your supports, but remember: this time of growth means learning how to lean on yourself.
Who Supports Me?
You don’t need a whole army of support. You need a few key people in your life you can connect with who will give you the support and guidance you need. This could come in the form of a family member or family friend, a friend, a teacher, a therapist, or a coach.
So now, ask yourself: Who supports you unconditionally? Who ensures you’re feeling okay? Who is there to listen to? Most importantly, who hears you but doesn’t enable negative or self-destructive behaviors? When it comes to a confidant, someone you can trust to help and support, you want to ensure they have your best interest in mind. Take some time to evaluate the people in your life and make sure to tell those who care for you that you see them and they matter.
Learning to Support Yourself
No matter where you are on your health and wellness journey, the goal is to learn how to support yourself. Yes, you can always rely on a group meeting, a therapist, and close friends and family, but it’s important to learn how to cope and manage your feelings when no one else is available or present. While you work through addiction issues, mental health illness or trauma, be sure to create the ultimate support with yourself. Ask yourself how you are. Make some time to get to know yourself, just as you would a new friend. You might be surprised at how deep the relationship can get.
Sometimes we can’t find the right supports in our families, schools, or communities, and that’s okay. If you or an adolescent you know is struggling with addiction or mental health issues, you can always reach out to the Bougainvilla House. We are here to support you! We offer individual and group therapy programs, along with family counseling to help bring you closer to those who love and care for you. Let us help you create the ultimate support with your community and most importantly, yourself. Call today to learn about our programs and treatment options: (954) 764-7337