Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What To Do When You Have No Emotional Support


Hello Dear Readers! Sorry my posts have been so sporadic! I’ve been working myself to the bone! Keep an eye out though. I’m going to have a Guest Post for you soon!


Today I want to talk about something I think a lot of us deal with at some point in our lives, if not for long periods of time in our lives: What to do and/or how to cope when you have no emotional support beyond yourself.


At some point in your life, for whatever reason, you might find yourself alone. Not just emotionally alone, but physically alone. In need of emotional support.


There are the professional options that many of us need and probably should seek. However due to many reasons such as financial difficulties or general lack of therapeutic resources in your area of the world this might not be an option for you. Many of us are embarrassed or don’t believe in therapy as well. Whatever your reason, this might not be an option. Maybe you want to, but you’re a single parent and you can’t leave your kids or you don’t have transportation. Maybe you have a spouse that just doesn't give you emotional support (this is a whole different bottle of badness, really). Whatever. Shit happens.

So what do you do?

You do the best you can. You will struggle. A lot. Sometimes you’ll flounder.  Sometimes you’ll think you can’t take it anymore and one more thing will be the thing that breaks you. And then that one more thing happens and miraculously you find the strength to push through.


Often times the problem is we don’t have family, or friends, or people that we know because we’re new to an area, but that doesn’t mean support doesn’t exist somewhere.


1.      Therapy - If you have the means, don’t be afraid to seek a counselor or therapist. It’s not even something off the wall anymore. It’s practically mainstream now. Everyone and their neighbor sees a therapist these days.


2.   Support Groups – They’re not as formal as therapy. Often they’re hosted at your local libraries or churches.  You can meet other people that are struggling with issues similar to what you’re dealing with. Maybe you won’t be able to find a Borderline support group, but at least look for something that hits on an issue or two that struggle with so you don’t feel so alone and that you know that there are others out there for you.


3.     Community Involvement – Even if it’s not specific to your issues, get involved. This is something that my friends don’t often realize. Just having them around is SUPER good for me. If I’m really depressed and having a hard time, I don’t necessarily talk about my problems, but just getting out and doing something that you enjoy, even if it’s with people that you don’t know yet, can be a big help.


4.    Journal – I’ve said this many, many, many times before. Write those thoughts, feelings, and emotions down. They don’t have to make sense. Just get them out. They can be so overwhelming when they’re just an intangible mass floating around up there in your mind. Get them on paper so you can look at them and really get a sense of them. Get them organized so you can deal with them and maybe do something about them. Even if you can’t do anything about them, I almost always find that when I get my feelings out on paper that they seem lessened and easier to handle. It’s a huge relief.


5.    Cry – It’s okay. Let it out. Let them go. Sometimes you really do just need to let it out. Crying can be cathartic.


6.    Exercise – This one is particularly effective when I’m sad or angry. The harder I work out, the more capable I feel of coping with whatever is troubling me.


Rescue-A-Human Program
7.      Get a Pet – This is a real and big investment. However, caring for another creature is a as much an act of self- love as it is an act of selfless love for a creature in need of a loving home.


8.      Get On-line – This world isn’t as disconnected as it once was. The internet is an amazing resource where you can form real connections with people just like you, dealing with issues just like you are. You may never meet face-to-face but that doesn’t mean you can’t form real, lasting connections with people and help one another out in times of need. I have made some absolutely astounding friends on-line. Better than many, if not most, of the people I’ve met in real life. If you only know me through this blog, you may not know my face, but odds are you know more about me than a good deal of the people that actually see me every day. You have an opportunity to find a very tailored community with people that are willing and able to listen to you. Hell, I started a FORUM just for this very reason. Right up there in that top right corner. Free. Just for you. Help is out there. It might not be perfect. But it’s something. There are so many on-line forums where you can get support. Reach out!


9.      Get informed – One of the worst feelings is not knowing what the hell is going on with you and feeling like you’re going crazy, alone. Note: The impetus for this blog. Take what you find out with a grain of salt though. You don’t want to make the mistake of misdiagnosing yourself and freaking yourself out, don’t do that… but you know, familiarize yourself with your symptoms and realize that what you’re going through has a name, or may have a name and that there are other people going through what you’re experiencing. Read up!


10.  Keep Busy – It’s the dead air, the empty times that are the worst. When our minds are allowed to roam into those bad places of darkness of doubt and self-loathing. I know it’s not possible to always remain busy, but we can do our best. Pick up a cause, volunteer, get a hobby, invest in your job, your kids, etc…. keep your mind busy and not focused on the negative as much as possible. We all know this is easier said than done, but as long as you keep trying, you’re on the right path.


11.  Be Kind to Yourself – Practice positive self-affirmations and acts of self- love. Even if you don’t always feel it, treat yourself with kindness and focus on your positive attributes. When you have no one else in your life, the only one you have to rely on is, you. You will always have you, for as long as you live, you will always have yourself. You should build yourself up as if you’re the most important person in your world, because you are. It can truly, truly suck sometimes to be on your own, but in the end you will be a stronger person for being able to take care of yourself. For as unfair as it seems (sorry, the world doesn’t care about fairness – as a concept it really doesn’t exist) you will be able to manage. And when you do, acknowledge it with a big freaking trip to the spa, or the salon, or the tattoo shop, or wherever, because you deserve it.



I find often that what we want is for others to always make the effort. We need to take some responsibility though! We need to reach out! We are responsible for our own well-being. As hard as it can be, we need to make an effort and invest in our own emotional well-being. If we sit and wait for others to do it for us, it’s probably never going to get done because other people have their own problems, and not for nothing, other people aren’t always that observant, might not know you’re in distress, or unfortunately might not care. Be proactive! Take your mental health into your own hands! 

I felt like this most of my life. In middle school and college I actually didn't have any real trustworthy support because my relationship with my family wasn't good and my friends were, well, not very healthy relationships.  In college I didn't have anyone close to me. Not really. Not until I finally moved in with my sister which pretty much changed my world for the better. Then when I moved to New York and in with Evil-Ex and was completely Alienated from everyone I had zero emotional support. Not until I moved in with xRoommate did I finally understand what it was to have real honest to goodness emotional support. And even then it took me a while to grasp this concept. With baby steps. A little at a time. I'm better at giving emotional support than receiving it, but still. This was 2 and a half years ago! I'm 32! That's a long time to go without a proper emotional support network. I've had to rely on myself for a very long time. It's not easy, but it can be done. Hopefully only for as long as you need. 




18 comments:

  1. Thank you. It is reassuring to know that I am doing the right things and that I am actually trying. I sometimes feel as if I am not trying hard enough and just wallowing in self pity, but I am done most of what you have suggested. I just doubt myself sometimes about the extent of my efforts! Thank you again. Midori.

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    1. ::hugs:: It's hard sometimes, but all you can do is your best. And that is okay.

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  2. Thank you for this. I've not had emotional support in 5 years now (and never did with my family). Some days I find it hard to actually do the stuff I want to do and wish I had support again - yet not having support always stops me from doing the stuff I want to do. I've cried a lot this week. James

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  3. Sorry, I meant to say "not have support -also- stops me..." not "always". Thanks again for your post.

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  4. Thanks. this post helps alot as desribes how i feel now, and its good to know im not the only one. still struggling from no emotional support but from self, trying to speak to someone who wouldnt judge is impossible.

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  5. Thank you. I just googled my issue & found your post. I too cry and have been more often lately. Gonna try a journal & even some counseling. I'm in a marriage in which I don't feel lots of emotional suppport. My family, well we are disconnected in many ways except for my mother. My friends, well there are none. I feel so alone. My past friendships were fake & some unhealthy. Signed alone.

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  6. I've been alone so long I don't know how to make friends or spend time with them anymore. People used to call me a social butterfly. After, my family became either mad at me or cutoff. I don't have the will to try anymore. I want to die now but I'm afraid to be alone. I pray every night for Me to die. It never happens.

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  7. Thank you! It gives me even more strength to handle myself, knowing that there are already people around like me, who don't have any emotional support either.

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  8. Hi guys, it's my first time posting but anonymous comments above made me cry for them. i wish I could make you feel better and be your friend.
    i'm feeling particularly vunerable at the moment and am on the verge of leaving my unhealthy relationship. I dont have anyone else and in the past when the hard times hit I felt i needed to be about people all the time to get through the day and it got a little embarrasing. I know I wont find anyone better than my attractive professional boyf of 7 years but I dont know who is ruining it....I think us both but the thought of leaving him terrifies me. Last time I took an overdose....i cant even believe I did that. Im scared of what will happen this time. the unbearable pain, the humiliation and panic and what my reaction will be. Im terrified.

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  9. This article has given me strength and I have decided to apply the stratrgires my support vanished after my brother s death in2010very alone since then and sad

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  10. I'm crying reading this. I'm sitting in my lonely apartment, save for my two cats, thinking of my empty social calendar and of the former friend whose company I could use the most right now, because he knew how to "handle" my lows in such a way that I could climb out of them. But he walked away a month ago, decided I was too much to handle anymore...

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  11. Ive been trying to practice all of the above, its hard sometimes. I came from a broken family. My father is alcoholic and drug addict and mom remarried and moved to a different country since I was 10. I grew up living with aunt who got married and left me when I was 15. Since then I have been living alone. I then met my ex boyfriend in college at 17 and we were together for 10 yrs. I decided to finally walk away 2 months ago because of repeated cheating, lying and for being so financially dependent on me. In the last 5 years of our relationship I was always crying and felt so emotionally alone but I was scared to leave him. Now im single at 28 with no one but myself, I feel so lonely and sometimes its so unbearable. Lyn

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  12. Dear Haven,
    Please don't stop writing this blog. You really help me. I wish you knew how life-saving your blog is. Thank you so much. I know I can trust you because you experience it too.
    -rosa

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  13. Thanks for posting this blog,it really helped me a lot.

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  14. Crazy, this is not comforting at all to know I'm not alone because its such a terribly scary feeling at times...., wish knowone had to feel this way, myself included!

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  15. Haaa your comment at the bottom made me laugh. I just want to send big loves to all of you!!! I read a lot of your posts and felt that they where me or similar to some of the feeling I have. I think it might be somthing that many people go through, changes with family, friends, relationships. Is this part of growing up? Uaahh I never wanted to grow up, expecially if it means losing my old life and rebuilding a new one! To me, thats what I think is happening for all us lonely legends. I think its just a natural re shuffle of life that takes place as we grow out of our old selves, and into our new dare I say 'mature' (eww yuck lol) selves. Anyway, im working hard to build new relationships, often feelng like a doosh putting myself out there only to have doors slammed in my face haaa. But I have to laugh and at least feel a little proud that Im trying different ways to break out of this shit cycle of lonliness and emotionally unsupported life. I had a bit of a break down yesterday, and I finally think I got through to my husband which i recommend to any of you who have a partner who is just not getting it. Make him/her get it! Dont just resort to thinking they will never understand, I have done that for four years and now my husband was so nice to me last night, checking on me every half hour, trying to ask me questions about my day. Was quite funny and cute. I hope that in some way my little story with my hubby can help you try and get through to your partner/family about how your really feeling. If you dont have any of these, push yoursellf to take a course or something where you can interact with people. I'm thinking of taking a cooking class. The main thing, i keep the hope, the hard bit is finding it when its gone. But please, don't give up, we are not alone in these feelings of perhaps feeling alone, evrn though you may be surrounded by people. Find your people!!! Join anything, just find your crew!! Im determined to damn it! . Sending love to you all xxxx

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