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Forums / Staying well / How to build a support network

Topic: How to build a support network

17 posts, 0 answered
  1. Quercus
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    3206 posts
    9 October 2017

    "How do I build a support network?"

    I thought this once.

    Sitting in my car trying to tell myself I was angry at the psychologist who had given me tough love...

    "You don't have a life".

    And knowing the truth was she was right.

    My life had become nappy changes, feeds and never leaving the house. I didn't use forums or social media. My life was husband and two babies. Nothing else. No friends. No family. No colleagues or work. No hobbies. Nothing. These people had disappeared from my life the moment my children arrived. And I caused that. I stopped trying. Closed down. Shut everyone out.

    I have changed this for myself. It is possible.

    This thread is for ideas....

    What did you do to build a support network?

    My lessons...

    • Accept it will take effort. You have to make an effort. Noone is going to do it for you. Friendships and relationships have to be give and take or people don't bother.
    • Accept you will not be comfortable. You will have to push yourself. Make changes. It is easier to do nothing but more worthwhile to try.
    • Accept it will take time. You're not going to become a social butterfly overnight. Small changes. Perseverance. Keep trying and then try some more. Good relationships take time.
    • You need multiple relationships. It is not fair to ask one person to help all the time. Partners, friends, family, colleagues, medical professionals, support groups, social clubs/groups, study groups, sporting groups.... The list is huge. There are people out there you will relate well to. You've just got to put yourself out there to meet people.
    • Pick up the phone and make plans to reconnect with people you know. Face to face. Meet for a cuppa. Have a chat. Make it a regular thing.
    • Reduce the amount of time and effort you put into social media. What is the point of having 500 "friends" none of which you could call and ask for help? Put that time and effort into real relationships.
    • Be honest. People respond well to honesty. When I was well enough to recognise how isolated I was it meant swallowing my pride and apologising. Im sorry I ignored you for years with no explanation. It was a horrible thing to do. I was very depressed and a complete mess and didn't leave the house. I was embarrassed and a mess. I missed you I was just too ashamed to ask for help.

    These are my thoughts. What about you? What worked for you?

    ❤ Nat

    3 people found this helpful
  2. Guest_128
    Guest_128 avatar
    2143 posts
    9 October 2017 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Nat,

    what a wonderful thread

    I don't have anything to contribute

    Those words of yours,are very encouraging

    but absolutely scare me to not trying

    you know you just go round in circles

    It will be good to hear what our mates say

    Dory

    1 person found this helpful
  3. AGentleSoul
    AGentleSoul avatar
    15 posts
    9 October 2017
    I guess I still am trying to find out how to build a support network. However, last year I started volunteering. I have had negative experiences, positive experiences and learnt some good things about myself and people in general. I realized that you need to go to good places to meet good, genuine and caring people. I am grateful I started volunteering because I have met some great people and seen some great things. It has given me confidence that I can meet good people and that I am good enough.
    2 people found this helpful
  4. Roonil Wazlib
    Roonil Wazlib avatar
    10 posts
    9 October 2017 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Nat,

    This is a really beautiful thread and thank you for sharing your tips. I've learnt a lot this year about this as well in particular how to make the right kind of friends. It has been so difficult especially since I suffer from social anxiety and a bunch of other issues but it has been so rewarding. These are some of the things I learnt:

    • If you meet someone that you feel a connection with, don't be scared to just ask them if they want to hang out and be friends. This is such a hard one but I've made 2 really good friends this way. It's terrifying and it might not always work but you never know if you don't try!
    • Surround yourself with people who make you feel more you. Spend time with people that make you feel more at peace with yourself instead of those who make you feel more anxious or like you have to hide feelings and parts of yourself.
    • I completely agree with the social media point. Stop spending hours scrolling through feeds but keep social media mostly to contact people individually. Is it someone's birthday? Message them personally instead of just posting on their wall. Instead of just liking their photos, message them about what they've been up to instead.
    • If you have any hobbies, go to classes and find groups to meet people with similar interests. You already have something in common so it's so much easier to strike up a conversation.
    • Make the effort to contact people regularly, set reminders on your phone or in your calendar if you're likely to forget.
    • Try to open up about yourself. When you open up about yourself, people can feel more comfortable to open up about themselves too and that's when a really special relationship can happen.
    • Don't just assume that people won't like you!

    3 people found this helpful
  5. Quercus
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    10 October 2017 in reply to Guest_128

    Hi Dory 😊

    Ah don't be put off by my mammoth rambling... You have heaps to offer my friend.

    For those who don't know Dory is a kind soul who has a giant heart. Nursed her friend through her last days.

    Here is a tip inspired by you Dory...

    Show the people you care about how much they mean to you regularly. Through your words but also through your actions.

    Thank you Dory, it's lovely to have you back swimming around 😊

  6. Quercus
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    10 October 2017 in reply to AGentleSoul

    Hi GentleSoul and lovely to meet you.

    What you wrote was awesome! Absolute GOLD (as BlondGuy says).

    you need to go to good places to meet good, genuine and caring people

    YES! I love that you volunteer. What kind of things do you do? There is purpose and reward in helping others and it is a very good thing I find to have set appointments to get out an mix with people. You're right though... The people make the experience.

    My friend was upset that she was an outsider in her mother's group. So she joined a support group for postnatal depression. She said the women there were good people who had learnt the value of being accepting of others because each of them were struggling. Another example of good places and kind people.

    Thank you for posting GentleSoul. Volunteer work is a great suggestion!

  7. Quercus
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    10 October 2017 in reply to Roonil Wazlib

    Hi Roonil Wazlib,

    (hooray for fellow HP fans! I love your name!) 😊

    That is my kind of list RL. I was nodding my head to each dot point.

    My favourite is...

    don't assume people won't like you.

    Look at these forums for example. It's easy to be ourselves when it's anonymous. People comment why can't I find friends as amazing as the people here in the real world? Because we hide and blend in or don't leave the house or take risks to meet new people.

    RL if there was any more on your list feel free to share. Plus in case noone had noticed... I love lists.

    😊😊😊

  8. Quercus
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    11 October 2017

    Hi everyone,

    I had a new thought today... Surely there are existing threads with ideas.

    So I went searching. Sometimes people seem to struggle with finding threads 😊

    If you want a read about other ideas about building a network of people to support you manage a mental illness these threads all discuss the topic...

    Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Ideas on where to get help?

    Forums / Staying well / How do people make good friends?

    Forums / Staying well / Finding worthwhile/enjoyable things to do even when alone

    Forums / Staying well / Creating a support network - what has worked for you?

    Remote area support ideas...

    Forums / Depression / Help! I don't know where to turn

    These are my finds for the day. I really liked the last one about being in a rural area.

    Anyone else have some ideas? I'd love to hear from you.

    ❤ Nat

  9. Flick SnotGrass
    Flick SnotGrass avatar
    187 posts
    15 October 2017 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Quercus,

    Great thread, thanks for asking me to join in and as promised I've been noodling.

    I read this story once about building a healthy network support group, it's called "The Lobster Pot", I forget who wrote it but it goes something like this...

    ....in order to cook lobsters you fill a large pot with cold water and put in the live lobsters...

    ...as you start to heat the water up the lobsters begin to notice...

    ...after a while one of the lobsters will reach up and try to climb out of the lobster pot...

    ...guess what happens next?

    ...the other lobsters will pull it back down.

    ...Really.

    ....the lobsters don't mean to be mean, they're just trying to get out too....

    The story went on to explain the importance of carefully choosing the people in your network pot and of upgrading the quality of the individuals you hang out with.

    Start to hang out less with those that pull you back down and gradually begin to add individuals that lift you up.

    After a while you'll get out of that hot water.

    I took that advice years ago.

    Misery loves company they say and when I realized the Lobster Pot Story applied to me, I gently spent less time with the drags and more time with the light bulbs. I upgraded my network.

    It works.

    Yes, it takes a bit of time but it definitely wroks!

    Hope this helps.

    Be better than well,

    Flick SnotGrass

    1 person found this helpful
  10. startingnew
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    15 October 2017 in reply to Quercus

    great thread Quercus

    very informative

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Guest_128
    Guest_128 avatar
    2143 posts
    15 October 2017 in reply to Flick SnotGrass

    Snot,

    Thats how I need people to talk to me as I get like a frying light bulb.

    Thanks

    Dory

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Quercus
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    15 October 2017 in reply to Flick SnotGrass

    Hi Flick,

    That was an excellent story... How true!

    Reminds me of mother's groups actually 😊. I found them very stressful because of the competition (I don't give a rats whether your kid can do algebra by age 2 I just want to speak to another adult without being put down).

    I stopped bothering with the performers and spoke to the other mums who seemed on the outer. Met another mum at rhyme time at the library who noone spoke to. The amazing thing... These women were all down to earth real women. No BS. No judgement. And as thankful for my friendship as I was of theirs. So I get your lobster pot story completely 😊.

    There is a difference between tough love and "Friends" who pull you down. Thank you Flick I really appreciate you thinking of ideas.

    Nat

    PS hello Dory and SN. Do either of you have ideas to add? Where can you go... Or what can you do to build a support network?

    1 person found this helpful
  13. startingnew
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    5774 posts
    15 October 2017 in reply to Quercus
    No i dont sorry Nat. there have been some really great points here already. so ill jsut follow along for now unless i have anything else to add but so far no i dont. again great thread :)
    1 person found this helpful
  14. Flick SnotGrass
    Flick SnotGrass avatar
    187 posts
    16 October 2017 in reply to Guest_128
    Dory, I love my new nickname, Snot :)
  15. Flick SnotGrass
    Flick SnotGrass avatar
    187 posts
    16 October 2017 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Quercus,

    Glad you liked the Lobster Pot Story, it really helped me a lot.

    Actually what it really helped me to do was to stop playing victim and get on with playing victor and steering my life more, just like your mother's group experience.

    Good thread Quercus,

    Flick

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Quercus
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    16 October 2017 in reply to Flick SnotGrass

    Hi Flick 😊

    I love this. Best thing I've read all day...

    stop playing victim and get on with playing victor

    Good advice! Thank you!

    Nat 😊

    PS have you posted a new tip on your thread yet? I enjoy them a lot.

  17. Flick SnotGrass
    Flick SnotGrass avatar
    187 posts
    16 October 2017 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Quercus,

    Glad you liked my postette :)

    My Old Yoga teach used to say "Victim or Victor? Choose one."

    Bit brutal but it helped me a lot.

    Yes I posted a new tip on the NOCEBO Effect in Staying Well....I think you'll like it.

    Appropriate Hugs,

    Flick SnotGrass

    1 person found this helpful

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