It’s week 14 of the Working On Us mental health prompt series over at Beckie’s Mental Madness. If you’d like to participate, please refer to Beckie’s post for the details. This week’s topic is relationships and boundaries.
- How would you describe your relationships with family and friends? I used to be close to my family, but I’m not anymore because of my illness. It’s not that they’ve handled it badly; I just feel like there’s a distance that’s too wide to span. I only one in-person friend, and we have a good relationship. He’s very patient about tolerating my crazy when it comes out to play.
- Have you ever had to set boundaries with family and friends? I don’t set boundaries, I set up fortified walls. It’s a lot less healthy.
- Do you believe your boundaries are respected by your families and friends? My walls keep people out as intended.
- Are you treated differently because of your mental illness/disorders? Yes, but not in a stigmatized way; I’m just very different to be around unwell compared to well.
- Are your family and friends supportive and understanding of your mental health? They’ve tried. It hasn’t always translated that well, but they’ve tried.
- Describe a “For instance” of how you handled setting boundaries with family or friends? My go-to unhealthy method of pushing people away is not responding to calls and messages. Less boundary setting and more wall constructing.
Picture Prompt: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you see this picture?
It’s complicated dealing with someone’s mental illness. It’s not always logical, and often it’s not easy. A good balance can be hard to find on both sides, for both the mentally ill person and the people around them. There is no clear path or easy answer – just a lot of navigation. And while the yellow caution flags are very visible, most often the caution signs when it comes to dealing with mental illness are a lot harder to see.