Mental Health

Working On Us – Week 14 – Family and Friends

illustration of a brain encircled by the words mental health matters

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.

Question Prompt:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Do you believe your boundaries are respected by your families and friends?  My walls keep people out as intended.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?

What Exactly Is Unrestricted Property?  Frequently we run across properties for sale that are described by the seller or listing agents as unrestricted...

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.

9 thoughts on “Working On Us – Week 14 – Family and Friends”

  1. Hello, Ashley…
    I can mostly certainly understand the building of walls. Self-preservation from conflict and more hurt. I feel that since I was first hospitalized in 2008, a whole shift in my family dynamic changed. Poorly received would be more or less the way it all went down. Then in 2015, it worsened. As you know, I only speak to my mother. Brother and sister, no longer exist. That was determined back in June.
    “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.”
    I couldn’t agree with you more. For the most part, it came down to my family not giving a damn. It’s also evident that the two of them also have issues of their own, but won’t face up to them… Their afraid that their like me. Thing is, they are.
    Thank you so very much for participating in this Week #14 of “Working on Us” – I feel honored that you haven’t built the walls that high. If you did that, we would never have gotten to know you better. 😉💚

  2. Great answers! I’m kind of the opposite with boundaries–it’s like I bleed all over everyone. I don’t even know how to put up walls, I don’t think. Anyways, if you ever want to leap over your walls and find me, I’m always here!! 🙂 (You know, except for when I’m not.)

  3. I’m also not good in boundaries and just isolate myself when I feel bad and don’t respond to anyone. I know it isn’t good but it’s a habit I have. great post!

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