One way that I’m managing my life living with a mental illness is by surrounding myself with people who “get it”. When I completed my formal group therapy, I felt lost and adrift with no longer being connected to a group of my peers and so along with a dear friend that I made in DBT, we set out to make a difference. And what a difference we are making!
We started an online facebook group for our local community and in just a few short months we’ve grown to over 200 active members. We offer them peer support and they do the same in return. But having an online group wasn’t enough, so my friend and I decided to start hosting weekly drop in support meetings for anyone who wanted to attend. We started out at a mall in the food court and sometimes, it was just her and I, but we were always there. With the support of our local mental health agency, we were able to secure a meeting space and for the last few months we’ve been holding meetings in a private building. Again, there are times when it’s been just me and her, but the times when the people do come out have been wonderful. Giving and getting support from people who understand what living with mental illness is like is incredible.
We are not done yet. I feel the need to become more active in the community and continue reaching out to those in need. I want them to know that they’re not alone and there are people that genuinely care. Slowly but surely, we shall persevere.
If you are inspired by what I am doing, I’d encourage you to invoke change where you are. Be the catalyst to make it happen. Go start surrounding yourself with people that get it.