The reality of life is that it goes on even if your world is in turmoil. Sad but true.
You look around you and you realize that everyone else is going through their own personal trials and tribulations. That is the nature of life.
When John Smith* came to the conclusion that his dream had failed and there was no means to salvage it, he gave up on living. The failed dream broke him in many ways. Here was a devastated man with no one to turn to because everyone else was facing their own struggles. He felt all alone and depressed. So he did what many broken men/women do when they don’t have a reason for living: he started planning his suicide.
Who can blame him? After all, we all respond differently to trying circumstances in our lives. But perhaps there was a better way for him to deal with his problems. Perhaps what he really needed was a support system.
What a Support System Entails
A support system can be anyone or any group of people who are willing to share your burden by offering mental and emotional support. It can be a family member or a close friend who allows you to unburden yourself or people who have formed a group to support each other through tough life circumstances.
Benefits of a Support System/Group
- You get to unburden yourself
The problem with feeling alone is that you are stuck with all your problems inside your head. Sometimes all you need is a different perspective on things, hence the saying “A problem shared is a problem half-solved”. Talking to someone can help you better understand what you are going through. You also get to bounce your ideas off them. If you are in a support group, you can hear from people’s experiences and be able to work out a solution for your problems based on what you hear.
- Comfort from comrades
It is always a relief when someone who was struggling discovers that there are other people going through similar struggles. It creates a sense of brotherhood and peace of mind that you can work with your ‘comrades’ to eventually find a solution to your pain. No one wants to be alone, and thankfully, you don’t have to be.
- Get advice and feedback
Some people are trained to provide helpful counselling to those who are struggling in life. Even in the context of support groups, there are those who are either trained or have enough experience of dealing with situations in their lives and can therefore offer you relevant advice and feedback that can help you through your own issues.
How to Find a Support Group
Finding a support group is not as complicated as it might appear. Although they don’t advertise themselves, there are usually a lot of support groups scattered around any city. Here are a few tips to help you find one:
- Do a Google Search for your area
You can try using different search parameters (e.g. mental health support group+location etc.). The search engine provides a lot of information about forums that are discussing your question and you can therefore find something listed about your area.
Note: If you are more comfortable talking to people online as opposed to face-to-face meetings, you can give it a try. Nevertheless, it is better to meet people and connect with them.
- Check the yellow pages and contact health organizations
Health organizations are a rich resource for finding information on health issues. They usually have lists of groups that provide counselling and support. Therefore, if there is an organization in your area, you can ask them for directions to the nearest group.
- Get referrals from your doctor or health workers
This is similar to the previous point in the sense that doctors always know someone who can handle a specific health problem you have. Therefore, most likely, a doctor would know about the presence of a support group in the region or at least refer you to someone who might know.
What can you do?
Life is difficult and we cannot make it on our own. Find a way through which you can be there for someone to help them through their struggles. Sometimes the only thing that people need is an ear.
Point to Note
John Smith* is alive today because someone chose to let him share what was bothering him. Until that point, he thought that no one cared about him and that no one would miss him if he committed suicide. Such kind of thinking is usually unintentional, just a symptom of the greater mental health and depressive issues afflicting one’s mind.
If you are out there and you have no one to talk to, consider calling a local Helpline. They always have counsellors on stand-by who are willing to listen to you and let you share your problems with them.
If you can’t find someone to talk to, feel free to contact me as well through my contact form.
We all need each other. Sometimes, though, help is not forthcoming. When you find yourself alone and scared with no one to turn to, never give up.
There is always a way out for everyone. Nevertheless, you need to prepare yourself beforehand for tough moments. Ask yourself today, “Who’s got your back?”
*not real name