I've mentioned already in previous posts that my husband, parents, brother and wife, in-laws and my sister-in-law are all incredibly supportive and loving when it comes to helping me manage my bipolar disorder. They are the people I consider to be on the front lines of my support system. The inner circle. But there is an additional outside ring to my support system circle. I guess you could call it my secondary support system. But it doesn't mean that it is any less important than the inner circle. I consider them to be almost equal.
I had a call tonight from an old family friend. He's actually one of my dad's best friends from college and he and his wife live fairly close to where I am. He calls and checks in on me from time to time and I feel lucky to have him. He's in my support system because he knows about my condition and he almost always asks how I'm feeling at some point in our conversations. And I know that if I ever needed help, I could call on him and he would be there. Along with his wife and their kids who I am also close with.
It's so important to have a strong support system in place, especially when you are dealing with a disease like Bipolar Disorder. Having people who know you inside and out, and who aren't afraid to ask you, "How have you been feeling? and, "Are you taking your meds?" can seem so simple, yet can mean the difference between life or death for some people.
I have five girlfriends who know my history and I can always talk with them about my struggles. They mean the world to me. They call me out if they notice something is off about my mood. I know that I am very lucky.
Two of these girlfriends even came to visit me in the hospital after I had my son and was hospitalized when he was just five weeks old. They came to a psych ward. The crazy house. They saw me at one of my lowest lows, and yet, they do not think any less of me. I sometimes think that I don't thank them often enough for their support. I need to work on that.
Be thankful for those people in your life who support you no matter what. Remember that they were there at your low points, and they helped pick you back up. This way you can repay the favor when you notice they could use a little support. Because the road goes both ways.