Is your family life affected by disability?
As of today, I have been responding to questions posed by the Redefining Disabilities Challenge for two months. I am quite proud of myself–for committing to a very personal challenge as well as my ability to push myself each week to reflect on these questions and transform them into my own words.
This week I focus on how my mental illness affects my family life. For those who are just joining, I have been living with severe depression and anxiety since adolescence. Like most people walking this planet, I have awesome days and challenging ones. I’ve been working on changing my perspective on how I react to my challenges from reactive to proactive action.
My family has been a wonderful support system for me in so many ways. We celebrate the awesome days and hunker down for the more challenging ones. My significant other feels the stress when I tell him that I’m feeling off kilter. He does his best to support me, but sometimes misunderstanding pops up instead and we both need a time-out.
We are still learning about each other and our triggers. Mine are very reactionary to certain phrases or feelings that spring up from everyday situations. After a trigger happens, I usually need to “reset” myself and then communicate to him what had bothered me.
Today’s take home message is to go easy on yourself and tell your family when alone time is needed. Communication of feelings can be very scary and involves a tremendous amount of trust from both sides. But if you dare to look those fears in the eye and stare right back, who knows what you will learn from each other?
Redefining Disability Challenge was started by Marci, Mental Health and More as a way to provide awareness and destroy the stigmas that stalk the phrase “mental illness.”
If you are interested in joining the challenge or simply want to take a peek at the questions, feel free to check out Marci’s page.
Thank you for listening.