OK. Well I need to start today’s post with a bit of an apology.
It seems that something went wrong with yesterday’s post and either my computer, the WordPress system or I (and my money is on the I possibility there) messed up yesterday’s post and I had to repair and publish it earlier this morning.
So not only does that mean you didn’t get yesterday’s post, in the “Questions To A Parent With Mental Illness” challenge, until this morning. But you also get today’s post this morning/today as well.
Well I have to tell you that there is so much that you do which helps make my mental my better. But before I go on to specifics in this response to your question, I really think it is important that we understand something which is very key here…
Remember my talking (in my previous answers) about my mental illnesses being like that wide river which sometimes suddenly rages and rises up?
Well honey the waters of that river – my mental illnesses – can become unsettled and even angered or enraged by so many different things. But when it happens suddenly because of something which has happened we call these things a ‘trigger’.
Of course, at other times there can be no sudden change or no clearly identifiable trigger and indeed it is a whole series of smaller seemingly insignificant things which appear to make the waters of that river rise up the banks towards us.
And yes, at other times it appears to be less about the waters of that river – my mental illnesses – rising up the bank towards us and more about us sliding down the river towards it.
Honey, I hope that you do remember my saying those things in some of my previous answers and I hope that they (or more specifically I) am making sense. Because the key point which I wanted to make before getting into a specific answer to your question, “Tell me one thing that I do which makes your mental health better?” is this…
Sometimes – in fact actually very often – it is less about my mental illness where you can be of help and more about the things in general which you can help with and which, when they go wrong, can send me sliding and crashing into that river.
Honey, there are, without doubt, times when what I need is for you to provide me with some help, some safety net, some anchor, to keep me sliding further down that bank towards that river.
And honey you already do that so very much and I want for you to know that I recognize that and appreciate that.
I know of so many relatives and loved ones who feel somehow inadequate, some how ineffective because they don’t fully understand the mental illnesses of the person they love. And yet if only they knew how much the everyday general support that they give helps then perhaps they would feel less inadequate, less ineffective.
Honey, never forget and never lose sight of just how much you do, and just how much your help and support in the ‘ever-day’, ‘normal’ things means to me or how it contributes towards better mental health for me.
I truly mean that honey, and I truly desire for you to know that and to take that to your heart. And because this is an open response within an open blog, I truly desire anyone who is reading this and who experiences – in respect of their support for their loved ones – the feelings I have just mentioned, to take it to their heart and to hold onto it.
But honey, you asked me to ‘tell you one thing that you do which makes my mental health better’ and so the one thing that I have chosen – out of all the things that you truly do, is this…
You always manage to see and recognize and respect the me within my mental illnesses and not just to see or focus on my mental illnesses.
And honey you have absolutely no idea just how special, just how precious, and just how helpful that is to me and how much it helps me with my mental health.
Over the course of the past few questions, I have spoken so much about that river – my mental illnesses. And I have done so in an attempt to answer your questions and to offer you a tangible picture (which you can easily relate to) as a representation of something which is intangible to you and which you can’t fully relate to.
And honey, I am very much aware that in that picture I have, for very good reasons, set a distinction between myself, and my mental illnesses. But trust me honey, as accurate as that picture and that separation is, it doesn’t always exist in people’s perceptions.
But with you honey, no matter how far down that river bank I have slid. No matter how high up that river bank those waters have risen. You have always seen, focused on, and reached out to me.
And even when those waters have burst their banks and have seemed to consume me, and you have had to take charge. You have done so remembering that I am still your dad and have afforded me both respect and dignity.
So yes honey that is the one thing – out of all of them – that I have selected and honey both it and you mean the world to me.
With all my love.