Updated: Jan 11, 2022
The amount a person can grow is directly proportional to how much truth they are willing to see in themselves right now, without running away. 💞
If this sounds like you heard it from me before, it is because it is an excerpt from one of my social media posts.
The mighty word in the above sentence is "truth." Of course, I can dig deep and be aware of what's below the surface; however, seeing the truth in myself is a more profound feeling of vulnerability.
The holiday season can cause us just as much stress as it does joy. For some, it can be an emotional time bomb that leads to depression, a manic episode, or any number of heightened emotions triggered by stress.
Personally, this past month was about releasing anger. I mentioned in a previous Instagram post that focusing on my breath was a way for me to help relieve irritability ; however, it was hard because the trigger for my emotions kept playing over and over in my head. When I thought I was okay, I would relive the experience and energetically keep myself at a lower vibration. I had to be compassionate and hold space for myself to move through to the other side just as I had for clients without any attachments or judgments. I honestly do not know if I have ever given myself that much space to work it out and observe myself in devotion and compassion.
Shortly after, I needed to employ the nuggets of wisdom gained through this experience.
I watched a Dear One (DO) spiral into an emotional pit, a dark night of the soul. It was pretty scary, and I felt helpless. I wasn't sure what I could do to help or even what words of comfort to speak. All I knew was that my Dear One needed to say the words that wanted to be expressed even if it didn't make sense to me. They needed to be heard and to feel supported even if they were trying to endure the journey alone. Truthfully, I didn’t know if I could be there for support because I was scared. I could hear my ego vacillate between telling me I was way out of my league with this situation because I wasn't scholarly enough to hold space for the person, and “They'll be fine; it's just a phase; just give them time”
According to Brené Brown, in her book Rising Strong, she states, "We don't have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to." I feel and live by this quote. I understand the feeling of wanting to be a Lone Wolf, and I understood why my Dear One wanted to go that route. But, regardless of what my ego was telling me and my DO's plan to run away and work through it all alone, I was going to be there to hold, support, and lift them any way I could.
As I continued holding space and listening with compassionate ears, I kept hearing the same stories repeatedly. I knew my Dear One was doing the same thing I did. My DO was holding on to hurt, pain and trauma. They were reliving it over and over until living in isolation felt like the only option. All I could do was listen. As time passed, the tides turned, and my dear person came out of their dark night of the soul.
It’s challenging having a loved one who experiences mental and emotional distress due to mood episodes. However, here are a few tips to help you support someone going through a mood episode:
I had to educate myself on the symptoms of mood episodes which helped me respond from the heart and love instead of from fear and worry.
One does not need to be a therapist or psychologist to listen. Nor does one need to have the answers or provide any advice. Instead, just be a compassionate ear by actively listening, staying calm, and avoiding any topics that may be triggering.
BE UNDERSTANDING, PATIENT AND POSITIVE
When my loved one was in the dimmest part of their dark night of the soul, the words I heard were irrational, and I didn't understand where the thoughts were coming from, but I realized I didn't need to understand to offer my support fully. So I stayed optimistic and didn't take any of the spoken words personally.
TAKE CARE OF YOU
It is difficult to stand back and observe when we see a loved one suffer. However, it is essential not to take on the role of the rescuer. We cannot save them from their experiences, but we can be supportive. I always tell my clients that it is best to fill their cup first and then give from the overflow. If you feel that being supportive is taking much out of you, that is okay. Take care of yourself first and, perhaps, it is time to call in a specialist, such as a therapist.
Remember, you are wise because your experiences come with wisdom that can be used to support and elevate but it takes strength to ask for help. We were never meant to do this work alone because you are never alone. I am here for you.
Be Compassionate, Be Supported, and Be Radiant!
For Caregivers or Carers
This site explains hypomania and mania, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family. Lots of useful information from the perspective of the caring person.
For Treatment Services
The SAMHSA website has a Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator that can search for treatment information by address, city, or ZIP code.
For Immediate Help
If you are in crisis: Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to everyone. All calls are confidential. Contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates or dial 911 in an emergency.