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How and what it means to give support.

    I get asked a lot about what it means to me to give support so I wanted to share with you my thoughts on it. So many people I have found are afraid to share what they are going through out of fear of losing friends and even the difficulty of speaking up. It is not easy when we are struggling to speak up and ask for help even though we want it and we know we need it. When it is offered it can even be turned down because we don't know how to accept it but believe me deep down inside we do want it and it does make it easier.


    Having support reminds someone you are not going anywhere and no matter what they are going through you have their back. So many of us are used to having support but only for a short time and sometimes it results in the loss of a close friend so it can be scary to share. Support is something we can give that makes such a huge difference in someone's life and day, it does not cost us a thing and yet can change so much for someone. We all go through life and some times are harder than others but knowing we are not alone can be the string that holds it all together. So what is support? Here are my thoughts and feelings on it and so far it has worked out pretty good in letting the ones I care about know I am there for them.


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    So how do you give support? Well it's simple, it comes down to being real and being open. We all know when someone is faking something or when they are forced to do something. We know the difference in the tone of voice and the actions if it is ment or if something is not from the heart. Giving a real and sincere compliment, smile or words of encouragement are what go so far with someone. If you feel it in your heart to smile at a stranger do it, open the door for someone struggling do it and do it because you want to not because you feel you have to.


     We never know what the person next to us is going through and it's so much about the small things in life. It's funny how someone can get gifts for a birthday and they are happy to open them then they get tossed aside but more often than not if it something made and something special it is treasured and kept. Just like support when it is real it is held on to by us and kept dear and it helps change our attitude, body language and sometimes life. It's amazing what happens when you see something you like or an action that took strength and you give a compliment or let someone know you're proud of them. Don't hold back but also don't go too far with it and make sure you say what you mean and mean what you say.


    Compliments can go a long way and when giving one so mean it. Don't say something because you feel you have to, say something because you want to. I do reach out videos every morning on Twitter and I do it because I truly want people to reach out who feel alone. I am ready at any time to talk to anyone about anything. That's what being genuine is all about and one of the best way to show support. I know so many people that say they want to listen but when you start to share they talk over you or you can tell that they really have no interest. Most of the time people don't want advice they need a friend to listen because so many people do not know how to do that small skill. More or less they said it to be nice which is kind but real support takes time and effort be available for them, people hold a lot in and need to be able to share it.


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    With that said you need to make sure your available for your friends and family that you want to give support to because let's face it life happens. At any time something can happen in our live's that make us need or want to reach out for support. As a recovering addict, this happens a lot, some of the smallest things can act as a trigger that makes us crave our addiction. We want to numb what is going on in our heads but we have the choice to reach out for support to get through it but it has to be available. It has to be available if you can't tell that's the important part because we do not know when this will happen and it can happen at any time. Yes, you may receive a call or text in the middle of the night so be aware of that and if possible respond or respond as soon as possible. The response is so important because if we see you have responded even if it might be in the morning when you wake up we know you care and do know people do sleep. Knowing we are not alone and that someone has our back on the addiction side can mean so much to us.


    The same goes on the mental health side. If you are suffering from depression, BPD, Bipolar, PTSD just to name a few, we can few as a burden and that is the last feeling we want to give someone. We don't want to hinder them but if we know you want to give us support and have shown us the support we will reach out eventually when we need it. The fear of losing friends and relationships is always on our minds and one of the last things we want to happen so we keep it inside. Letting us know it is ok to share and are not going anywhere along with genuine concern is huge but also takes a while for us not to doubt it or still expect the worse, be patent it will fade over time.


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    So when giving support what do you say? My advice..... Nothing let me say that again nothing don't say a word and use another ability so many don't listen! Let them talk, let them vent, let them share, let them be negative and let them be happy, let the emotions flow. The best support I have found to be able to give is not advice, not what I think they should do but to just listen and remind them that I am actually listening. If you don't understand something they say or are talking about, ask questions so they can share more and you can fully understand what they are going through.


     It's amazing the magic that happens and the power of saying very little. So many people want to tell you how it is and what to do in your life that someone just listening to what you have to share and the idea's you come up with on your own when sharing is truly amazing. We know a lot of the times what we need to do or what we need to change and when we talk it out it helps us figure out how to do it best for us. When someone is sharing they may cry, they may scream, they may get mad who knows because there are emotions. It's natural and that is the joy of emotions so don't halt it for them, encourage them to let them out and not hold them in. You would be shocked how many people keep this all bottled up and when they let it out they are usually alone. Then they are reminded they are alone and it can have such a negative effect on their heads. That's why so many people feel so alone so often, we can show them they are not.


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Follow up with your friends and family to let them know the support is real and is not going anywhere. When you want to truly support your friends and family it is not a one and done experience. Be there for them and follow up to make sure that what they went through or are going through still matters to you. When we are forgotten it isolates us and it is not about the attention it is about actually caring for another, people helping people. It's amazing what happens when a couple days pass and you ask the person how it went with what they were going through it shows them that you actually listened and you actually care about them. The power of people helping people is amazing and one of the best gifts we can give and can make life wonderful. 


I wanted to share these views on support because it is one of the greatest gifts we can give each other at any given time. Not going through life alone makes such a huge difference for anyone going through depression, anxiety, mental illness of any sort, addiction recovery and more. Knowing that someone cares and that someone is there when we need them can mean the difference between life and death because we never know what the stranger next to us is going through. Next time you have a friend or family member that you can tell is struggling with life hit them up and let them know they are not alone and you are here for them. The bond that creates is amazing and what it does for someone is magical. Never forget life is a journey and it's easier to make it a we thing than and I thing,


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Special Thanks to Bonnie-Leigh Thornton for more info on pictures email at lennylee@hotmail.com. You have amazing talent and thank you for your support!

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