This weekend past weekend was Mother’s Day. I think too much was going on in my head that I forgot to write this a week or so in advanced, but hey better late than never.
Holidays and certain yearly celebrations are triggering to many people at various times because each year may not be the same reaction. When I was 15 years old my mother passed away although it has been 24 years it feels like yesterday for me, but each year is different and depending on what is happening in my life her memory triggers an overwhelming sadness. This year is my 40th birthday although I lived past her it’s the motherly wisdom that I long for, it’s the talks about life, about relationships, about work I mean everything I long for it, but for me it’s reading, counseling, and relying on God to get me through these stages of life.
Many may share what I am experiencing, but there are those who are triggered in that they never had a relationship with their mother and may not have a mother figure in their lives so for them certain holidays are not sentimental in that way. For sure Mother’s day is hard for those who have lost a child, miscarried, those with fertility issues, women like myself who never had children and won’t get to have children naturally due to medical issues such as a hysterectomy, cancer etc..
Hard times are just hard times whether it’s a holiday/celebration or not. It could be any sunny or rainy day and movie, a walk down an isle in a store, a picture, a smell, or a sound can trigger an emotional breakdown for me and this is normal it happens to all of us. Things have a way about reminding us about some event or time in our lives that brought us joy or sadness.
This post is about supporting someone during hard times and here are some tips:
1. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
- It’s not as easy as it sounds, we literally have to think about what if “this” happened to me how would I want to be supported? How would I be coping right now?
2. Ask How would you like me to support you?
- This is a great question and most of the time those you are supporting won’t know how to answer and if they say I don’t know, don’t get frustrated just say “ okay, I’m here when you need me”, but don’t say it if you’re not going to be there.
3. Distraction (Be Creative)
- This is where you have to think outside of the box or just think simple. Sometimes all you need to do is go over to the person house and sit with them, buy their favorite food and take it over, cook, or order in.
- Watch a funny movie, play games go for a walk at the beach/park neighborhood.
- Do something you know they will like or just need at the time. Often this will allow the person to release some pint up emotions and eventually they will be able to talk to you openly. You don’t need to get all therapeutic on them just be a listening ear.
4. Never dismiss their feelings
- I don’t care how much time has passed since whatever took place. We all have our own way to deal with things, some can pick up and move on quickly, but others need time.
What happens when you need supporting and you need to be the supporter. This is a tough cookie, but doable if you indeed have true friends and you have understanding family then they understand what your support looks like and no one is in in their feelings.
1. Keep your boundaries in place
- Being supportive does not always mean showing your face especially if you live in different states/countries. Showing up is texting, calling sending a gift, a love box, video calls, cards etc.. If you can show up in person then by all means do so, but this is where mental awareness comes in.
2. Don’t play victim
- Yes, people do it that’s why I’m saying it. This here is not boundaries this is you always and forever playing the role of, but what about me… Ma’am! No Ma’am! Everyone and I mean everyone have moments of emotional and mental distress it’s not always about you. Sometimes yes, you must be the one to console, you will have to be the listening year, you have the be the one.
Trust me no matter where you find yourself in life, we all must be a support to one another at some point “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Roman 12: 15
Counseling is a great way to learn coping kills, understand your emotions, learn your triggers, and how to express yourself in a healthy way. Remember counseling is a part of selfcare don’t forget you, don’t forget others.