These two. My parents. Wow, wow, wow. What special people. What blessings. I seriously could not be more thankful for them and their love and support.
I was recently asked what the best thing my parents did for me during the past year was. So I thought I’d share a little about how my parents have supported me in my journey these past couple of years.
As you know, the past couple of years have not been easy for me. And for my parents… it has not been easy for them either. Mental health doesn’t just affect the individual… it can affect an entire family.
It’s hard for people who don’t struggle with mental health to understand what’s going on for the people that do struggle. My parents are two of those people that don’t fully understand. And that is not a bad thing. It makes sense… they don’t struggle the way I do… so how would they know exactly what I’m experiencing?
My parents are the two most loving people in my life. They are the two most supportive people in my life. Today, I can talk openly to them about what I’m facing. I can tell them I’m struggling. I can be honest with them. And we talk it out. It didn’t always used to be this way… we just weren’t on the same page. I would cry. They would cry. There was just a big disconnect in our relationship that came from a lack of understanding in how we were all feeling… they didn’t understand why I was struggling and I didn’t understand how my mental health could possibly be affecting them. It took a lot of family therapy to get to where we are today. Oh, how I’m thankful for the way we fought it out.
So what was the best thing my parents have done for me this past year?? Well… there are a few things:
They loved me.
They held me.
They prayed over me.
They listened to me.
They fought with me.
Even though they didn’t, and don’t, fully understand the struggle, they promised to love me and support me through it no matter what. They vocally told me that. “Ella, even though we don’t understand it all, we promise to love you and support you regardless.”
So… parents, friends, family, and support people of those who are struggling with mental health… ask your people how you can best support them. We just want to be loved and cared for. We just want to know you’re there to listen, judgement free. We just want to have warriors to fight with us and lift us up. We just want you to be present.
Love your people. Support your people. It’s life changing… for both ends.
Mom and Dad… thank you. You mean the whole world to me.