Hey friends! I write a lot about mental health stuff and sometimes when I do that, people are like hey can I share this with people? and yeah, I’m always good with that, but also I’m kinda really uncomfortable with the idea of having random facebook posts shared who knows where, plus then it’s super hard to go back and find older stuff I’ve written. So I’m making another attempt at BLAWGIN’ — I’ve always failed at it before because I suck at current technology and forget to update. So uh, we’ll see how this goes. I’m gonna try to backdate shit so it ends up in the order I wrote it, but also I really hate wrestling with wordpress sooooo, whatevs. If you do cite/share this, it’d be cool if you dropped a comment. And if you feel like commenting for whatever other reason, please remember that I am a person and I have lots of feelings and some of the stuff posted here is quite personally revealing, so maybe try to have some grace and remember that we all come from different places. I will extend the same respect to you. Cool! Let’s talk about minds.
I keep thinking about support groups. A lot of them are designated for specific issues — trauma support, eating disorder recovery, AA etc. A lot of support groups are only offered through existing mental health services, which blocks access to anyone who is noncompliant or needs support in areas not covered by “mental health diagnosis you take pills for.”
I don’t know of any sort of “life is hard in general” support groups. And I see so many people who would be well-served by a space where they can connect with other people to form intimate bonds of honesty and empathy, who would love to have a community where they can find acceptance and help without identifying under a common label of “bipolar disorder” or “addiction” or “cancer survivor” or whatever. Those groups have their place, but I’m thinking of something more along the lines of a place where the thing we have in common is that we’re human and sometimes we feel alone.
The first thing I thought of was that some people get that need met through church. Still, I know a lot of people who have been harmed by churches, or who have felt unable to be completely authentic in a church for fear of being judged, or who just have no interest in religion.
I guess my question is, is there interest in a group like this? Just to have an ongoing space for community where you can get together with all kinds of people, have a cup of your favorite hot beverage, and have a chance to talk about what you’re celebrating or struggling with? Whether it’s “I’ve been lacking the processing power even to make a sandwich for lunch” or “I had a really horrible experience with a racist the other day” or “please tell me high school is this hard for everyone” or “my sister got married and I want to share an epiphany I had about commitment” — just anything that’s important to you, with the common ground being humanity, and with the hope that someone else will say “I can come over and help you freeze some meals you can thaw out” or “wow, I’d never considered racist behavior from that angle, thanks for teaching me” or “high school is absolutely the worst, here’s how I got through” — you get the idea.
If you had a chance to be in a group like this, what would you want it to look like? What do you need support for that there’s no group for? What issues do you struggle with that seem too petty or selfish to speak out loud? Open forum, I guess. I’m trying to figure out if this is something that could happen around here and if anyone would be willing to start the groundwork on it with me.