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Many of us go through rough times, whether it’s at the hands of mental health struggles, chronic illness (such as a thyroid condition), living with a disability etc.
For those of us who are lucky enough to have people we feel we can turn to when we’re in despair, feeling broken, fed-up and defeated, it can feel like both a blessing and a curse at times.
The person we text when we’re in desperate need of reassurance, support, a shoulder to cry on, someone to vent or even just to be listened to, may not even be our closest friend or family member. They could be an acquaintance. They may even be someone we’ve never met. Someone we know only online, yet they see a side and level to us that not many others do.
They see a vulnerable side; what we try to cover up or keep to ourselves.
But what they offer us when we’re at our lowest is invaluable and actually makes them, really, the most important person in our life. I’m not saying they’re of higher importance to you than your partner, parent or child, but if you think about the amount of times they may have convinced you that you are strong enough to overcome your obstacles, or just listened to your deepest fears – they have probably helped you get through some pretty dark times.
They may well even be the reason why you’re still here.
And chances are, if they’re the same person you always go to, it’s because they don’t judge you. They are reliable and supportive, and that’s a valuable person to have in your life.
When we are hurting physically, mentally, or emotionally, we often need an outlet – whether that’s screaming into a pillow, doing something creative or venting it to another person. It’s healthy to turn to someone for support and bottling up our worries or struggles usually just results in a worst outburst later on down the line. However, after we turn to someone to release it, we may end up feeling silly, embarrassed or ashamed for letting down our wall, when the dust has settled. We may think to ourselves, “I should have kept that to myself.” We may even send countless texts apologising for our behaviour afterwards, of which we don’t need to apologise.
We don’t want to bother someone else with our burdens.
However, we go back to the same person when life becomes just a bit too much again because they help.
This person and the support they provide are so important.
Part of the reason we have managed to last so long at the hands of our personal difficulties, is likely due to their support and friendship when we turn to them. You may not have even realised this. Perhaps they realise we’re struggling before we do ourselves, checking in on us or encouraging us to open up, noticing our patterns.
The chances are, though, they don’t know just how important a person they are to us when we send text after text, rambling away about all the thoughts in our head, which come out in a muddle. They’re probably not aware of how much they help us, even if they worry their replies aren’t too helpful, because just being there for us often helps.
It would be easy for them to run away when someone comes to them a blubbering mess, angry, frustrated, low or all of those things. But they don’t. And for that, we’re so very grateful.
You, Me and Hypothyroidism: When Someone You Love Has Hypothyroidism, a book for those who know someone with hypothyroidism.
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding board member for the American College of Thyroidology. She is well-recognised as a crucial contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her books include “Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate” and “You, Me and Hypothyroidism”.