|Posted by dbsamemphis on January 30, 2019 at 3:45 PM|
It seems like forever ago when I met two people that have been diagnosed with
depression and bipolar illness, when it is actually approximately ten years. Over those years I have grown so close to them that they are like family and I would trust them with my life. I would venture to guess that it was around five years ago that they asked me to be on the board of the local DBSA chapter. I told them that I had no idea what that was, they explained to me that it was Depression Bipolar Support Alliance. I told them that I knew nothing about it and they told me that was why they wanted me to be a part of the board as a “civilian”. Before I said yes I went to a meeting or two and talked with them so I could at least learn a little bit about the illness.
Here we are five years after that I am still part of the board and I have learned a lot. These days I can see when one or both of them are not on their meds. Something I have learned is that if someone is having problems with their illness and doesn’t want help, nothing can be done about it. I can’t force anyone to take their meds or go to DBSA meetings or call the numbers on the back of the brochure all I can do is let them know about DBSA and leave it at that and that is hard for someone like me that likes to push and can have a huge ego.
Five years ago I would say things like: “It will be okay” or “You can get through this” or “Suck it up” okay, I never said that last one. Today, I know that what I have to do is say “Is there anything I can do”. I know today that for this outsider all I have to do is be there for them as a friend and be supportive. If someone needs my help I can offer whatever advice I can. If someone needs an ear, I tell them that I have two and they are welcome to them both.
I had to learn that I am not a psychiatrist or therapist or any kind of a doctor for that matter nor did I ever play one on TV. All kidding aside, all I can do is be there for my friends and family that are dealing with this illness; after all I am an outsider and can only understand so much without being diagnosed. I can never fully understand everything that happens with or to people with depression or bipolar illness. I am me and I can be there when they need me and support them at all times.