Wednesday 14 June 2017

My Support System, by Meghan Shultz

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Meghan and I have Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Anxiety Disorder. Today, I’m going to tell you about my support system.

I get a lot of support from a lot of different people. My husband, my doctor, my parents, my case worker, my psychiatrist, the local hospitals, my psychologist, and my employment worker who really just likes to sit and chat rather than look for work for me which is just fine by me. But each and every one of these people plays a role in supporting me. Each in a different way. I get a lot of support. I am a lucky one. I’m in a lucky country.

Everyone plays their part. My husband plays his part on a personal level that only he can. He sees me at my worst and at my best. And when I say my best I mean at my most manic. He’s seen me in every spectrum of my disease and still he sticks around and does everything that he can to support me. And that’s not always easy. I don’t always make it easy. I’m not always an easy person to deal with. But he loves me anyway so he stays.

My husband, he takes me to appointments, he sometimes waits patiently in the car for me to finish. If it’s a long appointment he’ll go home and then come back again to pick me up. He also questions me when I start taking things that don’t look like psych meds, i.e. diet pills or laxatives. I used to have an eating disorder. Diet pills are a serious issue. He knows to question these things. But it’s not just medical things that he supports me in it’s my writing pursuits also. I want to be a writer. I guess I am a writer. And he helps to encourage that in me. He drives me to a writing group once a month and last weekend he drove me into the city to attend another writers course which will probably become a regular thing. He encourages me as well as supports me.

My parents do their best to understand what I live with, this illness, this Bipolar, but they don’t live with me so it’s different for them. It’s harder for them to understand. But they try and, like my husband, they stick around and still love me regardless. They always keep in contact with me, my mum visits often or my husband and I go round to her place, and my dad calls every couple of weeks to check in. I can’t fault them in their support. I couldn’t ask for better or more supportive parents.

Now, health professionals, you would have noticed that I see a lot of health professionals. They play a fairly big role in my treatment and support; not as big as my husband, but fairly big. I see my general doctor every week. I see my case worker fortnightly. I see my psychiatrist every few months. I see my psychologist every few weeks. My current hospital trend is that I’m an inpatient a few times a year. And I see my employment worker once a week. It seems like a lot but it’s a strong team and it works. It works for me. It supports me.

Probably the most important for me of all the health professionals would have to be my general doctor whom I see every week. I see him so often that we’ve developed quite a good relationship. We generally only have ten minute appointments but he’s never in a rush to shove me out the door. First and foremost he always asks about my symptoms and how they’ve been, if I’ve been manic or depressed over the past week. After that we’ll just sit and chat about this or that for a while. Before I leave we’ll discuss how my meds are going and if I need any refills. But the biggest thing for me is that I am on disability and he is incredibly supportive of that, he has to be, otherwise I never would have been approved for it. Everything about him is supportive and I couldn’t ask for a better doctor.

All of these people in my life that I have just listed, they don’t have to give a crap about me, they don’t have to care, they don’t have to give a shit, even if it’s their job. My doctor doesn’t have to care, my psychiatrist doesn’t have to give me the extra attention that she does when I see her. My husband doesn’t have to love me. But they do. And all of these people support me in their own ways. All in their different ways. But they all support me in some way or another.

About the Author

My name is Meghan, I’m 27 years old. Author of Always Unstable: Bipolar and Hospitalisation: A Memoir and Blogger at You can find me on Twitter at @alwaysunstable.

I love rain, tattoos, bad decisions, writing, and knitting. Also mentally ill but you already got that, right?


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