Exploratory Exercise: What Does “Support” Mean to Me?

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As you read through the prompting questions below and sit with each of them for a time, write down your thoughts, feelings and reactions in your journal. 

1. When I consider the notion of “support”, what words, phrases, ideas, or images come to mind?

2. Now taking a look at those words, phrases, ideas, or images that I wrote down, does anything become clear to me regarding how I personally define support? (For example, some people associate “support” primarily with finances and logistical help, while others see it primarily in emotional terms. Some are drawn to support that is fundamentally mutual in nature, while others prefer to fully be on the “receiving end” when in need of help.)  

3. Have I ever felt a strong desire for support in my life? Did I ask anyone for that support? What did it feel like to have or express that desire? (For example, some people, when thinking about or expressing a need for support, tend to feel “weak” or “desperate”, while others find that understanding and honestly expressing their needs makes them feel more self-confident and strong. Some people feel perfectly comfortable asking for help, while others find doing so to be extremely uncomfortable or even humiliating.)

4. Have there been any times when, in retrospect, I feel that I may have been too often or too intensely seeking some kind of support from others? Is there anything that I think I could have done differently for myself, or would do differently for myself if similar feelings arose again?

5. Now please head to TWP’s Help Hub to read the short article, “Supports that People Sometimes Find Helpful for the Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Journey”.

6. Once you’ve finished reading the article, take a few minutes to pause and touch base with where you feel that you are at in your own life in terms of supports. Did you find yourself resonating particularly strongly with anything in the article, thinking that you might like to have particular kinds of supports in place? Do you feel that there are many people you could turn to for these different types of support if the need arose? If you’re feeling fully confident and comfortable with the level of support in your life, or clear on any next steps you plan to take, you may want to move on now to the next step. But if you have unresolved questions, are feeling concern regarding your current support circumstances, or are just generally curious to keep learning more about how to think through getting a better support system in place, then you might want to head over to TWP’s Help Hub to read “How Laypeople Build a Strong Support System for the Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Journey” and/or continue on to the 'Optional Exercise' in this step.

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