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Jude's avatar

How do you make do when you have few people to turn to for emotional support?

Asked by Jude (32134points) November 4th, 2011

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

34 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Fluther or pay a shrink.

tom_g's avatar

Not very well apparently. I’m trying this very experiment in my life right now.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I try and find comfort elsewhere. I watch a documentary or a programme I really enjoy (Gilmore Girls is a real comfort blanket for me) or even a concert DVD of one of my favourite bands/artists.

Sometimes I find that driving has a calming effect on me but with fuel prices being so high I struggle with that one.

I spend time with my animals.

If all else fails I sleep.

Hope you’re ok.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Music sometimes helps me out. Go for a walk in some place peaceful or look at a nice piece of art and try to appreciate the beauty of the item.

wundayatta's avatar

I find people to turn to. Not on purpose. There’s something in me that is driven. Perhaps it is desperation, or perhaps it is an instinct to preserve my life. All I know is that when there was no one in my life, I found a way to get people into my life. They were virtual people, but that was better than no people at all, and it made a huge difference.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Most of you aren’t going to like this, but I let God be my emotional support. He’s always there, She always loves me, and He never fails to comfort me. I honestly believe that there have been times when, if I didn’t feel I could turn to God for help, I would have died… or killed myself.

wundayatta's avatar

You are lucky to be able to do that, @CaptainHarley. Not everyone has the talent of faith.

mazingerz88's avatar

When there’s absolutely no one else to turn, then it’s just me and myself. It’s not easy for someone like me since I use to be religious and turn to the Catholic God for support. Now I just turn to good memories and reflect on them. I seem to find peace knowing that I really do not know anything so I should just calm myself down and move my behind and do something good with my time.

cazzie's avatar

I drink That was only half joking, I think.

I go online and immerse myself in something distracting for a while. I just recently had a heartbreaking experience, and I started crying again today, walking to the shops.

There has been, I guess, one person I’ve been able to share the whole horrible mess with, only because she was there with me. I don’t know her that well, but she’s been awesome. Even sent messages to see how I was.

Once I calm down, I try to look to the future and make plans. Make plans to have things to look forward to. Focusing on something new helps me deal with emotions I don’t know what to do with.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@CaptainHarley I agree with you 100%. There have been times where it felt like my faith in God was the only thing I had. I’m not overly religious (I don’t go to church, know the Bible by heart or care enough about others beliefs to try and convert them) but sometimes a simple prayer has given me that tiny bit of strength when needed.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Meditation and introspection; I find understanding the reasons why I feel I need support and examining them to be very supportive in and of itself.

Coloma's avatar

You gotta learn to be your own best source of emotional support. Others can listen, but, ultimately, you are the only one that knows yourself best. Yes, a spiritual connection is very important, however you define it.

It helps to “globalize”, meaning, that whenever your focus shrinks down to a narrow little vision of ” all about me and my problems ”..well…I remind myself that in the grand scheme of things my experience is not any more or less, good or bad, right or wrong, than any other human that has ever lived.

cazzie's avatar

@Coloma I like that… Globalise your problems. It is basically a theme of one of my favourite movies. ‘My Life as a Dog’. It is very good advice.

tranquilsea's avatar

I journal, go for walks or runs, paint, draw, knit, punch a punching bag, listen to music, and/or read a book or magazine.

Aethelwine's avatar

My husband or best friend, or sometimes my sister. Just having a few people in your life you can turn to is better than no one at all.

(Fluther isn’t always the best for emotional support. :/)

gailcalled's avatar

I need only a few; my sister, my daughter and two really close friends who luckily live in my ‘hood.

I also find that continuing to do regular volunteer work that involves people is a good thing.

Several times a month I visit a lovely woman who is house-bound due to severe allergies to electricity and sunlight. All of her windows are smoked or have shades and she cannot use the telephone, radio, TV, computer, radio, and any electric appliances. She goes outside after the sun sets for exercise and some r and r. It’s a tough luck of the draw.

We play duets on the piano, eat lots of salad and complex carbs., play with her dog and cat and talk

I am about to take a second mini-course in teaching ESL and will then tutor several students in our local school system.

And as @Coloma says, attitude matters. I have been working on mine for decades.

FutureMemory's avatar

I take a lot of naps.

BoyWonder's avatar

Find an outlet for your emotions to come out through. Oftentimes we put too much reliance on people for our baggage. Although having an effective support system does help, we don’t really need that. We just need to feel good about ourselves first and foremost. So why not do something that fulfills us in that way?

FutureMemory's avatar

@gailcalled I love your post. Thanks for the perspective.

gailcalled's avatar

@FutureMemory: Ah, stop being so nice and go play with your iPod Nano. You don’t think I feel for that “It’s for my day” line, do you?

Scooby's avatar

I have a punch bag in my garage, that’s what takes most of my emotional stress. Plus the spuds ( cats ) are there too :-/
keeping my mind from wondering. Who needs a hug when you’ve a punch bag & a spud!!
;-)

tinyfaery's avatar

I learned at a very young age to live without such support. When I was young my pets were all the support I had. I guess that’s what’s abused and ignored children learn to do. Now I have my wife and my therapist and they have been enough for the past 10 years.

You can always call me, but only if you are willing to deal with the truth. I did have an 8 year career counseling people in crisis.

SpatzieLover's avatar

When I was young my pets were all the support I had. I guess that’s what’s abused and ignored children learn to do

I, too, use my animals as my emotional support system.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@wundayatta

This is true, but it’s not luck, it’s God’s hand in your life. You see, I had to go through hell to get to God, or at least that’s the way I see it now. And faith is a gift of God, lest any man should boast. Just be careful what you pray for. I prayed for God to increase my faith and my little world went to hell for awhile. Some people can only learn through the “School of Hard Knocks!” : ))

wundayatta's avatar

@CaptainHarley So if I don’t have the gift of faith, it is because God has not seen fit to give it to me? That doesn’t seem right. But what do I know?

smilingheart1's avatar

@wundayatta, you are a very, very intelligent kind of guy. Seldom do we find someone who can turn over things in his mind like you can. And that is a compliment. However, faith is as simple as asking God (Jesus) if He/She is real – and then say – if you’re real, make yourself known to ME. (Personally you) like a kid talking to a very loving supportive all caring adult. And then just rest your case. If if comes from your heart, not that intellect of yours, you will just “know.” The way it works is no one from the highest to the lowest on earth, from the brightest to the most challenged will be excluded. The welcome home bells are ringing for all mankind. Can we be still and hear them?

wundayatta's avatar

@smilingheart1 That makes more sense. I wouldn’t think that a God like the Christian one would choose who He wants. I would expect it to be more the way you describe it. But the way @CaptainHarley put it made me wonder. But I know that there will be a different idea of this for ever Christian I talk to.

My point, though, is that I see this choice to have faith as a choice. It may feel like a gift, but it is a choice in that you allow yourself to have it. It is a gift in that you can allow yourself to have it, but it still, I believe, comes from inside, not outside.

When you make this choice, consciously or unconsciously, you have given yourself a gift that helps you cope in situations such as the one described by the OP. In having such an easily accessible coping mechanism, I think you are lucky. You can survive in such a situation because you can find what you need from within.

I cannot do that. I can imagine no circumstances under which I could access that kind of self-passification technique. I need the external support. And, like you, when I have needed it, it was there.

I nearly died from loneliness because I am bipolar and my brain takes things like that much more seriously than most people’s brains do. Everybody and their brother was telling me that I needed to find a way to fill that black pit inside me on my own. I couldn’t do it.

I could not do it. Not that way.

I needed to be shown I was lovable. I could not make myself believe it out of nothing. I needed evidence. I needed people to tell me they loved me. I needed women to tell me they loved me and so I went out and got them. Six or seven in as many months. It still wasn’t enough to make me feel good, but it was enough for me to start to believe that there was something worthwhile inside me.

It would have been a lot more convenient for all involved if I could have had a faith in God and could have learned what I learned without disrupting so many lived, not un-notably, the lives of my wife and children. These relationships were nearly completely virtual, but that both does not diminish their importance nor their threat to my stability. Good and bad.

But I am not so lucky as to have the gift of faith. I’m not sure I would want it if I had it, either. If I am right, and God is inside your head, then He can abandon you as easily as you found him. You can argue to yourself that He will never abandon you, but you only have what you feel and know inside your head. Nothing external. That is too slippery a slope for me to be willing to place a foot on. Give me solid evidence any day. I know I’m lovable now because enough people said it in black and white that it even got through my thick skull. Now my marriage is back to what it was when it was good. I truly believe that there is every likelihood that I would no longer exist if I had not learned I was lovable. My condition kills one in five of people who have it. That’s data.

Maybe faith could have given me the same thing. I’ll never know. I do think you are lucky to have faith, but I’m not sure how safe faith is. Maybe I’m just more cautious. I require proof for everything. I am not a risk taker. People who have faith seem to me to be risk junkies, in a way. They are willing to go all in in a great bluff—bluffing with their lives. I can’t do that. Yet I think people who can do it are lucky. Until the day they find they bet wrong. The day they need their faith and it is no longer there, disappeared as mysteriously as it arrived.

lonelydragon's avatar

Fluther, music, and reading. Especially reading. I create a self-made bibliotherapy course in which I read books that relate to my problem at the time. Knowing that someone else, even a fictional someone, shares the same problem helps me feel less alone.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@wundayatta

Have you prayed for it?

Hibernate's avatar

I ask some of my brothers or sisters in Christ for some help. I usually receive it on the spot not with delays or similar things.

smilingheart1's avatar

Hi @wundayatta, I appreciate your comments and understand what you are saying. Faith in God/Christ/Holy Spirit ” does not stand alone on heresay from one individual to another. And I wouldn’t take anyone’s word for it either, that would be too much to ask of any person. That is why I made the suggestion to you that you personally inquire of God/Jesus as to his realness. However, the Holy Bible, most especially the New Testament is where faith is incubated and born. It is possible to get to a place where one can readily see how much sense the Bible makes. Perhaps the part of you that is wistful for it to be true will be allowed by the part of you that digs in and says it can’t be, to obtain a copy of the New Testament and just start in and read. Over a period of time I think you will see its simple message is valid. All of us who have come to believe have done similarily. We have reached a place where we are fully persuaded and commit our lives to this belief and this personal relationship we are welcomed into.

I myself am persuaded that it is the failings of human role models in our lives that have done so, so much damage to the ability to believe. It nearly always comes down to either significant people grossly fail us or we reach a place in our lives at puberty where we think we are pretty smart and forsake what is real Truth for dirt roads of life. Many do return to the God of their childhood understanding, others go a long way adrift. The Bible is still the truth no matter how much people fail us. This is heavy for you to hear but God wants to step in and heal everyone’s broken heart and help them into the light that they are loved, valued, wanted, have a purpose – forever! I am no airy, fairly butterfly. This deep core healing is something God alone can do for our broken hearts. He really does want you to have love, peace, joy and all the rest of what the Bible calls the fruit of the spirit, or the abundant life.

When I was a young mother with a nursing newborn I quickly realized that the child would literally starve centimeters away from “the promised land” if I didn’t guide him to find it and latch on. I think of that so often as respects the vital things of life that we miss without seeking, asking, receiving.

Every one of us is on a personal journey through this world, unique, but I am convinced everyone of us was dispatched by the same Dispatcher and God wants us to help each other see when our own strength and eye sight is dim. That is all I am trying to do, anyone can bash if they want to I am just grateful for the forum to proclaim God’s love.

Hope everyone has a good weekend, enjoy all the richness before you and know there is love surrounding you in this wacky world.

Jude's avatar

I’m done here. Thanks.

YARNLADY's avatar

Just keep on, keep on. It takes some of us longer than others, but experience seems to reduce the recovery time.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Writing, losing my stress in music even if it’s a temporary fix. I try to get through the hard times a day at a time. Some things I can’t divulge or share and I just do as
@YARNLADY said, keep on keeping on. The good days/events outnumber the bad and so I gamble it will always be that way.

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