Not too Close Please

I draw back very quickly, if a post is too triggering.

Being a mirror to others.

While I was writing my story about mental illness in form of a book later titled Balancing the Beast, I was also blogging and chatting on several mental health sites. Thus I befriended other mental health consumers like me. I remember a social site for this kind of people, where I was daily conversing with two men and two women. Both women were suicidal and the two guys and I were consoling them. I remember waking up every morning in fear they might have committed suicide. It was agony. Fortunately, after a few months, the site was restructured and I lost contact with the two suicidal women. It was supposed to be a big lesson for me not to get too entangled, but I learned nothing.

Later I joined Facebook, when I felt ready to really come out of the closet with my story. After all it was the point at which I had already published the book Balancing the Beast. My story was public on Amazon with my real name and everything. Of course, even on fb I got too close to a few people, one of which I had to unfriend, for I was too worried about her. The other I did not unfriend, but I got very cautious about which posts to read and which not. I have this problem, where I totally fall into people stories, empathize too intensively and consequently cannot fall asleep in the evening.

Today, I think, I have learned my lesson. I draw back very quickly, if a post is too triggering, I stop reading soon enough. The only problem are occasional messages from people trying to get my help. I have a strategy now, though. If they tell me their story in their message, I answer something like: “I sympathize, but I cannot give you any advice based on my experience, so I suggest you get professional help.” If, on the other hand, they only write something like: “It is serious. I need your advice. Here is my phone number,” well in that case I simply do not answer. I reckon it is less hurtful to pull back at the very start than drag it along and cut the contact later, when one is already involved.

Take care,

Helena Smole, author of:

– a fantasy novel with romance Vivvy and Izzy the Dwarf: A series about relationships

Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

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