The Importance of a Chosen Family.

As an introvert, I often forget how much I still need social engagement. The worst thing a person dealing with depression or anxiety can do is isolate themselves. It allows all the false thoughts work overtime on your consciousness and pull you further into the quagmire. A support system is necessary. You need people who can tell when life is getting the better of you without you even saying it at times. You need people who are going to get you thinking and talking about things going on outside of your mind. You need people who will get you out of the house. You need a support system.

Often we wish family could fulfill the role of support system, but they don’t have the distance needed to listen without judgement or simply lack the emotional capability to be what we need. In many cases, family is the origin of our neuroses, so they really can’t be that support system. If we open ourselves up to those around us, a family of our own design will form. You will find yourself gravitating toward them, and them toward you. You’ll find talking with them isn’t difficult, and sometimes isn’t necessary at all. Just sitting in the same space is enough.

This weekend, I had so many meaningful conversations with people I love. We talked about what was going on with them, what was going on with me, and how we felt about all of these things. In some instances, I was able to verbalize for the first time how I felt about situations. Feelings I don’t think I was completely aware of. I saw how I viewed myself, but more importantly, I was able to see how others viewed me. In isolation, my perception of reality can get skewed by negative self-talk. Having emotionally responsible people around to hold up a mirror for me is invaluable. They let me know when I was focused on the wrong things and inspired some new ideas. I was able to do the same for them. That’s the beauty of a chosen family: by helping them, you end up helping yourself. We get through together. We come out better.  We’re challenged to grow and become our best selves. All it takes is the courage to open ourselves to possibility of making that connection.

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