How To Build A Support Network While Living With Hypothyroidism

Hi there hypothyroid friend!

There were several years where I kept my health issues a secret from almost everyone. Well, not entirely a secret, because it was obvious something was very wrong with me.

But I gave almost no one a glimpse into just how hard it was for me. I hid behind “I’m fine, I’m just tired.” I isolated myself when I needed help the most. There were many dark days where I cried because I felt so alone.

Who Can I Talk To?I didn’t have to feel that way. Once I gained the courage to be vulnerable, I discovered that some of the people around me wanted to help.

It was incredible to not feel alone with my health issues. Instead of hiding myself and my problems, I learned to reach out when I was at my worst. My life has been more beautiful ever since.

This month I am dedicating my posts to the topic of “How To Talk To Your Family And Friends About Living With Hypothyroidism”.

Everything we talk about could also apply to chronic illness in general, especially others w/ chronic fatigue. We can all relate to one another.

I recently saw a great question. A woman dealing with chronic fatigue said (I’m paraphrasing) “I need to get a support group together for when I’m at my worst. I can overcome every other obstacle, but one of the things I continue to struggle with is knowing who to turn to in my time of need. How do I do that?”

I want to share my response with you, because I think it’s something most of us could stand to hear. It was hugely helpful for me when I learned it.

Here’s the secret: you want to identify those people BEFORE you need the most support. When you’re not well but getting by is the best time to build your support network.

First, select a few people you feel close to, and choose a few sentences to share with them. Maybe you’re comfortable telling them your diagnosis, the symptoms & challenges, how you feel about it, and what you’re doing about it, or any combination of those.

Lay that present of vulnerability in front of them, your chosen few, and don’t place any expectation on how they respond. None. Don’t “hope for the best” or “expect the worst”. Just be open to their response.

Some people will be empathetic. Others might go “Oh, Ok” and the conversation ends. Still others may get uncomfortable…or not believe you. They’re allowed to have their reactions, regardless.

Remember that their response has very little to do with you, and everything to do with themselves.

Instead, focus on those who makes you feel more comfortable after talking to them.

These caring souls will become your support network, when you need it. Because you’ve established that trust before you need it.

Then, when you want to reach out because you just.can’t.even, there aren’t any surprises. You don’t need to rehash your background. Instead, you just jump in with where you’re at today.

That makes it all more simple for you both. You don’t have to feel alone anymore, and you don’t have to spend precious energy wondering who to reach out to. When you have those conversations in advance, they can just give what you need at that moment – loving & open support.

 

In love and in health,

Kristin

 

So how do you build your support network? Did anyone surprise you by being more supportive than you expected? What are you still struggling with?

What our hypothyroid friends are saying: