Very often, those with mental illnesses fend for themselves alone. It could be because they keep hush, they reject help, or nobody is dedicated enough to helping them. However, in the past one year or so, I have learned the importance of support.

I'll be honest here - it isn't the fault of my family for not helping. They tried very hard to help, but I turned the help away. Firstly because I didn't want them to worry, and then later on because I didn't care about getting better anymore; I had given up and I didn't want resources to be wasted on me anymore.

As for the other people around me, some managed to help and they kept me afloat as I went through secondary school. Some promised to help, but they walked away eventually because I was too much to handle. Some did help, but would only go a certain short distance for me.

About a year ago, I started getting closer with my classmate of two years (now my boyfriend). After much persistence on his part, I decided to let him in. He managed to convince me to start working towards recovery again. He does not go the typical short distance (ie. listening to me rant and telling me jokes when I'm sad). He goes much further - he has finished a series of caregiving classes, he refuses to let me give up at the risk of me getting angry at him, he stays with me past midnight when I'm inconsolable before taking a taxi home... The list goes on. He even had a discussion with my mother regarding caring for me.

Here is a plea to everyone who has ever told someone with a mental illness that you'd be there for him/her - keep your word and go all out. As much as they may deny it, be it because of pride or a fear of hurting you, please don't give up on them. They need you. They need somebody to do what is best for them; somebody to put them first for once, because they sure as hell don't put themselves first.


Published by Claire Leong