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Worried about other users - how are we all doing?

Chris_B
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi everyone,

I thought I'd check in to see how everyone is doing; while the nature of these forums is as a place of support, and it feels good to help others, we need to make sure our own welfare is looked after too.  Sometimes reading the experiences of others can be validating, because we feel 'we've been there', but sometimes it can also be a trigger for bringing up unpleasant feelings.

I've started this thread so we can have a constructive discussion about helping others and helping ourselves - how do you cope when you read about others in distress?  Do you have a self-care plan in place, and if so, what is it?

Really looking forward to hearing from you all.


43 Replies 43

scorch
Community Member

Hi Chris

Beyond Blue helps me to know I'm not alone, and it helps to put my feelings in perspective.  Knowing that other people struggle with the same things I do makes me feel like I'm not such a freak.  Makes me feel like it's not my fault, I suffer from an illness - I'm not just some weirdo who can't cope.  I don't have to pretend to have it all together here... I can just be me.

I do not get triggered by reading about other distress because I figure if they are going through something I would rather know about it and try to support them in some way rather than have them feel like they need to suffer alone.  Of course I feel concern for their wellbeing, and sometimes what is written can be upsetting, but again... I'd rather they post on the forum and let people know that they are struggling than not be allowed to share those feelings/what's going on.

I love that BB forums edits our posts if they are getting too explicit or give too many details - that is really good, because it can be easy to go too far.  So the edits are a good way to make sure nothing too triggering gets through... But sometimes I feel that we are sometimes too restricted with how much we can share, and therefore don't get a reply that fully addresses our topic/problem/feeling. I received an 'edit' notice recently and I have no idea what I said that stepped over a line, so I hope I don't do it again.

This is slightly off topic, but it is connected.  Sorry if it should go somewhere else. But seeing as we are being totally honest, I have to say it doesn't feel very nice seeing an email from you guys in my inbox.  I feel like 'I'm so stupid, I screwed up - why do I bother' when all I am trying to do is help people.  It's like I've done something wrong even though I've tried to do the right thing and stick to the rules.  (Although, I received one today and completely understand why you didn't let it go through.  I'm talking about a different email)  I know you guys are only looking out for everyone, but so far getting those couple of emails has been the only triggering thing for me, and that's because they played on my lack of self esteem and feelings of worthlessness that lurk at the back of my mind.

It's a difficult balance and I imagine we all give you moderators a heck of a headache some times.  But all in all, I think we all appreciate this place and the opportunity it gives us to communicate with people who understand.

I know I am in a better place now than I was when I signed up last year and that is thanks to this community.   So thank you Chris and the other moderators for all the hard work you do here to help us out.  πŸ™‚

Jo3
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Well said Scorch

I00% agree with you.

Jo

cancerianmoon
Community Member

Dear Christopher,

Thank you for asking how we're doing!

I feel more alone and without hope than ever.  I'm new here and posted an intro a few days ago.  Others' stories are helpful in reminding me I'm not the only one feeling this way and there are others who are doing it much tougher.  BUT, it doesn't help ease my pain.  I will keep posting when I need to, as even if I don't get replies I am unloading.  I also get a sense of connection, which is pretty important as I live in a small, rural community.

Warm regards,

Cancerianmoon

Quercus
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hey Chris,

Swear this thread wasn't prominent before! This is a great idea!

I think we all get overwhelmed. It's part of feeling empathy for others. We care. The hardest part I've found is knowing when I need to walk away for a while. Sometimes things hit a bit too close to home.

Other times it is upsetting to be anonymous and not able to give practical help when someone is at risk. I'm learning to recognise my limits and take things slowly. And as White Rose told me once the best thing about the forums is we all help when we can. So you can't help everyone and that's ok. You give what you can 😊.

I also limit the amount of new people I post to at one time. There will always be people who post once and never again but if I respond to too many and everyone replies (along with the regulars I like to talk to) I get overwhelmed.

And last of all... I don't go into certain sections if I suspect they will be too much. I once had another member write to me and just could not make myself open her thread because I suspected it would be too much. I felt guilty. But now I recognise that is absolutely ok. We have to protect ourselves sometimes.

I hope others write here too this is an important topic. Thanks Chris.

Thanks Chris Hi all πŸ™‚

I can relate to some issues here but no it doesn't trigger.

I want to help people as many do help get em up caring yes but trying not to take it on board

It's been rough for a few wks more down than up, still trying to pull through but better thanks. Facing demons hard but gotta be done
Been deadly tired but getting there

How bout you

Hi Quercus and Chris,

I just want to say thanks for this thread,it just helped me to read.

Later

Just need to talk for a bit
Feel like I've caught up on sleep finally but can't shake this depression, I will but so sick of crying & feeling sad, I can't be like this cause when the next BP comes it'll compound, hard enough anyway

Might go for a walk in a tic when I can get these tears under control.

Thanks again for this Chris

Hope you're doing ok πŸ™‚

Chris_B
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Great to see everyone is having a think about taking care of themselves while using the forums.

Just reviving this thread on a related topic - what happens when we see a thread where the member is yet to receive a reply, or we don't think the replies they have are adequate?

Getting invested in the journeys of others here can sometimes lead to a sense of panic if we feel that someone is not being helped within a certain timeframe.

There's a couple of points important to remember here on the forums:

1. No-one here is obligated to take part in any discussion. The purpose of this space is to share stories with one another and take part in a conversation as peers, as equals. While many people say they find the forums helpful, the forums are not a helpline. Most posts will get a reply the same day, but this is not guaranteed. If you read a post that concerns you in the sense that you think the person may be at imminent risk of harming themselves or someone else, then please report the post to moderators and we'll take a look at it (although it's 99.9% likely we've already seen it). That said, if you're still worried, you can always...

2. Light the candle - there's a Sara Henderson quote, 'don't wait for the light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself!'. I've recently seen our community champions referred to affectionately as 'big guns' and 'heavyweights' by some members. But everyone posting here is a big gun and a heavyweight! You all have unique life experiences and expertise to share. If you see a post that hasn't had a reply, jump in there and say hello. You're not expected to solve anyone's problems, our champions included. Think about the first time you posted here on the forums and how it felt to be acknowledged. Sometimes you won't feel you have anything to contribute to a discussion, and that's absolutely fine. But it only takes a sentence or two to say, "I'm listening and I heard you." Tell the person how their post made you feel and how you hope things will get better for them.

Does anyone else have suggestions on this?
 

Fiasco
Community Member

Thanks Chris,

I like what you've written and appreciate it. πŸ˜„

Fi

jonjr
Community Member

Hi chris

Firstly nice post.. my opinion at times are that the moderators can be a bit snappy with there moderating so to speak. Alot of times if the subject doesnt fit or is seen as to far its thrown out.....there are varies kinds of illness and degrees of severity. I myself can be very confronting or muddled up. I would like to see those type of posts forwarded or looked at more closely. At times a better reply with a opportunity to seek help or talk to some one could mean a whole lot more than you know.