What are your pillars of support?

After 4 years of successfully staying out of mental hospitals, I thought I'd reflect on what's helped me to stay well during this time. This reflection will hopefully be of use not only to myself but others. 

I've learned not to “put all my eggs in one basket” so to speak. I believe it's important to bolster oneself with a variety of different supports. Like having multiple pillars holding up a building to stop it toppling over.

Some of my supports over the last 4 years have been…            

Photo by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash
  • Regular gentle exercise (I particularly like going to the gym, going for a walk, or swimming)
  • A manageable amount of work (I am able to build up the amount I can do over time)
  • A good support network (for me this includes friends, family and my NHS community care team)
  • Hobbies (I enjoy reading, writing, life drawing, listening to music)

    Photo by Blaz Photo on Unsplash
  • Prescription medication (after a bit of trial and error, I’ve found medication that works well for me)
  • Therapy (I have received a mixture of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, art therapy and family therapy over the years)
  • Faith (I get a lot from my church community and my church activities)

Some of these e.g. therapy, will have been time limited. Others e.g. the use of prescription medication, is ongoing. 

Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash
Work depends on where you are in your recovery journey. There was a time I thought I'd never work again. Now I work flexible hours on a freelance basis. Who knows what the future will bring?


The benefits of regular exercise is well known. My approach is to go gently but regularly at the gym, when out walking or at the pool. If I overexert myself I won’t want to go back again. 

Faith will not be everyone's cup of tea but many people may feel a need for some kind of spirituality. However if it's just not for you, as with everything in my blogs, take anything that's helpful and leave the rest. 

Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash
You may want to reflect on what your supports are? 

What are the pillars holding you up?

Bryony Bennett

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