Allow yourself to feel
You may be focused on your loved one and what you can do to help them get through this. But it’s important to recognise your own feelings too. You might feel sympathy for your loved one - after all, you still care about them. Being in jail sucks. If they’re facing a long sentence, you might be grieving the loss of the relationship you once had, and thinking about how you’ll never get those days back.
Take care of yourself
Self-care is often the first thing to go out the window when you’re worried about someone else - but it’s most important. Going through something stressful like this can be hard. When you neglect your mental health, it is harder to provide emotional support for others.
Take time to do relaxing activities for yourself. Spend time with loved ones who care. Write in a journal about your feelings, or make a list of things you’re grateful for.
Other people’s reactions
You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Before you react to gossip, think about whether it’s worth your energy. If it’s someone close to you, it might make sense to tell them how you feel and ask them to stop. But if it’s a stranger and you don’t have much control over the situation, it might be better to try and brush it off. Picking your battles is good self-care!
Remember that your loved one is only human
Everybody makes mistakes - some bigger than others. Making mistakes is part of being human. Try to remember that your loved one is still a human being, no matter how badly they’ve messed up and who they’ve hurt. If they are living with a mental illness, remember that this can affect their ability to make good decisions.
You don’t have to forgive your loved one right away but when you do, it lifts a big weight from your soul.