"It’s hard to know how to be there for the people we love when they’re struggling," says Munn.
Published Feb 16, 2021
Many of us in the SurvivorNet community can attest to the idea that showing up for other people matters. Actress Olivia Munn, 40, is an advocate for mental health, and has often addressed her struggles with anxiety and depression on social media. As someone who has been in that position of feeling down or scared at times when life gets the best of her, she makes it her mission to show compassion and empathy for others going through hard times like she sometimes does. The “Proud Asian-American” beauty gives some simple advice that we are all capable of following despite our own issues and busy schedules: Just let them know you are there.
Sometimes we don’t know how to comfort someone … or exactly what to say or do to help them, especially when we’re trying to help friends and loved ones fighting cancer, but just letting them know that you are there can mean the world to someone struggling with mental health, cancer, or other illnesses, who may feel like they have no support, whether or not that is true.
“It’s hard to know how to be there for the people we love when they’re struggling,” the Magic Mike star says on a recent Instagram post. “But just know that just being there can be enough.” Actress Kate Hudson responds simply with, “I love this.” The friend or loved one may not ever reach out for anything specific, as everyone handles their hard times differently, but will just know that they are supported and acknowledged.
Cancer survivors who have been through their battles, at least in the eyes of the people around them, still need a network of support, even if they’ve finished treatment and things are looking positive. Ovarian cancer survivor Beverly Reeves, tells SurvivorNet what an immense relief it is to know that people are there when you’re going through cancer, and how important it is to have continued support. “This is the diagnosis that lasts forever, and you’re always waiting for the next shoe to drop,” Reeves says, which people in the cancer community can often understand. “And so, you know, while not everybody is around supporting you on a regular basis, we still need that support, because we’re still going through it.”
The physical scars may be healing and the hair may have grown back, but the mental part is always there. “We just may not look like we looked when we were going through chemo. We have our hair back, we may have a little bit more energy, but we’re still going through.” Reeves urges people to rally their support groups. “Get your close friends. If you’re connected to a faith community, get your faith community. Get your family. Let them know what’s going on and let them help you. And sometimes that’s the most difficult thing to do, but just know that they are there.”
Reeves reminds cancer survivors to swallow their pride or discomfort. “Don’t be embarrassed to ask for the support. So talk to your family and your friends and your faith community, and get that network together so they can support you and be there for you.”
For those of you out there who may find it difficult to ask for help, SurvivorNet is a place that you can always come to whenever you may be feeling alone. We have hundreds of videos from other people like you talking about their cancer and what they’re going through, uplifting survivor stories of those who have made it through, not to mention a number of the top doctors at some of the country’s best cancer institutes who can give you medical advice. You can see their faces, hear their words, and we will hopefully give you the hope, knowledge, and comfort that you are seeking. Although it’s best to talk to your own support group and doctor, we know that having a resource to go to is vital in getting through some tougher days.
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