Our Own World of Beauty & Light
This story was submitted by: Anonymous
Having a loved one who battles mental illness may very well be one of the most difficult encounters of my life thus far. The most difficult part is to see someone you care about, in so much pain, and not being able to ease their suffering. In seeing them lose themselves and then having to face and grieve the loss of who you once knew.
The fear, the confusion, the shame, the guilt, the sadness – a constant ebb and flow of emotions as the logic tries to reconcile with the feelings. It is an extremely difficult and tiring role. But one that I would never trade up to care for a loved one.
Through this arduous journey, I have learned so much. Through these darkest of times, I have come to understand the depths of my brother’s soul that I did not before – his fears, his sorrows, the pain he holds.
Though we have always been close, we are now closer because I can carry some of his painful burdens by acknowledging them.
Through the countless arguments and episodes, I have come to learn compassion at a level that I previously could not have conceived of. My ability to be patient and understanding has widened in a way that I would have never cared to have widened to previously.
Because of my brother’s mental illness, I have had to examine the faults of my own communication. Focusing on my own self-work in order to be the best version of someone who can care for one with mental illness. Though my wish, every single day, is that the ones I love can be free of mental illness, I couldn’t be more proud – of him for his strength and resiliency.
Every single day, he demonstrates courage in how he faces his most frightening moments of grief and fear, yet with strength, finds a way adjust his own narrative and mindset.
I admire how he has been able to confront the most extreme of emotions, that I cannot even fathom, and can find a way to create his own world of beauty and light.
I am proud of him for the trust he has instilled in me when I tell him things that I know are difficult to hear, yet he finds a way to reflect on my suggestions in order to find purpose and value in himself.
And with each day in which he grows stronger and adapts, I am reminded of my own strength in helping him find truth.
I grow stronger in the action of surrendering to these difficult situations by facing them head on and with attention.
Life is funny that way sometimes, how the lowest and most painful of times can often prove to be the most lifechanging ones that we need.