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    okidoki
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    I had 2 siblings really struggle with mental health issues. One was in the hospital for depression for a very long time,  while another for an eating disorder.  A bit more than a year ago my sister who was struggling with an eating disorder collapsed and had a seizure, and got rushed to the hospital. I feel that ever since seeing my siblings struggle, I have never completely snapped out myself. While they are doing much better now,  I’m struggling with connecting with my siblings, and I just keep my distance because I fear getting close and chas vshalom loosing them.  How can I just move on and stop being stuck in what took place last year?

    Hi okidoki,

    Just reading about some of what you and your siblings have experienced was intense, I can only imagine the intensity of your life when you were seeing your siblings struggle so much.

    I think sometimes what helps us understand how to navigate mental health better is to look at the issue as if it’s a physical issue.  When a family member has a scary diagnosis like cancer, G-d forbid, we often find that the community rallies around not just the sick person but the entire family as they combat the illness.  The reason being because every single person in the family is experiencing the illness in his or her own way.

    The same is true for mental illness.  Every person is experiencing that illness is his or her unique way.  Support is not just crucial for the person struggling with the illness but for each member of the family and that includes you.  You have witnessed a lot, you have experienced a lot, you have feared a lot, and you have lost a lot because of your siblings struggles.

    It can be immensely helpful to get the support you deserve by going to therapy, going to virtual support groups, reading from online resources or doing workbooks, self-caring, etc. so that you can navigate your own fears, losses, and grief.

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    okidoki
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you so much for your rely!

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    splitandtrying2bme
    Participant

    Hi there,

    Sounds so tough. The pain around having to see your siblings suffer like that must be so hard. I can’t imagine what it’s like.

    I’m writing to you from the other side. I’m the one with the eating disorder in my family, and I can’t imagine what my siblings and especially my sister – is going through.
    If you were my sister I would want to tell you this: please sis take care of yourself. Do nice things for yourself. You deserve to be happy and not to be pulled down by my illness. I want us to be close and I would never want you to distance yourself. However, (and this is hard to write) I want you to do what you need to do in order to stay well and functioning. I want you to make choices that will keep you happy.
    And about you worried to lose me- I am and I will – fight as hard as I can to fight it, make it, and live. You stay strong and do what you got to do while I fight my battles. You can’t ‘just move on’ like you write. Get yourself help and support. You have seen a lot. Although you don’t hear me telling you these things much because I am so occupied with my own struggles, I want to say- Stay strong sis, you deserve it.

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    okidoki
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Hi. Thank you so much for your reply!

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    Troubled
    Participant

    First off, I’m so sorry for what you’re going through.

    Not too long ago, I was in a very similar situation. My sibling struggled with an eating disorder for years, and it affected family dynamics substantially. My sister was a shadow to her real self, a ghost. Her disordered behaviors created distance and oftentimes hatred towards her. During and after her treatment, I wanted to support her and connect with her, but the years of distance and the possibility of losing her again made it very hard for me. The worst was when she relapsed while I was in charge of her. I was helpless and hopeless.

    I started therapy and learned how to reconnect and stay within a healthy distance; I talked to a friend I trusted when I needed a shoulder to cry on; I took on some self-care.

    Keeping the balance can still be hard at times, but the results are so worth it. The relationship we have now is honestly beyond my own comprehension. Being close to a sibling is not just like having a good friend. A sibling gets you like no one else can.

    Know that you matter, take care of yourself, and be strong. I’d encourage you to reach out, and I wish you all the best.

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    okidoki
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Hi. I am back again.

    I don’t have a question, I am just extremely overwhelmed and anxious and don’t know what to think.

    I said last that I had 2 siblings who were hospitalized for mental health conditions. Recently was my sister for an eating disorder.  And I am still having a hard time.

    Well, this past Friday it was found that another siblings of mine (a 3rd sib) was planning suicide. It was found because somebody saw what she was checking on the computer and then of course things start to blow up. Now there is talk of her going to the hospital,  and I don’t know.

    I am not sure what you think? I don’t think I can go through this again.  Im scared about what the future holds. Ugh.

     

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    splitandtrying2bme
    Participant

    In response to okidoki's post #10607:

    wow. I’m so sorry your going through that. Sounds hard and traumatic. Do you have people to speak to about what’s going on? Sounds really difficult…

    sending strength and love…

    Hi okidoki,

    That sounds so terrifying on so many levels.  It makes sense that you might feel a jumble of emotions including confusion, anger, sadness, loneliness, and fear, to name a few.

    Garnering the right support as well as making sure to engage in lots and lots of self-care activities in a crisis is crucial.  Self-care includes nurturing your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing (ex: making sure to drink water -in a crisis we often forget these very simple aspects of taking care of ourselves).

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    okidoki
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you for your responses. It means a lot to me.

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