To My Little Sister, Who Witnesses the Effects of My Mental Illness

I know you were only 6 when I had my first episode and I know how confused you were. I know no one explained it to you.

I couldn’t — I was still figuring it out myself.

I know throughout the years you’ve had to step up and be the older sister even when you weren’t supposed to be. I know the look on your face when you’ve seen me after self-harming, or locking myself away behind a closed door. I know the look of worry in your eyes when you see me still in bed in the afternoon, or haven’t eaten all day or have just had a really bad day with my anxiety. I also know that even though I’ve been stable for a year, you’re wondering when it will happen again and you’re scared. I know you’re always worried about bringing friends or boyfriends over and wondering what they will think of me if something happens. I know you might use the word “crazy” to describe the house you live in.

At the end of the day and after all these things are said and done all I can tell you is that I love you, thank you and that you are one of the reasons I continue to fight and one of the reasons I am still here today. You are truly one of the bravest girls I know.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

Thinkstock photo via Purestock

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Mental Health

digital painting of girl dressed as an angel, oil on canvas texture

I Had to Hit Rock Bottom Before I Could Get Better

As much as I am completely aware lifestyle and mindset play a key part in recovering, I have to admit being on medication for my depression has helped me a significant amount. At first, I was cautious to accept and admit I had depression, I was also in complete denial regarding the prospect of taking [...]
7-day self-care challenge image

Why You Should Join the 7-Day Self-Care Challenge

“Self-care” is one of pop psychology’s latest buzzwords, but my brand new, seven-day challenge is a guide full of helpful, practical content for readers from all walks of life. If you have ever felt hopeless or believed all the bad things in your life are beyond redemption, if you have ever felt unworthy of being [...]
woman laying on a couch in a field

6 Truths of Starting Psychotherapy

The most pivotal and liberating experience of my life was attending weekly psychotherapy for three years. Each session, I sat down with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, using a variety of techniques, to process and work through traumatic experiences from throughout my life. I also worked with a psychiatrist in the same practice to find [...]
House key on a house shaped keychain on wooden table

6 Things to Know Before Moving in With Your Significant Other With Mental Illness

A few days ago, my boyfriend and I went from jokingly talking about him moving in with me to seriously talking about him moving in. The choice has been made and he is going to move in at the beginning of next month. While I’m excited for this to be happening, I’m also very scared. [...]