A Letter to My Parents From a Young Adult With Multiple Mental Illnesses

Dear Mom and Dad,

I want to endlessly say thank you. Thank you for going on this unexpected journey with me. You probably didn’t expect that some of your toughest years as a parent would happen when your child was fully grown. I may be 22 years old, but I still need you. And in many ways, your emotional support is warranted now, more than ever.

Thank you for paying my psychiatrist, therapist, nutritionist and hospital bills. I know soon enough I’ll be supporting myself, but for the time being, I appreciate your support.

Thank you for answering phone calls whenever I am having a depressive episode, a hypomanic episode, an anxiety attack or urges to self-harm. Thank you for talking me out of the thoughts that don’t belong to me, but simply exist in my head as a part of my disorder.

Thank you for not disowning me when I went against your wishes during a hypomanic episode and got a tattoo.

Thank you for supporting me this past semester when I dropped classes following an inpatient hospitalization so I could attend an intensive outpatient program.

Thank you for understanding that finishing college is not a race and that I’m trying my best to get to the finish line.

Thank you for letting me come home two years ago when my eating disorder had gotten the best of me.

Thank you for treating my sisters and I, mental illness or not, all with equal, unconditional love, compassion and respect.

I’m so grateful to have parents like you.


Your daughter

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. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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Thinkstock photo via Kikovic

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