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A Letter to Those Who Care for People With Mental Illness

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To the parents, grandparents, partners, siblings, teachers, guardians or best friends of a person like me,

We see you.

We see you as you sit with us when we cry so hard we can’t breathe. We see you when you hold us a little tighter in a hug because you know that’s all you can do in that moment to make us feel better.

We see you when you give us space because we can’t cope with the world right now. We see you when you change the topic of conversation to get the attention off us, because you know we feel like we’re being flayed alive under the scrutiny of those around us.

We see you when you leave a call or text asking how we are doing. We see you when you let us leave your classroom to be alone for a while. We see you when you pick up our prescriptions, drop us off at the therapist and when you listen to us go over the same topic for two hours because we just need you to tell us we are not a “bad person.” We see you. We may not be able to articulate to you just how appreciative we are to have you in our lives, but please know we don’t take you for granted. From the bottom of our hearts… thank you.

Thank you for trying to understand. Thank you for loving us and our illness because it is a part of us and who we are. Thank you for everything. We know it isn’t easy sometimes, yet every day you choose to help us. Just know we appreciate you. We know that will never be enough to repay you, but know that you are what keeps us going, you are what makes us fight, you are what makes us want to live. We fight for you. This disease is not just ours, it is yours too.

To the people who care for us, we see you. You are not lost to us, and “thank you” will never be enough.

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

Image via waewkid

Originally published: February 20, 2017
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