Category Archives: Coping with Family Stress With A Mental Illness

HE AIN’T HEAVY HE’S MY BROTHER

I saw my brother right before I left for Florida. He stopped by with my oldest nephew his son. His son is great. He’s getting ready to start college and it’s one of the best schools. My nephew is just like my brother. He’s 6’3″ and heavyset. He still has a baby face though. My brother was in an ok mood and looked good.

Fast forward to today. When I heard my dad talking to someone I came down the stairs to see who it was. When I saw my brother my heart went into my throat. He looked like he had lost at least 50 pounds. It had only been 4 weeks since I had seen him last. His skin was gray, his face drawn, and he had dark circles under his eyes. H was telling my dad that he was going for a CAT Scan tomorrow because he’s been sick. He’s been throwing up, nauseous, having headaches and diarrhea. He’s also having pain in his back and one side of his stomach protrudes out. I can tell he’s scared but he’s also stubborn and won’t let anyone see him vulnerable. He wouldn’t let me go with him to his appointment.

I’m scared. The change in him is so dramatic. He drinks a lot and has for as long as I can remember. He started smoking pot at the age of 11. Alcohol came later but not much later. He’s never stopped doing either for any length of time. Except now. That’s what really scares me. He’s too sick to drink. That’s how I know it’s bad.

My brother still has not seen my sister’s youngest son. She hasn’t talked to him or seen him in years. She refuses to. When she holds a grudge and is done with you she’s serious.

My sister, my twin, told me 2 days ago that if I didn’t put myself in the Hospital that she couldn’t have me in her life. That would mean I couldn’t see my nephews either. I refuse to admit myself to any Hospital for any reason other than a Medical Emergency. My sister has never had to stay in a Mental Health Facility. I have. I was forced to by a Judge on 2 occasions and went willingly on 2 occasions. Each time it was the same. I never saw a Doctor, I watched TV, I slept, I received Benadryl, a few had arts and crafts, and then I went home. Tell me how any of that helped? These were 4 different facilities. There was a fifth where I received ECT and the Hospital was a nightmare.

I don’t respond well to threats and ultimatums. I did call my sister to tell her about our brother. She just said “Oh ok”. That was it. I’ve decided that I’m done. I’ve talked everything out with my father, we are in a good place now. That’s all that counts right now. After that I’ll try to be there for my brother. fb_img_14740552026192.jpg.jpg

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