My life is by no means terrible, or hard. On the contrary, most days I wake up happy. I have a loving family, a job I’m not too irritated at and a group of friends I consider an extension of my own family.
But it isn’t all rainbows & unicorns.
See, I have a sister who suffers from bipolar disorder. And at 26 years old, this is something that I’m still trying to live with. While I’ve accepted that my sister is indeed different (& I don’t mean this in a bad way), and that she thinks and feels differently than most people do, it is still something that I’m trying to adapt to.
The past 5 months have been pretty rough for her, which in turn have made them pretty rough for me. Even though I preach a ‘me first’ lifestyle, my only weakness is my parents and two sisters. When they’re in pain, I’m in pain, when they’re sad, I’m sad. So for the past 5 months, the roller coaster that has been her life has been my life.
Her ups have been great, scoring an internship with an NHL team, taking charge of a broadcast camp for said NHL team, even getting recognition from other teams around the league for her work. But the lows are worse, she’s had 3 episodes in the last 5 months, and while that may not seem like a lot, those experiences are so draining that I feel the residual effects for days, even weeks after it has passed. These have been the first times that I have actually seen her have episodes, and the pain they cause sometimes feels as if it too much to bear.
I wish there was a way I could make it better, a way that I could take her pain and make it my own, but I know that isn’t possible, and I know that this is something that my family is going to have to live with for the rest of our lives.
I’ve done my research, I’ve tried to talk to her when she’s having a good day, to tell her that I’m here for her and that I WANT to help her get through this. I know there are millions of people who suffer from this disorder that lead normal lives. But I’ve also come to realize that as long as she isn’t willing to put in the work to make it better for herself, nothing I say or do will make it better.
I just wish she knew that we were here for her.