Brother, Where Have You Gone?

For Us or Against Us

My dear brother,

I know you are not yourself right now and I miss you. I miss being able to trust you, to count on you and to have fun together. I miss being able to talk to you and to ask for your advice or share a cigarette and a laugh on my balcony. I know that maybe I haven’t always been the best sister, but you are hurting and scaring me right now.

We are in separate worlds, you in the one you have created in your head and me with the rest of society and I am trying to convince myself that it is not your fault that you are acting this way. That you are sick. But everything is so real and rough that I am having a hard time. I think this is the curse with mental illnesses, they can hide so well and people don’t understand that this is not you.

Three years have already passed since you started to have these psychotic episodes and we can already guess the pattern. First you get a high on love. You love everything and everyone around you. But unfortunately it doesn’t last too long and you become careless and rude. You don’t care about anyone around you, you feel that everyone is against you. You start to spend time alone, isolate yourself in your room listening to loud and aggressive music. You no longer sleep. You smoke in the house. You start turning on all the lights. You don’t knock anymore when you enter my room and you just take stuff without asking, and if I say no, I am your enemy. Things will get worse. You will come up with different theories and beliefs and you will follow them. You believe that you are special, that you have been chosen.

That you have a special connection with God, and that is why nobody understands you, but you don’t care, this just confirms even more that you are not like the rest of us, because every genius or “special person” is misunderstood. So you feel as if you are making a sacrifice for the population, you agree to be called the “crazy one” who is socially excluded because you know you are right and everybody will realise this later. You are no longer afraid of anything, and this makes you a danger to those around you, but especially to yourself. At some point you put your plans into motion and act spontaneously.

Then somehow you fall into the hands of the authorities and you get treatment. And you are a new person again and then for a few months you are my brother again. You are an ambitious and responsible person who has ideas and plans, and wants to learn and succeed in life and you also get me excited that we can do this, we can figure out life together, and it works for a while, until the vicious cycle starts again, and this disease steals you away.

How can you help a person who doesn’t want any help? How can you treat a person who doesn’t want any treatment? How can you convince a person who is sick with an illness that can’t be seen?

So many times I have wondered if you ever thought about how this is for the people around you. For those who love and support you. That’s why we are in two completely separate worlds. We can’t empathize with you and you can’t with us. So how are we going to understand each other?

I am sorry for everything that has happened and is still happening to me and to you. Maybe we deserve this, maybe not. But one thing is for sure, I have stopped asking the question, “Why, why us?“. It was taking too much energy and I could never come up with an answer. It made me feel frustrated and angry and jealous of my friends who have a normal life. I was unhappy. I was making myself unhappy, only with the thoughts I was creating.

Then I realized the power that we have. We are in charge of our mood and thoughts, which is amazing. Why shouldn’t we take advantage of that? First step for me: acceptance. It is how it was supposed to happen. I have/had no control over it. This is what we have to learn in order to become better souls. Everything happens for a reason and everything is good for us, even if we realize it now or in ten years.

So, my dear brother, even though it is a rough journey, it’s still for us. For me. For you.

With love,

Carina

Credits

Image Title Author License
For Us or Against Us For Us or Against Us pics_pd Public Domain (CC0)