Monday, October 07, 2013

An update: On uncertainty and change

Last week, I wrote about my sister's recent struggles, and I wanted to thank you all for your wonderfully kind words of comfort and support. Your comments and Tweets were so sweet, and I know my sister really appreciated them. And, well, I thought today would be the perfect time to give you an update.

You know how sometimes you find yourself standing on the edge of a metaphorical cliff, and you get that sinking feeling in your stomach because you know that everything in your life is about to change? It's that sort of deep-in-you-bones feeling that just washes over you like a tidal wave. Part of you wants to look over the edge of the cliff while another part of you -- the part that's scared and terrified and so very unsure about everything -- just wants to cling to the nearby rocks for fear that if you do look, you'll most certainly fall down into the ravine.
That's basically how the last week has been for us. My sister came home from the hospital last week, only to be re-admitted four days later, so needless to say, we've been going around and around on an emotional roller coaster. Things are still so uncertain at this point -- which I hate, as you can probably imagine -- but it's looking like she'll be in treatment for quite awhile. Over the weekend, as my mom and I were picking stuff up around the house, the emotions would just completely wash over us. Everything reminded us of Janelle. Her tea cups. Her scattered crossword puzzles. Her iPod. Her purse. Everything was It was the first time that I actually began to feel the weight of what was happening. It was suffocating, and I couldn't help but feel it bearing down on my shoulders. It was the sort of weight I had never anticipated or even felt prepared to deal with. I suppose my defenses were down -- or had they ever been up to begin with? I miss her. She's only 50 miles away, but that distance feels like a lifetime.

Honestly? I'm scared to death. I'm scared that I have no idea what lies ahead. I'm scared of potentially not seeing Janelle for months. I'm scared of how hard this all is on my mom. I'm scared because this whole thing feels bigger and more overwhelming than anything we've been through since my father died. I'm scared because I don't want to go back to that scary place we all were following his death. I'm scared because I don't know how things could have ever gotten to this point.
But, really, I'm scared of what will happen if Janelle isn't able to get the help she so desperately needs. What if she doesn't heal from this? She's such a strong person, but so are these demons that have her in their clutches. And it's those demons I hate more than anything in the whole world. I just hope Janelle knows that I'll fight those demons right along with her... xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]


  1. Your vulnerability, rawness, and apparent love are so courageous. Hoping for only the very best for you, your mom, and of course your sister.

  2. It is so hard to bear witness to our loved ones struggling when there is so much out of our hands. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  3. Darling Melissa. I'm scared with you. Mental illness is devastating - at times - to us all. She WILL find help and a way to get through it... it DOES get better (I've been there with my son)... And I make cookies too - and good soup. And my ears and heart will listen to you.

  4. uncertainties are always so scary.. i hope the love among your family carries you through these tough times. sending you warm and positive thoughts your way.

  5. I'm so sorry, Melissa. I know how terrifying this struggle can be; there's something about being on the outside desperate to help that is just so heartbreaking, frustrating, horrible. But with your love and support, no matter how small it may feel to you, and her strength, I have faith that Janelle will find her way out of this darkness.

  6. So sorry to hear Janelle is having problems. She has a great support team of you and your Mom. It may take some time but she'll be back to you. You are all suffering and there is no way to ease that suffering for the time being. Hopefully, you'll be able to make regular visits which will help Janell and do good for you and your Mom. There are meds that do a great job of helping these problems but they must be taken every day. I've known several people who have had emotional problems and are perfectly fine now and living a very happy life. Wishing Janell a complete and speedy recovery. All the best to you and your Mom. Lots of love in this family for sure.

  7. I'm so sorry to hear this Melissa. I know how hard it is to watch someone you love struggling. Just be there for her, because that's all you really can do! Thinking of you and your family.


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