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  • Christine

Grief On Top Of Mental Illness


Dealing with grief in conjunction with mental illness  can be difficult.  s
Grief and mental illness can be traumatic and all-consuming.

I lost my beloved sister Nancy one year, six months, and one day ago. I miss her immensely. I think about her several times a day. Nancy always used to tell me - "I am your number fan!" We grew up in a family of ten, with two parents and eight children. The attention to the children was sparse. So at age twelve, Nancy became a little mother to me starting when I was an infant. Between the ages of two and five, I would wake Nancy up in the middle of the night to ask her to take me to the bathroom which was on the floor below. Five of us slept in the attic. She never complained and would just wake up, take my hand, bring me downstairs, and then put me back to bed. All throughout my life, Nancy was my biggest support and my safest person when it came to my mental illness. Nancy provided me with a judgement free atmosphere and we loved one another unconditionally. She accompanied me and helped me through countless mood episodes and hospitalizations.

It can be difficult to manage active bipolar disorder in conjunction with the degree of grief I am experiencing. I hope one day to get to the place where I am so happy to think of memories and to be grateful for the decades I had with her in my life. I clumsily go through cycles with the five stages of grief.


Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's Stages of Grief:


  • Denial

  • Anger

  • Bargaining

  • Depression

  • Acceptance


Take good care,


Christine


"We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon, and we got to get ourselves back to the garden." -- Joni Mitchell

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