It’s Not Easy

You know, you get to a point where it seems to be so very challenging to listen to the suffering of your loved ones who have a mental health condition and still continue to hold on to hope. You hear their cry for help in all the mean things they say to you. It takes an awful lot of restraint to not banter back and forth. My brother has been sick for many years, I’m grateful that he is still fighting to be treated fairly, although sometimes that can be a problem, because even though a person may work in the mental health field doesn’t mean they have compassion. Oh trust, I know there is nothing easy about it and I pray for those in that profession. I have another young relative who is in the struggle and it is so hard to watch.

All these years later and it is almost the same. Jail over treatment. My brother is currently in a nursing home and for as long as he has been sick I don’t think I have ever heard him sound so scared. He says some awful things for sure, yet I know he is “reacting,” but you just cannot discount what he is saying. When he is afraid he lashes out at whoever is in front of him especially the people who love him the most.

It seems as though people want to judge and criticize the families, without even considering their challenges. Let me just say that, as much as I’d like to come or go to the rescue I’m not equipped. Probably the worst thing I can do is play “savior.” My brother and my young relative have said some “rough stuff,” which makes it harder. This is why I always say “Support is KEY!” It seems to be across the board that the person with the mental health condition does not want help from their family. They seem to go through the “you’re out to get me,” syndrome. You don’t know what to expect. Or “you’re on their side!”

If it had not been for Steve Lopez I don’t know what would have happened to my brother. I do not live close by and if I did live near, there would only be so much I could do to convince my brother to stay involved in his recovery care. Our family friend Bobby has also been there to do what he can do. Him and Steve have their own challenges and yet want to be there for Nathaniel.

I wish that every family going through this could have such a support system. I really do.

The reason The Friends Of Ayers Foundation is running the “#SOCKS ON” campaign is to draw attention to the need of the agencies attempting to support individuals with a mental health condition. We know that 150-200 pair of socks is not enough, but it says FOA sees you and we want the community you are serving to see you. It is so difficult, but there are people and agencies trying and that really care.

Please tell us about an agency you know of serving and doing a good job. An agency that is working to “HEAR THE MUSIC.”

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