This I Believe

Lakota - 72058, Arkansas
Entered on September 13, 2007

How do you help someone who won’t help them self?

It’s hard not to believe in my sisters’ pain, as she goes day by day living a lie. Stress leads to physical and mental disorder and chaos. Everything is wrong and nothing is right-When your whole life is a lie, because you are incapable of choosing who you want to be, you show no truth. Sometimes she gets so frustrated; she blames all of life’s problems on our mom, who is a current leach on the welfare system. Growing up in a family full of havoc, my sister blossomed beautifully. She had a new boyfriend daily starting before the time she hit puberty, but now it seems as though her lovers have waned from all the stress she causes for a simple date. Currently, she calls every now and then to update me on the world as she sees it. It is always about her, which is okay, but she never really says anything; I think this explains her entirely. She is upset but doesn’t know why. She is ecstatic but her happiness is over something so trivial it makes me question her sanity.

In our school days, I let her win all the gold sports trophies, the academic awards, and anything else that I thought would relieve her momentarily of such depression and low self perception. Of course, this is not a positive influence on ones’ self-in time my obedience to my sister manifested into low self esteem and near hatred of her. In her senior year of high school, our father sent her to the doctor. The man in the blue wrinkly uniform diagnosed her with the disease “Bi-Polar Disorder” and thus prescribed her with a miracle drug that would last for three months of pure bliss. During these twelve weeks there were no fights, no chasing one another around the house with knives, or even sticks-and-stones name calling. What I saw in my sister was an angel, who, for so long had been disguised as an ugly monster out for as much damage and torture that she had harbored inside of her. A new, kindred spirit had arisen: We shared intimate talks about life and the future. But the fictional future is never the same as the actual future. In our talks it had been mystified as a great adventure waiting for us as a pair to take charge of and conquer. In reality, our adventure turned into a maze of pity and sadness, of once again talking her through thoughts of suicide. To a normal person, these talks would ignite action- Calling a therapist, enforcing medication- which was the problem. “How can I be someone I’m not?”

This cry was and still is my sisters’ argument for resisting medication. I know she isn’t alone. Millions of people the world over choose their own realm of normalcy, choosing to live with their unstable mindset, than the lifestyle that saves their caretakers (friends, family, confidantes) years of stress and helplessness. Currently, I am helping my sister begin treatment again. It takes steps, but we caretakers always have hope that there is a new beginning. With drugs, there might just be. Like the Hindu Wheel of Fortuna says: “Things must get worse before they get better, so the good things seem better than they really are.”

I say, if life needs a little help to make it seem better, than my sister shouldn’t have to settle for her mediocre happiness. Help is okay.