To the parent with mental illness:

Imagine this: you’re playing with two of the most important people in your world.
The two year old is giggling his head off as he and his 4yo sister try to ‘boop’ your nose.
You too are having fun.
Suddenly, you’re under attack.

You’re pinned down, suffocating under the pressure on your chest.
You go into fight mode, struggling as you try to protect yourself.
Vision blurs, leaving nothing but blank face shapes infront of you.

Nothing can save you from this, not this time.

The moment passes and you realise that both children are looking at you, worried as tears stream down your face.

For many people, this isn’t a scene out of the ordinary.

Chances are, you have experienced something similar.

Society leaves us with all these expectations of what being a parent will look like; how it will feel.
It leaves us thinking that by the time we become a parent, we’ll have it all figured out.
ppy, fulfilled and proud of our two and a half children.

But that’s scenario isn’t real – and not just because you can’t have half a kid.

Family is a term we’ve come up with to try and describe the mess, wonder, love, despair, hope, and fear that gets cobbled together into one unit.

Family is a term that can never fully encompass everything it means.
Behind the scenes, as with any relationship, there’s a lot of hard work.

Give and take.

Sacrifice.

If you’re blessed enough to have only the daily grind and conflicting personalities to worry about amongst those you call family, hold fast.

If your family unit plays host to mental illness in any of its forms – hold fast.

Your family is just as messy as any other.

Just as valid.

Just as real.

Hold fast.

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