I’m Dying Inside… What Can I do?

Love is our Resistance.
Love is our Resistance. (Photo credit: Xanetia)

What do you do when your whole world seems to change around you with out you realizing it? What do you do when all that you’ve come to know and love and appreciate almost wastes away like a forgotten dream in just about a year’s time? What do you do when your own family doesn’t seem to know you anymore.. or you think that way? What do you do when your age becomes your excuse to be way less than your potential to be? When all that you are known for seems to blow away in the wind? What do you do when it’s not just the concerned comments coming through from family members that are flowing in, but doctors are telling you it’s time to get “serious” about yourself? How about when your anger and attitude and self hate gets so bad and you change so dramatically, that you end up pushing your own family away?
The people whom care about you the most and try to give you everything you’ve ever needed or asked for within their means are literally banging their heads against the wall wondering, “what did I do wrong?” The children whom you hold dear to your heart, now fear your reactions on simple things such as how much to eat or what to say that won’t make you blow up. When the only escape that seems manageable is burying yourself in pain killers and video games because it’s the only thing affordable anymore than lets you forget for just a bit. When the weight seems to never go away along with the constant hurt, but you can’t seem to bring yourself to do anything about it. What do you do when the only thing that seems to cross your mind or lips anymore is, “what’s the use?” or “oh well!” cause you don’t have the energy to care anymore?
I try to ask myself these questions everyday to try to understand why one of my best friends and true family member is falling farther and farther down hill mentally. I try to put myself in his shoes the best that I can to wonder and maybe empathize to the fact that he doesn’t have the energy to care anymore since everything he knows in “his mind” has abandoned him. I try not to constantly remind him that I notice his memory is going or that he’s getting more and more easily angered over things. I try not to throw at him the details of his frustration and the damage his reactions cause to the family regardless if it’s meant to be that way or not. I try my absolute most endearing way to find the “loop holes” that will give me a chance to help him make sense of a life worth living.
I know I’m a help-aholic and who wouldn’t be after being raised in a family where responsibility came as early as 7 years old. I’ve been taking care of people my whole life and when I felt I couldn’t help them, I turned to helping animals. My problem this time is I’m running out of answers. I’m running out of solutions to a problem that’s far out of my reach or out of my control. I’ve always been able to push or pull or poke or prod to find something to help whomever my heart was attached to. I’m finding this time, I’m literally at my wit’s end and I don’t want to be that person that quits like everyone else did. It’s tearing me apart to stand back and watch my family member to slowly but surely mentally and physically die in his own depression and degrading. I would pull my hair out, but I don’t have enough to pull. I don’t have that ability to just “drink” it all away like some can. I don’t do drugs! I can’t just say it’s impossible, because my mother raised me, “nothings impossible if you put your mind to it”.
Well damn it!!!! I’m putting my mind to it!!! I’m giving my all!!!! I’m doing everything “right” in my eyes!!!! Why can’t I find the answer to help a very important man in my life? Why can’t I fix this one? Why can’t I just wake up one morning and actually have the right answer to his question? Why am I letting him push me away farther and farther instead of hanging on to whatever I have of him left? Mom, you always told me, “You are as strong as you want to be” and “Can’t means you don’t want to” and “You can do anything you put your mind to”. All these words keep echoing in my head and yet I still can’t seem to put my finger on the single solution that has to be there! He’s tearing himself apart day by day and I’m watching him go down hill and just not care! How am I supposed to be the right friend or family member that I always have been and carry that weight on my shoulders just long enough for him to have the strength to do it again?
I tried taking on a daughter so that he could come around and become strong again. It seemed my parenting tactics or ways were different from his own. It seemed all that I tried to do were only good and acceptable as long as his own interests were involved in some way even if not my intention. I gave them both my heart, my home, my life, my love, my acceptance, my ways, my interests, and my honesty and dedication. I’m really beginning to feel like all that I have done has been in vain for my own needs to help someone. I can’t seem to grasp the fact that my very understanding and open-hearted self hasn’t figured the way to make this all work and make sense. I bought everything that was in my means to get them with no questions asked. I showed them everything that was in my intelligence to show them with no arguments held. I loved them with no judgment or regard to the past with as the questions slowly but surely piled up.
What have I done wrong? What have I said wrong? What am I missing? Why can’t I see the answer to this one? Why does it practically kill me to realize this is out of my reach? Why do I have to sit back and watch a very dear soul to my life wither away right before my eyes? Who is this person that’s come about? Where does this anger stem and why can’t I find where it ends? How do I get up everyday and take another step outside of that pure non-judgmental love for a human being that knows how to cause walls to go up? How do I look at him as the same loving friend and family member that he’s always been for the last few years of my undeveloped life? If I blink several times, my eyes seem to stay dry and red.
My heart aches and my life falls apart. Sure I have my loving children and my wonderful partner. Sure I have my two-pound little girl that makes my heart flutter with the excitement and love I’m greeted with upon arrive in my room. Sure I have a great staff to work beside solving some of the worlds’ most complicated problems to any tourist or visitor that may come past our door. Sure I can go about my day with smiles and laughter that can’t be contained from a well-developed and beautiful communicated relationship with my family collage. A family is only as strong as their weakest link. That’s what I’ve come to believe and realize. That’s what I’ve come to see as strength. If we let our family members fall and not give it our all to help them get back up, then we are no better than them regardless of where we stand emotionally, financially, physically, or otherwise.
So have I let him fall? Have I stood over and watched him helpless get back up with out reaching out a hand for help? Have I made the decision to each their own? Have I failed my very close friend and family member due to an unexplained selfishness or self-righteousness? He’s refused my help the last hundred times it seems… yet I keep finding little windows of hope to keep trying. He’s a whole different person now… yet I keep the small prayer that the person I knew years ago will once again arise with a smile. Who is this person I’ve become to give up so easily? Have I given my all truly? Have I run out of ways to outsmart, outwit, out-think, out do all his excuses to take himself down?
It seems being a help- aholic, I’ve also become an enabler. I’ve been told this several times in my life and I’m seeing now more clearly than I ever have before. It’s so much torture to my well being sitting back and realizing I need to “let it be”. I know I know.. “you can’t help something who’s not willing to help themselves” .. I’ve heard it. The problem is I can’t bring myself to believe it. I can’t bring myself out of the heartache that I’ve caused myself to realize it’s not my fault. I can’t seem to see the problem of the enabler, but only the blessing of the help-aholic. What’s so wrong with trying to be that one that “saves the day”? It’s good right? It’s good to be helpful in every way you can… right? It’s good until it becomes everyday… I’ve said to myself several hundred maybe even thousands of times.
Has it become everyday… I wonder? Has it become all the time… I wonder? Does he seem to even try anymore… not really. Then why… why do I try… why do I cry… why do I constantly rip myself apart? Why am I letting everything around me get worse, because I don’t have the heart to say “no”. I don’t have much strength to say “yes” anymore either. What am I supposed to say? I tried to get him on meds, counseling, exercising, companionship, and anything else I could get my hands on. It’s not working!
Is it ok to quit? It is right to finally give up? Will I still feel complete if I just let go? These answers I don’t have. These questions roll around my head tirelessly reaching out for possible answers. No advice seems to fit. I continue to let thoughts run through my mind. Endless puzzles form from words and questions that don’t yet exist. Looking for that “light at the end of the tunnel” is more work than I ever thought. Will he ever see the way?
When will the loving friend and family member I know come back to those who are tortured by his disappearance, and who is this impostor trying to take his place?