2023 Has Been Hard

Warning: Long post ahead, suicide mentioned in post

To anyone who takes the time to read all of this, thank you. If not, it’s okay. It feels nice to type everything out even if it isn’t read or responded to.

I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but 2023 has been the hardest year for me and for so many reasons. I’m normally a very laid-back, quiet person and it takes a lot to get to me; but this year has been one bad incident after another and I’m struggling to stay positive.

It started with going on a cruise In late January, which overall was fun but I had a lot of conflict with my older sister. We’re normally really close and she comes to stay at my house often, we go out and shop, and usually do gardening together. During the cruise she changed, and went from treating me as a friend to becoming the “bully older sister” she used to be when we were kids (I’m 30, she’s 33) so we struggled to get along while stuck in a room together for 5 days. This caused her and I to have somewhat of a rift between us, we still talk but I can tell things aren’t the same. On the way back home, she’s really sick and claims she has COVID but refuses to wear a mask around anyone and coughs without covering her mouth (we were in a car together for 8 hours); of course we all caught COVID, and I end up losing a week’s worth of pay because I had used up my PTO on the trip (my company doesn’t offer sick days).

After the cruise I get back to work and things get back to normal until I had an incident at work in the beginning of March. I’m a School-Based Behavioral Health Liaison, it’s a bachelors-level behavioral health position where I provide psychoeducation to students and teachers regarding mental health topics to use in the classroom and I have individual consultations with students as needed (when students have breakdowns in class or ask to talk to me). Normally when I meet one-on-one with students, I send home paperwork for consent from parents unless there is a specific reason or I don’t plan to meet with them more than once. I had a student ask the principal to speak with me as she was experiencing a panic attack. When I talked with her, she told me that her mother physically abuses her and that she’s afraid of her mother. With being a mandated reporter, I reported it to DCS. When the mother found out that DCS opened a case, she came to the school and demanded to speak with the person who made the report. The school principal called me into the office with the mother sitting there, which immediately gave me away as the person who made the report. Long story short, the girl’s mother is threatening to sue me and my company for talking with her daughter without her consent; although I could not get consent as the reason for talking to her daughter was that she was allegedly being abused by her mother.

Then on April 12th, I get a call from my dad that my brother committed suicide. This was the worst of everything that’s happened, as he was only a month older than me (he was my stepbrother but we grew up together since we were 4) and we were really close growing up. He drank heavily the night before and ended his life in front of his two oldest daughters, so it was extremely tragic. It happened at my younger brother’s house, and he held him as he took his final breath. My younger brother is only 25. My family and I are struggling to deal with the loss and the way it happened, I feel like I can’t keep my emotions in check and I’m a mental health services provider (master’s level intern working on my MSW). My brother that passed had separated from his wife a year earlier and moved to Georgia from Florida. She was physically abusive to my brother when they were together, she’s currently on drugs and not providing for their kids. She told the kids that everything that happened to them was his fault and that he didn’t love them. His oldest daughter was so angry with him for moving to Georgia that they got into a fight the night he died, and she told him to kill himself. I can’t blame her as she’s only 15, but I can’t help but have so much anger at his now ex-wife for making his kids believe that he was a bad person when he was just trying to establish a normal life for himself.

The day my brother died, I was scheduled to have a meet & greet with the FBI for a Special Agent position. I had to reschedule for obvious reasons, so it was rescheduled for May 17th. On May 17th, I wake up 4 hours early to get ready. The location was 2 hours from my house, and I wanted to have enough time to make it there early. I leave 45 minutes ahead of schedule, but when I get 30 minutes away from the building I get stuck in traffic due to a wreck. I get through traffic only to make it to the meet and greet 2 minutes late, so they don’t let me in and count me as a no-show although I was standing outside. Since I had previously rescheduled, they terminated my application. I had been working on getting this position since September of '22, so about 8 months total. I drove home 2 hours in silence because I couldn’t believe what happened.

I’m now working on my internship at my current job, but just found out that when I received a $10k raise by getting a new position, I lost half of my benefits. This isn’t really a big deal, it just feels like another thing to add to the list. I’ve lost my brother, I missed out on probably the biggest job opportunity of my life, my relationship with my sister is worse, I’m grieving, I’m constantly worried about my younger brother as well as my family, and I feel like I’m at a dead-end job.

On the upside: I’m alive, I have a job, I exercise daily, I’m not terminally ill, and I have people that care about me.


Although it seems like you are surviving admirably, I sure hope you have someone to talk to, perhaps even a therapist. After all, therapist do sometimes go to other therapists. As an intern, your mentor might be a good resource, but you’ve probably already thought of that.

My grandson died of an overdose, possibly a suicide last August. I’m still not over it.

There is no telling why your sister has decided to become obnoxious. If talking it out isn’t possible, I guess you should probably put as much distance as you can between the two of you.

Perhaps after some time has passed, you can begin the FBI application process again. They may or may not remember you, but maybe they will respect you for your willingness to start over again. At the very least, give them a call and ask if it makes sense to do that.

I’m sorry that 2023 has been so hard on you. Maybe the second half will be better. I admire you for being able to see and appreciate the upside.


Thank you very much for your kind words, and your advice.

I agree, it does help to have someone to talk to. I have started therapy services, but they’re scheduled at 2-week increments, I’m working to move them to 1-week sessions so hopefully it’ll help more doing that.

I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your grandson, going through such a loss is unimaginable but having the stress of wondering what happened just makes it worse. My heart goes out to you. I don’t believe going though such a loss will ever be something you can get over, but hopefully with time it will be something you can move forward with.

My sister is a good person, it was just a shock to see a change in her but I still love her and will always wish the best for her. You’re right in maybe having some distance between us being the best option for the moment.

Thank you, regarding the FBI position I’ve come to accept what happened and in thinking about it, I don’t believe I would’ve been the best option for them. My current job is low-paying and difficult to move up in the agency, but I’m working on finishing my Master’s in Social Work so I have plenty of opportunities ahead of me. I wouldn’t mind going into teaching at the postsecondary level while working towards gaining my license.

I’m going to keep a positive mindset and look forward to the remainder of 2023, sometimes the beginning of the year is rough but the end of the year gets better. Again, thank you so much for your kind thoughts and response. It’s great to hear things from a different perspective and to have support from others.


Hello there, I’m new to this forum & as I was looking through, the title of your post had captivated me to take a look into your story. Firstly, I can definitely relate to the fact that this year has been incredibly rough, more than expected but coming upon your post, I began to realize & see that there are heavier burdens that others may carry that many don’t see until it’s been revealed out into the open. I want to say that although I may not know you personally but based on what I’ve read about you, I’m very proud of you & all of the efforts you’ve shown to have done what you do on a daily basis. Managing yourself while dealing with the heavy load that comes with what you do & what’s been happening around you can be quite burdensome but you carry that with grace that goes beyond even what you could even understand. In other words, you’ve been a light to those around you & there are often times where others may refuse to see or understand it which is often where the mistreatment or disagreements come along. Situations & circumstances go seemingly unfavorable but it’s the continual resilience that stands out the most. Let this be a push for you to carry on doing what you do, continue to make a difference in helping others around through the light you carry from within. My deepest condolences to your brother who has passed away. Unfortunately, the suicide rate has been getting abnormally high as the days grow darker. However, things like this is what pushes me to maintain the light within me to help others as I’m sure it has been for you. May you heal from any opened wounds that keep you from pursuing the best & know that the best is yet to come as long as you continue to seek after it🤍


Hi there, it’s great to meet you and thank you for taking the time to read my post. Also, thank you so much for the kind words. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had a rough year as well, my burdens have definitely been heavy but that doesn’t mean yours aren’t too. I commend you for being so mindful and considerate of my situation. :slight_smile:

You’re right, it is very hard to work in the mental health field when you’re carrying a heavy load of your own personal problems, I’m normally capable of separating work and home life but with the way the year has gone I’m struggling with that. I hope that I’m still able to help others as I go through this, because I truly love what I do. Resilience is indeed the key to getting through life when it becomes too difficult to bear, and I believe that keeping a positive mindset will build that resilience and get us through it all.

Thank you for your condolences, his death was tragic and the more I see photos of him before his death the more guilt I feel because the signs were there, but I was unable to do anything to help. I know I can’t entertain that thought so I try not to think like that, but it’s difficult. The suicide rate has definitely gone up lately, I feel like everyone is struggling these days. I hope you’re doing well with getting through this tough year, and I hope that you continue to carry the light within you to help those around you. You certainly have helped me, so thank you.