How to cope?

Hi Everyone,

I am going through a tough phase and need advice.
My sibling has autism and one of my parents has cancer. I have been diagnosed with mental health conditions as well.

I need advice on how to cope. How do I take care of my family as well as take care of myself? My family feels like if I go out, I don’t care about them. But I really need sometime off problems. How do I make them understand this?

Somedays, I feel like things will get better. Somedays, I have no hope. It feels unfair that I have so many problems to deal with in life whereas others don’t. Only two of my friends know about my family situation and I don’t want to keep disturbing them with my problems. How should I seek support when things get hard?

Thanks for all the advice!


From aliceisblue: Hallo sunshine, thank you for opening up and sharing. I want to wish you a warm welcome to the community.

It must be very hard mentally and emotionally having all these different things pile on top of each other and I imagine that from time to time anyone would need to take a moment away to take their mind off it.
I can’t speak as to why your family feel the way they do, I just know that sometimes people have a tendency to feel guilty if they try to enjoy themselves in the midst of hardship and that can reflect onto others around them.

Being able to enjoy moments in life with friends or just going out by yourself doesn’t mean you do not care for your family or that you don’t want to be there supporting and loving them.
Is this a conversation you have tried to have with them before?

I think it’s very generous of you to think about your friends this way. It’s not hard to carry heaviness alone, and perhaps that is what it feels like for you at times.
Friends can be a great source of support, but it is understandable that you don’t want to push too much with the load of all you’re dealing with.

Would your family be supportive of you seeking professional assistance? Perhaps an avenue of therapy so that you have support to talk without feeling like you’re unburdening in your friends?

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Hey there @Sunshine :people_hugging:

The lovely @AliceBlue gave you an amazing reply, so I’ll try not to go over what she said!

It is evident that you are experiencing a challenging time at the moment. I’m so glad you decided to take the brave step to reach out for support. Your current situation seems very complicated, and I totally understand why you would feel overwhelmed. Caring for a sibling who has autism, and then caring for a parent who is terminally ill is a lot of weight to bear. All of things you said you were experiencing (exhaustion, frustration and resentment) are all a valid reaction to the pain and stress you are under. You aren’t alone in feeling like this.

In this situation, you are important too. It’s natural instinct for humans to care about others more than themselves, we are pack animals. We are protective and we would do anything to ensure our loved ones are safe and well. However, it’s much like the safety instructions onboard an airplane: You need to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. This means allowing yourself the time and opportunity to rest and recharge so you can support yourself and your family. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup! Doing this is not selfish, it’s an important part of life.

The difficulties with communication can be about misinterpreting things. In your case, your family misunderstands your absence, and they believe you do not care. However, this isn’t the case. Everybody needs a break from time to time. Reminding your family that your ability to take breaks and time to rest/recharge helps you become more present when with them. Setting the balance between self-care and caring for others is important. Setting boundaries would be a good idea here.

As for seeking support, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to face these challenges alone. While it’s understandable that you may not want to burden your friends, reaching out to a therapist, support group, or online community can provide a safe space to share your feelings and receive validation and guidance from people who understand.

Good and bad days are common, and it’s okay to admit defeat and reach out when needed. Even the strongest swimmers wouldn’t last forever in choppy waters.

Even in the darkest times, brighter days are ahead :purple_heart:

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Thanks a lot for your replies @AliceBlue and @EvilGenius. It felt good to have my emotions understood.

I have spoken about going to therapy before but my family doesn’t think it’s a great idea. Plus it is expensive. However, I’ll try to put my point forward again. I’ll try looking for cheaper therapy options.

Hoping things will get better.

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If it’s something you are interested in, I know heart support partners with better help to do a free period (maybe 7 days, if someone corrects me) And I think they also work with people who may not be able to afford if. Sometimes it feels good even if it’s one or two meetings to talk to someone outside of those involved immediately.

I hope you are doing okay, sunshine. I think it’s beautiful that your username is sunshine in the midst of feeling heavy and burdened. X
Kia kaha- stay strong

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Hello Sunshine welcome to the community and thanks for sharing
The first thing you need to do is work on yourself and learn how to cope with your mental health issues continue talking to us and maybe consider getting an online therapist that way you would still be at home with your family after you learn how to help yourself take time out of your day to spent time with your family even if that’s watching a movie, playing cards or board games or simply talking that was these special quality times moments will make it easy on your parents when you go out. Talk with your friends and ask if they’re ok with your sharing/ranting to them most friends are usually fine with this because they love you and care for you.

Thank you @AliceBlue for sharing the link. I will try BetterHelp. Thanks for all your support!

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Thanks for your response! I am trying to allocate time for this. I will try sharing this with my friends as well and see how it goes.

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