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Words of hope for family members and others supporting someone in Maine with a mental illness

 

These Words of Hope are from Maine family members who’ve been where you are now.

Caring for someone with a mental illness can be overwhelming, confusing and life changing. But things CAN and DO get better for many, as you’ll see from these messages below. We hope they help you find comfort and strength.

We also encourage you to explore our Maine resources for families and others who support a loved one struggling with a mental illness, including phone numbers, support groups and more.

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 “When your family is in crisis, and your acutely ill loved-one is so altered in personality and affect, it can feel like someone you love has died. Going through the process of getting your loved one help can be confusing, stressful, and lonely. Professionals who are helping you forget how devastating it is for the family, and friends often don’t know what to say and so make the mistake of saying nothing at all – leaving you bereft and isolated. And when your loved one is so sick, it is hard to believe a good outcome is possible. After seven years of experience dealing with the mental illness of someone I love, I know recovery can be an agonizingly slow process. It is hard to believe that things could get better – but they can! 

During our family’s darkest hours, I wish someone had said two simple things to help us: 1) Recovery is possible, and 2) Never give up hope.

~ CT

~

Do Not Give Up Family 

do not give up
no one can make the difference that you can
no one can influence healing like you can
no one can shepherd your loved one like you can
no one
do not give up
do not feel doomed
you have the power of family

steps toward recovery are always possible

just reach out

we have walked the same path and we are here to help

~NB

~

 

As a mother, to watch my daughter in such pain was the darkest, most difficult time of my life. I had only one thing to hang onto–Hope.  Now, two years later, I hang onto another virtue–gratitude.

~KP

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The greatest gift I have received through this journey of loving someone with mental illness has been finding new friends who have experienced what our family has.  They have been strength for me when I didn’t have strength of my own.  They have shown me through their actions what it means to have hope for a better future.  My advice to other family members – educate yourself, love your family member with mental illness as much as you can and find others who can lift you up when life brings you down.

~DB

~

nobody is an illness

mentally ill daughter
diabetes ill daughter
cancer ill daughter

schizophrenic daughter
bipolar daughter
type one diabetes daughter
type two diabetes daughter
esophageal cancer daughter
breast cancer daughter

her name is nancy
she is not diabetes
she is my daughter who is suffering with diabetes

her name is nancy
she is not cancer
she is my daughter who is suffering with cancer

her name is nancy
she is not  mental illness
she is my daughter who is suffering with mental illness

changes in how we understand, care for, and nourish any one who is ill, begin with the language we use when we speak of them

nancy is someone’s beloved daughter who is suffering with an illness

nobody is an illness

—NB

~

 It took quite a while for me to help my adult daughter find the right psychiatrist, the right therapist and the right combination of medications that truly help her. And while sometimes she still goes two steps forward and one step back… she IS making progress toward self-management and confidence. Meanwhile, I’ve learned a great deal about her illness and I know how to help her during her darkest times. Each little daily win is a giant step toward recovery, and I’m grateful to see a light ahead. I hope this happens for you too.

— PF

 

It’s an exciting time for family members to be able to have a resource that can guide them in finding available mental health services in time of crisis as well as to help cope with everyday life while promoting wellness and recovery. For too long, people have not known about services that are available and could have prevented crisis if someone had only told them about these resources. This guide was created for that very purpose as well as addressing and documenting the demand for proven services that could meet individual needs but are not currently in place due to lack of funding.

As an individual with a mental health history, what I’ve needed from family members, peers and other people in my life, is compassion while at the same time being held accountable. I need them to hold hope for me while I’m struggling with my illness and to provide support. With these, I have been able to continue to move forward and work my recovery.

— KE

 

Being on this journey has changed my understanding of success and helped me find hope in small places I may have once overlooked. Because it’s a hidden illness, people don’t know all the amazing and awesome things that are accomplished in my home every day. I want to brag about the determination in my family member to get up every morning and try again. I want to brag about that because there are some days when three o’clock hits and neural pathways are still crosswired, terrible emotions flood the system, and life might just suck much of the time. I am at once bewildered, exhausted, grateful and in awe of this experience. I am humbled to be gifted with this parenting mission and so proud to witness such strength and resiliency every day. 

—  EC

Words of Hope


"When someone you love so deeply gets ill, everyone is changed in some ways. It takes a team to keep our physical and spiritual beings going in the face of the strife and pain that comes when mental illness hits home."
- NB

 

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PO Box 1385
Scarborough, ME 04070-1385
207-396-4313
info@familyhopeme.org

    

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Family Hope is Maine's resource for finding mental health services. We do not endorse any one program or organization. Our mission is to connect you to options, saving you time and frustration.
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