Last week I wrote about how the drama from my mentally ill daughter was affecting me. It was truth, and it was the nitty-gritty aspect of being in a family with someone with mental illness. However, I have to say that my post, although true, was written in such a way that it hurt my daughter. There are certainly aspects of the disease that are devastating to a family, but I want to emphasize that the characteristics of the mental illness that she suffers from is not her fault. She didn't ask to have this malady thrust upon her. And although stability is part of her responsibility, there are outside forces that dominate her ability to work on stability.

When my husband or I think about running away, there is more than just each other or our youngest daughter keeping us from doing so. There is also the fact that Arianna NEEDS us. She needs our stability, our understanding, and our acceptance. No matter how we may feel at any given time about the burdens that mental illness gives us, we do love and accept Arianna for who she is, despite the mental illness that we despise.

Perhaps we should focus on her many gifts, and how those gifts impact us from day to day. Perhaps we need to work harder on separating the symptoms from the rest of her being. Then maybe the burden I'm under will not be so great. There is always hope in the darkness. There is always light in the darkness. We just need to look.

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