Photo by Art_of_ROSH on Unsplash

Photo by Art_of_ROSH on Unsplash

Life took a drastic turn for me and my siblings when our dad died 7 years ago. He passed away while on a holiday in Egypt – a holiday my very generous brother had given him as a present. Little did we know how this one loss would start an avalanche of events in all of our lives.

You see, me and my siblings are three very different, yet on some levels similar people. Thus, we also had three very different ways of taking care of our grief. And while we also had to learn how to make grief a part of life, mental health issues started to surface in my siblings lives as well.

The past seven years we’ve had to deal with a lot of different terms of way they act and find explanations to those that did not necessarily fit the people my sister and brother were and are. Because, sometimes it is not my brother or my sister acting, but that something inside them telling them to go against their common nature. And on that note, one thing is fighting against things your body is physically trying to express, another thing is, when you can’t seem to trust your own mind and psyche.

In all of this, my siblings are growing to become two very strong, independent people who in their own ways are handling whatever is thrown at them with grace and dignity, knowing the strength of asking for help and getting to know when is it themselves acting and when is it that mental illness inside of them speaking. Seeing these two people grow up with seemingly all odds against them and still becoming the best versions they can be is an awestriking experience knowing that their fight against themselves along with everything else.

But here am I. The healthy one. And it’s not that I don’t love my family or that they could do anything different. But when everyone around you are fighting battles against themselves and is in need of extra attention due to their mental wellbeing, one thought has started to surface within me.

What about me?

I am healthy, yeah. And, yes I am strong enough to carry a little bit extra. But sometimes I am looked towards as if I don’t need the extra attention every once in a while. I am being put in the – “She is healthy, so I don’t need to ask how she is or check up on her or compliment her”-box.

Yesterday, I was calling my mother – who in her own way are trying to find a way to be mentally and physically stable in all the storms she finds herself in at the moment, and I threw a rather “on the edge of being cruel”-joke. “I guess, I have to invent a mental illness to get people’s attention in this family. ” followed up by the laughing comment whether this one joke was made “too soon? ”

But if I for a moment have to look past all the social conducts, how I am supposed to think about it all and the expectations of the strong elder sister, I find it hard to overlook the feeling of being so much alone.

I feel like standing very much alone on top of Mount Everest not knowing who I can count on to catch me? I find myself moving in the shadows of my siblings illnesses trying not to be in the way of them getting the help and attention they need.

I know one of my siblings will hate reading this, because this one already struggles with the seemingly need of getting all of this attention in order to become a healthier version of oneself. And I’m not trying to destroy this process.

However, I can’t help but wonder, when the unthinkable, unrelatable crisis hits a family – who takes care of the healthy ones?

I thought I had learned how to create boundaries between it all. Where my role as the big-sis comes with a strong mind, understanding and a shoulder begins and where my life as a human being who has needs as well gets a role too.

But sometimes the two intertwine and get mixed-up. Sometimes I have to be the stable, understanding Big-Sis without being any of it underneath it all. It can get overwhelming having to surpress one’s own needs in order to hold another ones.

When is it okay to step back to gain stable ground again? When should I be the stable, understanding family-member without showing the chaos on the inside?


The fireworks was already going crazy outside and there I was deep in my couch, loosing time while reading and researching. Walking about Copenhagen streets when darkness had fallen on this special day, I witnessed countless dinnerparties and well-dressed men and women eating and looking like they were having a good time. But, I would lie if I told you, I wanted to be a part of it.

“I cannot bear the thought of you alone on New Years” a friend of mine bursted out a couple of days ago. She was just one out of many who the past couple of weeks looked distraught, like our social-life depended on this very evening as I undramatically tried to explain that I was going to be at home, eat something nice, drink something cool and watching something stupid. And, that I was looking forward to it – quite a lot actually.

Getting to know me for me

It took me years trying to understand why this specific evening always left me feeling awkward and wrong. Why did this evening make me feel like that every year, but other times I found myself in similar settings – you know lovely dinner, dressed up nicely and good company – never did?

It took me years admitting my limits and accepting the fact that, that’s not me. I prefer getting people on a personal level rather than being on a dance-floor. I prefer laughing like crazy around the dinner-table drinking wine on a regular, spontaneous evening, rather than the forced “1-2-3 HAVE FUN” tension New Year’s brings.

I don’t suffer from severe FOMO, if I’m not a part of some big party, but I kind of do when I’m not part of everyday spontaneous fun relations or deep conversations. 

The year that went and the year to come

Instead, I got a chance to ponder on the year that has been and the year to come. I leave a year I made big steps, had big highs followed by deep, dark lows, tried loving the trivial while dreaming bigger.

Looking back, I have to admit that I sometimes limit myself because I think too much. That many of my quarrels has to do with bad, unhealthy habits.

So this year I step into a year where I’ll try not to think too much about everything and just doing it. Instead of saying no, just accepting and seeing what happens. Though, I like being in the shadows and observing, I need to step onto center-stage of life more and be present. I don’t know how and what that will look like, but it just seems important to me this year.

Yes, I could add things such as working out, eating healthy and so forth. But things that are already a part of my everyday life doesn’t need to be a part of my New Years resolutions. Besides, resolutions is the quality of being determined or resolute (according to the dictionary), and that doesn’t have to be a New Years thing only – but a choice I can make during the year as well.

Besides, in the spirit of just doing it and stepping out more, I’m going to make 2020 start memorable and go to Budapest for a few days. So, this year can’t be totally bad with a beginning like that can it?