I have made the move to another state. I am now living with my sister, at her request. We are not, and never have been, a touchy feely sort of family. So when my sister called me a year or so ago and asked for help, I came. Her house was a wreck. It looked like she was beginning to hoard. She wasn’t, she just couldn’t get it together and clean up. Small tasks became huge mountains and she ignored them in favor of ‘I’ll do that another day.’ Another day never came. We cleaned out the house and I went back home. But it happened again. And then again.
My sister suffers from depression.
She is on medication to balance it out. It has helped, but she has a long way to go. I am here now, to help keep her from spiraling out of control, but I have trouble understanding this thing completely. I intellectually understand the problem. There are days she just can’t do things. But being here full time, I also see that she just doesn’t do things because she feels she doesn’t have to. Her PA told her not to stress over things and do them in her own time. But it seems my sister has taken this to mean it’s okay to do nothing for long periods of time. Not cook, not clean, no dress, not go out. This does not fly with me. Doing nothing is not participating in your recovery. While I feel she needs to put structure into her life, I also know that I can’t push her too hard or she will collapse. Yes, I know, the change will have to come slowly and within her time frame, to a certain extent. But this leaves me with little to no space in her very small house. And that is a huge issue for me. I need to be able to access my clothing without moving her boxes out of my way everyday.
While I am frustrated, I know things will get better. They already have begun to change. Dishes are done everyday, not piled into the sink for later. She is cooking and eating better. Trash goes out to the bins when its full. Most of the house is picked up and clean. There is still work to do, but I think it will get done sooner rather than later. My tendency to get up get moving seems to help my sister get up and get moving better than she has been able to in the past.
We have just begun this journey, and I know I need loads of patience and courage. She does too. The world is missing a very special person right now. I love my sister and want to see that bright, beautiful woman blossom and start to explore the world again.