How Do/Did You Cope With Long Term Mental Illness?

I would like if y'all could share some of your stories about your mental troubles. How did/do you cope, both healthy and unhealthy ways. Maybe share some advice for coping and dealing as well. Perhaps if we share our struggles and pain with get other, we realize "Maybe it's not so bad after all." Here's my story...

When I was younger my therapist pointed out my distinct need to have something to mother or care for. I shared a story about breaking down once I was unable to "provide" for my younger siblings, feeling like a complete failure. I was 10-11 at the time. I thought this was normal, ya know caring for the ones you love, but she pointed out to me that feeling responsible for the needs of a child as a child wasn't normal. I couldn't help it often crying when I couldn't afford to pay for things my siblings needed. After the divorce I was given a puppy by my step father. He was completely mine to take care of and I was content with being able to take care of him any other way, walks, baths, etc.

When he first ran away is when shit hit the fan. Thoughts of suicide rushed in and that feeling of "I wasn't good enough to take care of him" hit me over again. My anxiety was high thinking about all the ways he would get hurt. He was gone for less than 5 minutes before we caught him.
Recently, my anxiety has kept me company along with thoughts of "What going to happen when he dies?" "What if you can't take it anymore and you die?" "Can I trust my family to care and love him?" Afterwards a river of guilt washed over my mind, how can I possibly think such terrible things? My family loves him almost as much as I do. They'd show him with love after I'm gone. Geez, know that I'm thinking about it I can imagine what my mom feels like constantly being threaten with the fact that either one of her oldest daughters might die before her one day (my older sister has depression as well, though her experience is of course very different).
How Do/Did You Cope With Long Term Mental Illness?
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