sotiredParticipantJune 8, 2014 at 12:45 pmPost count: 3
Hello. I am really struggling with the concept of self care. I feel like the old adage “you’re only as happy as your unhappiest child” applies to me. How am I supposed to take or make any time to take care of myself when I am struggling just to keep it together? My daughter is using, and I feel worried sick, and how do you take any time when you’re so scared? How do you bring yourself to actually take the time to try this?
mouseParticipantJune 11, 2014 at 11:40 pmPost count: 8
Sotired, I had the same problem for a very long time.
One thing that helped me was finding a support group. They not only encouraged me to reconsider how I was thinking about self-care (I was thinking it was selfish!) but after a few meetings it became clear to me that it was really more like self-preservation. I guess that somehow I was thinking that my worrying so much was something that I had to do, that it was unavoidable. And I worried all the time. But the group helped me see that it really wasn’t helping. It was making it impossible for me to think clearly and one of us needed to be thinking clearly here! They also gave me some ideas of how to get started (of course I get credit for the first step in my self-care plan by taking a chance on finding a support group! 🙂 ) My self-care plan is not elaborate. I started by taking care of regular health care things (medical appointments that were overdue, that sort of thing). I made a promise to myself to walk at least 20 minutes each day and I reconnected with a good friend and she’s been great. I see her frequently now and we’re signing up for a yoga class! Do I still worry? Yes, but I guess I can now say that it’s not the ONLY thing I do! And for a long time, it was the only thing I seemed to do!
The biggest surprise is that somehow, my loved one is behaving more respectfully around me. I had read that how you treat yourself sends a message to others (and to yourself…that you’re “worth” respect and care). This seems to be true and the shift in my loved one’s attitude seems like a really good step in the right direction. It’s nice to see some change that is for the better after so many months (years!) of change for the worse!
I am starting to realize that after ‘trying everything’ and finding that nothing worked, I needed to open my mind to the possibility that there is another way and do some careful experimenting with some new things like self-care. So far, I’ve been pretty impressed and there is a bonus: I seem to have a little more energy now and that’s making it easier to tackle some of these worksheets! 🙂
sotiredParticipantJune 13, 2014 at 11:59 amPost count: 3
Mouse, your response is so logical and calm, it fills me with hope and makes a lot of sense. I’m really surprised that you’ve had that response from your loved one! That seems like a real added bonus, and some of the behavior changes that I’m hoping to get. I will certainly give this a shot, even though it still feels hard! Thank you so much for the support!
mouseParticipantJune 14, 2014 at 9:30 pmPost count: 8
Hey sotired 🙂
It is hard…but it’s definitely worth it!
Btw, I actually have two LOs (my brother who lives on the other side of the country and has multiple drug addictions) and my teenaged son who has an unhealthy relationship with computer gaming. It’s my son who’s become more respectful since I started making myself my top priority (and not him!) It is a truly welcome change from what I had been chalking up to inevitable teenage rebellion and ‘back-talk’. We are really getting along so much better now. I’m sure the CRAFT communication exercises have helped a lot with that and they’ve helped with my brother, too.
You don’t have answer if it is too personal, but I’m curious if you’ve done the This is Stressful Worksheet? There’s a really good list of ideas for self-care activities at the end of the worksheet. My personal favorites when I first starting working on selfcare were creative activities (gardening for me) and volunteering.
But everyone is different and you may have some ideas that aren’t even on the list.
Take care and stay in touch.
sotiredParticipantJune 18, 2014 at 9:46 amPost count: 3
I’ve been working on this for about 2 weeks now. I really appreciated Mouse’s encouragement, it made sticking with this much easier for me. To know that someone else has done it and had success, that was reassuring.
This still doesn’t come naturally to me. There are a lot of times that I think about if I am being a horrible mother, or if I’m being selfish by focusing on me. But, in those times, I just try and remind myself that I’m doing this for a reason. I am taking care of myself so I have the energy to take care of my whole family (not just my daughter). Once I get over that self doubt, I’m able to keep trying.
I started out small, going to the movies, or out with friends for coffee. And, honestly, I haven’t moved much past that. But it has helped. I’ve noticed that I’m less stressed. I remember actually having a good time (it’s been a while since I can say that). I’ve reconnected with friends, who have been really supportive. And, my calmness has made things with my daughter somewhat better. We are talking some, and I get glimpses of her. It’s a start, but a very encouraging start!
Thanks Mouse for the encouragement. I hope other people use this forum as well to get some help and support, it really worked for me.
still.hopefulParticipantJune 25, 2014 at 11:07 amPost count: 1
Wow. This exchange has really hit home for me. My wife and I have been so worried about our son and I’ve felt so helpless as to what to do. Every time we try and talk with him its an argument. And when he’s not in the house, all me and my wife do is argue about what we should do! We’ve finally been able to get him to see a therapist but reading what you both have shared has made me realize how much my worry and fear is monopolizing my days.
It is so hard to think about what I need because it does feel selfish and I wish that there was a simple answer that would just make my family “normal” again. But it is really helpful to think about taking care of myself so that I can take care of my son and be there for him and my wife. I like the idea of starting small and hope that I can convince myself that i’m not just ignoring what I “should” be doing (although none of it has worked so far…..). Does anyone have any suggestions for things that I could do with my wife? Things feel so tense and it’s hard to know where to start.
Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this.
hopefulParticipantJuly 7, 2014 at 11:48 amPost count: 1
My son has been struggling with substance abuse for over 8 years (including 3 rehabs, emergency evaluated, jail time, probation, theft, car accidents). My husband and I were at the stage of continually saying…”We don’t know what to do, but stand by and watch”. In desperation I called Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and talked to a wonderful person (Denise) who recommended this site as well as the book, “Beyond Addiction”. I’m almost finished the book and I can’t be more excited to have concrete ideas to “do something!”. There is something we can “do” and I can’t be more relieved to have a plan of action. Nothing in his life has changed but hopefully with the change I’m excited to make for myself/family through CRAFT I am “hopeful” for the future for him. Thank you Dr. Foote and colleagues for a great resource!
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.