Remember that two days ago I provided a couple of examples of how one woman is learning how to detach AND support her child’s recovery. I want to unpack those examples a bit.
Example one: Mom, “I realize that I do not understand as well as I could what you are going through. I’m going to go get some help for me.” And then – actually does so! Sometimes her daughter needs a ride home from school, but it is during the time of her mom’s support group. On those nights, mom has learned not to skip her class, but enlist the help of her husband or sister to pick up the little darling. Once in awhile, no one is available and mom is learning to say so. This is very anxiety producing, but guess what? This young woman is learning how to find a ride when necessary.
- Random thought one: it is both true and helpful to articulate that problems affect the entire family. In this example Mom is legitimately, humbly, acknowledging her inadequacy without taking a “tone” OR looking for validation or affirmation. (Such as, “No, mom, you are GREAT!”) Denying problems is part of the disease, not the recovery. I would suggest that when we are acknowledging our shortcoming(s), if someone tries to deflect with flattery, simply provide one example of how your shortcoming has negatively impacted others. Don’t be a martyr! Don’t take on the entire blame! Just admit your part in a way that is safe for you and will not be used against you in the future (if possible).
- Random thought two: Mom did not say one thing and do another. She backed up her intentions with action. This is extremely important. Many of us get confused and think others care about our “good” intentions. People do not. They just notice when we are inconsistent with word and deed. That is a trust breaker.
- Random thought three: When we have someone with a chronic health condition, many of us compensate for that by forgetting to attend to our own needs, wants, even preferences. Anything to avoid conflict, right? This is good for no one. We end up with a family of emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual suffering.
- Random thought four: When someone has an issue as serious as an eating disorder, it is tempting to wrap them in bubble wrap and do everything possible to avoid “making matters worse.” Sometimes, matters are made worse when we take all opportunities away for our beloveds to develop competency skills.
To be continued….