~*~ Working on Me ~*~ Self-Help ~*~

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Welcome back to my series of “Working on Me – Self Help”  It’s been a long time coming that I continued with this series that was made to help me better myself, as well as reach out to my readers and assist you in helping your self feel better about who you are.

Today, I wanted to write about separating from family issues.  As I have mentioned in the past, my family is dysfunctional.  Hell, we all know our families are all a bit on the dysfunctional side from time to time, or in my case, all of the time.  LOL!

Actually, I joke about the dysfunction I have within my family unit at times.  It’s my way of setting boundaries.  I have learned over time, that if I draw a healthy line of boundaries between myself and my family, my overall mental health would remain intact.  

For example; I have blogged about what is going on with my younger brother in recent posts.  Him facing homelessness and the fear he is experiencing. The fear of the unknown is all too familiar to me, as I’m sure it is to most of us.  I just recently intervened my way back into my brother’s life because the advice or so-called “Help” from my sister and Aunt were leading him further into a rabbit hole of depression and more fear.  His Anxiety is at its peak.

Since 01-02-2019, I have spoken to my brother and tried to reach out to him and guide him through my example of entering into Social Services, and a shelter.  In fact, he is residing at the shelter I was first introduced to back in August of 2015.  Since this time, we have spoken at least a minimum of 2-3 times a day.  In all fairness, you may think that is a bit extreme, but I also know that my brother, as well as myself, have a mental illness. 

Now, in reality, the number of phone calls would probably make someone crack, or you would think I am enabling him.  The fact of the matter is this…  I’m the only sibling that is here one town away, plus these phone calls will eventually wind themselves down once he finds his way.  I know this why?  It’s because I was in his shoes. 

Yesterday, I had an appointment with yet another, yes, you’re right another new psychiatrist through my mental health facility.  I was pleasantly surprised this new person that was assigned to my case actually did their homework and read about my mental health.  She learned that I have suffered from severe depression, has anxiety, is bipolar, has OCD, and is an insomniac.  She carefully read over the medications in which I’ve been taking, and we discussed briefly what has been going on in my life since the last visit with the previous psychiatrist. 

After the briefing, I requested that my Lamictal (Lamotrigine) be increased from 50mg to 100mg. because I noticed that the medication was helping to a degree, but not its full potential.  I also requested to be put on Xanax (Alprazolam) for a short period of time due to not being able to unwind enough to fall asleep well in recent weeks.  She fully understood and prescribed 0.25mg of the following.  For that, I was very grateful for.

I knew when speaking to her about all the goings on with my brother, she would bring up setting boundaries.  But, I didn’t wait for her to bring it up, I brought it up myself.  This is something she was rather pleased to hear.

You see, Some of us may have family members who have un-resolved codependency issues.  Family members may be addicted to alcohol and/or drugs.  They may be addicted to their own misery, pain, suffering, and victimization.  Heck, my brother has blamed and/or accused my mother of being such a horrible mother.  That was misplaced aggression.  My mother didn’t know what to say to him after a while, therefore refused to be verbally abused again.  She loves her son, naturally, but was not going to face this day in and out.

Since I was diagnosed over 3 years ago, I have the structure and knowledge of setting boundaries.  I learned this all because of my recovery within the walls of my mental health facility.

Yes, I requested my psychiatrist to be placed on Xanax for a stint of 2 weeks or when needed because of my sleep pattern being disrupted.  However, I know how to keep my boundaries intact by way of keeping myself busy and not enabling my brother for every issue that may arise.  I’ve already explained to him that I was here to help guide him, answer questions as best I could, but keep in mind that is what the caseworker is supposed to do.  That is his/her job, not mine.

By setting healthy boundaries, I am taking care of my well-being.  My mental health comes first before anything else does.  I need to know when to pull back from my brother.  Again, why?  you may ask yourself.  It’s because of being in his shoes. 

I’d like to utilize a quote out of a book I keep close by.  It’s “The Language of Letting Go” – Daily meditations on codependency, by Melody Beattie.

“TodayI will separate myself from family members. I am a separate human being, even though to a unit called family.  I have a right to my own issues and growth; my family members have a right to their issues and a right to choose where and when they will deal with these issues.  I can learn to detach in love from my family member and their issues.  I am willing to work through all necessary feelings in order to accomplish this.”

How do you handle family issues?  Have you set healthy boundaries to maintain your well-being?

So, my friends, that is all I am working on currently.  I’d like to hear from you or develop an open discussion amongst those of us who are working on setting healthy boundaries whether it be with family, friends, and or co-workers for that matter.

Here’s to good mental health!

Take Care & God Bless,

Beckie

 

10 comments

  1. You seem to have a good grasp on what to do to help your brother and also how to ensure your own health doesn’t suffer. It would be hard for any family member to stand by and watch without helping, particularly is their insight gave them a better understanding of the situation. Sounds like you’re doing great xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ashley. Boundaries was one of the hardest things for me to learn. As I’m sure you know… It’s difficult to feel people walking over you. I felt this way about my sister for too many years to count. I finally said enough is enough, and cut all ties from her. I’m cordial when needed, but that is as far as it goes.
      The same thing applied to when I had to speak to my roommate about boundaries. It is so hard to bring up, but once you establish this conversation, it makes life a lot easier to deal with.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Family issues are probably the toughest because like it or not those bonds are there. My sister has been a bit demanding recently but has been under a lot of stress. I try to keep it amicable without my feeling being ‘walked over’ – it seems to be working – that, and lowering my expectations for our relationship. My hubby on the other hand felt the need to cut his brothers out of his life completely. I got a lot out of reading a book by psychologist Dorothy Rowe in her book on sibling bonds. That helped me when I had to work with my sister over a family issue or two! Sounds like you have exactly the right ideas and balance, Beckie, and great to touch base with you again! Happy New Year to you XX

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so pleased to hear you are able to handle the issues that arise with your sister. I wish I could hae had a relationship with her, but as soon as she realized I was mentally ill, she looked down on me and considered me to be weak. She has done it to my brother as well.
      I will have to look into the book your are referring to by Dorothy Rowe. Thank you for your advice.
      It’s great to be back. I really missed being here on WP. (((Hugs)))

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, this thing about being weak has affected me too at times with my sister. I got/have the label of being ‘too sensitive’ but I seem to have worked around it in recent years. If she’d been explicit in thinking these things, I would have had to cut the bonds too, Beckie. Reading about sibling relationships made me see that there are potential issues going on within the sibling who thinks the other is weak or too sensitive. As for whether my sister would ever take the time to read a book on this subject, the answer is never! That in itself speaks volumes. But she does respect me, i think. Without mutual respect, there isn’t much to work with, so I can totally empathise where you are coming from. Sorry to draw this out, but it means a lot to me! Cheers, Beckie ((Hugs backXX))

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we may share the same sister. LOL! The way I see it is this… She has her own Mental Health issues, but will never admit it, or seek help for it because it is is stigmatic way of thinking it’s all about weakness.
      If only my brother and sister could seek out help for the following, they would see that their overall mental health would improve.

      Liked by 1 person

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