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.
“Today, I 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,