Sunday, October 5, 2014

Boundaries and Positive Thinking

In NAMI (National Alliance the for Mentally Ill), my girls and I are being educated, not just on Bipolar, but on mental illness in general, and on how to love someone with mental illness. One thing we learned is the importance having strong, immovable boundaries in the areas that are important to us. I applied that strategy on Friday, admittedly unaware that I was doing so, and amazingly, it worked well. I informed my loved one that I would no longer listen to suggestions or intimations that, if I did not respond in the way he wanted, he would harm himself.  I let him know that I am not responsible for any harm he might do to himself and that if he was truly feeling self-destructive or suicidal, that he should call his therapist immediately. I said goodbye and allowed myself a few hours to calm down. When he called back a few hours later, he was easier to talk to and we were able to address the issues at hand.

I am aware that it won't always be that easy but I believe in celebrating victories whenever possible. My fragile ego needs to hear "Well done," even if it is just from me.

My self talk is getting better. In those moments when I start to say, "If only I had"........had what? Made sure I was watching more careful. Made sure that his every need was satisfied. NO ....don't go there. We can't change the past and I didn't cause his addictions anymore than I cause my mothers cancer. I am not responsible and I will own my own behavior and nobody else's.  I did the best I could with the knowledge I had and I will continue to improve myself, each and everyday.

While I am trying to be kind to myself, you do the same♥

2 comments:

  1. While the class is long and parts of it seem tedious and unnecessary, I am getting a lot out of the class. And I want to share it with others. I want others to have those resources before they need them. But that's rarely how life works. Few people expect and prepare for a crisis, especially one related to a mentally ill person.

    Good for you setting your boundaries. It's probably even better that you didn't realize you were doing! That it came natural. And you're not the only one who can say "good job." Good job!

    Glad you're working on self talk. Keep going at it. We can't change the past, but we can learn from it and become better people.

    I know the general rule is to talk about myself and my experiences, but I think I can safely comment on yours. As for me, I'm working on trying to be a healthy person and make time for important things. I want to be more well-rounded and be healthy mentally, physically, socially and anything else I'm forgetting.

    <3 ya

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  2. I love to read this! GOOD JOB on clarifying boundaries!! And I love to see the support you and your children are offering each other as you move through the murkiness!

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