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Taking a break and still gaining insight

Old 10-07-2014, 11:01 AM
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Taking a break and still gaining insight

So, I guess my title says it all. I have decided to take a break from active recovery work. I am finding myself in a reactionary position. To try to also concentrate on reading the big read book is too much right now.

My sons recovery is going very slow and is still day to day almost in whether or not things will continue to improve or if he will need further surgery. So, I am often left with waiting to react to this test, that doctors opinion. Its challenging.

A friend of mine went in for emergency surgery last Friday and I still havent spoken to her. I feel lousy about it. I just dont want to worry about someone else.

My younger son came home at 5:30am Sunday morning looking terrible. My first thought of course was booze. But no he was stone cold sober. A friend of his died the day before from bad heroin or something similar. And it makes me madder than heck. This 21 year old is gone. He leaves behind a twin sister and two alcoholic parents. I am mad, mad, mad. He never had a chance. Its wrong. I am mad at the parents, the universe, and myself. I only met him once but I never tried to reach out. I never said anything when I knew at the age of 20 he had already been an alcoholic for a few years. His sister is brokenhearted. My son is being the best friend to her he can be. And I feel helpless.

So, I realize that I still cant be a superhero and save everyone or even help everyone. I am tired and wornout. How do we find a way to balance it all?
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:43 AM
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For myself I'm very logical and regimented. When I can feel myself crumbling I "try" to find some time to myself, I allow myself to break down, to cry, to rage, to whine. Sometimes I will mope and talk to a few friends about it. But when I find time to break down I also pick a time to "suck it up." As a kid I had a very hard time allowing myself to admit to the pain and stress I was living in. For that reason I can "keep it together" much longer than even I would think possible. However that just builds up emotions and stress, then causes more of my issues to come to the forefront thus exacerbating the stress and so goes the 12 ton boulder down a hill into crazy ACOA for me.

So now when I see I'm stressing I grab a pop, a bag of chips (yes I'm totally a chip-a-holic) I put on Howl's Moving Castle for a viewing or two and I mope and cry. Then I set a time, and at that time my alarm goes off and I pack up the chips get out of bed, take a shower, and by the time I am out of the bathroom my mantra's have put me back on track.

It's not always that easy, sometimes it takes a little longer, sometimes I snooze the alarm. But I have found the alarm is helpful. It lets me feel like i'm being productive in my grief and sadness because I have made a "chore" out of it. And just like most chores I set a time when it is complete. I spent a lot of years afraid I would drown in the pain so that's why it was hard for me to let myself feel it. Giving myself time to feel it but to have a cue to pull me out makes me more honest with my feelings during that time instead of afraid of them.

Also I suck at taking care of me, so I will sometimes write down what I think I need to feel better then will try to schedule that in too. It's hard because I want to help everyone I care about and it must be harder with kids, because they are so important, but always remember you can't help someone else if you can't help yourself. It's one of the statements that I personally love to pretend isn't true but truthfully I know it is.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:32 PM
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That is certainly true about taking care of the caregiver so they can take care of others. I know I need a break. The husband is overseas on a business trip this week but when he gets home he is going to care for our son for a few hours. I need to get out of this house. I just need a few hours at my favorite thrift outlet or Barnes and Noble.

I also realize how futile some of my feelings are. That young man is gone and can't be helped. His sister can probably best be helped by me making sure she knows my home is open to her. The friend I just have to pick up the phone and text her.

I know my current issues mostly lie in my codie behaviors. They seem to be the ones that pop up most strongly when I feel my weakest
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:12 PM
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Part of this is the need to "fix" it. As a kid I was always scrambling trying to fix it. Once in a while it worked more often or not it didn't. But I was the one that had to take care of everyone else's kids, I was raised like that with no option or choice in the matter. It never occurred to me that I could say no because I really couldn't.

So that carries over to any crisis: what could I have done that would have made it better? made it not happen? how can I help? But that is a couple things, one is codependent, the other is almost like playing God. If I don't do something I should have done then bad things will happen and it will be my fault. I had a LOT of those feelings and ended up with full blown panic attacks, I wrote about it in my blog here.

Praying about it and releasing it to God, as recommended, took me years to do. Sometimes I don't do it very well, but I still try.
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:06 PM
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Kialua- you are right about that need to fix or possibly exert control or order. It stinks to always fall back on that behavior. I know intellectually that not only am I incapable of fixing many of these things but this thinking process also distracts me from opportunities where I really can help.

But, if someone would just step in and take care of all of my distractions like housecleaning, laundry and cooking then I would be free.to obsess to my hearts content.
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:01 PM
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"I know my current issues mostly lie in my codie behaviors. They seem to be the ones that pop up most strongly when I feel my weakest"

It's very strange and shocking to me that my feelings like these don't go away. I expected them to, the more I learned and worked my recovery. And isn't it odd that they always pop up just when you feel like you have some breathing room or feel like progress has been achieved? I think you are doing great in recognizing your feelings in real time, that has proven very useful for me in creating a positive inner dialogue and more importantly, a positive plan to keep moving forward, just in terms of life. It's not bad to feel like you could have done more or said something different, that's part of being human. It's more important to know that in reality that you can't or couldn't and making sure that you are ok should never take a back seet, IMHO. Yes, hand the Mr. Your Nursing chart the 2nd he walks through the door and head to your favorite corner in B&N and lose yourself in a section, other than RECOVERY.
thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:47 PM
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I was so happy when I was first learning about codependency and putting my tools to work that people did still like me and werent sharing with me because they wanted me to fix things or rescue them. They just wanted me. But, give me real challenges or other times of high stress and boom it all goes out the window and I feel like the Taz spinning out of control. It can be frustrating at times and then I need to make sure I dont start beating myself up for it or start self sabotaging. Which are my normal MO.
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:55 PM
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I remember during a particularly stressful time I looked at my boyfriend and said "thank you so much for putting up with me." to which he calmly answered "Well what else would I do but love you?" And i realized I have said that to people around me to, it helps keep me in check sometimes when I start beating myself up. Usually I start to feel perfectly normal emotions then I start to feel guilty for feeling them, then I feel guilty I felt guilty then bring on the crazy! Reminders that people love me as "relatively" unconditionally as I love them is comforting and helps me be a little less hard on myself.
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