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Taking Care of Yourself is Important Too

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by ProShell, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. ProShell

    ProShell Member

    I've noted that people in the position of "caretaker" often let the little things slide, but sometimes this can go too far.

    You need to remember that in order for you to lend your strength and stability to a family member that is struggling, you need to be strong and stable.

    Make sure to maintain your health and well being, both physically and mentally, so that you can assist your family members in reclaiming or holding onto theirs.

    Drug abuse is a terrible thing, and the families of people struggling with addiction need to do their part in preventing a domino effect.
    May102014 likes this.
  2. KNH

    KNH Active Contributor

    I agree 100%. I feel that caretakers must be able to function themselves before they can fully help someone else. Of course that's easier said than done but it really is true and important.
  3. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Definitely agree here, for a person to be able to stay strong and give support to somebody else, they first have to make sure that they themselves are in the right shape and frame of mind, I've seen for myself how one person has dragged the other person down with them, not by intention, but just because the other person hasn't been strong enough to cope with the situation.
    You can only take on the role of being there for somebody if you yourself is looked after properly first.
  4. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Yes, I agree with this. You can't save anyone if you aren't able to save yourself first. Giving yourself a break from time to time will not only be helpful to you but to the one you are helping as well since it will mean you would be more equipped to do so if you have a clearer mind. Also beating yourself up or feeling guilty doesn't really add anything towards finding a solution so it really is best to allow yourself to breathe and regain perspective.
  5. olb1213

    olb1213 Member

    This was a very hard lesson for me to learn. I think it is for anyone who cares for someone with addiction issues. But it is true. Taking care of yourself is not selfish, it's survival!
  6. La.oui

    La.oui Member

    Being reflective is also important too. When taking care of someone with drug addiction, more issues may arise due to it. If the caretaker isn't careful, some of their baggage buried deep down might be triggered by the person they're helping. Given this, figuring yourself out first and accepting that you have personal issues you have to take care of too makes you mindful, which in turn helps you maintain your balance when helping someone else out.
  7. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    You are definitely right.
    The one who would like to help and get involved should really have a strong mind and body. In order to avoid being tempted too and give motivation and care.
  8. May102014

    May102014 Active Contributor

    This is all too true for myself. Addiction runs in my family and I have always taken the role of a caretaker. Sometimes, this role is very admirable and other times it has nearly depleted me of all energy and a sense of life. It wasn't until 3 or 4 years ago when I decided I had to put myself first for once. I couldn't proceed to diminish the light I had inside of me while helping someone through addiction. I maintain the support for the person but I took time to help myself build up mental strength to proceed forward and deal with the daily challenges of fighting through addiction.
  9. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    That is without a doubt true. Family members are usually the first ones to break down when they are faced with problems like the addiction of one of their members. Others would be the first ones to point a finger and instead of lending their support, they condemn that erring member if not disown them. Condemnation instead of acceptance (we're all sinners anyway even the non-substance abusers) is definitely a sign of emotional weakness. Family members should be better than this. It takes more courage to continue loving an erring family member who has gone astray because of drugs.
  10. AFKATafcar

    AFKATafcar Community Champion

    I can definitely agree with this. If you serve as caretaker or "guardian" for someone, then you need to be a healthy and strong person, too. How can you expect someone going through turmoil to aspire to do better when you're not doing the best things possible? If you're a strong role model and inspiration for a person dealing with an addiction, then they're more like to look up to you and aspire for more than their current situation.
  11. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    I think taking care of yourself is the most important part of taking care of anyone. To many times good caring people put themselves on the back burner for others. This leads to the caregiver struggling to keep up because they have totally forgotten about there on issues.
  12. E.Mil

    E.Mil Community Champion

    I agree that it is important to take care of yourself. It's hard to care for someone else if you are falling apart yourself. Sometimes when people are caring for others they will neglect themselves and this just causes another issue.
  13. worrytoomuch

    worrytoomuch Member

    This is so true. I just can't seem to stop worrying. How do you do this?
  14. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    People have to keep reminding me that it's okay to worry about myself sometimes instead of everyone else. I'm constantly trying to take care of everyone else and cleaning up their messes and dealing with their problems, and it takes a serious till on my health. But I can't help it. I feel like I have to worry about everyone else more than I have to worry about myself.
  15. JessiFox

    JessiFox Active Contributor

    No argument's so easy to get into that "caretaker" role and the mentality is ALL about the other person. It's selfless and admirable only to a point though, taking care of yourself should always be a priority.
  16. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    This week has been pretty rough on me having to deal with everyone elses problems and everyone elses lives that I have little to no time to just take care of myself. It's been so tiring and all I wanna do is give up on it all and go back to sleep.
    S24 likes this.
  17. kjonesm1

    kjonesm1 Community Champion

    I had an alcoholic living with me for 7 years, and though it sounds good in theory it is hard to take care of yourself while taking care of an addict. There were a lot of drunken fights and gibberish I'm the middle of the night. Tons of wondering if he was in jail or the hospital and abuse as well. The only real way I could be healthy myself was to remove myself from the situation.
  18. Caregiver fatigue is a very real problem that affects so many people. Taking care of yourself is very hard to put into practice, but it is of the utmost importance for those who are in a caretaking position. I wish there was a type of respite care for caregivers of those living with substance abuse problems.
  19. lefttowrite

    lefttowrite Member

    This is very true no matter how selfless you may want to think you are. When your own life is in shambles, how do you pick up the pieces of another's life. It's not selfish to out yourself first if you are hurt to a point of extremes. It's something like a Catch-22, hurting yourself in the process because you've allowed your mind to dwell deeper in the dark, but then you are helping another. Maybe, however, helping another person can be the beacon of meaning a person needs to stay alive and keep their drive going. Maintaining themselves by helping others. I think it depends on the person you are. If you are broken deeply, then focus on yourself. That's just me, though.
  20. Rubyrose

    Rubyrose Member

    It is important to take care of yourself. My mom being addicted to prescription medications, was someone I had to keep close watch on. She would do things that could put us both in danger. It was causing me to become very stressed, I did not do normal things college students do, such as hanging out with friends and other various free time things because I was stressed and so tired with what I was dealing with. I would go to school and come home to a stressing life. My husband saw what I was going through and asked if I wanted to come live with him (he was my fiance at the time) and I took that invitation. Now that I am out of the house, I feel so much better and I have been able to experience things that I could not experience before living with my mom. I do still worry about her though, since I am 2.5k miles away from her, but I still talk to her and also my family.

    I felt my mom was very dependent on me for things as she asked me to do a lot for her, so I had originally thought that if I left then she might not over use prescription medications because she has no one to watch after her. I was unfortunately wrong and somehow it seems things got a bit worse. I feel bad because I feel like I pushed the responsibility on other family members, but I know I must live my life too.