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Monday, July 12, 2010

Family Ties That Bind

Yes, I am a food addict, addicted to love too much and I am the only one who can keep all of it in check (well me and my higher power)!!!!! I can't just have one cookie, just like an alcoholic can't just have one beer...... For me, it leads to binges and it throws me completely off my new way of life. This is a constant mind battle for myself and for others like me. More power to the ones that can.

But, I want to talk about our families..... I want to talk about breaking the cycle. I am sure that if you look into your own families, you will see bad relationships, addiction issues, mental health disorders, etc. It is our choice to break the cycle and not hand it down (well, hopefully not as bad) to our own children. The only way to do that is to reach out for help ourselves. Find a 12 step group, a trained professional, or even a great self help book and work on what ails you. You have to want to help yourself before you can help the ones around you.

I used to be a case manager working with families who had children with mental illness, my specialty was families who had experienced sexual abuse. Nine out of ten times, the parents had experienced some kind of sexual abuse in their childhood and then their children where offended upon in their childhood. This type of abuse was the last thing the parents ever wanted to happen to their children, but because of the abuse that happened to them, they let people into their lives that in turn hurt their children. Of course, this isn't intentionally, it just happens.... Breaking the cycle of abuse, violence, eating disorders, low self esteem, obesity, and mental illness is sooo important! We need to do it for our children, before we pass it on to the next generation.

Surround yourself with positive people. Stand tall and be proud! Don't let someone look down on you because of your life's lessons. I recently had someone say not so nice things about my previous issues in life while all the while living in a glass house. You know what they say about people who live in glass houses??? These type of people aren't the type of people I want to surround myself with.

Seek professional help, if necessary. My ex-husband was in treatment for his drug addiction and bi-polar disorder. His doctor, he and I had just worked his treatment plan out when his doctor turned to me and said, "Great, now what about you?" I replied, "He is the one that is sick, not me!" He simply stated, "Really, then why did you stay?" That was a turning point for me. I couldn't think of a good answer. He was right, why did I stay? That was fifteen years ago and different me.

Be active, exercise physically to exercise the mind. Ever notice that you feel so much better emotionally and physically about yourself after a good workout. Get those endorphins flowing. Get the little ones to workout with you, start a trend. Ingrain a lifestyle in them while they are young. Exercise has been proven to help with depression as well. I recently started karate. The positive reinforcement of the dojo and the people around me just drew me to it. To me, the gym was too cold and impersonal. Find what charges your batteries!

The first step to breaking the cycle is to heal thyself! Like I said in my previous blog post, I never really feel "grown up" because I feel like I am constantly evolving into a better person and a better mom. But, at least I am trying!

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