Thursday, April 19, 2012

all about me

When The Oldest really wants to get to me, he tells me how much our lives are always all about me, how self-centred I am, etc. It's nasty, it's spiteful, and it digs in only because there's at least a tiny bit of truth in it.

Part of the pressure he's had to live under is a mother who refused to be happy as long as he wasn't well. Like all good post-pop-psych adults I try to use more 'I phrases' than you phrases. For example, I am afraid you're going to die when you go on a bender and disappear; I am shocked and hurt that you stole from your grandparents. I'm not perfect at this - accusations and blaming do creep in, but ... I suppose in the world of an emotionally stunted drug addict, those 'I phrase' could sound more like it's all about me than a responsible way to phrase my responses.

C'est la vie, really.

Cuz this time, The Oldest, it is all about me.

I found an article last week simply titled 'How to Stop Enabling.' I skimmed it, pondered it for a while, then returned and read it more fully. A lot of it is phrased for spouses, but the gist still translates.In a nutshell, the 5 tips they suggest are:
  1. Let your loved one face his or her own consequences.
  2. Every day, do at least one thing just for you.
  3. Avoid feeling sorry for yourself or taking on the victim role.
  4. Break free from isolation.
  5. Ask for help.
Of course, I'm least convinced of the first one. When The Oldest comes for dinner and I know he has no food at home, it works for me to give him some. It gives me peace of mind to know that a bag of my excess food will provide healthy meals for him for a few days. I'd do it if he was well. My mom still often does it for me. It's a way I express my love and I don't intend to stop. But, no more cash. And no more helping him out of jams. And no more helping him find a way out of town or trying to convince employers to give him another chance. 

Yes, I'm taking item the first with a grain of maternal salt. But the real reason it's taken me a week to post this post is because of point 2. For years - no, I'm not exaggerating - I've had friends tell me that I need to focus on and take care of myself. The problem is, I believe The Oldest's assertion that I'm selfish. He's not the first one to mention it. And so to do one thing ever day just for me seems to really truly indulge a part of myself that I'd rather not acknowledge. 

In my own little world
So that thing - the item that makes my skin crawl a little, is also the thing I'm here to shout from the blog-tops.

I will do one thing each day that is solely for my own pleasure. 

And I will tweet about it (see twitter stream on the side) with the hashtag #OneThing so you can hold me accountable. 

As for the rest of the article, I've been working on number 3 for quite some time. And this week I started working on number 4 and realised I have some good friends that have just been waiting for me to raise my head. 

As for number 5 ... well, I'm getting there. I'm not so awesome at admitting that I need help. And ironically, that is the first step in all of the recovery groups I've looked into. I'll know I'm ready for Alanon or Celebrate Recovery when I'm ready to ask for help. I do think that won't be too long. 


  1. You are an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. <3

  2. One. Day. At. A. Time.

    You are stronger than you know <3 Xx

  3. Thank you both XO ... sorry for the delayed response :)