Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guarding Boundaries

Someone out there in Blogdom openly and often written extensively of the mental illnesses that plague various extended family members. Recently her writing took on a different tone, some wild accusations and truly scary situations have been revealed. It is as though she has had a mental break of some sort.   I will not discuss what is being written but I find myself unable to believe the blog writer is well today. I have no professional skills in this area. It has changed into something scary (to me). I have no idea where this person really is or what their real name so there is no one to contact. Healthy me says I have no relationship with this person. I have my own squirrels to deal with and I need to exercise the luxury of having both distance and a disconnect button. One less blog. 

This far and no further?
This has nothing to do with keeping the pounds off, or does it? This is about adopting a healthy boundary with a stranger and a strange situation. Healthy boundaries are essential for keeping the pounds off. When I crossed to the dark side of my personal healthy boundaries of food integrity, limits and actions I gained 32 pounds. In keeping my pounds off I appreciate the need to have true sustainable boundaries, not thin guidelines. In my recovery I shouldnot eschew cookies with the exception of December; I need a better practice than to refrain from fried foods except for parties and it is not okay for me to have ice cream and cake on my birthday because it is only once a year. Once a year is enough to hurt me. I do not need unnecessary hurt in my life any longer. 

Since my mother's sudden death last year I was subconsciously and consciously chipping away at my healthy boundaries until I had no way to protect myself from my addiction. I didn't fall down completely and give up on getting well but I stumbled over and over and scrapped the ground so much I was raw. 

It is good to be on the recovery side again and feel clean and closer to whole. I need to work on the healthy boundaries. Instead of a thin line or a flimsy fence I am thinking it is essential that I bring back the concrete barriers to make some better formed boundaries. I am in this for the rest of my life. I might as well make boundaries that can last awhile. 

I am feeling so much better this week. The food fog lifted and the cravings have mostly gone. It is all one day at a time but each day has been a good day. There are good days ahead, too. 

Are you really guarding your boundaries? 



Unknown said...

Hi Jane, Yes, the boundaries are good and healthy. The year that I finally made clear rules for how to deal with certain family members cleared up my mind to concentrate on me.

I also have plenty of my own squirrels, and the less of others' squirrels in my life the better.

Just when you think the habit feels "permanent" it isn't. It's almost like that very feeling jinxes it. Nothing is permanent. It always takes work to do great.

On my worst days, I try to be grateful for the struggle. No struggle means I gave up. So we must remain vulnerable to struggle and keep fighting the good fight. That is how we are proud of ourselves and like who we are, which no cookie or dessert can give.

:-) Marion

Jane Cartelli said...

Marion - "No struggle means I gave up". I think everyone doing this needs to have that put on a bracelet and a wall plaque.

There are some people who tell me that if I am struggling I have not surrendered to the path God has for me but I believe the struggles are there so that I will seek the Higher path and not settle for any less.

Unknown said...

Boundaries are so important! Just as nobody can "fix" our obesity--no matter how much they want to, we can't fix other people. I have a friend who has an eating disorder. She is finally getting the treatment (in patient) that she needs, but there were many times when I had to distance myself from her. I couldn't force her to change. But I couldn't be around her when she was self destructing.

It's even harder in the blogosphere because people only show us what they they want us to see. So it's difficult to know how bad (or sometimes not as bad as displayed) a situation is.


Karen said...

I had a counselor (non-weight related issue) who taught me how to set healthy boundaries for myself.

This totally changed my relationships, my emotional health, and now my physical health.

Right before I lost the 70+ pounds - this time ( 3rd go around) I could see a line in the sand in my mind's eye. I had crossed it and I would not be crossing back over.

What ever happened on the healthy side of that line- I told myself I would face as best as I could.

Now that I have healthy boundaries- I can tell when someone is trying to cross them ( verbal abuse, projection, narcissism, manipulation). I can see it a mile away. I can feel it in my gut. Red flag flies.

Glad you are building those boundaries. I find that even though setting boundaries is scary or seems risky sometimes- that the good feeling of taking care of myself is always worth the effort in the end.

Great post, as always Jane. Thanks for helping me think about these topics.

Karen P.

700 pounds is as bad as it sounds said...

Glad to see you have been reading my blog! (jk) :)

Vickie said...

I have my psychiatrist because two friends in blog land, one day, told me I needed to explain to my husband what a hard time I was having and then get help.

I did exactly that.

I explained to my husband (in his closet no less), we made an appt with my GP and then in turn I was scheduled with my psychiatrist.

I needed to be on meds.

The world I was living in was normal for me. I needed someone to say, not good for you.

I already had my therapist at that time. But I wasn't in a place to get real work done with her. But again, I did not understand that, because the world I lived in was normal to me, and I had been in some version of it for a long, long time.

When I originally found my therapist - I called my insurance company and a very kind mental health phone nurse helped me find her. And things started to get better, just not as good as they could be. And the day that the two blogger told me I needed more help was a crashing kind of week.

It just so happened that my GP, my husband and my therapist all recommended the same psychiatrist. He is very good at diagnosis and medication. And that is what I needed.

I needed chemical balance. I needed to be able to sleep. I needed not to be one big vibration of anxiety (which is always based in fear). I needed to be able to do real work with my therapist. I needed to figure out how to live a healthier life (physically, mentally, spiritually).

It all went hand in hand.

Jane Cartelli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane Cartelli said...

Thank you Julie and Karen for the support and identification.

Thank you Vickie for sharing your experience and continuing journey. I have always been fascinated by how you explain and enlist your very clear boundaries in so many situations.