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Rescuing and Denial of Self

answered 08:31 AM EST, Sun August 04, 2013
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Jeff Curran Jeff Curran Boston
I've been going through a bit of a crisis and I need help. A little over a year ago my family discovered that my sister was addicted to prescription drugs. She stole almost all of my parents savings as well as family items etc. Within a year of my sister's situation, my girlfriend, who had been in recovery for heroin addiction for three years, relapsed. On top of that, I've had my own issues with substance abuse and alcohol. My resentment, anger, fear, and overall anxiety and self-doubt is taking a major toll on me. My family turned their back on my girlfriend, but I chose to support her. But when my mind starts racing, I lose control of my emotions and feel that I'm not strong enough to handle things. I don't know what to do.

Jim LaPierre Says...

Thank you for writing. It certainly sounds like you've been through hell and back over a long period of time. As you seek to support others I wonder what you are doing to care for you? You sound like a loving person who seeks to promote the well being of others. My gut feeling is that as you seek to care for others, you may find yourself crossing a line between caring for them and taking care of them.

Taking care of yourself is not selfish - in fact it is vital if you seek to serve others. You sound like you've burned out and like you've buried a lot of negative emotions and stress. Who do you lean on? Who supports you?

I urge you to take a step back and consider how you're coping. You're saying abusing substances and using alcohol have been a problem - are they a problem now?

Bottom line - it's like when you go on an airplane and the flight attendant tells you that you need to put your oxegyn mask on first - there's a very good reason for that. Get yourself amongst friends and share what's going on with you. I encourage you to see a counselor and be honest with them - get some objective feedback and make a new plan. Good luck!

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Page last updated Aug 04, 2013

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