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I’ve been living not-with-my-parents for a couple of years now, and it’s been a great growing opportunity. I haven’t had the chance to really live independently yet, and I’m grateful to and for my family – blood-related and not – that have allowed me that little bit of freedom by supporting me.
I love my parents, and for the last few months I’ve really been struggling – again – and though I miss them both (they’ve moved out of state), I’m glad they’re not here to insist that I come home, because I don’t know that I can get stronger living with either of them. I don’t know how I’m going to do this – I’ve been trying all of the things that have helped me before (coping skills, IOP, in-patient, waiting for the new meds to kick in), and I haven’t been able to maintain any real gains. I’m still struggling with weight loss (I’ve never had much to spare), depression, and anxiety. I think that would still be true if I were living with either of my parents, though.
My social worker asked me if living with other family members has been easier, and I said yes – they don’t love me more or less than my parents, but they are better able to separate that love from their own need for me to be well, from their need to fix me. It means I have more room to fall apart…and more room to put myself back together. Because I know from experience that I can still fall apart, even with no room at all. But to put myself back together, I need a little space.
Does that make sense to anyone else?
That makes complete sense! One of my closest friends who struggled with self harm and an eating disorder in high school has a difficult time returning home during college breaks. Although she misses her family, they sometimes tend to be a trigger for some of her negative actions, spiraling back to where she started. She tries to stay busy and out of the house by working out, taking walks at the beach, and just spending time with friends. She also has acknowledged that spending time alone to reflect is as important. This is something I have been struggling with because it is so much easier to keep busy and surround yourself with people than face the struggle you are dealing with. You need to remember that progress takes time and it is not always linear towards getting better. Sometimes it takes me five steps back of mistakes to make progress for the better! Good luck 🙂
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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