When a family member is diagnosed with an eating disorder and we’re frantically trying to keep them alive and find a good fit for treatment, often the last thing on our minds is setting boundaries to keep them AND us, safe.
Most families tell me that they’ve been giving 100% of their energy and time to trying to help their loved one with an eating disorder. You may feel that every aspect of your life has now been impacted including; your job, relationships, health, and joy. And while it is vital to love, support and nurture them, it is essential for their health and yours that you set and follow through with loving boundaries. I go into great detail in a previous article called, 3 Reasons to Set and Enforce Boundaries. You can read it here.
Today I’m not addressing the reasons to enforce the boundaries, instead I’m addressing how to create loving guidelines and follow through to keep a loved one and yourself safe.
In my HUG Kits you can pick the areas in which you need to gain more knowledge and or competence in setting boundaries and most importantly, following through.
This can be scary when your loved one is so sick. It’s still essential.
Here is a sample of 3 areas from which you can choose from to practice on:
Tolerating my loved one’s distress.
Reducing my own distress.
Following through on boundaries.
Now the four HOW TO tips:
- If you were to choose just one of these areas to increase your skills on, what beliefs might you need to shift? Often family caregivers don’t see the need to learn any of these 3 areas.
- Now that you’ve chosen 1 area, what will give you the confidence to follow through?
- How will you manage your fears?
- Where will you get support?
Yes, I realize that those 4 tips are questions. It’s because you have so many answers within you and when you find those, you learn better. If you need help finding them, give me a call. This stuff is not easy, we need to unlearn habits and start using new skills. This is the parallel process that is our work to do on us as the caregivers.
Remember, you did not cause this, you cannot control this and it’s not yours to cure.