Family caregiver, your heart is soooo big and your instinct is to come from a place of love and service, wanting your loved one to have the easiest, quickest, least painful path to recovery.

Today though, you’ll learn that putting their needs first, before your own, is crushing your spirit and not helping them. And that’s not OK with me. (hug)

It’s a difficult thing to override our natural instinct to try and “save” or “rescue” our child. And, there is a difference between being of service and servitude. Today we’ll discuss the difference between service and servitude and how the latter might be sabotaging you and your child on their recovery journey. 

You may have been told (or told yourself) you have to put your life on hold and do everything possible to help your child in recovery. 

Well, yes and no. 

Here’s why: 

When you put every request before your own needs, you slip into “servitude”, and that’s not healthy for you OR your child.

Often, you don’t put your needs first.

Instead, you go and take care of everybody else’s needs.

Perhaps you run to the store to buy a particular brand of yogurt, make a special dinner just for them or  get up at 4am to make all of their food for the day and you try to fulfill every unusual request that they make…

…and, that’s not serving you or them. It’s not giving them the chance to feel a sense of competence and accomplishment of working through the tough stuff. And it’s draining your energy and spirit. It might even make you feel bitter, angry or resentful. 

Your self-worth matters and so does theirs. 

Being in service means to take care of others and do the best that you can.

But there’s a point at which this can cross over into servitude where people start taking advantage of you and they treat you like a doormat. We teach people how to treat us. 

This servitude is taking away your child’s ability to see that they are capable. 

This servitude is draining your cup to the point you have nothing left to give…and your loved one needs you to be calm, compassionate and confident. 

My invitation to you is to look at where you’re in service and where it’s crossed the line into servitude.

Caregivers cannot pour from an empty cup.

Really look closely at where you may have become a slave to the eating disorder behaviors that will keep taking until you’re bone dry and have nothing left to give your child.

(You can see how to set healthy boundaries here in the HUG Kits.)

You see, you must have enough self-love and self-worth to set boundaries with your child so you can use your precious time to successfully support your child while they journey toward recovery. 

It’s time to love yourself enough to say, “No, this is no longer okay.” 

If this is something that you struggle with, reach out to me here, dear caregiver.

I want to help you become more confident as a caregiver so you take the right actions that will increase your impact as a caregiver, day after day and be the calm, compassionate, confident caregiver that can provide the support to help your loved one find solid recovery without erasing YOU.

That’s why my coaching clients reclaim their lives and see their kids improve, because I accompany them and shine the light on the how. And can show you too.

It’s time.

With love,