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Lisa Wells is raising a son with Borderline Personality Disorder. As a little boy, her child was diagnosed with ADHD. He was throwing furniture, had to be taken out of school and went through all kinds of treatment. He endured a lot of ridicule, punishment, and rejection from school staff for not behaving in the way they expected. Lisa assumes this contributed to the trauma which led to him to develop BPD and an older teen.

Lisa shared with me her strategies for staying afloat while her son is drowning. One of the components needed to able to care for your loved one’s high-needs is to realize that you can’t be available for them 24/7. You are human too, and if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have anything left to give. This can be terrifying because there are so many “what if’s” and lack of control when you don’t do everything that they need. In the long run, if you both want to enjoy your life more and be able to be available without burning out, you cannot place all of the responsibility for their survival on yourself. You sometimes have to let go, and that’s okay.

Another major strategy Lisa utilizes on a daily basis, is to recognize and measure her physical and emotional capacity to help somebody else. If her son is calls her on the phone, Lisa will pause and take notice if she has at least 50% of her capability to deal with whatever situation might be. If she’s already feeling overwhelmed by other things in life — lacking sleep, the dog barking, and she’s involved in getting something done, she takes a “self-care break”, works on her mindset to bring herself back up to at least 50%, and then chooses to reach out and support her son.

Lisa has come to realize that the best way to help her son is simply using the practice of radical acceptance. No judgement. If he’s only wearing one shoe, she won’t say something negative or critical, but just rolls with it. If he really wants some cigarettes, she will actually go buy them for him. If she shows up in his space, and it is clear that he really just needs to be left alone, she leaves. Fighting against whatever is going on in his life that isn’t immediately life-threatening only makes him feel criticized, which can be a big trigger. Lisa chooses to believe that he’s doing the best he can, and doesn’t push him to be anyone besides who he is in that moment.

She communicates her boundaries with her son. When he has a meltdown, she will calmly say that she will not tolerate being yelled at. When a conversation starts to go off track, she will clearly tell him that she’s not leaving forever; she just really needs to go get dinner on the table or do some other task, and she will call him again in a couple hours when they both have had time to regroup. Because so much that happens in his life seems like an emergency, it can be hard for him to understand how his mom could choose to not help him in his seemingly desperate situation, but she is working to help him understand that she is a person too, and her needs are just as legitimate as his own.

Lisa relates how funny he is and how good he is at the things he’s passionate aboutand often invites him over to help her with a project and delights in seeing how he finds the quickest and most efficient way to solve the problem she has presented him with. He loves to help out others. If he has a few extra dollars, he’ll go give it to a homeless person because he knows what it is like to be on the street. He loves being encouraging and making jokes with his neighbors and those around him. BPD is not all darkness. Those suffering from it are full of light… just often not for themselves.

Thank you for listening to Hope to Recharge! if we are important to you, help us out and Leave us a review on iTunes. It makes a huge difference!

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Work 1 on 1 with Matana – With our 1 on 1 coaching program, you can work directly with Matana. Get a free 30-minute fitting tryout call to see if this is right for you. You do not have to walk through your mental health struggle alone. Because as always, together is better!

There is no substitute for a listening ear. Get Your Free 30 Minute, 1 on 1 Consultation Today.

https://hopetorecharge.com/1on1/

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As we all know, sharing can help others. We are here to support each other and to learn from each other. In mental health, Together is better.

If you need more support in your mental health journey please reach out to us in our private Facebook group.

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Interested in joining our monthly Mastermind Group? 

Find out more info here! www.hopetorecharge.com/Mastermind

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Connect with Lisa:

(Business Website): https://lisarwells.com

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Quotes:

“The last thing he needs is for me to be pointing stuff out to him if he’s having a rough day… So, I thought, “I’ll just kind of be with him,” and “How can I help him?” Instead of my mind immediately going to, “Why cant he?” It was, “How can I?” “@LisaWells @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge

“Don’t react. Breathe. Stop. Pause.” @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge

“If I can’t answer the phone with a smile, I probably shouldn’t be answering the phone.” @LisaWells @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge

“Instead of just slapping a label on it, what I’d like to do is to work toward asking him, “Tell me what you’re feeling right now.” … at least we can work through feelings rather than slapping a label on it and just saying, “Well, then, there’s nothing we can do about it.”” @LisaWells @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge

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Topics Discussed:

  • Coping strategies for caregivers
  • “Empathy with boundaries”
  • Doing away with judgement
  • Dealing with your child self-medicating
  • Raising multiple children when one has severe health issues
  • NAMI; the importance of peer support for caregivers

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Suicide Hotlines:
USA: 1-800-273-8255
USA Crisis (Text): 741-741
Canada: 1-833-456-4566
United Kingdom: 116-123
Australia: 13-11-14
International Suicide Hotlines:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicide_crisis_lines

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