Slow Return

This past evening my oldest daughter returned home from her last treatment stay. Unlike my youngest, she’s only had to receive outside mental health services 3 times in the 7 years she’s lived with us. Usually these stays have a significant impact on where she sees her life and where she wants to go. It’s sort of a wake up call that she may be heading down a slippery slope, and that she needs to get back into a structured, safe environment to realize that she is a great person who just needs the help and support of a loving, stable family.

I went to a bridge meeting earlier in the day for my oldest daughter. The lead person for the case asked me what my goals were for this current placement. I stated that we would love her to return to the family and understand what is appropriate behavior for a home. Based on the past six months, it appears that she feels much safer and stable in an environment where she doesn’t have to be attached to anyone in particular. She sees a variety of people come and go in her life and that’s fine to her. We know this is a slow process to get her to understand we are her mother and father, and we love her very much, but she needs some help with her anger and crisis management.

What does this mean for myself? I have to erase certain pain from the past and start anew. I can’t hold onto grudges and I may not be able to forget certain incidents but I need to forgive all parties and move forward. The only way we are going to succeed is with the ability to understand that when you come back to the family, it’s a new start. Let’s take every day as it comes- and hope that when we are facing a new challenge, we seek out the proper assistance to keep everything on course.

It means I have to do little things for myself that make me happy. Yesterday that meant instead of driving in my car, I walked to the downtown library. To keep up with my health, it means daily making sure I take in enough water as well as taking my multivitamin and 2400 mg of Omega-3 pills. It means reading a minimum of 45 minutes a day, taking notes on what I feel is important and implementing some of the knowledge I’m acquiring.

Even something as simple as listening to a favorite band and getting lost in the music gives me a feeling of calmness and peace. I am slowly returning to being the best father I can be- and I always need to remember that if I’m going to help and take care of others adequately, I need to be taking care of myself. Zig Ziglar spoke about this recently in a television interview I took in on ABC Family- that ‘home court advantage’ where the better you take care of your relationships at home, the better off you will be for the world at large.

So don’t neglect yourself. Look at one area in your life that you would like to improve, set yourself a 30 day specific goal and go about taking the first step for action. When I set my soda-free goal (currently at 24 days), I knew that I needed to substitute more water to offset any soda intake. I remind myself of the benefits and feel them physically (more energy, better sustained sleep, less mood swings). Next week I will let the readers know of my next 30 day trial I plan to implement, which I feel will be related to my career and finances.

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