07-24-2018 03:53 PM - last edited on 01-15-2019 01:14 PM by gina-Ro
Thank you @sunflowermom for your suggestion of "How do you recover or reset when you are at your wits end?" for topical Tuesdays this fortnight.
"At your wits end" is a phrase used to refer to the feeling of reaching your emotional limit and not knowing what to do next. Some people may refer to this phrase as burnout.
Last fortnight we spoke about where to get support for your child/teen and the importance of getting support early. But what about parents? Where do parents go for support to promote their own health and maintain their wellbeing?
Parents across the forums are supporting children dealing with ranges of issues including social media use, alcohol and drugs, mental health, bullying, isolation, communication and changing teen experiences. The complexity of these experiences can take an emotional toll, and this fortnight is an opportunity to talk about how parents can replenish their health and emotional resources in the short term and long term.
If we talk about supporting other people as "filling their bucket with water from my bucket", it is important that we replenish the water so we have enough for us too.
This Topical Tuesday is a space to talk about your experiences how you overcame the feeling of being at wits end/at the end of your emotional resources - How did you "refill your bucket" and keep going?
Some questions you might consider include:
07-24-2018 09:36 PM
I think that last time I was at my wits end was when my daughter tried to commit suicide, she had done some things the weekend before leading up to the fall. She went to a party and drank, she stole money from me, she verbally bashed me at our family group. So by the attempt I was very empty and she felt lots of guilt.
Something that was different is that I had a feeling of anger towards her. Yes I still love her with all my heart but I was really mad this time and did not Molly caudle her. I have learned not stuff my emotions away, they are valid as well. And it helped me heal.
I was mad for a couple days, but I still reassured her how much I love her. I indulged in some cookies, I slept a little too. I needed to regain myself and I took a couple days to do it. I talked to my husband and my best friend about the event. That helped too.
Going forward I am learning to protect myself a bit, step away when I need to, not deny my own feelings and not give in to my child's every whim to try to smooth things over. Now I feel I bounce back more quickly.
07-24-2018 10:32 PM
1. indulge in cookies
2. indulge in sleep
3. allow yourself to be heard via supports
@sunflowermom LOVE this - thank you for sharing
07-25-2018 08:42 PM
This is such a great topic as I’m sure we’ve all reached our wits end at some point.
I’m feeling like this lately and today didn’t help. My daughter was driving us to my parents as we were going out to lunch for my brother’s 50th. I haven’t been happy with my daughter’s mental health care and made the mistake of asking my daughter if her counsellor ever talked with her about helping out at home and what the issue is there. She’s just lost it at me, swearing and carrying on. I asked her to please not speak to me like that and it just went on. So I asked her to pull over down the road at the service station and she refused.
We got to my parents and she walked straight past my brother and was so rude then stood there on her phone. I asked her to put her phone away and she didn’t even look up, just growled ‘no’.
So we didn’t go to my brother’s lunch. I was angry and upset but we drove in silence to the nearest train station where she demanded to get out so she could catch the train home.
Because of my own mental state I’ve been lucky enough to have the acute mental health care team from the hospital calling me daily, so spoke with them. A sleep is always good, especially after a good cry! The forum has really taught me about self-care, so I take time out for me to do something I enjoy. For me I find doing something that requires my full concentration helps me the most as it distracts my brain from the ruminating thoughts. It softens me again so I can move forward.
07-25-2018 08:56 PM
wow @taokat, seems like you had one thing after the other go from not good to bad to worst. Good on you for being able to put so many things to help keep your "mental state" in check. Sometimes when an emotion is painful or difficult - we will want to avoid it instead of like you say, being able to soften it to move forward
07-25-2018 09:38 PM
I agree with @Sally-RO ! I am so sorry things just seems so uphill for you right now. I am sending loving thoughts for strength to you. I am so glad you have people to talk to daily. My action after stressful events are always to run and hide ( go to my room and sleep). I'm trying to work on that.
We both know from our experience things get better but I know it doesn't lessen the pain in the moment and sometimes the moments seem to go on too long.....don't they?
I'm also sorry you missed your brothers birthday Hopefully you two can have a separate dinner together sometime in the near future.
07-25-2018 11:21 PM
Thank you so much for your support @Sally-RO and @sunflowermom
In hindsight though it was stupid of me to touch on any sensitive topic at that time! 🤦♀️
I really thank the forum for teaching me about the importance of self-care and I have to say, writing down the things I do really helped me acknowledge that I am actually doing what I can for myself. Somehow writing things down makes a big difference. I’ve also started a gratitude diary I write in before bed so I finish each day on a positive. Recommended!
Escaping to my room to sleep is usually my go to in really stressful times too @sunflowermom ! It’s just I know my daughter’s not doing well at the moment so even though I’m still asleep, I kinda feel by sleeping on the lounge I’m not shutting her off with a closed door.
I dont think it’s a bad thing to escape when you need to. I think it’s good for our kids to realise we’re human too and sometimes need time that doesn’t include them. We love them and from the past they know we’ll be there for them again after our time out, so it’s okay. How much do we judge ourselves as parents?!
Those moments certainly do seem to last too long at times, but you’re so right - they do pass. Always.
Yes, it was upsetting about today, but my brother’s on holidays at the moment so I’ll catch up with him. He did get his presents so that was good
07-26-2018 03:26 PM
Sending you love and light! @taokat That's such a difficult situation to be in and I can see how much you love your daughter and want to support her. Sometimes it's hard to know what will trigger someone, so be kind to yourself. We all make mistakes I'm really interested in what you said earlier: "It softens me again so I can move forward." I think that's so beautiful. It shows how you can still be positive and hopeful for the future despite the hardships you've been through.
I'm so glad that you've benefited from the forums as I'm guessing others have also learnt A LOT from you!
08-09-2018 11:39 PM
Thank you so much @Amirah-RO
I don’t know how I missed your message earlier, apologies for my late reply!
Things have been up and down recently but we find the energy to keep battling on. I think it’s that softening of the heart and mind that allows hope to stay alive and keeps us moving forward. I don’t underestimate the value of hope
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