Since I started my career in social work, it didn't matter the diagnosis, the addiction or what the neurotransmitters were doing in someone's brain. The majority of the folks who found themselves on my caseload had one thing in common. They were caretakers, they were "co-dependents," they were exhausted from being everything to everyone else, and depleted for themselves.
When you are all things to all people, where do you find the outlets to dissolve the stress? The energy of others wants, needs, desires? Are their needs even possible for you to fulfill? Often times I find the kind souls who care more about others than themselves turn to outlets such as drugs/alcohol/various other addictions that create havoc on the workability of their life. When addictions set in as an escape, it cycles a deeper hole to get out of. As one hit of an addiction offers the hope of temporary mental relief or solace, it actually creates more despair, shame and guilt which feeds back into caring for someone else to make amends for the "wrong" or the "mistake" made. Filling a karmic toilet bowl I suppose.
The interesting part of life is, you are one being. One being put here with hopes dreams and desires to fulfill. If those go in the garbage can to overcompensate on saving someone else who doesn't want saved, or someone who is not giving back into a positive feedback loop, when do you know it's time to create some boundaries? When on your timeline is it your turn? Can you make it that far with your current trajectory? If you replied, "I have to." I urge you to reconsider that statement and say "I choose to." Because it's a choice. Whether it be a right, wrong, good or bad choice in your eyes or someone else's eyes that is not the subject. When things become a choice vs "I have to do it" it creates more space for you to consider you in these "choices." It gives more space for you to say yes or no and consider what your being needs as well.
While I am not encouraging you to make choices that don't uphold honesty, integrity, and being your word to another, I am telling you that you can choose to recreate what honesty, integrity and being your word looks like to work for you. If you promised to take care of your mom 24/7. Can you ask for help and recreate that agreement to include your needs as well. If you are constantly doing for others and not you, I promise you are still reading this and internally arguing what I'm saying to you. Often times I hear unlimited reasons to solutions, "my mom doesn't want anyone else coming into the home to help". That's a choice that is made to uphold someone else's needs far above your own. That's an imbalance and when it's met with resentment, exhaustion and indifference, that is an energy that no one wants to hang out with. Choosing to meet your needs when caring for others is important. Whether it's respected or not, when you're happy, your energy is contagious and you have more genuineness to give.
Make it a beautiful day.