My friend asked me a great question: Do you have any tips and suggestions on how to handle family members who are still treating me like I’m crazy?
It seems to be a common question during recovery, especially if you went to inpatient treatment.
What I have experienced from my family is that they saw me mentally ill for 8 years. My family saw me as mentally ill and that’s something that usually doesn’t change overnight. Just as you have to change your thought processes, how you do life and how you see life your family has to change how they see you. So a big thing is just time. I’m currently almost 3 years clean and it’s still something some of my family members struggle with. Telling some one you aren’t mentally ill usually doesn’t do a thing. It’s time and having them watch your life.
A big thing, that isn’t easy, is you just have to make the choice to not let it bother you. You have plenty right in front you. Don’t try to prove them wrong. just love them. Don’t defend yourself. Just live your life and through your actions they will see the truth.
Sometimes its just explaining your diagnose with your family. Explaining that you aren’t crazy you just have theses different diagnoses. I do not believe that when I was cutting I was crazy. I was in a lot of emotional pain without any skills of how to feel better. Sometimes its just explaining why you cut or why you starve that could help. If its something else like a Bipolar diagnose maybe just explain and try to educate your family and show them you aren’t crazy; you just have a mood disorder.
Sometimes when our family see’s us in a really bad state its hard to un see. I remember when I had cuts from my wrist to my elbow on my left arm. I know it took some time for some of my family to un see those cuts.
Another thing that may help is to try to see it from your family’s perspective. I know it’s really really really hard but maybe just zoom out of the situation and see if there is a bigger picture. When you are zoomed into a map you miss a lot of other helpful information that you need to zoom out to see. Its something I really try to do. Its one of my go to skills to put myself in others shoes and zoom out from situations.
So maybe looking at why your family thinks you are crazy. Maybe there scared and are hurting. Mental illness tends to affect those around the one who is actually struggling. It’s not easy to see your child in so much pain and knowing its partly your fault.
I hope my tips and suggestions have helped. Keep your head up! You are doing well!!!