Five ways to support an addicted love one

As we make our way towards the end of National Recovery Month I want to discuss helping a love one that is struggling with addiction. Often times that love one is left out to battle the battle alone. Then there are other times that we want to help our love ones but just don’t know how. Well here’s 5 ways to support a love one battling addiction.

  1. Be supportive. Showing support for someone with an addiction means going to meetings with them, listening without judgement, shame, and blame, giving them a phone call to simply say hello, understanding that addiction is a disease, owning your feelings and not covering up the behaviors.
  2. Set boundaries. Provide your love ones with what you will and will not tolerate and be accountable for sticking to those boundaries. It is not tough love. Setting boundaries is a way to disable the behavior.
  3. Go to therapy. Encourage the love one to seek professional help. As a family member it will be very important that you go to therapy as well to work on any unresolved and unaddressed feelings and thoughts around the addiction. Therapy can also help you address your codependency in the relationship with the love one. Family therapy is also a good idea to help the family work on family of origin challenges that keeps the family in the dysfunction around the addicted love one.
  4. Be an example. If you use drugs or alcohol or have an addiction of certain behaviors then you lead by example through lifestyle change. You model healthy living by changing unhealthy behaviors, going to support groups, having a sponsor, or going through a recovery program as well.
  5. Self Care. It is very important that while you are supporting a love one with an addiction that you also do some self care. You want to make sure that you are getting your needs taking care of without falling into the trap of constantly meeting the needs of others and abandoning yours. Honor you.

So there you have it. This is just a few of many ways to care for a love one with addiction. Remember that addiction doesn’t just affect the one person. It affects the whole family.

 

Tahiyya xo

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please reach out for professional help. Don’t go at this alone!

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

 

I am located in Matthews, NC. I specialize in working with individuals, families, and couples who struggle with addiction, codependency, eating disorder, disordered eating and relational challenges. How may I serve you?

 

My baby not allowing me to be great!

So for those of you who don’t know me don’t know that I’d given birth again to a little girl about 15 months ago. She’s my fourth child, first with my new husband. She’s the baby of six, were a blended family. The older kids are ages 22 to 11. So yes I definitely started over.

I’m starting over I had to make some sacrifices that at the time we’re ok. However as the baby turned into a toddler and I grew restless I became more aware of the sacrifices and later became frustrated.

Frustrated?

Yes. Frustrated!

My frustration grew because a part of me was restless and ready to get back to building my dream. The other part couldn’t move because I had a toddler attached to my hip. I felt trapped by responsibilities as a mother and wife and abandoned by my hopes and dreams. Then one day it hit me.

My dreams or even the fire for my passion doesn’t have to burn out. Instead I have to accept that today is my reality of being a repeat mom and that my dream is either on hold or my passion has to be modified.

This means that you can balance your life and the roles you have and still pursue your dreams or passion.

How?

  1. Radical acceptance. Accept your reality. Embrace your role and know that it can’t be changed. It’s a blessing to be a mom, wife, employee or employer, a friend, daughter, etc. This role is something out of your control so let go of the emotional reaction towards it.
  2. Ask yourself what can I do now that will keep my dream alive without losing hope? This is where you look at avenues that will allow you to pursue your dream or perhaps just plan out your dream until the time comes that you can make some things happen. For me I attend trainings, I write out my dreams as a reminder. I do vision boards. I participate in groups that allows me to connect with those who have similar dreams. I may not be able to go full force but the slow and steady is where I’ve come to accept.
  3. Boundaries. Set boundaries in your life that allows you time and space to balance your work- life schedule. When you’re so busy in one role over the other it leaves no time to put up those hats and enjoy yourself. Thus you become stressed, frustrated, and resentful towards your love ones. This is where you say no work calls after 6pm, dinner time is at the table for connecting, kids in bed by 8 so you can have some time with your yourself and then your partner before you end the night. You set the rules. Take care of you.
  4. Communication is always the key. Talk to your spouse/partner about your feelings. Don’t hold it in because again you’ll start to develop resentment. Instead discuss the importance of the dream or passion and how support is viable so that you can achieve your dreams even if you have to modify how to achieve them or move at a slower pace while you finish out your role as a mom to young kids.

So the next time you think your kid isn’t allowing you to be great reframe that and say my kid is allowing me to be a great parent in this moment. My dreams and passion isn’t gone. I just have to change the way I achieve them or my timeline to achieve them has changed and that’s ok.

You’re all great

Xo

Tahiyya

If you need help with your frustration in parenting and want to learn how to balance your needs with the needs of others please contact me to schedule you a FREE 15 minute consultation.

Establishing a healthy mother-daughter relationship 

Having a daughter is such a joy. You have someone to go shopping with, share popcorn with while bonding over your favorite shows, or even play dress up and have tea parties. It’s just great to have that little girl to do the mother-daughter bonding with. Right?

Absolutely! 
So how do we keep the relationship healthy with our daughters?

How do we keep the relationship with our daughters that is full of love and not with conditions to love?

How do we keep the relationship with our daughters that allows us to still have fun but keep you as the parent.

SET BOUNDARIES!!!

1. Be okay with saying no.  Parent guilt is real. However there are just too many Lifetime movies where the mom’s have difficulities with setting boundaries with their daughters and the storyline goes dark. We may even know some moms that have anxiety and have difficulty with setting boundaries including saying no. I will admit as a mom myself it is hard especially when your daughter turns on the guilt trip or when the defiance steps in. However it is very important to set boundaries and be okay with saying no. It is not the end of the world…trust me.

2. Encourage communication without appearing like a friend. Instead appear like the caring mother that you are. Communication is very important when it comes to a relationship between a mother and daughter. The way we communicate with our daughters can establish a healthy foundation for the relationship. We want to focus on the positive. I like the sandwich concept. If there is something that needs to be discussed that is not so good try to cushion it with two positives. I have women come in all the time that says that they never heard anything positive from their mother. This turns into negative self thoughts or self critical thinking if this is not addressed. This opens up your daughter to some challenges as a grown woman. I asked a teenage girl about her communication with her mother and she stated that although she and her mom speaks regularly and have a good relationship the thing she remembers the most that she can be doubtful which leads her to feel doubtful about her own abilities. So the moral of the story is that people will remember the negatives most if that is all they hear is negative, criticizing, and discouraging words verses constructive criticism that also shines on the postive.

3. Don’t get overly involved in your daughter’s social life…you’re not her peer. Having a daughter can be so much fun especially when you are able to go shopping together and hang out. Hang out as mother and daughter and not friends. Yes know who your daughter’s friends are but you do not become one of her friends. In other words you do not need to hang out at the mall with your daughter and her friends and speak like they do and be up on every girl gossip. This creates some muddy waters and the boundaries begin to disappear quickly when you have to step in parent role. If this is about spending time with your daughter than by all means find something you and your daughter like to do that still provides room for you to be a mother and for her to be a daughter…not equals.

4. You don’t have to be your mother! Many of us had mothers that had their own challenges and as their daughter we may have had to experience the effects of their challenges. This can lead you to take on some of the same characteristics (controlling, lack of boundaries, critical, anxious, perfectionism, etc. ). Often times because this has been the norm you may not be aware of how your actions and words can affect the relationship you have with your daughter and yourself. Therefore it is very important to do some self check and some self reflection to evaluate the relationship you had with your own mother and explore where there were challenges. Assess to see if these same challenges occur with you and your daughter and seek out therapy to make some changes. You don’t have to be your mother. You don’t have to repeat the same cycles that lead you to be anxious, critical, controlling, or over compensating. Instead you can create an environment that is loving, nurturing, motivating, encouraging, fun, and leaves room for your daughter to have autonomy and growth.

The best thing about building a healthy mother daughter relationship is that you get to see your daughter blossom into a wonderful young lady who will look back on her relationship with her mother as a guide for how relationships with other women should be.

Resources

http://www.themother-daughterproject.com/welcome.htm

 

If you and your daughter are struggling to have a healthy relationship I can help. Contact me at tahiyyamartin@gmail.com for therapy or relationship coaching.

Tahiyya xo

Who are you


Who are you?
Who are you behind your "best" profile pic that took several tries to get just right?
Who are you behind your family vacation photos where everyone is smiling that "perfect" smile?
Who are you behind your philosophical posts you give everyday?
Who are you behind the awesome victories you post that you definitely deserve?
Who are you behind the phone, the laptop, the keyboard, tablet or iPad?
Who are you?
If you're not who you portray yourself to be or really don't know take the the weekend to unplug and connect to YOU! Your authentic YOU
#unplugged #haveAGreatWeekend #selfReflection #wife #mom #therapist #woman

Tahiyya xo

Looking to do some self discovery to redefine who you are, embrace who you are? Looking to develop the roadmap for your life. Contact Tahiyya at counseling.simplelife@gmail.com

Tahiyya is a wife, mother, therapist, blogger, and human. She loves to help women of all ages with self discovery in her coaching program Life, Love, and Health. Tahiyya also treats anxiety and mood disorders as well as addiction, binge eating, body image issues, maternal mental health, relationship challenges, family challenges, and ADHD in her practice in Matthews, NC. http://www.tahiyyamartin.com

Seeking Safety

Trauma occurs in many different forms from sexual abuse/assault, physical abuse/assault, emotional abuse and neglect, birth trauma, to witnessing and being a victim of acts that are distressing psychologically. When one experiences a traumatic incident they are usually in a crisis and the behaviors that follow can seem abnormal to other people. Often as time goes by the body will begin to respond to the traumatic experience as well (The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van Der Kolk MD is a good book to read to understand this concept). 
In the past, clients that I have treated who have been victims of sexual abuse and physical abuse often talk about both physical and emotional symptoms for example high blood pressure and recurring nightmares or headaches and anxiety. This is very common. The body does keep the score. 
In treating trauma it is very important to first help the client with building self compassion, empowerment, setting clear boundaries for self and developing safety as well as identifying supportive, healthy relationships. No matter the theory or approach used to treat trauma safety has to be established in order for one to trust the process and work on their recovery. 

So here’s just a few tips on helping to get into a safe place when symptoms of trauma become overwhelming 

  • Do some breathing work and focus on your breaths. You want to breathe in to fill the lungs and breathe out to empty the lungs while focusing on your breath. 
  • Close your eyes and visually imagine a safe place. My safe place is being near water. I would close my eyes and imagine myself near flowing water (while working on my breath work)
  • Self talk use self talk to help you deescalte your symptoms (rapid beating heart, hypervigilance, running thoughts, etc) and get into your safe place. You’ll remind yourself that you’re going to your safe place or to slow down your heart beat or to being yourself into the present. 
  • Call your supports. Sometimes hearing a nice familiar voice of someone that can soothe you back to safety can be a great idea. When I’m Recovery or going thorough emotional healing building a support system is very important. 
  • Seek a professional. Therapy is a great place to learn how to manage intrusive thoughts and other symptoms of PTSD when self care is not enough. 

Dealing with trauma and trauma related symptoms can be distressful and challenging but know that you can get through it. You can seek your safe place. 

Tahiyya xo

If you or someone you know is struggling with trauma and the trauma related symptoms please seek help. If you live in NC and would like to make an appointment to see me please call me at 910-434-5325 or email me at counseling.simplelife@gmail.com. 

Seek Safety 

I’m scared

I’m scared…You hit a brick wall while traveling this Road called life. It just got real and now you need to see someone and it needs to be now.


“I’m scared”.

You have all these questions in your head. You have all these thoughts speed racing through your mind. What if they can’t help me? What if I don’t like them? Will I have to tell my secrets? Will things get worse? Cry!!!

“I’m scared”

So you decide to treat the issue yourself. You self soothe or better yet self medicate with your choice of drug, alcohol or process. A nice way to put addiction. It works for a while but when you’re off your “high” the problem returns.

“I’m scared”

Finally you give up and give in and decide to give therapy a try but still holding on to that pacifier. You’re not sure how things will go so it’s your back up plan.

“I’m scared”

But things take a turn. The therapist is really nice. The therapist offered you a space of safety to work on healing and recovery. The therapist helps you to get out of your head and really feel the emotions so you can now do some problem solving and get back on track with living healthier, happier AND without the pacifier.

“I’m not scared. I’m recovering. I’m happy”

Taking the first step to therapy can be scary. But it’s always worth a try.

Tahiyya xo

If you’re ready and looking for a place of safety to address the brick walls in your life or to remove the “pacifier” to stop self soothing and medicating. Please contact Tahiyya Martin here. She is a licensed professional counselor associate and licensed clinical addiction specialist associate in North Carolina. She offers free 15 minute phone consultations.

(Photos: All rights reserved. Photos may not be reproduced or used in any manner). 

The many faces of anxiety Pt1

Hi I’m Tahiyya and I have anxiety!

Before working in the mental health field the closest I got to knowing what anxiety was is when my granny would talk about taking her nerve pills. Nerve pills. I didn’t know what nerve pills were. I assumed it was for her nerves in her body. Little did I know it was for being nervous. Anxiety.

My granny didn’t appear nervous. As a matter of fact she was very strong. She was quick with the tongue and didn’t take no junk. My granny never showed that she was worried about anything.  She slept good at night and go up early the next morning with the chickens. My granny sat on the porch and watched the people and enjoyed her fresh air. If she wasn’t on the porch she was watching the news or The Andy Griffith Show. Granny didn’t look like she had anxiety. Silent Sufferer.

Granny’s story is just one of many when it comes to the faces of anxiety.  In the older generation many took nerve pills which were actually anxiety medication. The older generation kept their worries to themselves because that is what they were taught to do by their parents. In doing so they were able to walk around as if nothing was worrying them. You would often hear the saying, “I’m going to leave it in God’s hands”. However you would hear your grandma (and sometimes Grandpa) praying every night over the same thing aka worry.

Let’s look at other faces of anxiety.

Perfectionist. Always busy trying to make things look good out of fear of rejection. Unable to sleep at night as your thoughts are consumed with plans for the next day, what you forgot to do that day, who is going to be upset, how you could have said this or said that, what you are going to do tomorrow, and much much more. You panic at the thought of not being in control because if you don’t have control it won’t be “perfect”. When you wake up in the morning everything is in “perfect” place from hair, makeup, clothes, and smile. Yet inside you are consumed with overthinking, overanalyzing, and rumination of thoughts.

Overachiever. The overachiever is sometimes paired with the perfectionist characteristics. Always trying to outdo what you have done previously. Looking for ways to achieve more in life, love, health, status, finance, or some part of life just to get the satisfaction or approval from others and/or self.  Your thoughts are consumed with achieving more, doing more, succeeding more and being better; getting it right for the people’s admiration. You thrive off feeling as if you are in control of your success or failures. Yet you look calm and collected. You don’t look like you are anxious. Again this is another face of anxiety; high functioning anxiety. Think of Olivia Pope

Worry Warrior. You look worried even if there’s nothing to worry about. You look nervous even when the environment is stable. Your sleep is filled with things to worry about even when a threat has not been preceived. Your conversations is about worrying and not feeling confident. You are hypervigilant. You hide from success and failure because you worry about the outcome of both. Sometimes you are on “nerve pills” just to calm down the thoughts of worry that is in your head. Another face of anxiety.

Always angry (irritable). You go to bed angry. You get up angry. You don’t want to be bothered so you either isolate yourself through being mean or physically remove yourself from others. Your thoughts are all over the place with worry and assumed thoughts of what others think of you. Heck sometimes these thoughts are of what you think of yourself. When you return to your center, it is filled with anger. The anger masks the anxiety that lives within you; the fear of outcomes that you have no control over. The fear is deep because anger plays the protector. Another face of anxiety.

The indecisive one. You are afraid to make decisions because you worry that it may not be the right decision. You are always looking for cues as to which way you should go with your decision. You fear that if you make the wrong decision people will reject you therefore you walk on eggshells when it comes to decisions.

The phobia one. Certain events, items, people, places trigger the anxiety in you. Your mind is consumed with being in the presence of the person, place, or thing. The thought of the person, place or thing puts you in a state of fear and often prevents you from living happily or from having fun.

These are the faces of anxiety. It is very important to understand which face or faces you wear in order to get the best treatment out there. Although similar techniques can be used to treat the different faces the techniques are tailored to the trigger that sets off the different types of anxiety. Check me out on FB Live on 5/11/2017 at 7pm to find out how to manage the symptoms!!!

Hey ladies! If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety please contact me at counseling.simplelife@gmail.com to schedule an appointment.

Don’t live close to Charlotte, NC then you can utilize teletherapy (North Carolina natives only).

If you are not local please check out these resources.

http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-anxiety-disorders#1

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20024562

https://www.adaa.org

Until next time;

Tahiyya xo