Dysregulation Writ Large
I am, as everyone knows, a fan of the “Crappy Childhood Fairy.” She talks about brain dysregulation and shows you how to re-regulate yourself. It is work.
I spend all day at work reminding myself to breathe from the abdomen and meditate on breaks because my emotions are so close to the surface. If things do not go well, I want to break down and cry. I feel like I am doing a lot of healing. I am much more functional now than I was a year ago, thanks to the Fairy, Pete Walker, and my psychoanalyst.
But the pandemic screwed up many things. My friend on the east coast, in my opinion, has gone over the edge. She is homeless and drinking a little. I am genuinely concerned for her safety. But here’s the problem: I don’t think I am really the one that can stop her freefall. I am too close to the edge myself. I am unwilling to go over with her. I cannot risk my mental health for someone who defends drinking and does not take basic safety precautions. She has spent over a year isolated, with only canines to keep her company. Her concept of normal is gone. I fear she is not alone.
I have been reading this book “Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It” by Gabor Mate. It turns out ADD is a huge risk factor for addiction. My friend is ADD as hell. For her to drink is to play with fire. I can’t watch this. I am looking for helpful tips, but it is not as if it has a chapter called “What to Do When Your ADD Friend Is Isolated, Potentially Homeless, and Drinking.” The book, not surprisingly, is aimed at parents of ADD children. It is full of common sense, but the gist is simple: parents need to learn how to regulate their own emotions so that that they can regulate the behavior of their ADD children. Parents on the edge are not great role models for kids that have a tendency to bounce off the walls. Kids learn maturity from emotionally mature parents or they don’t learn it at all.
I need to get myself in order. If I am not emotionally stable, I cannot help others. At this point, I am just trying to take responsibility for myself and that is a full-time job.