Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Have you ever listened to the flight attendant give safety instructions just before an airplane takes off into the wild blue yonder? The instruction is to put your oxygen mask on BEFORE you make sure the kids mask is on their sweet little faces. The purpose for this is for the adult to be alert and aware enough to tend to the youngsters needs. After all, if you can’t breathe, you can’t help the kids breathe. Makes sense to me.
You can say the same thing about taking care of other family members when there is an alcoholic in the midst. If you can’t think clearly and make logical, sane, choices how can you help others make good choices? In a room full of crazy people, there has to one who is the least crazy to lead the pack.
Alcoholics, by their very nature, will create chaos. They don’t intend to do it, but they do. They’re brain’s frontal lobe, which houses our ability to make rational decisions, does not work in the manner that it was intended. In short, they are brain-damaged.
Typically, the most mature and rational of a family will take on the role of head of the family. Whoever that person is, has to have what the alcoholic does not have – a brain that works correctly. The brain is like a machine that needs certain things to keep it running smoothly.
Much like getting a tune-up for your car the brain needs periodic “tune-ups” in the form of rest and relaxation. A constant onslaught of crisis type situations without much of a break in between can wear us down and cause us to make hasty, sometimes unwise, decisions. The result is a condition very similar to PTSD. Sometimes it’s necessary to walk away from the alcoholic chaos for a time to regain your focus.
A healthy diet is also something that the brain needs. Food is our fuel and although fast food, sweets and other goodies taste great, they are not always what we need to keep us properly fueled up and ready to think.
Sometimes the perfect thing for our brains is a little laughter. Constantly focusing on the negative will create a negative attitude in other parts of your life. Stay positive. Stay objective. Keep your sense of humor.
All of those things are part of the oxygen mask that you must place over your face and breathe deep in order to be able to help the other, possibly less resilient, members of the family. If you are seeing your way through any stressful situation, put your oxygen mask on first. Take care of yourself first. Only then can you help anyone else.
at 10:18 AM