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Tips for Handling Family Illness

          November, 2018

Quote of the month  

needs somebody sometimes...." 
  song lyrics by Keith Urban, country music singer, song-writer.

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Masters Degree - Applied Psychology from Seton Hall University


Post-Masters Degree-Marriage and Family Therapy from Seton Hall University


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist


Private Practice 

since 2008


Married 30 years


Mother of 2 young adult daughters 


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I see myself as a very positive person most of the time, but when someone close to me gets ill, my positive nature can turn negative. There has been some illness and sadness in my family this year and I want to share some things that have helped me through this time period. Some struggles continue, but just like you, I wake up each day ready to give 100%. Every day is a gift. How will you appreciate that gift today?
  1. How can a person stay positive in light of illness, whether it is their illness or someone close to them?
  2. What do we expect of others in time of need?
  3. What do we expect of ourselves in time of need?
Read below for some things to think about whether you or someone close to you is ill.

Please pass along to family and friends who may be interested in the monthly content of this newsletter. Creating a web of knowledge helps those in need.
Maryellen Dabal, MA, LMFT
305 Miron Drive 
Southlake, TX 76092
Missed previous newsletters??
Go to www.dabalmft.com.  Click on the newsletters link at the bottom of the home page. Enjoy.....
From The Positive Perspective......    

To address question #1 above, in order to stay positive, we need to surround ourselves with support that is not only the "can you take me to the doctor or pick up my prescription" type of support but also support that is emotional. Pain is not only experienced on the outside. Our bodies can heal, but it's our heart and our soul that can take much more time to heal. If you are hurting on the inside, please connect with someone who can give you that emotional support. Talk with someone who will listen to you and allow you to vent about your fears, your sadness and your frustrations. That may be a religious person or a counselor or just a good friend. Choose someone who will not judge or criticize but who will listen and support.

We can also create positivity by staying active physically, journaling our thoughts and engaging with others who are positive and uplifting. Having that emotional support not only from others, but from ourselves is vital to keeping things positive. Which leads to question #2 above.

In our time of need, do we expect others to understand? They may not. They may have a different perspective of a particular situation. They have just as much of a right to express their thoughts, even if it disagrees with yours. We have to be patient and listen, too. Is that not what we want back from others? If you are surrounded by those who like to "fix" everything, understand that they have the best of intentions in wanting to help in a way they are good at, but we may have to ask those individuals to just listen and give us a hug when we are done. Remember to thank those that support you.

What else do we expect from others when we or someone close to us is hurting or ill? Others may see a different side of your personality come out. Can they address that with you? We have to try to be in a place where we can talk about those things. Remembering the intent of others in your time of need is key. They are trying to help.

Last question, what do we expect of ourselves in time of need or illness? I am guessing that your first answer is that nothing would change. I am the same person as I was before, right? Maybe not. Could this illness or challenge that has occurred change you in some way? Rely on those closest to you to give you some feedback if necessary. We may have less energy or less drive to be social. We may be more emotional than usual. We may not have as much endurance as before due to restless nights or pain. Is that ok? It should be, as long as we are not withdrawing in a way that our lifestyle changes and becomes isolating to the point where we are not in contact with others on a regular basis. If we are missing work for no known reasons, that can be a problem. Allow your doctors to tell you what your limits should be. If you are concerned about the life changes you have made, call your doctor. Bring a loved one with you if you need to, so that your life experiences can be verified through both your perspective and your loved one's perspective.

This is only the tip of knowledge needed in times of sadness or illness, but I hope this newsletter has given you the encouragement to reach out for help if you need it and to believe that everything will be OK. That sadness or illness may not go away today, but the situation can improve if we take care of ourselves and our loved ones and do our best to look at each day From The Positive Perspective.

Stay well.
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I welcome feedback regarding the newsletter or questions about my practice.  I can be reached at maryellen@dabalmft.com .  I cannot, however, give advice through email. For more information on my practice please visit my website: www.dabalmft.com

I wish you well...