Small changes can make a big difference in your happiness when your child is abusing substances

I often write that when you find yourself caught up in your teen’s substance abuse you have to figure out how to put your own oxygen mask on first and take care of yourself. 

Future focus is one way to do that. 

Future focus is intentionally creating a better future, instead of unintentionally recreating your past.  

Your mind likes to make decisions from the past because it’s predictable and it’s safe.

Remembering and repeating your past does not require much effort compared to creating something new.

Creating a vision for a new future is not only a higher level of thinking, it involves the possibility of failure which we want to avoid because staying the same is easier than change whether you like your past results or not. 

Think about where your future will be if you keep recreating your past.

Where are you going?

Where will you be in five years if you keep living this way?

Where will you be in ten, twenty, or thirty years?

Are you on the path you want to be on?

Now, imagine what you would be doing if your teen was sober and you were focused on yourself. 

This might be hard to imagine at first but keep asking yourself until your mind opens up to it. 

What would you think about if you weren’t thinking about your teen’s substance abuse all of the time?

How would you feel?

What can you do to create that feeling now? 

Sit down and write about it. 

Write about all the things you want in your life. 

Your life, not your teens life. 

Start dreaming about what YOU want again. 

You need something to look forward to. 

You can start with small changes. 

Small changes today can lead to the creation of a totally different future 3 years from now.

3 years ago, I started with small changes like listening to podcasts that made me feel better on my way and to and from work.

Then I added more self-care like exercise, eating better, and sleeping more.  

I found a counselor who understood addiction and resonated with me.

I tried new things like painting and gardening.   

I joined the coaching program from my favorite life coaches podcast. 

Eventually, the changes started getting bigger. 

I got the courage to leave a successful and stable career to become a coach and start my own business. 

When I started listening to those podcasts three years ago, I had no idea about the exciting changes it would start in my life. 

It was a change that started small and lead me to work that I love.

It also keeps me focused on my future and myself rather than my teen.