EP 42 When you argue with reality you lose

Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
EP 42 When you argue with reality you lose

When you argue with reality you lose, but only 100% of the time – Byron Katie

When you accept reality, your options are limitless – Heather Ross

Your child’s addiction can leave you feeling limited and hopeless. There are always more options than your brain is offering you.  In this episode I walk you through moving beyond resistance into solutions.

I mentioned tapping in the podcast today.  Here’s a link that explains what it is:


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This transcript has not been formatted or edited.

I’m Heather and this is the Living With Addiction podcast where I show you how you have more power than you realize when it comes to helping yourself and your child that’s struggling with addiction.

How you doing today? Did you know you can start your day over at any time? Like, even if it’s at the end of the day, you realize you just had a crappy day and you can take a few minutes and close your eyes and take some deep breaths and reframe your state of mind or go outside, change your location. Just do whatever it takes to give yourself a few minutes to start over. And you can do that.

any time throughout your day. I went for a sound bath on the beach last night, which if you listen to my podcast, you’ve heard me talk about many times. I couldn’t wait to get back to do that. Like two weeks ago was the first time I was able to go again because it was the first time I could drive that far after my surgeries and she wasn’t able to have it on the beach for a while because of red tide. So getting to go back to that has just been…

so wonderful for me. And even though it’s like 6.30 at night, if I’ve had a bad day, I am totally resetting my day and setting myself up for a better day the next day. So I just wanted to remind you of that, that anytime you’re having a bad day or you just see yourself starting to go down the wrong road, like take a few minutes and reset. It doesn’t matter what’s happened. You can always start over.

Before we get started today, I want to ask you to do me a favor. If this podcast is helping you in any way, please leave a review on iTunes and share the podcast with anyone you know who needs help. Reviews on iTunes are really important. They help other parents that need help find my podcast and get help with their child’s addiction.

So it would really mean a lot to me if you leave a review and share the podcast with anybody you know that it will help. And I’m just going to say thank you right now because I have faith that you’ll leave the review for me. So this week I want to talk about one of the many ways that we create the opposite of what we want. How our resistance to reality

and uncomfortable situations keep us from giving ourselves the things we want most because most of the time the only thing that’s standing in the way of what we want is us. Byron Katie says, when you argue with reality you lose but only 100% of the time. And I say, when you accept reality.

your options are limitless. Recently, I noticed that I was arguing with reality and it was totally limiting me in my life. I was avoiding an uncomfortable situation and causing myself more pain because of it. And I watch my clients do the same thing. And so that means that you do it as well. It’s just human behavior.

So I decided to share what I’ve been doing, how you can spot it in yourself and how to change it so that you can see and experience all the possibilities that you haven’t seen yet. And I love talking about possibilities because when I was first navigating my daughter’s addiction, I felt really limited. So I think it’s important to share that perspective that there are always more options.

available to us than our brain is letting us see. We get so limited when we’re just focused on problems that we can’t see the solutions. I found myself totally stuck in a cycle of procrastinating lately when it comes to finding a new plastic surgeon for my breast reconstruction. So a couple weeks ago I started digging into what was happening in my brain and

What I learned is really important, and that’s why I wanted to share it today. For anybody who doesn’t know the backstory, or this just happened to be the first podcast of mine that you listened to, in February of this year, I found out I had breast cancer. In June, I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. But after several complications and a couple more surgeries, my reconstruction failed.

So I’m gonna try again next year, hopefully in January. But I want a new plastic surgeon for my next round of surgeries. I’ve been putting off researching that for weeks. So I wrote about it a couple of weekends ago to get to the bottom of what I was doing. Getting your thoughts out of your head and onto a piece of paper.

and then questioning them is really life-changing. It sounds so simple, but it works. In your head, they’re just a jumbled mess and they often cause confusion, anxiety, or overwhelm. But when you get them out on a piece of paper and you really look at them constructively without judgment and you’re curious, you give yourself the opportunity to gain authority.

What I noticed about what I wrote was it was just a list of fears. Here’s a list of all my reasons for putting off my research. And again, they were all fear-based. I’ll make the wrong decision. I don’t know how to pick the right doctor. I won’t be able to find one that takes medical insurance because a lot of plastic surgeons don’t, which means I have to pay them cash.

and then try to get out of network reimbursement from my insurance company. If I find a doctor and I try again and it doesn’t work and I still don’t have reconstructed breasts, then all hope will be lost. Right now I at least have hope. So what I wanna point out that’s really important to see is how we repeat thoughts across multiple situations in our life.

and how we all have similar thoughts. All the humans have similar thoughts. They might sound just a little bit different, but at a high level, we’re all having the same thoughts. This is very similar. The thoughts I was having about calling the plastic surgeons are very similar to what parents fear about helping their child. And I’m gonna share some fears that I’ve experienced and my clients have experienced as well.

I don’t know how to help my child. I’ll do the wrong thing. I won’t be able to find a good rehab or doctor that takes our insurance or I’ll pick the wrong one. If I try one more damn thing to help my kid and it doesn’t work, then all hope will be lost. Nothing will ever work. That’s how our brains work. They like to be efficient.

So they take autopilot thoughts and apply them to multiple circumstances in your life. That means that you’re creating similar results in different areas of your life. So seeing this pattern and how it works can really serve you because then you can start creating the results that you want in multiple areas of your life. The other thing I realized as I was writing about my fears was that

my general fear of disappointment was causing current disappointment. So instead of having future disappointment, I was having it all day every day at this low level in the background, just like kind of this nagging, annoying pain because I’ve got this ticking clock in the back of my mind about finding a doctor.

so that I can have my surgery in January and this disappointment in myself for not doing it. So fear of future disappointment can lead to current disappointment. We never really escape what we’re trying to escape. And that’s really important to see. It doesn’t matter if it’s fear or anger or sadness, whatever the feeling is.

We don’t ever really escape it. We just create more of it by not addressing it. And also what I noticed in everything that I wrote was there was this fear of not getting what I wanted. Fear that even if I tried, the reconstruction wouldn’t work again. I won’t get what I want, but by not pursuing it,

I’m failing ahead of time and not getting what I want anyway. I’m creating the result that I don’t have it because I’m not even trying. And that’s the same thing we do when we don’t face the fears of working on ourselves when it comes to our child’s addiction. We end up paralyzed with fear about our ability to help and support our children and ourselves. We fail ahead of time and we beat ourselves up for it.

which just adds misery to our pain. What I realized was so powerful and motivating to me because I’m not gonna allow myself to fail ahead of time. Once I saw that, it was just ridiculous to me what I was doing. I was over it. I love myself enough to stop causing myself disappointment and go after what I want.

So with that realization, I spent the weekend researching. I made a list of 15 doctors to call. And after I called them all, only one of those 15 doctors took medical insurance and was in network. The rest of them were either out of network or didn’t take insurance at all. And as I was making those calls, my emotions ramped up again. My stress level went up and I started feeling angry. I felt like a victim of the situation.

The whole time I was making those calls, I was thinking this isn’t fair. They should take insurance. I shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for this. This is never going to work. My reconstruction is going to fail again because I won’t be able to get a good doctor. And the more I argued with the reality that I might have to pay out of pocket, the more I spent researching and calling.

local plastic surgeons to find one that was reputable in network. So I’m spending an enormous amount of time on this. I had my top three doctors picked out all along and my top pick was the one doctor that was in network. But because of all the mind drama I was having, I for some reason decided I needed to spend the time to find 12 more, which took a ton of time.

because I didn’t just randomly pick 12 people, I thoroughly researched them. So you can see why between my thoughts and my experience, I wanted to avoid the whole situation. So when I got done calling all the doctors’ offices, I text my friends to complain about it. And it sounded something like, blah, blah, blah. I’m a victim, this will never work, it shouldn’t be this way, F cancer.

I’m just being honest. That was how I was feeling in that moment. The text just made me feel more justified in my anger, which ramped it up even more. So I paced for a little while, but it really didn’t feel good. Even though I was justifying it, the anger didn’t feel good. It’s because it was an anger that wasn’t serving me.

This is not anger that I just needed to allow to, you know, like just make friends with it, sit with it, process it. This was anger that was coming from thoughts that didn’t serve me. So there is a difference. I was creating this anger with how I was thinking about it. And this is anger that I wouldn’t choose. I know there’s a choice. I could choose to be angry and sometimes I would choose to be angry about a situation and let it run its course.

But in this case, I knew that this anger wasn’t serving me and I needed to question it. But since my emotions were really high, my thinking and reasoning was low. So I had to do some tapping to bring my emotions down so I could create thoughts that served me. The tapping I did is an emotional freedom technique, which is tapping on specific acupressure points on my face and head.

I’ll put a link to an article that explains tapping in the show notes, or you can reach out and ask me about it if you want to know more. But I tapped for a few minutes until I started calming down, my emotions came down, and then my thoughts started flowing. I thought about why I didn’t want to pay out of network costs. And of course, nobody wants to spend money that they don’t have. That’s completely obvious.

But what was my pain point beyond that? What was the sticking point that was holding me back? My thoughts were stuck in how unfair the system is that I shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for something that’s covered by insurance. Then I asked myself a really important question. Is my goal to have more money in my pocket or bank account or is it to have breasts again? That’s the bottom line. Do I want the money or do I want what it can buy for me?

I want what it can buy for me. I want reconstruction. When I have breasts for the rest of my life, will I ever wish I had the money in my pocket or my bank account? Never, never. I’ll never think that. This is my life and me looking and feeling like myself and it’s worth what I have to get there. It’s no different than me investing in coaches and counseling.

and all the hours I spend driving to and from sound baths or doing any energy healing or all of the other things that I do to keep myself healthy. It’s always worth the investment in myself. This is me having what I want and I’m not gonna let how things should be stand between me and what I want.

I mean, there’s no way. If it doesn’t work out, well, I wish that I didn’t try. No, absolutely not. I’ll be glad that I tried. So I want you to think about that. I want you to ask yourself, how many ways are you doing this to yourself? This is human brain behavior, thinking how things should be or judging them is wrong.

and then arguing with the reality of the situation and limiting your options and possibilities with your thoughts. Can you see how my thoughts were the only barrier in this situation? The only thing between me and what I want was my thoughts. The cause of all of my fears that I mentioned in the beginning of the podcast, thoughts. The cause of me failing ahead of time, thoughts.

None of it was the circumstance. And some of you might argue that plastic surgeons that don’t take insurance is the problem, but that’s just a circumstance, a neutral circumstance. My thoughts about it are what caused me problems. The same thing with thinking it shouldn’t be this way about anything to do with your child’s addiction. They shouldn’t be addicted, they shouldn’t be homeless.

They shouldn’t have a bad attitude. They shouldn’t be unemployed. That’s all arguing with reality. And remember what I said in the beginning about arguing with reality. You lose, but only 100% of the time. The reality is they’re addicted, they’re homeless, they have a bad attitude, and they’re unemployed. Judging it and thinking it shouldn’t be that way keeps you in the problem and blocked off from the solution.

So if this line of thinking that I’ve shared with you works for me and my situation with finding a plastic surgeon, then it also works for how you think about your child’s addiction. And I think it’s important to note here that I’ve also gone through very similar thoughts about rehab. I paid cash for my daughter’s first rehab that she ran away from after a week, but I would have…

always regretted it if I hadn’t spent that money. But when I, before I did it, I had so much drama about it. But I would have always wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t taken the risk, if I hadn’t invested in trying to help her.

And I’ve had similar thoughts about the rehabs that she’s gone to the last two times as well. Like what if it doesn’t work? What if it’s the wrong place? What if, what if, what if? But what I always come back to is if she’s willing to try, then so am I. When we judge a situation, we just cause ourselves more pain and argue for our limitations. Acceptance is always the answer.

We have to accept reality and open up to the possibilities for healing. It’s not that your brain will ever stop offering you the idea that reality is wrong or that it’s not fair, that it shouldn’t be that way. It’s just that we have to stop. We have to start questioning it and stop believing it. It’s when we believe it and we act from it that it’s a problem.

And be really careful here, just a little warning not to let yourself be distracted by how you feel about medical bills or insurance or anything else like that. Don’t let that derail you from what’s important in this podcast. That’s just part of the story that illustrates the concept I’m trying to share with you of how our thoughts and desire to avoid discomfort keep us from what we want.

Remember, we want our kids to face all the discomfort of getting sober. We want them to face giving up their drugs, going through detox, the physical and mental pain of that, the emotions and life experiences and trauma and everything else is going to come flooding in when they do that. But are we willing to face those things for ourselves?

Are we willing to do the work? I know that I am. I’ve been doing it for years. But ask yourself, are you ready to start?

If you are, you can use the link in the show notes and sign up for a call with me and I will help you get started. That’s all that I have for today. I hope you have a great rest of the week and I’ll be back next week.

Thank you for listening to this episode. If you wanna learn more about my work, go to heat If you wanna help other parents who are struggling with a child’s addiction, you can do it two different ways. First, you can share the podcast with them directly, or you can share it on your social media. Second, you can leave a review. Talk to you next week.