EP 44 Interview With My Daughter Helanna Johnson- Part 2

Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
EP 44 Interview With My Daughter Helanna Johnson- Part 2

We had some great questions come up after my first interview with Helanna (episode 41) so did a second interview. 

We discussed:

Suboxone – how it helped – what she wishes she knew before she started using it – why she tapered off it.

How I handled her getting off suboxone.

Fears about losing her sobriety.

What her brain says about why being sober won’t work.

How she knew she would use drugs from a young age.

Why she didn’t trust me for a long time and what made her start trusting me again.

What made her decide to go to sober living this time when she wouldn’t go other times.

How a shift in perspective about parenting can help your child and your relationship with them. 


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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.


Hey, I just want to record an introduction and share a few things before today’s episode. This episode is the end of season one. And I’m sorry, I know it’s going to come out late. I accidentally sent the wrong podcast to my editor because this is the second interview that I’m doing with Helena. And I accidentally sent him the first interview.


Luckily he caught it, but so yeah, I’m not sure when I’m going to get it back. I just know that you guys are gonna be hearing this late. So I’m ending season one to take a little time away from podcasting to create some more offerings that I’ve been dreaming up. I don’t have an exact timeline yet, but it’ll probably be two or three months before I start podcasting again. I’ll be putting out some intermittent.


bonus episodes between seasons though. So stay tuned for those, make sure you’re subscribed to the podcast so you get those bonus episodes and then when season two starts you’ll automatically get that delivered to you. So I’m not going anywhere, don’t want anybody to panic, I’ll still be posting in social media and


So still, you know, make sure that you’re following me on social media. So you’re getting my posts. I’ll be available in my Facebook group. I interact in there if anyone posts or comments anything. I’ll also be sending emails to my subscribers. So there’s a lot of ways that we can stay in touch between the podcast seasons.


There are links to all of those resources and my social media I just mentioned in the show notes. And of course, you can always sign up for a call. That’s also in the links in my show notes. The other thing I wanna share about before I do my introduction to this episode is about breast cancer awareness. It’s October, October’s breast cancer awareness month.


And as many of you know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February. But what you might not know is that I was a year overdue for my mammogram and I was planning to skip my mammogram again at the end of 2020. Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family. I’m a healthy person. I felt like there was no reason for me to get it done. The lump in my breast was not detectable by self-exam.


and the doctors couldn’t even find it once they knew where it was. And that’s even possible for women who have later stages of breast cancer than mine. So self-exam is just one step in the process of screening. It’s so important to take that step and go get a mammogram, whether you feel anything or not. It took divine intervention for me to get that mammogram last year. I was going to a new doctor appointment in December, and


Her office was in the hospital where there’s other doctors’ offices, and they also had the local place where you get mammograms done there as well. And I actually got there much earlier than I normally would for an appointment because I was afraid that I would get lost. And I did. I got lost looking for the doctor’s office, so I asked somebody to help me. This guy was kind enough to walk me to my doctor’s office. He walked me right to the door. But he brought me to the wrong place.


He dropped me off where you get mammograms. And I looked at my watch and saw that I still had plenty of time before my appointment. There was nobody in line at the front desk at the mammogram place. And I just decided to make an appointment while I was there. That appointment led to them noticing some changes from my previous mammograms. I had to have some additional imaging, and then I had a biopsy.


They actually left the decision to have the biopsy up to me. Yeah, they left the decision up to me. They said I had a 30% chance of having breast cancer and I could choose to watch it for another year and see what happens or two more years, or I could just go ahead and get the biopsy. And I’m so grateful that I went ahead and just got the biopsy. I did not want just watching it to see what happened.


hanging over my head for the next couple of years. So I’m really glad that I took that step as well because of course it was confirmed that I had breast cancer. And I feel so lucky that I got that mammogram even though I had planned not to. So grateful for the divine intervention that day that led me to the mammogram place.


and just the thought of like, well, this will be easy. Just do it. Mammograms are so quick. Every place I’ve ever been to to get one, you’re in and out in like 15 or 20 minutes. They’re the most efficient place to have any kind of screening. And maybe there’s a reason for that so that people will actually do it. Because one in eight women will get breast cancer. And I had no idea about that statistic, which is just staggering to me. I had no idea that one in eight women got breast cancer.


until I was researching after my diagnosis. So if you haven’t had your mammogram or you’re considering not do it, I just ask you to please do it. Reconsider. Early detection gives you the most options. I’m in a support group for women who have breast cancer and it’s an online group and there’s 21,000 members.


There’s been so many posts where people were trying to figure out what we all have in common and there just really isn’t, there’s all ages and ranges of women in this group. When I was first diagnosed, I would get so angry because you know I had to go to all these new doctors and every time you go to the new doctor you’ve got to fill out the health questionnaire and it just made me mad every time because I was so healthy.


I just could not understand why I got breast cancer. And I’m sharing this with you to encourage you to get your mammogram, even if you don’t think you need it. I didn’t think I needed it. So it’s really important. It doesn’t take much time. And you wanna catch it as early as you possibly can so that you have as many options as possible.


So onto today’s episode, I did a follow-up interview with my daughter, Helena, because I had some questions come up after our last interview. So what I wanna encourage you to do is listen for the familiar, the familiarities, the similarities in her story, not the similarities to your child, but the similarities to you.


Her and I have said it in both episodes that our relationship started changing when we started seeing our similarities. And I can’t stress enough how important that is. It might be too emotional for you to see your similarities with your own child right now, but if you can start seeing them with Helena, that can help open the door for you to start seeing them with your child.


Train your brain to start seeing similarities instead of differences with everyone. We’re all the same at heart. Seeing those similarities instead of differences creates compassion and connection. We all just want love and connection and we’re trying to figure out how to get our needs met without even fully understanding our needs, let alone knowing healthy ways to get them met.


So here’s my second interview with Helena. We covered some great topics and I hope you enjoy it. Hey everybody, we are back for a second interview with my daughter, Helena. I had such an amazing response to the first interview and she’s making faces at me right now. And I had a lot of follow-up questions. So I thought that…


a second interview, asking some of those follow up questions would be a great way to wrap up season one of the podcast. And that episode was actually my most listened to episode ever, even more like usually, you know, it starts with the first episode and it goes up and it was even more listened to than my first ever episode. So that’s pretty amazing. We had such a great…


response and people really connected to what she had to say. So we’re going to share a little bit more about that today. So I’m glad that you’re here again, Holana. Thanks for doing this. Of course. So let’s get right into it and talk about suboxone. So it’s a form of medically assisted treatment for people who have opiate use disorder. And.


I think it’s something that’s really good to talk about because people have such extreme opinions about it. And it’s even within the recovery community, there’s a lot of stigma attached to it. So I think that just hearing how it helped you and your experience will help because I think parents get scared sometimes when their kids are going to be on it because you hear about it being abused sometimes.


and just the misunderstanding of it. We’ve definitely had some tough times with it. I’ve seen you go through precipitated withdrawals with it. So if you take it too soon. So it works by keeping you from going through withdrawals, and it helps with cravings. But if you start taking it too soon, if you haven’t had enough symptoms, if you aren’t far enough into withdrawals from actually using the opioids, then you


what’s called precipitated withdrawals. It’s so hard to say. And it was, I’ve seen you go through it more than once. And just seeing you go through with regular withdrawals is horrible, but seeing you go through that was really one of the hardest things I’ve seen you go through. And, but still overall, I have a high opinion for how it changed, helped you change your life.


And I was, you’ve weaned off it recently and I struggled with that at first, but I also had to step back and like, just support you in that. So do you want to tell us a little bit about how being on it helped you? Yeah. So for me personally, I felt like I might’ve needed it at first to give me a ground to stand on, to get a better mindset, to be off of it.


If you don’t need it, then that’s, I 100% recommend that, like not doing it. But for some people to like, in order for them to have, if they’re on Suboxone and they can have a job and they’re not doing horrible things for money to get Suboxone or, and they’re not abusing it and you’re just doing your recovery, like leading a strong recovery, then I’m all for that. It’s just…


really gaining a lot of knowledge about it before you go into that and making sure that you’re still doing everything else because like it’s not just take suboxone and you’ll be sober. It’s like you still have to do a lot of other things to maintain sobriety and be in a healthier mindset. Is there anything you wish you knew before you started taking it? Yes, that was basically what I just said was about how I can’t just take suboxone and


be sober, like I actually have to make, I have to get up out of bed and figure out what I need to do to maintain my mental health, physical health, and things I need to do to build my life and build the life that I want. And just do things for myself, like whether it’s doing counseling or just having like, you know, going and getting my hair done or something like that, just something for myself, like.


being active and doing things when I don’t want to do them, like being stagnant for me is just very unstable. I think that a lot of people can relate to that. Yeah, and I think the, when you got sober last year at this time, I think that that might’ve been the piece that was missing. You were taking Suboxone, but at that time you didn’t realize or maybe weren’t ready to do the things that you’re doing now to have a strong recovery. Right.


So what made you decide to come off of Suboxone? Well, honestly, it was another form of something that I was having to depend on every day. And I felt like I was ready like mentally to come off of it. I just, I don’t know, everything was kind of falling into place. I felt like that was leading me to make this decision of getting off of them. Just like the foundation I’ve built for myself here in halfway.


the people I surround myself with, the meetings I go to every week, the steps I’m taking for my mental health. And also for me to get Suboxone, it was like a five-hour f**king fiasco every week to get the Suboxone because I had to take the bus there and it was taking several hours. I had to do that every week because I was going to the healthcare department. And it was just a lot. And I was like, I can’t keep… I was like, I just… I don’t want to do this anymore. And…


I felt like I was ready to taper off. I did it without a doctor, which I do not recommend, but I just was tapering very slowly over the course of, I’d say like over a month. And then I got down to like half a milligram and then got off of it. And it was actually a pretty decent transition. It’s just the mental part was worse than the physical, way worse. Like I just am very grateful that I have the support that I do now.


and especially with you and the people that I live with here. And because without that, I wouldn’t have been able to succeed, I feel like. So yeah, the suboxone is very regulated and she was having to go through a lot of work to get it. And the other part about being on it is it really restricts where you can live. If you’re living in sober living like Helena is right now, it was


really, we had to call a lot of places to find one that would take somebody who was on Suboxone. And because it’s so regulated, the sober living house has to do that. I think they have to have extra credentials or something if people there are on it, and then they have to follow all these regulations. So I think it turned out really well this time because you ended up in such a great sober living house.


but it does make it more difficult when somebody is on Suboxone and they want to go in sober living and they’re trying to find a place to live. So when you got off of it and I was really nervous, like it was one of those times where I had to really give everything up again, where because I wanted to convince you to stay on it.


But it was also an example of me giving my power and even your power to something outside of you. So I had to stop and think, OK, she might be taking the Suboxone, but she’s actually the one doing the work. There’s people that take Suboxone and still end up using. So I had to go back and really give you the credit for all of your hard work to settle my mind.


and be in a good place to really support you. Like, how did you get your mind in that place to be ready to do it? Because I know you were a little bit nervous when you got to the half milligram and you were like, OK, it’s time for me to just stop taking it all together. Yeah, so I was like super pumped, like the whole time. Because I was like, right, finally getting out of this. I don’t have to deal with this anymore. Like, I’m going to take it every day and, you know, I don’t have to depend on anything anymore. And like, I was feeling good. Like, of course, I was like, whoa, I was super fatigued.


throughout that month and I was experiencing, it was hard to sleep some nights and my, I was getting into really dark places mentally, yes. I’m not trying to say that it was a great taper because it really wasn’t, it was a very hard time. But I was overall proud of myself. And then I got to the half milligram and was like, I was scared, I was scared because I didn’t know what was gonna happen. I was like, am I gonna be into full-blown withdrawal?


And the healthcare department wasn’t going to help me paper off. Like they don’t do that. I just, I really didn’t know what to do. And I was just like, all right, I’m just going to have to rip the bandaid off and see what happens and it ended up not being bad. Like I was very fatigued, you know, but then again, keep in mind, I was only on suboxone for three months or four months or something like that. Five months. I don’t know. My time’s kind of distorted, but I went to rehab in April.


April, May, June, July, August, September. Yeah. Six months. So six months. And so it’s going to vary for, you know, different lengths of time that you’ve been on it. But I think what really helped me like transition smoother was tapering. The way I did. OK. And something that just came up as you were talking about that is that I don’t think that maybe when somebody loses their sobriety or when they’re sober, I don’t think somebody from the outside


can really see how much does it weigh on you? Like what is your fear of losing your sobriety? Because I think that’s something that’s kind of taken for granted that we don’t see that you have to live with that. If fears about losing my sobriety. Yeah, like until you have that full confidence in yourself that you can do this. That’s actually something I’ve been dealing with a lot lately is fear of losing my sobriety. And


I’m like, I think about using sometimes, but I just have to understand that that is normal and it will get less and less over time. And knowing that the need slash want and the obsession is not completely nearly as intense and present as it once was. And I try to hold on to that knowing that it’ll just get better over time. And I try to think about…


past addictions that I’ve had with self-harming and eating disorder and stuff like that and how I thought I’d never overcome it and never stop thinking about it. I’m at a place today where I never think about self-harming. It’s just not even a question in my head anymore. Of course, I still have to deal with the repercussions of I have very, very visible scars all over my body. I’ll have to deal with for a very long time, but it’s just something I’ve accepted. But fears? Losing my sobriety.


I’ve like over time, I’ve come to really like enjoy, you know, having my dog with me and like not putting her in dangerous positions because my dog is like my kid. You know, the relationships I have with my family, I talk to my family now and I’m not living like, I don’t feel like I’m living a lie anymore and I’m not living dirty, not just like cleanliness, but like dirty, like just, just a really exhausting, disgusting lifestyle all around. And…


I have fear of losing the support that I have and yeah, all this stuff I can put that. I mean, it’s the same thing. I think that we deal with as parents all of our fears and we have to learn to manage them the same way. And I’m really proud of you for the way that you have managed this, that you have worked through so many things.


It’s not like it just happens once, like you get sober and it’s over. It’s a daily process that you’re working to do this. So you mentioned this last time and we didn’t get to go back to it because we had already like got to close to an hour. What about you? You mentioned that your brain tells you that being sober won’t work. Can you explain a little bit about what happens when like what’s your brain saying to you when that happens?


a lot of things. It tries to just go through every scenario and reason why something won’t work. For example, I think I’ll never be happy, but in the real life situation, I wasn’t happy whenever I was using. It was just instant gratification kind of thing. So my brain just


use like any situation that I possibly could. I don’t know, just, you know what I mean? Like just come up with any situation to like make me feel bad for myself, why I’ll never get past this trauma or whatever it is. And just, but in reality, it’s a bunch of lies. Like I’ll never get past this trauma if I keep using, it’ll just stay in my head for like the next however many years I use and intensify if I don’t process it now.


all of that other stuff. Like it’s just really not factual things that run through my head because I want things to be easy instant gratification. Right, yeah, who doesn’t? I mean, I do posts about that all the time. Like your brain lies. Don’t believe everything that it says. Like everybody’s brain lies. Like my brain lies to me all day, every day. And it’s also like a way of thinking that I’ve been thinking for so long. And I think


part of it has to do with how young I was whenever I started using. And my brain just like has those thinking patterns now. Like that’s like been kind of like engraved in there. And so my brain is just still trying to think that way and I’m just trying to rewire it now. Yeah, which is great to know that we can do that. Like neuroplasticity, we can rewrite those.


neuropathways and create new ones and let those old ones die. But I think that it does take a lot of work, what you’re doing. You’re putting the work into your life every day doing that. So somebody called me to ask me this question about, you talked about how you just knew that you were going to use drugs, how you knew that you were going to struggle with addiction at some point from a pretty young age.


And I tried to explain it. I don’t think that my explanation was that great. So can you explain to us what, like how you knew what… Because on the outside, you were just the happiest, sweetest kid, seemed to be have it all together. And you’d had some anxiety when you were a little bit younger. But up until that point, I would have never really known


that what was going on in your mind? I don’t think I really knew what was going on in my head either at the time, because I feel like even from a young age, I was very self-aware and aware of the things that were going on around me. I think a lot of kids are that way. I think almost every kid’s that way, you know what I mean? And I think a lot of parents don’t realize how aware kids are of what’s going on around them and what’s happening and like how in tune with like deep.


dark emotions and intense emotions. I think even from, I don’t know, maybe I was just, I’m just got like a chemical imbalance as well of addiction and depression and stuff like that. I think I was always looking for a way to feel like not anxious because I started having panic attacks. Remember whenever I was like seven years old? I remember, yeah. And a lot of anxiety came with that. And anxiety about going to bed.


And so I could bring the anxiety into the daytime as well. And I was very self-conscious always and just wanting to fix that feeling. And I think I knew from pretty young age that drugs could do that for drinking or something. So I was just always wondering what could help this. And yeah, that’s where it kind of, I feel like started for me. Yeah. And


I knew about the anxiety. It came on pretty suddenly. And, but then I felt like we had worked through it, but you probably were just trying to be okay for me. And then I really didn’t know what was going on or it seemed like everything was okay until it started coming up again in like sixth grade. Yeah, I felt like I couldn’t really come to you at the time. I was like scared. I was just


I was feeling that way all the time. So I didn’t want to be constantly coming up to you. I feel like crap. I feel anxious and stuff like that. I just was scared and I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I didn’t want to keep bothering you. I just didn’t know how to handle it. Yeah, I didn’t know how either. So I started isolating myself. I’d say internal isolation. That makes sense.


you know, trying to make things seem like they’re okay, but just isolating my feelings from the outside world and just trying to fix them myself. When you’re that young and like, you just come up with these solutions by yourself that are just terrible, they stick. You can only imagine what a kid comes up with. You don’t have any outside perspective and it can be pretty twisted. Yeah.


And I didn’t know what to do. And I didn’t understand anxiety. I’d never really experienced it because I had numbed myself different times when I did experience it. I mean, I had drank at different times to numb my own anxiety. I never got to the point where I really felt it because I just lived numb all the time. So when you had your anxiety, I did not respond to it well at all. I just was like, I don’t understand. Why can’t you just get over it? What is it?


And so I know that now that I understand it, I would respond to it completely differently because I’ve experienced it now because I actually allow my own feelings. I don’t go for the instant gratification anymore. I used to either. And I think that’s an interesting point that, again, we were both doing the same thing using different forms of instant gratification to change how we were feeling. Yeah. And I just, I remember being so dark, just


even at a young age, looking back at my journals and how very dark I was thinking. It was just very intense. And that was really just kind of how you knew. You felt this certain way. You had this anxiety and you knew, okay, that that would change how you felt. And you wanted to change how you felt because nothing else was working. Right.


So there was a time when I think I know the answer to this, but we’ve never really talked about it before, when you didn’t trust me, you used to always tell me that you couldn’t trust me. And I could never understand why before I totally understand why now. But from your perspective, and I think that a lot of parents we get stuck on this where we think that, oh, well, why can’t they trust us? Because they’re the ones using…


stealing, doing whatever, we can’t trust them. But why did you feel like you couldn’t trust me? Well, okay, at the time, I felt like maybe part of it was because of our relationship was just a wreck. And I felt like I couldn’t trust your decision making, or how you dealt with your emotions, or things like that. And…


I did also want to put a lot of blame on you that I now realize wasn’t right. Because you were the closest person to me that I could blame that was like, you know what I’m saying? Yeah. So all of that wrapped together, I just, I felt like I couldn’t trust you and I didn’t want anything to do with you at the time. And it just became a very dark rabbit hole that I went down. I was even making stuff up in my head, like making up all of these conclusions of


that you didn’t care and whatever, but you just really were at a loss of what to do, like play along with yourself or me. So. Yeah, it was just intertwined with all of that. Yeah. And I was also constantly telling you to feel different than you felt and not just listening to you. And I couldn’t see your point of things. So for me, I can see how.


that would have made it hard for you to trust me. Plus, I was not stable on my own at that point. But what made you start trusting me again? Because we eventually did build that trust up. And I wanted to say one more thing that you mentioned about how you were taking it out on me, because you’re the closest person, which is something that, or I was the closest person to you, which is something that’s actually.


pretty normal. That happens a lot that when somebody’s going through a hard time, the person who is safest for them and the person that they’re closest to is the person they’ll often take it out on. And so I knew that at the time it did not make it any easier. But I just want to make sure that I point that out because if anybody’s listening that’s going through that, it is common that it really actually is a sign that that person does actually trust you and you’re the closest person to them.


It’s just a behavior that doesn’t necessarily make sense. But what was it that made you start trusting me again? Whenever I think it was, honestly, I don’t know, both of us just started becoming to have like an open heart. Like I saw these little things, like I think you were so beaten down by what I was doing that you just hadn’t like felt no other choice, but to just try something completely different.


and just come at things from a different angle with me during my addiction and just letting go. We had a few really good conversations. I was getting older and I was starting to realize things more and I felt beaten down for myself, like what I was doing. That’s completely on me. But I think we were just both broken and at a loss.


our thinking pattern started to change around the same time. You know what I mean? Do you agree with that? Yeah. Yeah, I do. It was just such a dark time. I could cry right now thinking about this because it was very ugly. I think we finally started to come together and seeing our similarities and that we’re just both going to have to try something different. It was very slow, but slowly, but surely like


we were learning from each other’s mistakes and just trying to come together more and more. And so I saw that and I appreciated that. Yeah. I love that you said that we both opened our hearts because that’s really what happened. But we had to both come to that point. I think we’re both so stubborn that we had to come to that point of…


being so beat down, both of us. And I was just willing to do anything at that point. And what I did just happened to be what felt wrong, but was the best thing for me, which was just to totally open up, to become super vulnerable, to see our similarities instead of our differences. I really started thinking about my childhood again and things that I had done when I was younger.


and how I had really been close at different times in my life to traveling the road that you were on, but I just had this fear that you don’t have and that you never had it. You were the first one to jump off the cliff every time we were at the lake. You’d run up there, jump off the cliff while grown men stood there and stared down and tried to decide that they had the nerve to do it. And I don’t have that in me.


I used to think it was funny when I would watch you do that, but I’m like, that was that you just didn’t have that fear of anything with to do with drugs either. So that was really the only difference in us. If I didn’t have that fear, I probably might’ve done some of the same things and I started really realizing how similar we were. And it really did open my heart more and make me more vulnerable. So I love that you put it that way.


And also another thing I feel like is how we can balance each other out. Like how I could take some of those things from you, like like Nana would say, get in those woe moments. You know, like, whoa, like pulling the reins and having more of my emotion, like on your part. You know what I mean? Because I felt too much. And I just I let my emotions totally control me just on a whole another level. Whereas that could have balanced you out in the sense of having some more emotion.


feeling your emotions more. Absolutely. Yeah, that was what I needed was to feel my emotions more as well. So when you went to rehab last year, you weren’t willing to go to sober living afterwards. You came and lived at mom’s next door to me. And I really wanted you to go to sober living. But I had always said that I would support you and you would have a place to live if you got sober and you were sober.


You came here and you didn’t have a support system here. And then after you relapsed and went back to rehab, you became willing to go to sober living this time. What made you open up to that and be willing to do it this time? Well, I knew that everything else I was doing was not working. Like all the other times I wasn’t willing to go that extra step for my sobriety. Like I wanted to do like my 30 days, 60 days and get out and go home


be fine. But I realized that was not the case at all this time. And I was just running into dead ends. So I had to go down a different path. And this is just what has been working for me. I get that that’s not what works for everybody. Some people don’t have to do that. And they can go out and they got their support and everything. But for me personally, this is just the extra step that I needed. And I got really, really lucky with the halfway that I landed in.


because a lot of the half ways can be, you know, crooked and whatnot. So that is something that people have to be careful about. They need to do their research about half ways. And if they’re certified, all of that stuff, like certified by far, it’s just something that you have to really, really be aware of and be cautious about is that you’re going into a good halfway because. Cause there are people aren’t sober. Yeah. And so if you are thinking about going to halfway do your research, make sure that they’re certified and speak here.


but there are some really good half ways out there that, you know, like here, where they can give you the stepping stones to succeed and give you that foundation. But yeah, I just, I really like, yeah, I just was hitting dead ends and I knew that this time had to be different. And so I tried this out and I’m really glad that I did. Yeah, I was…


So glad that you were willing to do it. But one thing I think that’s important to see here is that like seeds were planted each time you tried. Each time you got sober, you became more willing. Each time you realized how hard you were going to have to work at it and you became willing to put more effort into it, which I think is pretty normal with a lot of things in life. Like we don’t realize how hard it’s going to be.


And so as we go through the process, we figure out we’re going to have to work a little bit harder at it. It’s just we don’t. Everything else doesn’t have as high of stakes as sobriety does. Yeah. So and this is the something another thing that we talked about for just a minute last time was that we talked about traditional parenting roles and how I had to just totally let


in order to start relating to you, to start having a better relationship with you. I had this idea of being like, of a parent being more of an authority figure and that I was supposed to be the one teaching you when really you’ve been my greatest teacher in life. And once I started realizing that that was okay,


that it was like a give and take that we’re supposed to learn from each other. And I didn’t always have to have all of the answers and I didn’t have to be perfect that I was able to start changing how I showed up as your mom and start learning from you. Like it was really me learning from you that opened my heart. So what do you think like will help parents relate? Like what some of the stuff that I was doing that you


we’re glad that I let go of that will help parents relate to their kids better. I think kind of putting like what you kind of talked about earlier, like thinking about whenever you were a kid and whenever you were that age, and it might take a little bit of time to really dig deep in there because it is hard to put yourself back in that mindset because it’s been so many years or you’re just a completely different person now, but sometimes it’s necessary to go back and revisit that mindset.


to help you understand why they’re really feeling that way. And just like listening and really taking it in and taking them seriously because it’s, you might think, oh, whatever, you know, like their lives so good, like why are they feeling like this? But it’s very, that life is real to them, whatever’s going on in their head, you know, it doesn’t matter. Like, yeah, it’s just really having a deep understanding and being able to balance out.


logic and emotion. Yeah, and I that was one thing I really did not understand that seems ridiculous now that I didn’t understand it is that your experience could be completely different than my experience of something. But it could be just as right that your experience was completely different. Like we’re all processing life through a different lens.


of what we’ve experienced or our age. So I had to really learn to allow you to have your own experience, your own story that was different than mine instead of needing you to have the same story and experience as I had because my story and experience was also clouded by me somehow being a good mom in that scenario.


And if you weren’t having a great experience, then I wasn’t a good mom. And I was just owning everything. And when I was able to let that go and take some of that pressure off of you and let you have your own experience, I can still remember it was like one of the first times that you let me hug you in a long time. We were in the bathroom in the house on Miller Avenue and you hadn’t let me hug you for a really long time. But that night for some reason, I had…


not tried to tell you you were wrong when you were telling me how you felt and you like it was the first time in a really long time you let me hug you. Yeah, it’s crazy. I was very disconnected and I, yeah, so I think I probably really appreciated that. Just, I felt like understood a little bit and I’m sure I just soaked that in. It was very, that helped me open up to hug you. Yeah, like, and now I…


You probably don’t want me sharing this. I make you sit on my lap all the time. I’m like, I’ve got to get all those years of hugs back. Like, I’m going to hold you until you make me stop now. Well, that’s really the last thing that I had to ask you about. Is there anything that I didn’t cover that you think we need to share? No, I don’t think so. Well, I really appreciate you taking the time out again.


to do this and answer some more questions. And I think it’s a great way to end season one of this podcast, sharing this and the fact that I wouldn’t be doing this without you and that I get to end this season with you. It means a lot to me. So I really appreciate you doing this. Of course.


Thank you for listening to this episode. If you want to learn more about my work, go to heat If you want to 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.