EP 52 Recovery, Connection, and Healing Through Love

Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
EP 52 Recovery, Connection, and Healing Through Love

Join Heather as she explores three vital messages that can transform your perspective and help you navigate your  journey with renewed strength and resilience:

1. Your Personal Recovery Matters: Discover the significance of your own healing journey and why it’s equally important alongside your child’s recovery. Heather shares insights into dispelling the
stigma surrounding addiction and the transformation of understanding.

2. You Are Not Alone: Suffering in silence is a heavy burden. Explore the healing power of community and the importance of connecting with others who share similar experiences. Together, we find solace and support.

3. Connecting Through Love: Learn why connecting with your child through love, not guilt or shame, is paramount. Through personal stories, Heather illustrates the profound impact of love in building resilient relationships.

Resources From Heather Ross Coaching

If you want answers and support to help you and your child Sign up for a 45-minute $17 Road to Recovery call with me using the link below


September Invitation to Change Learning/Support Group Use the link below to find out about the
Invitation to Change support group Heather is hosting.

⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Learn More & Sign Up For The Invitation To Change Group⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

GROUP COACHING PROGRAM – Join the waitlist! Be the first to get details. https://heatherrosscoaching.com/peace-of-mind-community/

Guide about enabling – If you’ve ever worried about enabling, this guide is for you! https://heatherrosscoaching.com/perspective-about-enabling/

Follow Heather on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/heatherrosscoaching

Follow Heather on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/heatherrosscoaching/

⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Join the free Facebook group for parents who are struggling with a child’s addiction⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/heather-ross9/message


This transcript has not been formatted or edited.


I’m Heather after many wasted years, trying outdated, approaches to my daughter’s addiction, that felt wrong to me harmed.

Our relationship and didn’t help my daughter.

I finally found an effective evidence-based approach.


That repair my relationship with her helped me.

Create my own peace of mind and made me an ally in my daughter’s recovery.

I teach you a loving and compassionate approach to help you encourage change.

Create connection addiction impacts the entire family system.


Family recovery is the answer.

Did you notice my new music and intro?

I’m so excited about it.

I’ve wanted to record a new intro that represented the podcast better for a long time now and so I got new music and that inspired me to do it originally I was just focused on getting the podcast started and getting it out there and I was like eventually I will record a new intro and of course here it is over a Our later and I’m just now recording the new intro.


But Joey from the safe home families podcast who was on episode number 40, made the new music for me and that got me inspired he’s super talented as a musician.

So I’m going to put a link in the show notes in case you need any custom music.


Today’s episode is an updated excerpt from episode number 45, which is the First episode that I made after my daughter Helena died from fentanyl poisoning.

It was such an emotional episode that I wouldn’t blame anybody, who couldn’t bear to listen all the way through it.


I mean, if it wasn’t me going through it, I don’t think I could have listened to it, and my pain was just so fresh.

At that time, it was just incredibly raw.

And I don’t want the really important message that was later.

In that episode to be missed because it was just so emotional.


So I’m updating that part the end of the episode, the message that I want you to hear because there were three critical messages and that episode and even if you listened to that one, you should listen again.

Because after listening to the beginning of it, you might not even remember hearing this part.


So the three critical message is that I wanted.

Adieu to hear that we’re in that episode.

We’re number one.

Why we all need our own recovery?

This just keeps being shown to me over and over again where I see this resistance and this belief that the person struggling with addiction or substance abuse is the only one that needs recovery.


Number two, why you need a community as you go through your child’s addiction and recovery and number 3, connecting to your child through love Of instead of guilt or shame or anger.

So, let’s start with number one.

Why we need our own recovery?


When I first stepped into my first Al-Anon meeting, which was 20 years ago, I was so angry, I was angry about Helena’s father’s addiction.

I was angry that I had to go to meetings, because it was his problem and that’s total honesty about About how I felt when I went to that meeting and of course, it’s not surprising.


That, I felt that way Me.

My Views were formed mostly from the stigma that I had seen about addiction.

None of it was based on science.

Even today, 20 years later, there are still more voices in the conversation about addiction that are contributing stigma and the outdated.


Tough love approach that doesn’t work rather than science-based facts.

So it’s no wonder that I Then at his addiction because I didn’t understand it.

I couldn’t understand why he didn’t love me enough to quit.

I believed that his drinking and substance abuse was a choice and I believed that if he loved me and our daughter enough that he would choose us over his addiction those beliefs were so painful.


But they made sense to me with the very And understanding I had about addiction when we first got together, I drank just as much as he did.

So I didn’t see his drinking as a problem.

We had a good time together and I just assumed that he could stop whenever he wanted to like I could about a year into our relationship.


I decided.

All right, I’m going to get serious about my life.

I was in my mid-20s.

I wanted to get my college degree, so I Quit drinking.

I got serious.

I went back to college and it was just that simple for me.


Even though I drank a lot at the time, a lot I was just done drinking one day.

I wanted to do something different with my life, I knew what it was and I was ready to go after it.

I assumed that Helena’s father would either quit drinking with me or at least slow down his drinking.



But he didn’t a few months after I was back in college, I found out that I was pregnant with Elana and that just made things so much worse because my priorities changed even more.

And of course, his stilled stayed, the same.

My focus was on preparing my life for a baby and getting my degree.


So I could support her and his priority was drinking and going out.

So, when I walked in to Al-Anon for the first time, it was because her I was going to AA.

Planner, was 18 months old at the time.


So over two years had passed and it was two years of built-up resentment and anger and frustration because I took everything, he did personally, the only thing that I wanted more than I wanted to be angry at him, was for my daughter to have her father in her life.


And I really believe that’s why I went to that first meeting to support him.

Because I had no idea yet that I was supposed to be there for me.

And that’s what this section of this episode is about like why our own recovery is.


So important.

One of the outdated beliefs about addiction is that the person with the addiction is the only one that needs to change and that is just not true.

And it’s easy to say that, right?

Because their behaviors are more questionable and it’s easy for us to point to them.


Is the one that do is doing everything wrong, but everyone who loves somebody with an addiction needs to do the work for their own healing.

You need to do the work that you want your child to do that work, includes healing your own emotional wounds.


Ins or traumas you have to create that mind-body connection so you can tap into your inner wisdom about what’s best for you and your family instead of relying on others to tell you what is best.

I mean I went through a lot of that relying on the experts to tell me what was best and it did not work well.


The first couple of years until I finally found the right expert.

So we have to become the person that we’ve been looking for to help us.

That way you don’t get LED down the wrong path by somebody, who doesn’t align with your values or is still working from that outdated system, that doesn’t work.


I mean, everyone in the world needs to work on themselves working on your mental and emotional.

Health is important and necessary is working on your physical health.

Many people won’t work on themselves though.

In this is why they only experienced intermittent.


Painful triggers to their wounds and traumas and your trigger which is your child’s addiction is Relentless and ongoing a child’s addiction is a constant trigger to all your emotional wounds and traumas and in my let up for brief periods but even in sobriety the fears are often still there if you don’t know how to manage them.


So you is the parent of a child struggling with addiction art different than anyone else in the world.

But your trigger is constant Relentless, so you’re forced to seek help and make changes in your life.


If you want relief, most other people are able to ignore their emotional wounds and traumas because the trigger for them often goes away.

So they think it’s the circumstances or the pain points like about of unemployment, a short term illness and injury and a fair money problem.


Something like that, although circumstances that I just mentioned, they put a spotlight on the lack of coping skills and emotional wounds, but they aren’t generally lifelong issues like addiction.


So that trigger goes away and it.

Olives on its own and then people think the problem was that circumstance rather than their approach to it.

So here’s an example of what I’m trying to explain if I poke your arm and there’s no injury there it doesn’t hurt unless I push you super hard or push super hard on your arm but it still doesn’t hurt as much as it would if there was already.


D, an injury there.

If there’s an existing injury on your arm, it’s going to hurt more.

The bigger the injury, the more it hurts.

When I poke you, some injuries can exist and we don’t even know about them until they’re pushed on like these injuries.


I’m talking about our traumas and emotional wounds that happened throughout your life, and they were never resolved.

We don’t realize, they’re there until they get poked.

Like, when you discover, you have a bruise.

Because you bump it in your child’s addiction is what’s poking the wound it’s not the original wound though and that’s where we get confused.


When we try to fix our kids, we see the addiction is the problem.

And we only try to fix the addiction, we miss the opportunity to heal our own wounds as well.

You have a wound, but you’re trying to fix it by healing your A child’s wound by fixing them.


That doesn’t fix your wound though.

That’s like putting a cast on my broken arm to try to heal your broken arm.

We both have a broken arm, so we both need a cast.

You have to heal your wound, and your child has to heal.


There’s their addiction is going to continue to poke you, but it will hurt less and less because you are healing.

Like I talked about earlier when there’s no original.

A wound there, it hurts less and their addiction will become like a lighter poke as you work on yourself, you’ll also be taking the microscope off of them and creating space for them to do their own healing.


I’ve been doing this work on myself for years and that’s also some of the work that I do with my clients.

Do that work on yourself for yourself, just like, you want your child to empower, Yourself, learn how to manage your emotions in your life, instead of needing your child to change, so that you can feel better.


That’s such a powerless feeling, know how to create your own better without anybody else needing to change.

No matter what is happening.

There’s so much freedom in that because that skill can be applied to any relationship, any area of your life.


Point number two, don’t carry the pain of your child’s addiction alone.

I suffered in Silence about my daughter’s addiction for a long time and I know that many of you who are listening to this right now are suffering alone in silence too.


It’s been a long time since I’ve had to go through anything alone, but I’ll never forget the way that felt now though.

What I’ve learned from that, helped me not to go through anything alone anymore.


I’ve belonged to quite a few different groups were other parents were going through addiction with their kids and just being in their presence and knowing that I wasn’t alone made me feel so much better.

When Beth Syverson from safe home families podcast.


And I did the craft workshop together, in April.

I got a lot of feedback about how good it felt to hear other parents, talk about the same things that they were going through.

It just feels good to have that sense of not being alone.


So now no matter what I’m going through, I find my people when I got diagnosed with breast cancer I joined breast cancer, support groups and I got immediate Relief by talking to them like immediately.


As soon as I talk to them the same day, I knew, I had cancer it changed, how I was feeling?

I didn’t feel so alone anymore and I knew that I could count on other people who knew exactly how I felt.

And the same thing happened when hawaiiana died.


I started connecting with other parents.

Who lost their kids, I especially searched for mothers who were choosing to live their life even though their child died, like I looked intentionally four examples of women who were going through the same thing that I was but they had hope and they were still trying to actively Lee create a good future for themselves.


And right now, there is nothing that can replace getting to talk to another mother who understands exactly how I feel about losing my daughter.

But before that, before she died, nothing could replace talking to another mother who was going through addiction.


It’s just so healing to have somebody be able to just really see you in I understand you and that way because connection is a survival skill.

It’s a survival skill for us and it’s survival skill for our kids.


And I just want to point out that I also have a Facebook group just for parents and there’s a link to that group in the show notes.

So if you click that link in you want to join, make sure you answer the questions because I’m very careful about who I let into the group and if you don’t answer the questions then I can’t make sure that I’m protecting the privacy of everybody in the group.


So just look out for that topic.

Number three is how you connect with your kids.

So what emotion Are you connecting to your kids through?

What feeling do you feel the most, when you think of your child?


That feeling that you feel the most, when you think of them is how you’re connecting with them.

For a lot of parents, the main feelings are guilt, shame anger, And then those feelings keep coming up in their relationship.

No matter what they do.


Like they’re trying to change but their relationship still ends up revolving around those feelings.

I’ve been there to I’ve experienced the frustration of it and that’s why I’m bringing it up because I also see this happening with a lot of grieving parents where they’re staying connected to their kids through grief the same way that I was connected to Helena in anger and Guilt before I figured out how to manage my own emotions and of course, grief is part of the process.


When you have a child that dies and anger and guilds or part of the process when you have a child dealing with addiction and it’s not that those things should never come up.

Those just shouldn’t be the main emotions that we experience in our relationship.


Because if they do, then it’s just going to hold us back from what we really want.

So, When whole Anna died, of course, I felt the temptation to only to connect to her through grief, I don’t want her memory to fade.

I don’t want the world to forget her and connecting to her through pain and grief is easy, right?


It’s just the default when you’re going through that and the same way, it was easy for me to default to anger and guilt early in her addiction.

But in the last four or five years of Helena’s life, I made a It meant to connect to her with love above anything else.


I worked really hard to sort through my unintentional feelings of guilt and shame and anger.

So I could connect to her through love and I was able to turn our relationship around by doing that.

And I’ve also shared several times in other episodes or videos how.


When helana first got sober, I had to be really vulnerable and keep leaning into to love and getting closer with her.

Even though I was scared that she would use again and that I would lose her to her addiction, but I don’t regret that vulnerability and leaning into loving her for a second.


Like, I’m very grateful that I went all in on our relationship.

There’s no way it would have ever hurt less.

If I had held my love back, I just have regrets for Today.

So I’m still going all in on connecting to her through love and her death is well like when I of course I still grieve, it’s a process.


But I try to redirect and focus because grief is love and I don’t want a connection to her through the painful part of it.

I want to focus on the love and I know so many parents who struggle with feeling guilty about Out enjoying their life when their child is struggling with addiction.


And now, I see a lot of parents who are struggling with the guilt of living because their child died from their addiction.

So, if our kids are living and we are living or our kids have died from their addiction, and we still aren’t living like, who are we helping that doesn’t help anything.


It just keeps us from.

Separate, right?

It keeps us from being able to really connect with our kids or anybody else and I’m not helping anybody that way if I’m not taking care of myself, if I’m not functioning then I can’t help other parents.


So that’s all I have for this episode.

If you want help and support with your child’s addiction, you can sign up for a call using the link in the show notes.

I have a lot of people reach out to me and tell me how much the podcast is help them.


But when you really put that intention on yourself and working with me, one-on-one, you can take what you have already learned from the podcast and apply it at a whole nother level.


So I also have a favor to ask today because if my podcast has helped you then I would To ask you to help me by leaving a review more reviews equals more listeners and I put a lot of time into making this podcast.


So of course, I want to help as many people as possible with it and if you think about something like Amazon, if you’re like me, you buy based on reviews.

Like, if there’s 10 products that are the same, I’ll look at the reviews and that’s all this.

I’ll decide which one I’m going to buy and that’s how it is with podcast.


Like people look at the reviews and they decide which one they’re going to listen to based on what people say about it.

So you’ll not only be helping me if you leave a review but you’ll help someone who really needs the podcast, find it if you leave a review.


So that’s a win-win-win-win-win, right?

And after you leave a review also please share the episode with anybody who needs it and They will really appreciate it and hopefully maybe you can create connection with that person as well by reaching out to them, so I will talk to you soon.


Thank you for listening to this episode.

If you want to learn more about my work, go to Heather.

Ross coaching.com 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.