EP 60 Sobriety Can’t Be Your Only Measure For Success

Living With Your Child's Addiction Podcast
Living With Your Child's Addiction Podcast
EP 60 Sobriety Can't Be Your Only Measure For Success

Do you feel like you’re failing because your child isn’t sober yet? Supporting your child through their addiction is a marathon, not a sprint. The belief that “it’s not working” can be very painful and cause you a lot of frustration. It can also make it harder for you to regulate your emotions around your child. When you have other measures for success on your journey, then you create rewards for yourself for the changes you’re making and the tools you’re learning and using. Those rewards give you the momentum you need to keep moving forward. They also make it easier for you to connect with your child. 

Episodes to Listen to next:

Ep 5 Control – Why You Do it and How To Stop

Ep 54 Harm Reduction with guest Lara Okoloko, LICSW

EP 43 Why You Feel Rejected

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I’m Heather after many wasted years, trying outdated, approaches to my daughter’s addiction, that felt wrong to me harmed.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

Hey, everybody.

I want to take a moment to celebrate the fact that this is episode number 60, my biggest fear.

When I started podcasting was that I wouldn’t be able to come up with enough.


High-quality content to share, like, I didn’t know if I had 10 episodes in me, let alone, 60, I had confidence, that I can help my clients when I’m coaching with them and that I can help them find the right path for their family.


But hitting record and talking to myself was so uncomfortable.

I had to practice, just recording myself talking to myself for a while before I could even sit down to record a podcast episode, it just felt so weird.


But still even sometimes after I do an episode, I think it’s horrible and I have a ton of anxiety.

I don’t even want to share it for a long time, that became a checklist.

For me, that was part of the process of doing the podcast.


Like if I had a list of things to do to get the podcast done and published there was an item that said think it’s awful and move on to the next step.

So does check that one right off the list.

But now that I pushed through that feeling 60 times its Ally, easier and recording myself talking to myself, doesn’t feel as weird as it.


To anymore either.

So, yay for 60 episodes.

I just wanted to celebrate that and along the lines of doing things that are uncomfortable.

I’m about to offer you a concept.

That might be uncomfortable at first, as well, and that’s that sobriety cannot be your only measure for success.


I don’t think anybody ever told me that I wish somebody had told me.


I just figured it out after years of causing my daughter.

And I a lot of pain with that belief that absolute abstinence from all substances with the was the only thing that was acceptable.


It was more like an after-the-fact realization when my relationship with my daughter became my priority that having that as my only measurement for Success caused us a lot of problems.

I learned so much through prioritizing, loving helana and accepting her just as she was that belief that it is not working.


Caused me so much pain and shame and feelings of being defeated.

It was just this constant unwanted companion throughout my journey with trying to help and support whole Anna.


And that belief also came between me and how I wanted to show up as a mother.

I would get caught up in all the ruminations about how it wasn’t working and I would either Retreat into depression and sadness or I would put all of my energy into controlling and fixing my daughter.


Neither extreme worked well or at all.

And when I think about it, and as I’m talking about it, I can still feel the heavy burden of that belief that nothing was working.

Because anything less than Perfection was failure in my mind and that caused me so much pain because it also meant that I couldn’t be happy until sobriety was achieved and it also meant all kinds of painful things about my daughter as well.


And I’ve noticed that theme with so many parents.

I’ve talked to lately, they’re really struggling because sobriety is there Only measure of success to.

So they constantly feel like a failure, the key that they’re missing though and the key that I was missing is that there are so many other measurements of success available.


You need to give yourself small wins without the small wins.

You can’t keep going those.

Small wins create joy and they give you energy to keep going and In this exhausting situation.

So here’s a couple of ideas for how you could measure your success a new willingness to talk about things to listen to you or to change small changes toward emotional or physical health connection harm.


Reductions interest in a new hobby or renewed interest in an old one.

Less tension in your home or your relationships new healthy habits harm.

Reductions you feel good about how you’re showing up as a parent.


You’re taking better care of yourself.

You’re creating meaningful experience in your life outside of your child.

And those are just a couple of ideas, but you can brainstorm measurements of success that are Take to your situation in your family.


So let’s talk through this in the context of something other than substance abuse.

Weight loss is my favorite example because most people can relate and if they can’t relate, they can at least understand it.

And it doesn’t have as much of an emotionally charged as addiction does.


So it’s easier to have an open mind about about it.

If somebody wants to lose 20 pounds but they feel like everything they do.

As a failure until the full 20 pounds are lost, then it would be an awful experience if they focus on their overall health and wellness instead though then they have a lot more opportunities to feel happy and successful.


And some measures of success in that situation might be exercising for longer exercising more often, or putting out more exertion during exercise.

Drinking more water, cutting out, sugar flour, or fried foods, or eating more fruits, and vegetables.


And sometimes we all know when we’re trying to lose weight, the scale goes in the wrong direction, temporarily, even though you’re doing all the right things, or your body’s just different in the approach, you’re using doesn’t work for you and you need to try something else but that 20-pound weight loss Journey would be pretty miserable if you are trying to lose it and you felt like a failure until you lost the 20 pounds and we both know that once you lost a 20-pound, you’d still feel like a failure because it just be focused on something else that was wrong because Cuz that’s what your brain was learning to do the whole time.


The importance of this is to teach your brain, how to look for, what’s right, and how to create joyful experiences in your life, it’s a new way of looking at things.

It sounds kind of absurd when you think about only having one measurement for a success in that scenario, right?


Like only the measurement of having the 20 pounds lost.

But long-lasting sustainable change is a process.

It’s not just removing the substance or their whatever substance is they’re using.


There’s so much more to living a healthy happy life.

So, it’s complex where humans, there’s so many more moving Parts, but a lot of parents believe that the removal of the substance will make them feel better.

But I’m here to tell you that, if you do feel better, it doesn’t last long.


I work with a lot of parents that their kids are sober and have been for a while.

And those parents work with me because even though things are going well, they’re still struggling.

The parents are still struggling.

They’re living in fear, they’re worried about their child relapsing and that’s because they feel like they’re not going to be okay if that something like that happens with their child.


And when parents look to Kids to help them feel better and then they end up judging everything they do is good or bad right?

There’s this excitement that yes what they just did feels good and you feel peaceful and secure because you think that their sobriety is going to continue based on what they did but your kids are human.


So then there’s going to be this moment where you’re like, oh no I’m so disappointed.

They just did or said something that seems like maybe they’re not.

Not going to stay sober and it just creates this huge emotional roller coaster.

And change is really hard, like when somebody’s trying to make major changes in their life.


The course there’s going to be all this up and down, and you can’t go on that roller coaster ride with them.

You have to have your own balance.

And the most important thing is to have tools that help you regulate and create that balance through all the ups and downs ways for you to create your own relief.


And how you think about and measure success is one of those ways you can help yourself regulate, not only regulate, but actually create the kind of moments that you want to experience as a parent in aren’t getting to experience.


And you can also look for moments to create Joy, even when things suck addictions hard for everybody.

Addiction takes what it wants to take, but you don’t have to give it more or you can at least give it as little as possible.


How do you want to measure success with your child?

What’s success mean in your family?

What’s your priority besides sobriety?

Is it safety or connection?

What skills does your family?


Need to learn to become a long-term source of healthy.

Support for your child.

You know, you were going to be and you are the constant in your child’s life.

Like they go to rehab for 30, maybe 90 days depending on how long the insurance lets them stay or once in a great while you can find a longer program and then they come out and they get maybe they go to meetings a couple times a week or counseling but that’s not very much time in the grand.


Game of things, the rest of the time, you’re the constant in their life, you’re always going to be there.

So, the more skills you have to support them and yourself, you’re the best suited person to have those skills.


So it’s totally worth the investment of time and energy into yourself and the investment in learning how to create the best possible experience.

You can even when things are really Really difficult.


So answering those questions about what success looks like in your family, taking the time to write it down, and keep reminding yourself.

Will make this experience completely different for you.


You can’t control what your child does, but you can create a different Koreans for yourself.

So if you’re struggling with this or anything else, you can set up a call with me, we’ll work through it.


Together there is a link in the show notes to sign up.

Also please remember to share this podcast with anybody that needs it.

I’ll 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.