EP67 Are You More Influenced by Stigma Than Science?

Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
EP67 Are You More Influenced by Stigma Than Science?

Today marks one year since Helanna passed away from a fentanyl overdose. This podcast would not exist without Helanna so her interview is being released again to honor her memory. It is one of the most listened-to episodes on the podcast.  Heather also shares some of the realizations she’s had since Helanna passed, in an updated intro to the episode. 

 Link to find Naloxone If you can’t find Naloxone using the link, search for a recovery alliance or harm reduction organization in your county.  

Original Episode Show Notes: This week I got to interview my daughter.  You’ve been hearing my experience of her addiction so I think that it’s important to hear what her experience was like. 

Some of the questions I asked: 

  •  I learned a few new things and had some realizations while listening to her insight and I ended up sharing some things I’ve never shared before. 
  • What was it like when I expected her to be ok to make me feel better instead of me being stable for her? 
  • What else did I do that wasn’t helpful to her? 
  • What did I do that was helpful to her? 
  • Is there anything I could have done differently to help her not struggle with addiction? 
  • What did she get out of using substances? 
  • What made her want to get sober? 
  • What has relapsing taught her? 
  • What makes her feel supported in sobriety?

Resources From Heather Ross Coaching

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

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

If you want coaching about your child’s addiction or anything else Sign up for a 45 minute $17 call with me using the link below


There’s a new parent support group in Town. 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

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

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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.

And create connection addiction impacts the entire family system.


Family recovery is the answer.

Hey everybody.

So, today is the first day that I have ever republished an episode.

And I’m doing that because today marks the one year anniversary, since my daughter helana died from a fentanyl overdose.


And I want to share her episode today to honor her memory because the living with your child’s addiction podcast and none of the other work that Do what exist without her if it wasn’t for helana.

I would not be doing any of this work.


And in this episode, you’ll hear the story of how I asked for her permission to do this work because I can’t share my story without sharing some of hers.

And she said, yes she gave me permission because she wanted other people to benefit from all the pain that we’ve been through.


But if she had said no I was going to coach Blended families which I think is important work.

But it is just not my passion, like family recovery.

Is this episode is also the reason that I kept doing this work after Hannah died because I had my doubts, I didn’t know if I could still do it but I listen to this episode just because I wanted to hear her voice and as I was listening to it I just I just knew that she would want me to continue doing this work so it is so important to me that I honor her memory as I do this work because we didn’t go through all of this just for me to quit and not help other families.


And I think it’s really important that I use this information to hopefully get help to their families sooner than we were able to find it.

We spent so many years looking for help for Holy Anna and for me and we didn’t get help, but we got was the message that helana was the problem instead of anybody asking why.


Why does Hellenic keep using substances.

What does she need help with nobody addressed.

It Or even knew about the trauma, the that she had experienced until it came out way later.


And in this episode, you also here where I asked her, if I could have done things differently, that would have kept her from using substances or made her stop sooner and she said, no, it doesn’t matter what you do people, you know, sure use the word addicts, which I hate but she said addicts.


Only get sober when they’re ready and it didn’t even hit me at the time.

But I do believe that if I had found coaching and crafts and understood that substance, use wasn’t the problem, but the solution to the problem, things could have been different emphasis, of course, on could have been because there’s just no way that I’ll ever know, but that’s what I feel in my heart.


What I do know is that once I started using those tools and following my instincts, as a mom, our relationship changed and whole and has started attempting some harm reductions and trying to get into recovery when before that she was totally against it.


And I can tell by some of the things that I said in my conversation with her that my thinking was, So much more influenced by stigma than it is today.

It’s hard to explain but I’m going to attempt that about six weeks after huh?


Lana died, even though I was still in a lot, I’m still in a deep grief, but something happened where I could suddenly see things that I didn’t have the room to see before there was this huge empty space in my life.


Where huh, Lana residing.


And once her physical presence was gone from this earth, like all these truths and understanding came flooding in and fill that empty space.

And I could see that even though I had worked so hard to educate myself for years.


I was still carrying stigmatize beliefs and they were, they’re still at the end of Helena’s, Influencing me influencing my decisions, no matter how hard I tried to shake them.


So my message has changed a lot since then because I never really used to talk about stigma before or I kind of like danced around it.

I talk about it all the time now because I know that anybody else who has been conditioned by stigma like I was we’ll have to hear what I’m saying.


Thing about stigma over and over again, to loosen, the hold on, their belief system, and it was still going to affect their decisions as a parent.

It is such a huge problem for us and our kids, and I hate how Helena was taught to refer to herself as an addict when she was in rehab.


It’s such a limiting stigmatized and shaming word.

Her addiction was a part of her, but it did not Define her.

And you’ll get to hear for yourself.

When you listen to this episode, like how wonderful, and kind hearted.

She is and just so smart.


Funny and all the things I could just go on and on.

But one last thing that I really think is important to share as well.

Is that plan and I repaired our relationship while she was still in active addiction.


I used to believe that she had to get into recovery before we could experience healing in our Ation ship and that is not true.

The Catalyst for healing in our relationship, was my recovery.

My commitment to working on myself, the way I wanted to Lana to work on herself and learning to love her unconditionally as she was.


I didn’t need her to change so that I could be happy anymore.

And she really responded amazingly to that.

So if you believe that Never going to have a relationship with your child until they’re in recovery.

Just keep focusing on yourself and your own recovery.


Keep learning about addiction from a science perspective rather than stigma and keep focusing on connection.

It is possible to repair your relationship.

There is hope.

Okay wait there was one more thing.


I can’t leave this out.

This is it always prioritize safety?

I can’t say this enough.

Enough the last time that I my last phone conversation, my last text messages with Alana, when we talked about safety, I was off my game and I wasn’t thinking about fentanyl.


We, of course, it’s always a concern with overdose when somebody’s been in recovery and they use again.

So, I was covering those bases with her and I used to always make sure I He’s had Narcan or, you know, that’s the brand name for naloxone and I used to always make sure that she had it and I’ll give it to her friends.


If I could get my hands on it, I made sure I had some and made sure they had some and giving them Narcan is just like having them wear their seatbelt.

It is not encouraging reckless driving or speeding, it’s encouraging safety.


So, So I want to put that reminder in there as well, I’ll put a link in the show notes so that will help you look for Narcan in your area as well.

So I hope you enjoy hearing.


What huh?

Lana has to say today?

Just a little intro to today’s podcast first I wanted to give a little warning that there’s a lot of f-bombs in this episode.

One of the things that I absolutely love about my daughter as she shows up as herself, no matter what.


And I think that was one of the first words out of her mouth responding to one of my questions.

So if you’re offended by that or listening somewhere or other, People might hear it and be offended.

I just wanted to give a little warning about that because I usually don’t swear in my episodes.


And the other thing is we talked about a few things about her using and how she felt about things that might be triggering for some people.

So I just wanted to give a little bit of a warning about that and just say that, I think that this is a really great episode.


I thought I was really Be proud of my daughter for being so vulnerable.

This is the first time that she’s ever shared, you know, an expiry her experiences and a public way like this.

So I think it was really Brave of her to be willing to come on and answer these questions, but she’s got such a kind helpful heart, and she’s always liked that we’ve been sharing.


You know, I’ve been sharing our experience in order to help people, and I think it was time for her to get to do that.

So, So, here we go.

I hope you enjoy listening to me.

Interviewing my daughter.

Hey everybody.


I have a very special guest today.

I have my daughter Helena here and I wanted to have her on today because you’ve heard so much of my story and my side of things that I thought it would be great to hear her side of the story and just learn from her experience.


We don’t always get to understand what our kids are going through, but she was Kind enough to come on here today and let me ask her some questions that will hopefully help you understand what your kids are going through and help you decide which approach is best for you when it comes to supporting your child and what’s best for you and your family.


And so I just want to tell you a little bit about her in case you’re maybe this is the first podcast of mine that Ever listen to my daughter, Helena, she’s 21.

And she’s living in sober living right now, and we’ve had quite a few ups and downs over the, the last wet, like, six years.


I think her it’s not really positive when things started with her addiction, but she was 14 or 15.

I really started noticing things happening when she was about 15.

I think that she was able to hide it pretty well before that.

So we’ve had quite a few years is of going through active addiction.


And it’s just been a very gone on a long journey of, I think healing together, even before she got sober and over the last 13 months, I think you’ve been living a very different life than you were living before.


Even though you haven’t been sober the whole time, you’ve really made huge changes in your life and What’s funny?

So today on Google photos you know like it’ll bring up a memory and this day last year is the day that we were driving from.


Oklahoma City to rehab in Houston after you have left and the pictures that came up were of us picture taking pictures in the car with me.

You and honey.

My daughter’s dog is honey and Pie.


That was pretty cool.

That we were doing this podcast, exactly one year later on that day.

So I just want to thank you.

Holy Hannah for being willing to come on here and share with us today.

Yeah, of course, I’m glad to be here and it’s just yeah, I’m really glad to be here.


Well first, I want to thank you because I don’t know if you remember this or not.

But But do remember me asking you permission to do this Niche?

Like I was so nervous to talk to you beforehand because I wasn’t sure if you would understand my intention with it, and we were sitting in the McDonald’s parking lot, the one on Janeway and more, and when I asked you, I was so nervous.


Do you remember this?

Yes, I do.

And I asked you, how you Felt about me working with parents who had a child struggling with addiction.

Because in order to tell my story, I would have to tell some of yours and do you remember what you said kind of not really?


You told me you liked the idea of everything that we had gone through helping other people the sun’s about, right?

I mean I remember what I felt, I didn’t remember exactly what I had said.

I was feeling, I was feeling halfway, good and halfway, not so good about it because at the time our relationship was not even close to as good as it is now.



And I was like, just hoping to God, like the wrong message, did not get spread and I just wasn’t sure of it yet, but I feel a lot differently now, of course.


So what do you think about me doing this podcast?


It’s a beautiful thing to be able to sit here like sober today and feeling as comfortable as I do, and just hoping that something can come out of this.

And, you know, just help other people.

Like, I’ve just always had a very like helpful heart and, you know, just doing this is like, it’s a blessing in itself that I’m like, sitting here in the state that I am today with you.


And I really Chip has is amazing as it is today.

Just all of it is it’s great.

It really is a blessing it’ll probably be, I don’t know if I’m gonna make it through all this with all the way through this without crying because it just makes me so emotional.


Just it is it’s huge and especially like looking back at those pictures and seeing how much you’ve changed and what an emotional day that was.

So the story behind last year when I said those pictures came up was she had been in rehab and Didn’t and I had, she had had an overdose in rehab.


I think there was a, it was medication-related, she hadn’t actually taken anything, but I got a call that from the hospital.

The rehab didn’t call me and tell me, and I was really confused when I got the call.

I didn’t know anything that had happened and I was talking to like a nurse and I thought I was talking to the rehab.


I didn’t even know she was in the hospital.

And while this is happening Helena’s, they’re trying to get me to get her to stay, and I think, Trying to get me to get her to stay in rehab assure, actually, trying to get me to get her to stay in the hospital.

And she’s like, I’m out of here, and she left the hospital.


I didn’t think you had shoes, did you?

Yeah, she never shoes or anything.

So, I just jumped in my car and I live in Florida driving.

Their my drove like all night and she was outside of the rehab waiting for me.

When I got there wanting to leave, you were wanting to leave your like that’s it.


I’m done.

And so I ended up Taking her back to Oklahoma City.

And it was just this huge emotional.

Like, event of getting her back there, I had to stop.

I don’t even know how many times like because I felt like I couldn’t even do it.

I have to keep pulling over feeling like I was sick, but I just also knew that I couldn’t stop you.


I knew you were going to do.

And so I dropped her off at the house that she had been living at.

And then the next morning, thank God.

You came over to my hotel, with me.

We talked like really openly, like, I was standing there naked and crying, I just gotten out of the shower, I started crying in the shower, and I got out and just was like, oh my gosh, you know, and you were like I made a mistake.


I want to go back and so that’s what those pictures were we were driving back.

So I’d been 20 very, very emotional 24 hours but it was like a huge, huge, like just such a great decision that you did that.

So anyway, if anything that I ask makes you uncomfortable I’m terrible.


You can say pass.

Like, I wouldn’t blame you at all, but I’m not going to Spring anything on you either.

But so, like, yesterday, we were talking a little bit, like, do you remember?

I was always trying to convince you that your life was good, right?


Instead of just listening to that, you were struggling.

I was always coming at you with, like, what?

You just have such a great life and we have everything.

And do you remember?

Like how that made you feel at the time?


Because I think that’s something a lot of parents do to their kids, is try to convince them that things are better than they feel.

Yeah, I do remember a lot of dark things were floating around in my head.

One of them being like I fucking hate her.


She has no idea what she’s talking about.

She’s blind to seeing what’s going on and I had like but that wasn’t like I didn’t hate you.

I really genuinely just hated myself in my life.

Like I hated anything that had to do.

I just you trying to make things seem like good.


I didn’t like anything good and so I’m like what the fuck does she have to be so happy about?

I just it felt like the world was coming to an end for me and so like anything that you would said against that I just the defense came up and I was really defensive and Yeah, I just I felt such hatred towards you and my life in general and it just that’s a huge thing.


And I thought was just like hatred and I felt a little.

Yeah, I just I felt like I couldn’t make you see what I was seeing, which is okay, because, you know, how in the world are you supposed to get into somebody’s head and understand them, whenever I wouldn’t even really hardly talk to you, it would just come out.


I would lash out and I wasn’t even Giving you really a chance to like understand how I truly felt.

And I don’t think that you are very much in touch with your emotions at the time as well.

So I that made it even more difficult for you to see how my emotions affected me.


You couldn’t even really understand how your emotions are affecting you.

So yeah, yeah.

And I looking back, know that the reason I was doing that was you’re right I wasn’t in touch with my emotions.


I was Lean.

Um, I would have said that I was conscious about things but I was pretty unconscious and because our life looked good on the outside and seems successful at least from a financial standpoint, we had all the things that everybody wants.


I thought that we had a good life but then also I needed you to be okay.

So that I could be okay.

And so I kept trying to convince you to be okay instead of just listening to you.

So I can Only imagine how hard that is when you’re trying to convey to somebody like, hey, I’m in pain.


And you keep telling me how great my life is.


It was a very difficult time for everybody, for sure.

And I think about it’s different like now I see things from a whole other perspective so it is a little hard for me to like, get into judge.


Exactly with how I felt at that age.

It’s like thinking, like just only if I knew To the things that I knew now but maybe that just wasn’t my path.

And that’s okay.

So another thing like in the beginning was, you know, I’ve said before, like I did, I was trying to do whatever I could to help you but a lot of the things that I was doing was making things worse, like dragging you to every doctor and counselor, I could possibly find making you do the martial arts when you didn’t really want to do it.


And you mentioned something about how you just wanted stability and guidance from me.

Me, but you weren’t getting that.


What did you feel like getting instead of that?

I didn’t even know that was the thing.


Like I just I was always trying to figure out what was going on for your head.

Like I was like, you know, does she not care but then again because I at the time couldn’t I just couldn’t see it but I know that you cared because you’re trying to do all this stuff but turn words correctly.


I felt like you were just at a loss.

What to do.

And I just didn’t even want you to care.

I’m just like, why does she care?

Why does she, you know what I mean?

Like, just let me ruin my fucking life.

Like, what is unlocked for me?


Like feel like Precious?

Yeah, yes, it did.

It felt like a lot of pressure and I was just having a war with myself constantly like, but it was mostly a losing battle because I was just doing anything and everything I could to destroy my life with it was with an eating disorder, self-harm using just anything and everything.


I was just on a total Rampage to end my life in some way or another.

Yeah, and I could see it happening, but I felt completely powerless to do anything, which made me more panicked and less stable at a time that you needed me to be more stable, but it just it also set off this process of me, wanting to help you.


So, I’d like that’s why I did everything initially and that’s what led me to figuring out how to become stable on my own so that I could be stable for you.

But like before you moved out, there were times that things that you did that, you would have never done when you were sober like stealing from the house and selling that stuff.


And I know that this is something that another thing parents really don’t Understand, like, when you were doing those kinds of things, what what were you thinking, what was going through your mind at that time and the sounds messed up.

But unlike these people owe me like, I like thinking, like, AA intentionally put me, I’ll do this, these things.


And I wanted, I was like telling my like, my brain was just convincing me of any reason and possible of why stealing from you guys was okay.

So I could get high and like me cuz that’s all that, that money was going.

Birds and my brain still tries to do this to this day.


Even soberly convincing me of why this won’t work of why my sobriety won’t work.

So we’ll go back to that in a second.

Like why your brain tries to convince you that sobriety won’t work.

But I know that parents spend a lot of time going over what they did.


Wrong, trying to figure out what they could have done different.

Is there something that you think there’s something I could have done different?

That would have stopped this from ever happening?


Nah, I don’t because in a way, I feel like I was like addicted before I was addicted.


Like I remember in school being really young like, never.

They’re passing out the Dare bracelets, you know?

Like to not do drugs.

I was like I’m definitely doing drugs.

I mean I was really young like 10 years old and I was just already cleaning to use before it ever happened.


And so I think there is for me personally I think there’s like a cool like a chemical like imbalance there with that.

Addiction someway somehow I don’t really want to like speak too much about on that because I don’t really fully understand it quite yet.

So I feel like I was already on that path before any so I really don’t believe whatsoever that you could have done anything different so that this one never happened.


I mean like some people, it’s just how my brain is wired.

I feel like mmm just a firm believer in that, you know, some people live Way, worse lives than me and choose not to the attics and choose to do quite amazing things with their life.


If it’s just I just I feel like it was kind of just hum hardwired.

Yeah, well and there’s times that I think it’s hard not to think that right as a parent, you wonder where your what you could have done differently.

And I think, like, if I had understood emotions for it, whimpering, you were little and like, taught you how to process emotions and things like that.


But then we would have been two totally different people.

So it’s hard to really know like what that have wired your brain differently.

Like very ever, really know what would have happened and so that also gets us stuck in the problem and not focusing on the solution and how, because that’s where I was stuck for a long time.


I never moved forward from that was like, I got to figure this out so that I can fix it instead of like how can I support this process now and help her get what she needs right now?

So another likes.


So we’re talking about several of the things that I did like wrong or not really, I don’t know if wrong the word but just using the only coping skills that I had, which was basically numbness at the time.


So once I started why I’m here, true story right now on the flip side of that, what did I do as like what was helpful to you?

You like, once I started changing trying to approach things differently, what actually was helpful to you.


I think that’s one of the huge shift started happening like wherever you started to like let go and sense of like yes I got at the moment.

I was very upset.

I’m like, yeah, but whenever you just started letting me leave my own life of course, I was 18 at the time so I We will leave the house and stuff like that, you know, live there, but you just supported me in the sense of like Tommy that I’m always, you’re always going to be here for me.


Like, if I’ve need to talk but, you know, we are going to have to set healthy boundaries and terms of like, say, whenever I asked you for money, you know, you weren’t getting money.

You’re like, I’ll buy your groceries like for you bring the groceries to your house, but I’m not going to give you money.


For groceries.

She’s are quoting.

Yeah, and just setting healthy boundaries really helped course, the time I was angry I was like oh my God, she doesn’t care but that’s just not.

You’re just trying not to feed my habit and be an enabler.


You know, there’s a difference between like being an enabler and just setting boundaries Yeah.

But you know, you actually really responded well to it.

You seem to be very understanding from pretty quick, like, you were, I don’t know.


It’s almost like when I establish boundaries for myself, I was able to bring some stability to our relationship and finally be the parent and really be an emotional adult in the relationship and maybe you are responding to that, but I felt like you were never even mad.



Well, there were times you got a bad, but that was only like extreme circumstances like where you were really either on Xanax or like, really, really desperate.

But for the most part, you responded really well to it.

And it was surprising, which made it easier for me to not all the time, but in the long run, I was like, okay, this process actually works.


I was able to do it.

Okay, so here’s another thing.

Like I heard somebody it’s so there’s I think I Told you a little bit about the safe home podcast and she brought this up, which I think was a really great point.

So, I wanted to ask you about it, too.

Like one of the things that parents really wonder is why like, why are kids doing this?


Why are they using these substances went on the outside.

All I could see was the destruction in your life and how much it was hurting you.

But obviously you were getting something good out of it.

Like when you first started, what were you getting out of it?

Yeah, healing that I was searching for of like being able to breathe and like for me person, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety from a young age.


Like I started having panic attacks.

Whenever I was like seven, I will never forget the first time I had one and after that I just started to really seek out anything that would numb that suppress that big not have to deal with that like instant gratification all of that.


And so I remember the first Time.

I was starting to use whenever I was like 13.

Oh I mean I started drinking actually younger than that like probably like 11 12 years old, 12 years old and that are just having fun and like I just was just so addicted to being numb and not having to feel like anything and then obviously got more serious and escalated very quickly.


Lie, like, I went from smoking weed for the first time in 2014 to shooting up.

Heroin, for the first time when I was 14 and I was willing to just do anything and everything I could to just make me feel different even though it was creating chaos and the home.


Like, I just remember, you know, like, I’d come home, obviously high and we do arguing, like I know this I’m gonna direct and I would be until I was peeing dirty.

I was dealt.

Trying to convince you that I wasn’t high and it was really trying to convince me there is something wrong with the drug test.


Yeah anything I could think of to say to get me out of situation so I could just be us want to be high.

I would say it and do it and it’s just like I felt like whatever I had to do was worth it to be able to just Be okay.


But that didn’t.

It’s not like that easy, though.

Like, I know it sounds hard when I’m saying, but like it’s just, it’s a living hell.

What’s a living?


The whole lifestyle is drug.

Use alcohol, use, whatever, use like whatever you’re addicted to, it’s just a constant like it stops being fun.


In, like, you may have, you know, times where you feel fine, but those are very short lasting times.

As they become shorter, and shorter until you’re basically miserable no matter what.

Because you given up everything, do you remember when it stopped being fun?


And when it got miserable, I would say about whenever I started consistently shooting up heroin with roses 17, and I remember going, I was in trouble with, you know, the law.

And I had done, I had, you know, done heroin the night before my last court day and risked everything like he could have my probation officer to drug.


Test me that day, that morning.

He thought about it.


He’s like and he didn’t.

And then I remember the judge saying, I think you’re really gonna be my camera what he said.

He said something like, you’re like a success story.


Yes, a success story, he said something like that.

I think you’re going to be one of those success stories and after I left that Courthouse I went did heroin right away and that’s when everything started getting really bad for me like I was living disgusting and single way you can possibly think of like it was terrible.


It was.

Yeah, this is not fun.

And I remember the first time I ever got like, dope sick.

I was like, walking through this like field to go get high and I was just like, wow.

Like I’m starting to have to depend on this.


I’m going to have to start doing some really bad things to keep this going, but willing to do it because I need it.

I can’t live my life without drugs and Just remember that whole process of like that thinking going through my head and my basically at that moment, I felt I knew I was like signing my life away to the drug or that you already had, I guess.


Yeah, exactly.

I was just like sealing the deal.

The deal that had already been written up.

I was like oh, it’s stealing it.

So the background is Lana had gotten in minor trouble.

Like Riley wasn’t even in that much trouble for running away as a minor and she didn’t Even really get arrested but she resisted being put in the back of the police off car and ran.


And so she ended up being put on not really probation but because she wouldn’t comply with what they wanted her to do.

She ended up being put on full on probation and we had to go to court and this is the back story of what she was talking about when she started using heroin.


And this is what her brain was telling.

Her was logical at the time.

She had to quit smoking weed because she’s smoking weed.

Then it was going to show up on her twice a week drug test, but she could do heroin and plan it so that it didn’t show up on your drug test, basically, right.


So you were able to pass your drug test because you kind of knew when they were going to be.

And here’s the thing, I didn’t see it at the time.

I thought she was a success story too, but I remember that day you and I had plans for we were going to celebrate.


Eight, that you had finished and how great I thought you were doing, but you couldn’t wait to get out of there and you were like, bitched, our plans and you wanted me to drop you off at your friends.

And at the time I had already kind of that was when I had started releasing.


You were almost 18 at that time.

We had gone through you being on house, arrest and everything and so I let her go and I didn’t find out until you weren’t living at home anymore.

I started noticing the black Mark’s, I always just kept thinking like why are her fingernails dirty and why does she always have mascara all over her face?


I didn’t know that it wasn’t mascara that it was the marks from the heroine and I didn’t know that that was what was under your nails, too?

But was just like slowly after that, I started having these questions about it but that thought process, I think is really important to point out because like that’s where our kids Thinking is when they’re going through this or make a decision.


Like, oh, I’m going to give up smoking weed and start smoking heroin, instead for injecting it.

But I think I also wanted to point out how you said, you were addicted to being numb.

And I’ve said, I’ve never used the words that I was addicted to being numb, but I said, like, I just wanted to be numb all the time.


Like that was my go-to emotion.

It’s so interesting, how we were using different things to feel numb all the time and how Important.

It was for me to see the similarities in us because I’ve been so focused on our differences.


You know.

I started focusing on our similarities.


And that’s kind of when things I think started changing in our relationship a little too.


I mean like I just thought about this like want to be said that like how different things might have been if we had just started seeing each other similarities in like been there for each other.


Other like instead of a you know like instead of just looking at her differences and how it’ll never work and how I would just think the relationship would just never work you do.

And like we’re actually, I mean, a lot of like yeah, we are, you feeling, we’re a lot alike.


We just use different sources to get to what, you know, how we want to feel mmm.

So I used Be really like afraid of what your bottom was going to be like, what it was going to take for you to quit using.


And I actually was really scared of how bad it was going to have to be.

I didn’t even know if it was ever going to get bad enough.

Because for me on the outside it felt really, really bad part.

So I was really surprised actually when you called me and told me that you wanted to go to rehab at that point, like what one, what was it that made you want to go into?


Is there anything?

That anybody could have done to make you want to go sooner.

No, your answer the same question, if there’s anything that anybody could have done to make you want to go, sooner is no, because that was so important to know, is that a nags will not get sober unless they want to like, it doesn’t matter how much their family loves them and supports them, and is there for them or anything like that?


It’s a self thing.

That is just something that is a constant that I see like now, you know, no one’s going to get sober unless they personally, Ready.

And the answer?

The first question, I was doing some very degrading things to get money and the house that I was living in, just became really unsafe and I really loved my roommate a lot.


And she was somebody, she is somebody I still think about and worry about And, you know, even though we were using the other, I genuinely, like, loved and cared for her, like we, but it just wasn’t a safe environment.


And I was making some enemies and things just started to become really unsafe and I starting to get a little worried.

And I also have dog that I really cared about as well and I just I was really sick.


A disappointing everybody to like I just die.

Every time I talk to you in my grandmother, I could You’re like how scared you guys were and your voices, you know, and you started to get closer and everything was just kind of unfolding at once.

And I just, I kept, I would land my bed.


I’d be, you know, dope sick of quarters and just be like crying.

And I’m like, do you like this girl view over?

If I just go get sober and just the thought distribute coming up in my head?

Like, I think it was the beginning stages of me starting to care for myself, like I wasn’t nearly there yet.


But I don’t know.

Something just shifted inside of me were like, I felt like I deserved a second chance and myself like and I feel that we now I get the time I didn’t see that.

I wasn’t convinced that I was doing it for myself.


I just knew that I was.


I was tired and I was sick and I was just felt disgusted in myself and the environment around me that I was creating for myself.


I only got what I wanted.

I can have been destroying my ohh.

Left and right.

There’s not much more to go and I saw the future ahead of me a few times.


I saw all the potential things that were about to happen and I knew I had to get out of there.

And the only way to do that was to get sober because I couldn’t leave the state with without getting sober.

No, I mean, yeah.

Now there’s just no option.

So I finally did.

I finally called you like well.


Okay, well first, I like, I also had a point where I was like, all right, maybe if I call my mom and tell her, I want to get sober, Worried, she might give me some money because I’m really sick right now.

Fuck, I gotta commit.

Now, I was like, I gotta commit, because I was like, trying to walk away.

I was like, I will not go without their friendship, and then I didn’t think sucking weren’t and then I’m like, well, I like bit right here, does to be honest?


Because I was actually talking to a mother about this the other day who was feeling guilty about it and I’ve never shared this before, but I think it’s important to share that I sent you money.

At that time, knowing that it was certainly was it for groceries.


But I knew that that was what it was going to take to get you to rehab.

And I stand by that decision to do whatever it took to get you there.

And I also like, jumped on a plane with it was there with in like four hours of you getting that call?


I made you call the rehab first.

Yeah, it’s called and you had actually done it.

I was Led to getting you there.

So I appreciate that you were going to not share that in like protect me in that, but I think it’s important for me to hear that I did that because I know other parents would have done it and feel really guilty about it and I don’t feel guilty about it because I think it was I look at.


It is like it was just one thing on the list of getting you to rehab.


And of course that’s not going to happen every time.

Like, you know, that’s not gonna happen with everybody, you know, like addicts will say and do everything that they can.

To get their next fix.


I could see that change in you.

And the other thing that was happening was you were getting released.

You kept getting sick at that time.

Like cellulitis, you kept having to go in the hospital, you were in a lot of pain that was another thing that really like like traumatized me a little bit, like being in the hospital for three or four days.


I felt like I was literally dying.

I have excited to my hand, my hand swelled up so big like it just looked like an elephant and member It was bad and it was a very scary.

I felt really alone because I could have moved with my mom to Florida, but in the only reason why I didn’t was because I was using and I had no family there.


I was like, man, I got and I left the hospital early feeling like absolute just shit because I was, I needed to go get high.

And, as I did II felt like I was like, I could have died and like, no one would have been around like it.

It was bad and all of those things like led up to me.


I was feeling a little ski me.

Whenever I met, I was eating whenever I called my mom telling, I want to go to rehab and I need a little bit of money, but I was like, I can’t disappoint her.

I know.

I was like, I just said, I can’t, I have to go through with this.


I feel like if I had kept using longer and longer and longer, my soul would have been much like Is present in that moment.

You know like I was using it had been like in a few years I probably would just try and stand my mom and not gone but I don’t know.


So me leaving.

So that was really the hardest decision really really hard but I came to the conclusion that if me being there was helping you I would have stayed but yeah it feel like it was that was really kind of like my deciding factor too.


Able to leave that.

You think that me just not being there for you on a daily basis.

Played any part and you deciding to go to rehab at that point.


And no.

Because I was just on a destructive path and getting involved in really bad things.


That that lifestyle, you know, getting a white as my hand from injecting missing and stuff like that.

That everything just kind of came together.

Maybe that probably was a part of it.

Yeah, it probably was just a little bit, you know.


That’s what you needed.

You needed to move there and like you were actively trying to do something for yourself.

And I think sin that was like, I understood and I was just so happy in our relationship.

Like, just whatever you were doing that was helping you like heal yourself.


Not supportive.


That should that made me really happy.

So after that you relapsed a couple of times.

What did you learn when you were relapses?

And because I think that sometimes people, I look at this journey is like over the last year, you’ve made incredible changes in your life.


Each time you’ve done better and I know sometimes that’s really hard for people they’d see it is just a total loss and starting.

Over with a relapse.

But I know you’ve learned from relapsing.

So, can you tell us a little bit about what you’ve learned?

Yeah, I just had to try it out again.


Like it was talked about earlier like my brain, just convinces me of every reason why Being Sober won’t work and like I was learning each time that I wasn’t dealing with like my mental health, and like trauma and because you have to be mentally stable to lead a strong recovery, you just Have to to lead a strong recovery like, yes, you can be sober and be absent from the drugs.


But if you’re not healthy mentally, then you’re just it’s just not it’s not a good wife to live.

It’s not a huge is just important and any aspect using or not your mental health is very important.

So do you need to prioritize that?


Yeah, I learned to prioritize that.

I learned to love myself enough to try and stay sober one more time like and it was just a huge Reminder of using is not glamorous whatsoever.

I was trying to like romanticize using like how good it is and whatever, like, how I’m not going to feel this way anymore, but you still feel those feelings were actually intensify.


We’re using, like all those killings.


And I love that you bring out the mental health and loving yourself.

Because when you said we were, I think it was yesterday or the day before we were talking about how you were going to invest the money and yourself.

Tough to see Jana every couple of weeks.



And you were like this is my fucking wife and I’m going to spend this money on it.

I was like, hell, yeah.

Like that was the best thing that I ever heard you say.

And that’s like something I thought before to, like I only have one life and if I have to see a counselor and have a coach and in this and of that, then I’m going to do it all because I get one life and I want to enjoy it.


Yeah, exactly.

So what makes you feel so?

Supported either what I do or what you wish I would do, or what makes somebody a recovery feel supported.

Just doing it like even if you don’t understand like addiction and stuff like that, at least trying to like I admire that and I appreciate that whenever somebody’s at least trying to understand the mindset instead of like being judgmental give us a huge one in like looking down on somebody because everybody has a vice.


Don’t try to act, you know, is certain way like, I’m not saying, what the way I’m living is your great.

But don’t try to look down on somebody, you know, like the patients that you give me.

I appreciate more than anything.

Like, you know, I’ve gone through some major mood swings and first few months of recovery Just Your Love Like and being real with me and honest because that’s something that I crave and need is the realness, the Rog shrew the something because like I might not that’s something that was hard for.


Me to do for a long time to be that vulnerable and raw and honest with you.

But day that I’m standing there naked in front of you crying before.

He went back to rehab, like I just been in the shower, I start crying in the shower and I’m like, I was feeling like, it was my fault that you left.


Like, if I hadn’t have come, you wouldn’t have laughed.

And so, I get out of the shower, and I’m just like standing there, naked water dripping off me crying.

Like I feel like this is my fault but be being bad.


Then you were vulnerable and you’re like, Mom, I think I made a mistake.

I want to go back and I’m like, well let’s go and so it was a great lesson for me.


I’ve been trying to be vulnerable before that but I just keep getting more and more and then I think that it’s also really just helped make us closer when I do.

Share my real self with you but I think there’s this thing, like moms don’t do that these conditioning that we Get that.


Yeah, I’ll moms are supposed to act and I just had to throw that totally out the window.

Yeah, it’s important because yeah, that’s a really good topic to bring up is about how moms are supposed to be and how things are supposed to be.

Like, that’s a very good thing to bring up, okay?


So is there anything I haven’t asked you that you want to share, hmm?

I don’t believe so I don’t want to make it seem like I’m just suddenly like here and I’m blessed and I’m happy and like this was hell to get here.


I’m not even gonna lie.

Like it’s not going to be easy road, but it’s a road sure worth going down and at least trying to get through it.

But I definitely am thankful that I at least gave myself a chance for I’m grateful to and I, it’s really important to.


Yeah, I’d like to acknowledge how hard you’ve had to work for this.

That this was not easy for you, that you have really had to fight for yourself.

And that just removing the substances does not fix anything, and that I’ve got to work on myself and my own stability, so that I can be supportive.


Of you working through your like we’re both really basically working on the same things from people who like ever feel like Shane door guilty, whatever, like any person who’s getting servers going to feel those feelings and like you know, just having accountability is okay, but you get out you just you have to have to find some way to move past that and surround yourself with people who can help you pass that as well.


Like, it’s very, very important to like Like it’s not just drugs are addicting for some people.

It’s also the lifestyle.

So like, you gotta make sure that you’re creating a new better lifestyle, that isn’t anything like the old one because that will just suck you right back in.


Yeah, I think that’s important for parents to write like we have to do the same thing.

We have to surround ourselves with people who are emotionally healthy so that we can create new habits, really, really appreciate you doing this.


I know.

Like it’s you had to go back and face.

Think about times that were unpleasant, and I know that that is not easy, it to me, it feels like a lifetime ago.

Like it’s hard for me that I was that person.



The biggest thing was just remembering like my memory friend like using and trying to block things out is very, very bad.

So it was hard.

It was a little hard for me to put myself back in that mindset and think about How I was thinking then because I am very different person today than I was six years ago, which is a very fucking awesome thing saying because I never would have thought.


I’d be saying those words that I’ve changed my thinking patterns, change my habit, like, starting to love myself care for myself and others, like, and have the capacity to care for others.

So it’s pretty cool.

It is.


I love watching it.

I’m so So so proud of you, I can’t even express how proud of you.

I am and how grateful I am that.

You’re sober today and that we have the relationship that we have and that we could even have this open conversation and, and hopefully, there’s some things that come out of it that help people help parents, understand there are kids little bit more.


I mean, I think it’s amazing reading this conversation as well.

We try and you know just how I would been old days like just how this would have been a great chance for you to just tell me all the things you didn’t like about me.

Well, thank you, and I really love you and I appreciate you doing this.


Of course.

I love you too.


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.

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.