EP80 Transforming Together – A Mother’s Personal Recovery Process with Guest Marcie Steinberg

Living With Your Child's Addiction Podcast
Living With Your Child's Addiction Podcast
EP80 Transforming Together - A Mother's Personal Recovery Process with Guest Marcie Steinberg
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Heather and guest Marcie Steinberg discuss her journey of reliance and transformation. Hear her heartfelt account of learning that attending a wilderness
program was just the first step in her son’s recovery journey and how she pivoted to learn the skills she needed to walk beside her son on her own recovery journey. 

Some topics discussed in this episode:

Learning that addiction/recovery is a marathon, not a sprint

Coping with your adolescent child being away from home while attending a long-term recovery program

Lessons learned when her son came home from treatment without enough support

The services Marcie used to help her navigate supporting her son

Marcie’s personal journey of recovery and finding hope

Contact Marcie:

msteinberg0204@gmail.com

Resources From Heather Ross Coaching

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

If you want answers and support to help you and your child Sign up for a 45-minute $17 call with me using the link below https://heatherrosscoachingcalendar.as.me/RoadtoRecovery

GROUP COACHING PROGRAM –  Peace of Mind Group for moms – Join the waitlist https://heatherrosscoaching.com/peace-of-mind-community/

New 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

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

Transcript

This transcript has not been formatted or edited.

0:01

I’m Heather after many wasted years, trying outdated, approaches to my daughter’s addiction, that felt wrong to me harmed.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

0:16

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.

0:35

Family recovery is the answer.

Today’s guest Marcy Steinberg is here to share her experience with her recovery Journey.

Both of her children have struggled with mental health since they were very young.

0:51

She’s always advocated for them as they have navigated through these challenges and is grateful for the tools and support.

She has gained along the way four years ago.

Her son’s mental health struggles led to substance misuse in addiction.

After months of trying to fix him on their own, his parents sent him to Therapeutic Wilderness Program in Georgia, following that stay.

1:15

He had a very successful treatment experience at in Balance Ranch Academy in Arizona after transitioning home in living, with his family, for almost a year.

He made the decision that he needed to go back to treatment is currently working, a strong recovery program.

1:31

It in Balance, sober living in Tucson Marcy, began her own recovery journey.

In order to walk beside her son on his path, about two and a half years ago.

Ago, she found Alan on, and wanted to find that Serenity and peace.

That so many people spoke about.

1:47

She also gained a lot of strength and confidence in the imbalance, Ranch Community support group meetings today.

She is aware of her growth and she shares her knowledge and experience working.

As a peer parent at other parents, like me, she has learned so much by connecting with other families on this journey, she loves her family, reading walking outside, spontaneous kitchen dance.

2:10

He’s working with children of all, ages and strength training, Marcy loves walking anywhere.

There’s a view of the ocean.

She has always derived a sense of calm from watching waves, especially on a beautiful sunny day in addition to being an other parents like me peer parent.

2:27

She also works at an overnight camp that her and her husband both attended as children.

She’s grateful to be celebrating 24 years of marriage with her husband, this year and is the proud mom of a 20 year old daughter and an 18 year old.

Son.

She is completely in.

Love with her first dog.

2:44

Who is an adorable mini golden doodle and the perfect addition to her family and if you’ve never seen a golden doodle, do yourself a favor and Google it so you can see how absolutely adorable they are.

I hope you enjoy the episode today.

3:01

Hi Marci, thank you for being here to share your story today, I have other really excited to be here today.

So let’s start with your background and a little bit about your story and then we’ll go into our next questions.

3:17

Sure.

So I’m the mom of two kids.

I have a now 18 year old son and a 20 year old daughter and both of them struggled with their mental health.

Since they were very young, they’re both die.

Know’st with ADHD mood disorder anxiety, when they were five and six years old.

3:38

So there were a lot of struggles from a young age and then about four and a half years ago, my son started struggling with his mental health, he became very anxious and depressed which led to him starting to use marijuana and at first being curious about it and then it led to an addiction Even his substance use and abuse continued for over a year.

4:06

So in that time, I tried to fix an able and make him stop by taking his drugs away and the lying manipulation and use continue to get worse.

So I had tried to put him in local programs, he was hospitalized, I had crisis Services, come to the house and anything that We tried to do just made things worse, and eventually came to the point that we couldn’t keep him safe in our home.

4:39

And he was walking around the house.

Saying, I don’t want to live, but I don’t want to die and he was in a dual IOP program for substance use and mental health.

And in that program, he was offered harder drugs than he was on.

4:59

He was using in the Rotation that they provided going to the program coming home.

So it was really it was not a great situation and then he was overheard saying that he was going to basically come home and overdose.

5:15

And that’s when when we got that phone call, that’s what shifted everything into motion and we immediately hired an educational consultant, and a Transport company and Sent him to a therapeutic Wilderness Program called Blue Ridge.

5:35

And Georgia, that all happened very quickly in the span of two days.

That was really the beginning of the Journey of sending him to Wilderness.

So and then I’d imagine because you mentioned like, some things that you did made things worse, which was my experience to like everything.

5:56

I did to help my daughter, just seemed to make things worse and And that started me on my own recovery Journey.

So like, once your son was in Wilderness, like how did your belief system shift about addiction and recovery and realizing the importance of family recovery.

6:16

In that process, I would say the shift began in the learning, my husband and I were working with a family therapist and she was helping us to understand addiction the brain the shame spiral.

These things that we really didn’t know anything about.

6:35

And I started to understand that we were all affected in my home by my son’s addiction.

So we were, we were fortunate to attend a family weekend through Blue Ridge, therapeutic Wilderness in Georgia, and it was an opportunity to meet other families affected and it was a very powerful way to know that we weren’t alone.

7:00

So, On this family weekend.

It was also my introduction to brene Brown, and I became fascinated by her work on vulnerability, shame, bravery courage.

I just remember being in this room with all these parents and being shown her Ted Talk.

7:19

And I was like, oh my God, I love this woman.

So I’ve read all of her books, watched her, TED Talks, listen to her podcast and she has been a great recovery role model to me.

I love brene Brown to my actually, my exit was his counselor recommended one of Renee Browns TED talks and he told me about it, he never watched it, but that was how I found her and I watched her.

7:47

Both of those TED talks on vulnerability and shame like over and over again because I really just didn’t understand what vulnerability was.

So I was like, trying to educate my way into understanding it and then I did the same thing.

You did.

I read.

All of her books.

Oh, and then I use the book Atlas of the Heart, Like, a dictionary.

8:06

Like I think it’s a really great book.

So once your son was in Wilderness and he’s going through his program, when did you realize or how did you feel when you realized that Wilderness was just like one stop on his recovery Journey that he wouldn’t just be like, magically fixed because that’s what I thought like, All I’ve got to do is get wholly on a into treatment.

8:34

Once I get her into treatment, everything’s just going to be okay, right?

Like if we remove the substance they’re using from their life that everything’s going to be okay, and that was not my experience.

So what was it like for you?

When you realized, oh, this is just a small part of the process.

8:51

I think it was really challenging because I think the first few weeks there was such a feeling of relief in some ways that That my son was safe and he was focusing on himself, he was starting to do the work.

9:07

We were getting some really beautiful letters from him and that’s when my husband and I were both starting to work on ourselves and then it was probably maybe about four weeks in when his therapist told us that he was going to recommend an Aftercare program.

9:30

And there Were there, reputed boarding schools.

And there were Residential Treatment Centers, and that he was not recommending that our son come home.

So that was surprising.

And it was upsetting and we thought that our son was going to fight us on it, but that day that we saw.

9:51

When we were in Georgia, for that family weekend, we got to spend a day with our son and that day was really pivotal.

In the thought of after care, we spent six hours together in the woods and it was the best day we had had in a long time.

10:10

We were anticipating that our son would continue to not want to go to an Aftercare program because in some of his earlier letters he had said I don’t think I need to go to an Aftercare program, but before we could even bring it up, he told us he couldn’t come home.

10:27

He said he had done a lot of work on himself in those.

First five weeks, and that he needed to go to an Aftercare program.

So, so that day, I felt something that I hadn’t experienced for a long time.

I felt hope that things were starting to change and we were in a circle.

10:49

So it was like, the guy is cooked their own dinner and their own food, and they were all standing around in a circle.

And my son was spooning rice, and I think it was some kind of meat or beef jerky or something into his mouth and eating.

And I started to cry and I was crying and I started hugging him and that was the first time that I had cried really cried and really let myself go in this whole process.

11:21

It was the first time I had really felt my feelings and they were happy tears because as I said, it was the first time that I felt some hope.

I’ll never forget that day, I’ll never forget hugging him with that, strong smell of fire in his hair, and I know part of me was crying because he wouldn’t be able to come home.

11:43

And so I had the grief for that but also again having hope for the first time that things were going to be.

Okay.

Yeah, you mentioned feeling relief that he was safe and a lot of times there’s also relief for the break when her parents when their child goes into any kind of treatment program but then there’s also guilt for feeling relieved.

12:10

Like that comes up a lot and I think that it’s only normal when you’re going through such a hard situation.

So I appreciate you bringing up the relief.

But I want to understand a little bit more.

How you moved from disappointment to Hope?

12:28

Because I think that that’s really big because of course Disappointing, when you realize that he’s not going to be coming home, like you thought he would.

How were you able to move so quickly between disappointment and hope?

I think the fact that I had some time to to process it before, I had gone to visit.

12:48

My son was helpful because I already, you know, sort of had it in my mind that he wasn’t going to be able to come home.

And when I saw him and he was accepting of Of it and wasn’t fighting me on it or my husband, it was just, he said, I can’t come home.

13:06

I think at that moment, it helped me again to move to that hope and to understand that he recognized it wasn’t enough time away and not enough was going to change.

If he came home and went to the same school and where it was in the same circumstances that, I think that him being on board.

13:27

And me, and my husband having Chance to process it helped us to, to get to that feeling of Hope.

Which doesn’t mean the grief was, was gone.

Of course.

Yeah.

But there was a shift I think I like that.

13:43

You pointed that out.

That even though you had hope there was still grief because this is so such a complex process.

So he went from Wilderness to therapeutic boarding school which I’ve never actually heard of a therapeutic boarding school until I started working with other Parents like me.

14:02

So can you tell us what therapeutic boarding school is?

And then again, like making that decision for him to be able to stay there longer sure.

So we worked with our educational consultant again who, and she helped find us three great program options for therapeutic boarding school.

14:23

And the one that that we really liked for our son is called imbalance or Academy in Arizona.

And one of the things that was really appealing to us is think it was at the time, 85% of the staff are in recovery which felt really really, again hopeful.

14:47

It felt like that would be a good place for our sun as well as it being a 12-step program.

And I know there are a lot of different types of recovery programs and a lot of different modalities.

But I felt that that was going to be a good fit for our son.

15:05

So I would describe Wilderness as the tightest container the tightest most therapeutic container there is you’re completely removed and there’s no phones and there’s no connection with the outside world and TBS or therapeutic.

Boarding school is a step down from Wilderness where you learn skills that help you function as an adolescent or teenager, or even an adult depending on how Lord.

15:31

You are so it you really learn how to function in the real world.

So you’re coming out of wilderness and you are going to a place and there’s a lot of peer support and the school that our son went to their very big on peer support so you’re given mentors to sort of ease you into the program in the beginning and a lot of the schools operate on a level system.

15:58

So you you have some Initial work that you do when you first get there.

And then to do your level 1, you have to do a certain amount of therapeutic work and you have to do a certain amount of Step work and there’s at each level, there’s a binder of materials that you get when you’re on orientation.

16:17

And again, I just I really liked the way, it was organized and it was set up and I loved also the fact that the family who runs the school, they are all connected.

Did to the ranch as well as the Aftercare programs.

16:36

So I loved as did my husband that it’s a family-run school and the other piece about some of the schools and and what I liked about this school is they have a neckline Therapy Program and although my son had never done horseback riding before I had learned, as I was researching, that Equity therapy can be a really powerful A form of recovery.

17:02

And in fact, it ended up first.

First my son did not like it.

He found it very challenging and very, he found it hard.

He found it difficult, because the horses wouldn’t listen to him and he didn’t have the patience to learn.

17:18

And as he went throughout his stay, he made such a beautiful connection with the staff there with the horses and he learned how to ride and he How to communicate with the horses and it became almost like a safe place for him to go.

17:37

He loved it, he loved it and even wanted to continue equine after he graduated.

So I thought that was really cool.

And then and also just being extremely compliant and dedicated to working a 12 step recovery program.

17:54

He moved pretty quickly through the program so there’s there’s obviously differences in the therapeutic boarding schools.

That’s just a little bit about about the one we chose and again that peer support, they have again, I said like the level.

So upper levels, there are kids that are upper levels who have been there longer and they basically Mentor the lower levels.

18:16

Yeah.

So I like the idea of the peer support because there’s so many young people in recovery that don’t have much connection or friends in recovery.

So it’s got to be a really valuable part of the program, having that connection and peer support.

18:36

So what happened so how long was he at therapeutic boarding school?

So he was there for 10 months which was on the shoulder side and then after 10 months he was able to come home.

So after it was, so he was away for a year.

He was in Wilderness for nine and a half weeks I think.

18:54

And so yes and therapeutic boarding school for 10 months and then he graduated and how did that go with him coming home after that year?

So we had no hesitation about bringing him home and no reason to think he wouldn’t be successful.

19:15

He had a fantastic therapist at imbalance and we all felt in our son, also, just he wanted to come home and we felt that he had done a lot of work.

19:30

That we had done a lot of work and we thought we were prepared for him to come home and we did change his school.

That was something that we were all in agreement about that.

He couldn’t go back to the same school and we had a plan in place.

19:48

We part of his, it was like a home contract when you graduate, you come home with a home contract from the school.

And so part of it was attending AA meetings.

So, things were okay for a few months.

And then his mental health, started to decline, and I watched it, I saw the decline happening.

20:10

He also came home in the middle of covet, so a lot of his schooling was online and he didn’t have a lot of face-to-face, interaction with people.

So, I think that would that also probably played into it.

So, there were a few months, where things were okay, other than I would say at first, I was trying to manage his recovery and I was looking up AA meetings for him to go to I had connected with somebody in a a for him just you know kind of informationally just to try to find somebody and at first he wasn’t really open to it and then he said okay you know give me his number so you ended up calling the guy who’s an older gentleman.

20:55

Great guy had my son go to a meeting with him and that ended up being Being my son’s like regular meetings, with 75 year old men, he loved that Friday night meeting and that guy became my son’s first sponsor at home actually.

21:11

So I was just like a cool, a cool relationship.

So yeah, again things were okay for a few months and then they were starting to come apart again and then he relapsed after 18 months of sobriety.

21:29

So he had been home for five months.

It’s when he relapsed and he will tell you, my son will tell you.

And he has told many parents that he never should have come home after treatment.

So he tells parents not to bring their kids home.

I don’t know what it would have been like if we didn’t bring him home because at that time, we didn’t think there was any reason not to.

21:54

And honestly, one of the reasons why we thought it would be good to bring him home was We lost out on a year of his life, that’s really how we looked at it.

So, I’m glad that we did get that time back with him Arie, classing him in school, and bringing him home.

22:13

It’s hard to, it’s such a learning process.

I mean, there’s so many things, I feel like that about, with Ileana, the only way to learn was to go through it, and I can remember one time she was, I think she was 16 and I I got her to go to a treatment center and we had a family trip planned to Mexico, and she wasn’t going to get to go because it was going to be, well, she was in treatment and she ended up running away like a week later.

22:44

And so they kicked her out, of course, and she came home.

And I remember being somewhat relief that she was going to get to go on the trip.

Because at that time, I didn’t really realize what we were exactly what we were dealing with.

22:59

I was I knew it was a problem but I saw it was still not fully.

I didn’t fully understand what we were dealing with and I think that that’s really a process of learning.

So after he came home after a year and things didn’t go, like you planned, you learned a lot from that, like what would you have done differently?

23:25

Knowing what you know now I think I still would have brought him home.

Home, I really feel that that missing out on that year of his life.

I don’t regret that we brought him home.

I do think that the work that I had done on myself and was starting to do on myself, really contributed to that which I am happy to talk more about.

23:48

As I know that’s one of the big things we’re going to talk about is my own recovery.

So I wouldn’t have not brought him home.

I probably would I would have tried harder.

To not manage his recovery.

And but I don’t really know that there’s too many things that I would have done differently at that time.

24:09

So let’s go into your recovery.

Like your recovery process.

What’s helped you?

How you’ve changed during your recovery process.

Tell us a little bit about that sure.

So initially I wanted to work my own recovery to connect with my son.

24:30

Sun on a deeper level and to be able to speak the same language of recovery.

And when you’re involved in Wilderness and in therapeutic boarding school, the program’s recommend that you try out and on and you go to some I get six different Al-Anon meetings so I did try and in-person allanon meeting when my son was in Wilderness and unfortunately I did have a negative experience at my first Al-Anon meeting which my With me as well.

25:01

So after that it took me a while to want to try again.

So I started reading every book listening to podcasts, I met a wonderful therapist who specializes in addiction, and I’ve been working with her or last few years now.

25:20

And then in the fall of 2020, I will be forever grateful to Lisa Stark who was and is and Our parent liaison at and balance Ranch Academy, she started doing step study.

25:36

Al-Anon meetings on zoom and that’s how I started my own recovery.

I’m also lucky to call her my friend so I would Define my recovery as telling you as realizing.

I have choices about how to live my life and learning how to put my needs first.

25:57

So I started working in Al-Anon program Al-Anon has taught me is how to take care of myself.

Despite what is happening with my struggling.

Adolescence, my also learned that addiction is the opposite of connection and connection and Community are huge pieces of my recovery.

26:19

And then around that same time, I was blessed to start working with an amazing sponsor and my sponsor has, and always been there for For me with compassion and love, which is really to me a benefit and Al-Anon.

26:35

That that’s something that is a real gift that I was able to get to know.

Someone who again loves me.

No matter what, and there’s no judgment.

So I also learned how to meditate and that was something that was a real struggle for me.

26:53

Because I’m a person that really cannot sit still and has a hard time shutting off my brain, but It’s something that I really wanted to incorporate into recovery.

And so I have and I started small and I built on it.

27:11

I’ve become calmer, I truly believe that doing a daily meditation has made me Kamar and also helps me to learn how to live in the present.

I’ve also I’ve learned how to communicate differently with my children and I think I’m a better mom because of working Myra.

27:30

Recovery.

I attend meetings and I also do Outreach.

I also got trained as a parent coach or the partnership to end addiction.

And then, I guess, one of the other pieces we’re just like a couple more pieces, and I’m really passionate about my recovery.

27:46

So I could probably talk all day about it.

So just cut me off when you do.

I also gained so much from we had.

These are called ranchin on support groups and they were started by Casey very yellow.

Casey along with Liz Reitman is the founder and CEO of other parents like me.

28:06

Which is apparent support platform and it supports parents.

Whose children have any type of mental health struggles and I know.

Heather.

You’re familiar with 0 P?

LM as well and you work for them too.

So I’ve been a peer parent since the platform launched last January and I love running theme based support group meetings and And we get to help other parents and support parents, no matter where they are on their Journeys.

28:37

My recovery is a big part of my recovery work has been learning the importance of gratitude.

Gratitude is something that I did not understand the concept of being grateful for anything, especially in the beginning.

But over time, I learned how to be grateful for small things each day we won both of my children were struggling.

29:01

And I was in a house full of chaos and all of the things that went along with that.

I remembered, you know, learning about the concept of gratitude.

And I didn’t understand how am I supposed to be grateful for having two children.

29:16

That struggle.

So I learned about it and I started to connect with nature take walks and I in this was during covid to.

So it was kind of a way for me to get out of the house and just go into my back.

Yard and look up at the sky.

29:33

I Associated the sun with like a beam of light pouring positive energy and healing into me.

I love to take pictures of the Sun and just think about that.

There’s something up there that has my back.

29:48

It’s kind of I think about it.

Another big part of my recovery is moving from not feeling emotionally safe to learning what it is.

That allows me to feel that safety.

This is something that I’ve thought a lot about and that’s taken a lot of work on self and also tracing patterns back to my childhood.

30:08

So kind of come to the point this year.

It’s been a big Focus for me.

And I Now understand that when I’m not emotionally safe, my mental and physical, health are compromised significantly.

And also, I’ve learned how to sit with my uncomfortable feelings.

30:28

I’ve learned how to Detach with love, develop awareness and move into acceptance.

But then I have to start over and repeat the cycle.

And then doing this work, it’s helped me to achieve the serenity that allows me to have better relationships with my children and my son recognizes this.

30:51

He recognizes the growth and the shift in me and our relationship continues to strengthen.

I’m just going to also share that I thought about We recently had a beautiful experience together where he read to me out of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

31:09

And we said some, a, a and Al-Anon prayers together.

And basically, we came to the realization that we both say, these prayers every morning, even though we’re in different programs.

And it was so meaningful, that sounds like a beautiful memory to have together.

31:27

I like that.

You talked about that you You realizing that you have choices.

I think that’s so important because it really feels a lot of times like there’s no choices in this journey like that that’s taken away and taking care of yourselves in the especially the Gratitude.

31:45

That’s my best friend and I every morning we write out our gratitude and send each other a picture of it.

We’ve been doing it for over a year.

Now, maybe longer it’s been longer than that because we started before Helena passed away.

32:00

And I had a really hard time continuing with it after she passed away because I felt similar to how you felt mentioned feeling like how can I have any gratitude in this situation and I had to come to the feeling or realization that.

32:16

Okay.

I’m not going to have gratitude that my daughter passed away but I can have gratitude for all the people that showed up for me and the situation and all that I’m learning from it and and all these other things around it.

And I think, gratitude, for me, has been a huge part of staying emotionally healthy and did I mention you?

32:38

But you said about creating emotional safety because I think that’s something people really struggle with that.

And everything also that you mentioned is how to me, like you create your own piece of mind.

Like, all of those things that you do for yourself each day, which I think is really important that we can, we learn what we each need to create our own peace of mind.

33:00

But I think that that creating that sense of your own safety is also really healing and part of feeling hopeful and focusing on what you can control, which is yourself.

I mean, everything that you were just talking about, there was all the things that you do for yourself.

33:19

And so many times when I’m working with parents are like, how do I create my own safety?

How do I create my own peace of mind?

And I think that you just gave gave so many beautiful examples.

What it takes to do that?

33:36

Like what you found, what resonates with you and I do want to mention detaching with love because I feel like so many people get the wrong idea about what that means and there’s so much misunderstanding.

I think sometimes about Al-Anon.

I was a member I went to, I’ve been to hundreds.

33:55

I was a very, I’m probably went to five meetings a week when I was four.

Like Five years.

And I went to a lot of Al-Anon meetings, AA meetings, big book studies all of that stuff.

A lot of read all the literature in the heart of the literature is very loving.

34:13

Sometimes the way people interpret it, I guess like anything else in life.

Sometimes it’s misinterpreted and especially like the detach with love, which is really about letting go of trying to control there.

34:30

Substance abuse or addiction or whatever it is.

But loving the person still staying connected to them, which is what I got out of what you were saying but a lot of times I hear that misused as like disconnecting from the person as well.

34:48

So I just wanted to clear that up that just in case anybody is listening and they get confused about that part.

So some of that you mentioned a lot of like I’m going to Wilderness and going to this.

Reputed boarding school and families.

35:04

Spend a lot of money on treatment.

I know that when my daughter was in high school, we didn’t have very good behavior, health insurance, we ended up paying for so much of it out of pocket.

And I know that that’s really hard for families.

So, how did you manage the thoughts and feelings about having to spend that money to pay for treatment?

35:25

I think it was very difficult.

I think initially thing, Think about the money that we were spending, we didn’t really have time to react because the husband and I both felt and we do feel that we did what we needed to do to save our son’s life.

35:45

So I think that was really sort of focus in the beginning and yeah, I mean, over time it’s been very stressful obviously and we’ve been very fortunate, we did find.

We did find Out about insurance advocacy companies which they are a service, their company that works with some insurance companies and some programs.

36:12

So, basically the insurance advocacy companies, they work to help you get a little bit back of your money.

I mean, obviously not not everything is covered.

And I know a lot of families have had that have had nothing covered but it does in the Last few years, there definitely are more services that do help, and the companies are out there.

36:37

So we inquired and basically the company that that we worked with, they did work.

Directly with the therapeutic boarding school that our child was in.

But you have to find out about it, you have to know about it so it’s not like anybody is going to tell you.

36:56

So that’s one resource that I would.

Definitely recommend But know the financial parts are, it’s very challenging.

And it continues to be challenging, especially when looking back.

I mean, it was four years ago, that our son went to Wilderness and as you mentioned, he was in therapeutic boarding school.

37:17

He’s been in Transitional Living, and he’s been in sober living.

So right, all of these programs, everything is our financial expenses that we didn’t anticipate.

So, I I definitely would say it’s challenging but there are there are ways that you can offset some of the costs.

37:39

Yeah, I wish that I had known about.

I just heard of insurance advocacy companies in the last year, that was through other parents like me as well.

I like one of their speaker meetings or some meeting that they had and I was just thought when I heard about that, like, I really could have used that when Helena was in high.

38:00

School because there were so many things that I knew that my insurance company should have covered, but they didn’t.

And so, I tried to figure out ways to get them.

I couldn’t do it on my own, you know.

And plus all the other things that you’re wearing, what about at that time and having to deal with.

38:16

So I think that’s a great resource and you what other services helped you along the way.

So we also worked with a wonderful, educational attorney and and she was instrumental in help us helping us realizing that every child is entitled to Faith fape, which stands for a free appropriate public education.

38:44

And that was really helpful for us.

Just to know that our son has rights as a resident of the town that we were living in and the district that he had been in.

And she also worked with us on acquiring Special education services for our son, who he gained an individualized, education program and IEP, which he had never had before.

39:10

He had always had a 504.

So he had always had some accommodations but not never enough, especially with finding out when he was in Wilderness, that he had more learning issues and processing issues than we had ever.

39:30

Been aware of prior to that.

So, doing the neuropsychological, testing that was done in Wilderness was really instrumental when our attorney, was able to help us in terms of working with the school system.

And, and therefore, our son was protected and he had more rights in any subsequent School setting.

39:51

So, really grateful to her and highly recommend that service as well.

And there are also advocates There are also Advocates that would go to that.

Do go to school meetings with you and can also help to basically to advocate for more services and schools.

40:11

So there really are some great resources and again I am so grateful to our educational Journey.

Yeah, so the Helena had a 504 as well but by the time she got it, she was pretty much on her way out of school.

Like things were had escalated considerably by that point, but she had really bad.

40:30

She had been like, she had a 4.0 GPA but his her anxiety went up and her depression got worse.

Then she really couldn’t focus.

So she needed the 50 for like that gives them like she was able to take a test in a room by herself or there were no distractions and she I think she would get some extra time.

40:51

I don’t remember all the things but it’s something good to look into.

If you feel like your child needs, some special accommodations and Cool.

And I think that actually follows them into college to, doesn’t it?

Yes, it can.

And it will, it does.

41:08

Again, you have to know who to talk to and how to figure out what those accommodations are.

And that’s something that I will be hoping to do soon.

As my son will be applying to college, so that will be something to something to look into to see how that can help him.

41:29

Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, and it’s all these things.

You have to know what to look for.

To find the help you need.

And when you need the help, you don’t know what to look for.

So I appreciate you sharing all these resources.

So, the last thing I want to ask you, is you mentioned how important Hope was to you early on in the conversation?

41:49

And I think that hope is the motivating force, right?

Like, it’s hard to move forward without it.

So what about, you know, what would you like to share with any parent?

That’s listening that Really need some hope right now, I would like parents to know that this journey is long and nonlinear, but that there is hope.

42:09

I would say being able to connect with other parents, who have been there is life changing.

So I can’t say enough about that.

I have a very supportive recovery community and although this isn’t the journey, I would have chosen for my family.

42:25

I am grateful to walk beside my son and love him no matter what he chooses for.

Himself.

And also, another way to give hope would be just to say that my son, he has chosen to surround himself with a very strong young support of recovery community.

42:43

And I think that I finally made peace with that.

That’s what he needs when I saw, how he lives on a daily basis and seeing that those are, his choices is really powerful.

That’s not what I chose for him.

42:59

That’s what he chose for.

Itself.

And so I’m grateful for where he is right now and that he’s doing well.

And then also some of my closest friends and the people that I count on for the most support, our parents that have been affected by their children, who struggle.

43:18

So, we really are a community who understands if you have children that struggle and you connect with even one other parent that struggles, It’s just there’s an understanding there that you don’t find with families that don’t have struggling children.

43:38

Nobody really understands what it’s like until you have it in your home and until you start walking this path.

Yeah.

And there’s that instant connection with somebody who understands your.

43:54

If you wouldn’t have connected under any other circumstance, you’ll connect that, you both have that in common.

Men.

That’s one of the things I love about the invitation to change groups.

I’ve been doing that the connection, the parents feel, and how good it feels for them, to hear their story from somebody else.

44:13

So you’re right.

That connection is really important.

So thank you so much for coming on, to share your story, and your your experience.

And your just that you the work, you’ve put into your recovery and learning along the way.

44:29

So thanks for being here.

Here today.

Thank you, heather, for having me and a pleasure.

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.

44:48

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.