EP84 Closing The Gap Between Havoc and Hope With Author Michelle Weidenbenner

Living With Your Child's Addiction Podcast
Living With Your Child's Addiction Podcast
EP84 Closing The Gap Between Havoc and Hope With Author Michelle Weidenbenner
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Heather talks to Michelle Weidenbenner the founder of Moms Letting Go and the All-Mighty Mom Tribe. Michelle is a passionate advocate, podcaster, and author dedicated to stopping the stigma of substance use disorder and providing hope, courage, and support to moms with addicted loved ones. Her latest book, “Unhackable Moms of Addicted Loved Ones, Closing the Gap between Havoc and Hope,” offers a 30-day program for healing.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Coping with relapse and supporting long-term recovery
  • Helping your child see you aren’t blaming or shaming them
  • Raising grandkids while also maintaining a connection with your child
  • Taking a team approach to recovery
  • Self-leadership for moms finding their true purpose 

Contact Michelle

Michelle’s free guide https://michelleweidenbenner.com/momslettinggo/

Amazon store https://www.amazon.com/stores/Michelle-Weidenbenner/author/B00E21RMNG?ref=ap_rdr&store_ref=ap_rdr&isDramIntegrated=true&shoppingPortalEnabled=true

TEDx talk 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnhupByVZew

TEDx talk 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-FBPjseJPM&t=8s

Resources From Heather Ross Coaching

NEW GROUP COACHING PROGRAM – Join the waitlist https://heatherrosscoaching.com/peace-of-mind-community/

 

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

 

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

 

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.

That repair my relationship with her helped me create my own Peace of Mind and made me an ally in my daughter’s recovery.

0:24

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.

Hi everybody.

0:42

Today our guest is Michelle Wyden Benner.

She is the founder of Moms Letting Go and the Almighty Mom Tribe, which is a private support group for moms of addicted loved ones.

She’s a passionate podcaster at Mom’s Letting Go Without Giving Up who wants to stop the stigma of substance use disorder and help moms of addicted loved ones find hope, courage and support so they can identify their superpower and help change the addiction landscape.

1:13

She’s an Amazon #1 bestselling and awardwinning author and speaker.

Her latest book is Unhackable Moms of Addicted Loved Ones, Closing the Gap Between Havoc and Hope.

It’s a 30 day program for moms who want to heal.

1:29

Her latest TEDx talk, Navigating the Roundabout of Addiction, has over 127,000 views.

I recommend watching both of her.

Ted X Talks is the mother of a recovering loved one.

Michelle spends most of her time advocating for and coaching moms of addicted loved ones.

1:49

You can download her free guide, Moms Letting Go Without Giving Up, Seven Steps to Self Recovery, at momslettinggo.com.

When she’s not helping moms, she’s playing pickleball now.

Thank you so much for being here today.

2:05

Thank you.

Thanks so much for having me.

Yes.

I played my pickleball this morning.

It’s my It’s joy every day.

Joy.

Yes.

That’s on my list of things to check out.

I haven’t done it yet.

So let’s start with your personal journey.

2:21

And like, what motivated you to focus on helping moms in general?

Her Thanks.

Good question.

I was probably like a lot of moms listening to this.

I was all like, this is my son’s problem.

It’s not my problem.

He just needs to get it together, right?

2:37

And then I started reading about addiction and watching.

About the neuroscience and understanding it as a disease and then debating it with my husband.

Yes, it’s a disease.

No, it’s not.

And as I learned and I continue to do all the research or on my own, I realized how little I knew.

2:59

And I realized that I had to change first.

And it was a tough moment for me because for so long I had been like, well, there’s nothing I can do.

He’s the one who has to stop music, right?

But no, there were things I could do.

And so when I started learning, I was like, oh, my goodness, I bet other moms don’t know this either.

3:21

And so I would sit in my closet and share these books that I was reading and share what I was learning on my podcast.

And sometimes I would.

I always did it in my closet because it’s more sound absorbent.

And sometimes I was sitting there and just cry and it was like.

3:39

My call to the world.

Like, here’s what I’m going through, But I’m not alone.

I knew I wasn’t alone the more I read and the more I studied.

And so it was just this okay God, you gave me these gifts.

I felt like it was my responsibility to change mom’s attitudes about this because connection is key and we’re so angry sometimes we don’t want to connect.

4:02

And I just wanted to help moms on that in that transition.

Yeah, I can identify with everything that you said, everything I thought I knew a lot before like and but it turned out that everything I know was more based on stigma.

4:21

And the more I learned about the science like you, the more I realized that can how important connection was.

And that was my focus.

But there was so much pain for me before that when I felt like.

Connection was wrong or bad, or that I was actually harming her by doing that.

4:39

So how did the connection piece help you?

Well, it was slow coming.

It was really slow coming because for us, we ended up parenting their children, my son and daughterinlaw’s children.

4:56

And so there were bouts of this anger that we were retired and we were parenting kids again and then.

Putting them in trauma therapy and seeing all their wounds and their sadness about losing their parents And I mean it was it was tough and one day I said to my husband okay wait, wait wait, wait.

5:13

Like what’s our best case scenario here?

Because we would sit there and wallow in self pity right.

Because they were our son and daughterinlaw were emaciated, homeless, jobless and they were not getting better and I said what is our goal here?

And I and he just my husband’s like.

5:30

Well, I think this might be in the TEDx talk, but he was like, I don’t know, like, I don’t know.

And I said well, we need to get them well because they have to parent their own kids.

That would be our best case scenario.

And so it was looking at how do you do that And then once I transitioned in my head, okay, we’re going to be on their team, we’re going to help them get into recovery without.

5:57

That word enabling them, like how can we do that?

And once they got into recovery and we realized how important it was to them that we don’t shame them, that we stay connected, that we applaud their efforts and reward those steps.

6:14

We saw the fruits of our labor.

We we saw the positivity from connection.

But honestly back then I didn’t know what I know now, like even.

I would still handle it way earlier.

Like I wish I had done things different way earlier in their addiction.

6:32

I thought it was doing good.

But now that sitting here and helping other moms see that, don’t react, respond, stay calm, don’t fix, but just listen to understand, meet them where they’re at, even if it’s not where you think they should be at.

6:49

I mean, they might sound like cliche terms or phrases, but.

It’s just connection was what really and and still is and they’re like for over 4 years in recovery.

But it’s still work.

7:05

It’s still work because if we don’t hear from them, it’s like oh, are they using again?

Have they relapsed?

And so we’re always making an effort to has have positive connections and in doing so, not ever.

7:24

Do it intentionally to to make them feel threatened or put them on the defense.

And so it’s always takes work, just like with any relationship.

Yeah, yeah.

You said so many good things in there that connecting was slow.

7:41

What a process it was that there was anger in there.

I think that’s so important to acknowledge that it’s not easy, that it takes a lot of work and that even in recovery that it’s still work.

I think I don’t want any of those great Nuggets of wisdom to get lost in what you just said.

7:57

And then I love that question was the goal here because what I heard was it got you focused on solutions instead of just focusing on and wallowing in the problem, which is so easy to get stuck.

There.

Yes.

Oh my gosh, girl, you get it.

So, and you mentioned that fear.

8:16

Of.

Relapse and I think that you know, a lot of parents they go from.

Living in fear of what’s going to happen in active addiction, thinking that recovery is going to bring so much peace.

And then it doesn’t.

It just brings another new set of fears that we have to learn to manage.

8:35

So how did you navigate managing your feelings through relapse and keeping that connection at the same time?

Oh my gosh.

You have no idea how powerful of a question that is, right?

8:51

I mean, even today I was sitting in the counselor’s therapist’s office, and for me, and I’ve had to learn this and continue to learn this.

I mean, I I’ve always had believed in God, but this is where faith comes in for me.

Because if I see fear in my head, like, then that means that I’m not trusting that this is going to turn out well, right?

9:14

But I don’t know.

I just.

The fear automatically stops me, pauses me.

It’s like, okay, just stop right there.

Take a deep breath.

How can you respond and not react?

And sometimes, even now, if I have to talk to my son about something that I think he might be upset about, like I I just have to ground myself beforehand.

9:37

I don’t know if you want to call that meditation, prayer, whatever, but to focus on again my goal.

So if I call it, what is my goal?

My goal is to.

Listen to understand, not, not.

You know, if he becomes upset, I don’t own that.

9:52

But is it because he’s defensive about something I said or did or And so it’s just grounding myself in staying calm and staying peaceful and focusing on my goal.

10:08

Because sometimes in conversations, not that you want to call it gaslighting, but.

You could be having conversation, then something is brought up and it triggers you.

And you’re like, I’m so ticked off by that.

So knowing my purpose before connecting and staying in that and sometimes even talking it through.

10:28

So in support meetings or with my husband, I’ll say, can you be my sounding board?

Because I want to have this discussion with my son or my granddaughters or my daughterinlaw?

And I don’t want to put them on the defense.

How do I sound?

Do I come across defensive?

10:45

But it’s also learning the act.

A lot of active listening approaches to to staying connected without reacting to what they’re saying.

It’s a skill.

It’s a hard skill.

Most counselors find it very easy to have.

11:02

Well, maybe they don’t, but they seem to.

It seems easy for them.

To just do that motivational interviewing type of listening without reacting, so that skill is something I have to work at every day.

11:19

Yeah, well, of course it’s easier for them because they don’t feel that heartstring attachment of their child’s life being in jeopardy or.

Our dreams for them or any of that that we’re experiencing when we’re in the middle of it.

11:35

So it’s always easier for.

I mean even like when I’m coaching somebody, I have so much more perspective and then I go get coached or work with my counselor and she tells me all the things that I just said to everybody all week.

So we always need that outside perspective.

11:53

Yeah.

It’s like, Oh yeah, duh.

Yeah, I’m like, oh, I said that 10 times this week.

And I just want to like a couple of things that you said was like looking out for when you’re feeling fear, grounding yourself to remain calm and peaceful.

And I love that knowing your purpose ahead of time.

12:11

So you’re planning ahead, you’re planning out the conversation, even practicing it.

And I love that you’re showing the amount of time and effort that you put into this.

And that’s really what it takes, I think, to create these changes in the the.

12:28

Relationship that you want.

Well, yes, and I love how you repeat back what I said.

But here’s to me, the most important reason for doing all that.

And I don’t want your listeners to think that I sit here and and stage out and play it on every conversation, because I don’t.

12:44

But if we look at the stigma, the stigma and the shame and the guilt and the blame are worse in those using or in recovery.

And I will go above and beyond to help them relax about that, that there is no shame that I’m not blaming them.

13:07

But it’s like once you learn the disease and you learn you know what’s happening in the brain, you realize this isn’t personal against me.

This isn’t.

Sometimes the cravings are so beyond anything that we can fathom.

13:24

That you’re almost not, that you’re going to not make them take responsibility for their actions.

That’s not what I mean.

But that you understand where they’re coming from because their substance use is filling some kind of a need for them.

13:40

It might be helping them through depression or trauma or some kind of mental health disorder.

And so it’s not that they’re bad people, it’s that they have been.

That they have this disease or whatever you want to call it.

13:57

So my job or my role in connecting with them is being able to help them feel valued is to help them feel loved.

And not that I’m there to point fingers or yell at them or shame them or in any way.

14:16

So that’s why it’s important to me and and it does take work but.

Sometimes, you know, you don’t have time to plan it out.

It just happens.

So that’s why we practice in our groups, and I’m sure you practice in your groups too.

You kind of have these role-playing activities, so if these things come up, you know how to listen and respond instead of react.

14:39

And what you just described in the invitation to change is called behaviors.

Makes sense that.

Instead of looking at what our kids are doing from the perspective of like, it doesn’t make any sense.

How?

Why in the world are you doing this too?

It absolutely makes sense.

14:55

And how does it make sense?

Helps you have compassion.

Yes, compassion.

That’s a word I wanted to say.

Yeah.

But then you also mentioned that you can have compassion and still be strong and have boundaries.

Like that doesn’t mean that you’re letting anybody walk all over you, but.

15:13

It is like helps you show up in a way that they feel safe with you.

Yes, sure.

So I wanted to talk about, you mentioned earlier that you were raising your grandkids or had had them at different times.

And so many families are going through that these days and it just adds another layer of complication and prioritizing the needs of your grandkids.

15:40

Taking care of yourself and then maintaining your connection with your son and his wife.

So how have you managed all that?

Yeah, pickleball.

So seriously though, I would, I would, you know, on those days where I it was just really, really hard.

15:57

I I found the score to pickleball.

And with that, it’s a mindfulness sport because you have to really think about hitting the ball.

The score.

The score is bizarre.

Where your partner is, where your opponents are.

And so when you’re out there, you can’t think of anything else, right?

16:14

So I always say moms try to find joy in something so that it can take your mind off of all these stressors.

Because if you’re just hyper focused on that, on the stressors, then it’s like you can’t breathe, you can’t find your calm and anyway, but I think for me, even to this day.

16:36

The oldest is now 18 and going to college, but she’s really struggling with leaving her sister behind.

And is her sister going to be okay because she’s been her mother off and on so much of her life, right?

But it’s so it’s it’s still present.

16:53

But if you come at it as a team approach with our son and daughterinlaw, hey, we have been so ingrained in their lives.

Let’s talk about their care going forward.

Guardianship supposed to switch back to them tomorrow for the younger one.

17:11

And how can we best serve you on your team for the child’s care?

It’s all about the child, right?

It’s not about any mental health disorder or what Mom and dad can’t do.

It’s how let’s put a plan in place.

17:29

So that the child has the best safety and best concern or care that she can have.

And also Dave and I, my husband and I years ago were trained as foster parents.

And you always want to know that your goal is to get those kids back to their biological family.

17:50

That’s your goal.

It’s not to adopt those kids.

It’s not to keep them.

And moms, those of you who are listening, some of you may be so angry.

Like, I’m never giving these kids back to their parents because they don’t deserve it or whatever.

And I understand that part of it too, because we were there.

18:06

Even the girls would cry, Just adopt us.

We don’t ever want to go back.

But here’s the thing.

You’re not the parent when you think you’re going to fill that hole in their lives.

As a grandparent, you will as far as provider and caretaker, but they will always have a hole that their mom or dad rejected them.

18:27

And so part of our job is to help them realize that this they didn’t do anything wrong.

And if you can take that energy and help your adult loved one get well and learn how to parent their own child well.

18:46

Then you stop the whole succession of addiction in your family.

Like what?

You have to look at the these things that are going on in your family for long term because your grandchildren may suffer from this disease also.

19:05

And so it it just becomes this family approach and not us against them.

It’s a whole different mindset shift and it’s hard.

I get it, get it.

But for us, I I mean, my daughterinlaw used to hate me because she said we kidnapped the kids, right?

19:23

And now like the other day she texted me and said we are so thankful and grateful for you and our lives.

I just can’t even begin to tell you how much because we did take care of their children.

We are still a part of their family system and taking care of.

19:42

Each other and understanding if they’re having a bad day and how they understand us if we’re having a bad day.

So anyway, boy I’m longwinded aren’t I?

Know you, I appreciated how thorough your response was because you touched on so many important parts and I think that what you described what encapsulates family recovery.

20:06

Like everybody working towards the same goal, you mentioned, you’ve said the word team several times that we’re on the same team, that it’s a team approach and that you mentioned earlier like getting the girls trauma therapy and like how and like looking at this from a generational perspective of trying to give them the tools they need.

20:28

Yeah.

And I used to tell those girls they’d say, Mimi, just adopt us.

And I’d say your parents love you.

You just can’t see it yet.

You’re going to have to be patient.

They’re so sick right now, but they love you.

And being, even though they weren’t present, not bashing them in front of the girls, which was really hard at times because boy, you’d be.

20:52

There were times where I see our son and daughterinlaw and be like, what are they doing with their life like and try not to react in front of their kids that way.

But just having compassion and showing the girls compassion, but yet giving the girls time to be angry about it too and be feel rejected and feel abandoned.

21:12

Those are all natural feelings to something that really happened.

So you can’t discredit that either.

You got to talk about that.

Yeah, I feel like this whole journey is holding 2 extremes.

It’s holding the extremes of all of the painful feelings.

21:32

And then allowing for all the wonderful feelings and things that can still be there even though this really hard thing is happening in your life.

Yeah, yeah, I felt pulled in a lot of different directions too, because ladies or moms, women who are listening to this, sometimes our men, our husbands, spouses or, you know, stepfathers of these children, they just don’t see it the same way because they’ve been tough love they’ve been wait till they hit rock bottom type of.

22:02

Guys, maybe and not always.

I mean sometimes I’ve seen where I’ve become more hardnosed and then my husband takes the the sweet guy approach, right.

And I’m like wait a minute here.

So but you’ll see that happening.

Sometimes.

We all play a role in addiction and it’s kind of interesting to really study what is your role been and how would you like it to change moms or dads, right.

22:28

And it’s we all have blind spots.

But we all have a part in this addiction crisis, and we just have to do our work for ourselves too.

And it’s tough for us to admit that sometimes really tough.

22:46

Yeah, yeah.

And it’s tough to see that.

It’s hard to look at yourself.

It’s painful sometimes to go there without so much blame for ourselves and judgment, right?

That makes it just so much harder to change.

But sometimes we have had a part in it.

23:03

And often times I tell mom first, like, we’ll get rid of the guilt and the shame for yourself, but then, you know, lean into that.

Where do you think that you contributed to some kind of disharmony in your family?

And can you ask for forgiveness?

23:18

Will that help you feel better?

Maybe not.

When they’re an act of addiction and they’re under the influence, having that discussion might not be a good time for it, but you know what I mean?

Just doing the work on.

Do I feel guilty about having a part in this?

And is my guilt getting in the way of me healing or of them healing and is it really valid so anyway?

23:41

Yeah, something.

To think about.

Speaking of working on yourself, the your book Unhackable Moms, it’s like there’s a 30 day program in the book.

So you want to tell us a little bit about the book, why you wrote it in the the program that’s in it.

Yes, so many addiction recovery.

23:59

Books were a lot about the disease, a lot about addiction, but mine is more like a selfleadership book for moms who want to find joy in their life but they’re not sure how.

24:15

And so it’s a 30 step process, a 30 day.

So day one, you think of this, day two, and there’s activities that you do on each day to really help you realize.

To do your work to where are you in the process of finding your true purpose?

24:33

Because sometimes we start living for our kids and we lose track of our purpose.

And when we look at the peace index, peace in our life, we look at the Because you can have there’s five different peas that we talk about in our groups and you can have just one part of those one of those peas off balance, it can throw your whole life.

24:56

Into a not calm status, right?

And one of those is purpose.

But purpose is really important to establishing your peace.

Moms.

The others are the same Fast people.

No, maybe not people.

Place where you’re living provisions.

25:14

Are you well enough that you can go to the groceries?

Are you financially well enough to get what you need in life?

And then your physical health.

And so if one of those is off, everything’s off.

So the book is more about finding your purpose and then creating a boon.

25:33

BOON.

So I love fiction.

I was a novelist for a while.

I’m hoping to get back to writing soon.

And there’s always a hero’s journey, and even in our lives, but in books too.

And there’s this one part on the hero’s journey that they’re always looking for.

25:52

And it’s that that gift in the end that they get.

But it’s that prize.

It’s their goal.

It’s the whole story arc.

And I want moms to find that.

Like, what about you?

Not that you’re going to ignore your addicted loved ones over here, but it’s to say if you find your purpose, if you find that boon in your life and you focus on that, it helps you cope with everything else there is in your life that’s disrupting.

26:21

God’s purpose for your life, for your your plan.

So it’s a 30 day program and it’s called closing the gap between Havoc and hope.

So we want to go from havoc to hope and it’s just oh and some of the moms I have at the end of every day moms in my group journaled some of the things that they were going through.

26:44

So it’s interesting to.

It helps moms see that they’re not alone.

It’s interesting to read other moms perspectives on where they were too and how they healed after this 30 day journey.

Yeah, the purpose part really I think is it all has been important to my journey.

27:06

But like when I lost my daughter, having a purpose was like what saved me because I had this.

Drive to continue my purpose.

And that was like really the only thing for a long time, or one of the few things that really brought me any kind.

27:25

Of joy or.

Like that I had any drive to do and I think that what you said is really important that that we do have to build our own identity and like really look at ourselves and create a life that we love.

27:44

No matter what’s happening, even though this really hard thing is happening, that’s what saves us and really models that for our kids like we’re doing the work we want them to do and building the lives for ourselves that we want them to build.

Yeah.

27:59

You become the leader of your family and you say, here’s how you take charge of what you can control and find your purpose.

And when you find that things tend to fall into place because.

You’re happy, you’re joyful.

And I’m not saying that you can’t be sad in the same moment right for or worry or fearful about your loved one.

28:21

But having intermittent joy is something that helps us keep going and it removes the focus.

Because sometimes, mom, I’ll be like, well wait, why are you over?

I think you told me this word over functioning for your child like you can’t do more work.

28:38

For what?

You can’t do the work for them.

If you find yourself over functioning, over thinking all the time for your child, like that’s wasted energy in your purpose and how you’re going to serve those around you and bring value to those around you, so.

28:56

Yeah, so true.

So one of the things you also talked about in one of your Ted talks was the science of listening.

And I loved that I hadn’t really ever heard of the science of listening before.

Like I’ve talked about and knew about the importance of listening and building that school skill.

29:16

But tell us about the science of listening and how it helped you change your approach.

Well, first of all, it’s wicked hard, right?

Because I I’m not always a good listener.

I’m not.

And I knew in doing my work that that was a part of my.

29:34

Blind spot like that was a part of it.

Still is.

I mean, it’s just something I had to work at.

And so I started researching like all these different active listening approaches and learning, well, what’s an openended question?

What’s a closed question, you know?

29:50

And how can we have good conversation with our loved ones when we’re really jumping out of our skin?

Because we just could shake them, like, stop doing that.

But.

It’s ineffective, right.

And so in looking at the science of that and how people are motivated to change, it’s that active listening approach.

30:15

So I said to myself, well, how can I create something on my own, right?

Because I I don’t know.

I just always, I’m saying it’s like I’m taking something from this person, that person and this person.

But I thought, well, how can I create something that will help moms remember?

30:31

A sequence of listening to understand and so I chose peace as the acronym.

And then I sat there and thought, well, what could each P/E, A/C, E stand for, right?

So the P was the paraphrasing.

So when somebody says when your child says something to you like, well, using just really, really helps me socialize and get up in the morning.

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And I just feel better doing that and so.

You could paraphrase and say, oh, so I think what you’re saying is when you use, it’s just easier to talk to other people and feel like you’re a part of a crowd and you fit in.

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And then I get that right.

And they might clarify, right.

So no, that’s not what I meant.

But And then the E and piece was emotion.

Notice.

What is your child’s emotion in that?

What is your emotion?

And maybe just commenting about that.

31:29

Oh, I can see.

How using is really filling a need for you and that you feel relieved when you use because it’s helping you socially.

And then the A is to affirm.

Well, firming could mean, yeah, it feels good to fit in.

31:47

It feels, you know, everybody wants to feel like they belong and that they’re like normal.

So I can see, you know, I can see why you do that.

And then the C is one of the hardest things, right?

It’s.

Consent.

And we want to ask permission before we ask them a question.

32:07

We want to ask permission before we say, hey, I have this thought I’d like to share with you.

Is it okay if I share that with you now?

Because they might be at a point where, no, they don’t want to hear what you have to say because you’ve already said it all.

And there’s they just think you’re going to lecture some more, right.

32:24

So you ask permission.

If they say no, then you don’t, you know, you don’t OfferUp any anything.

They don’t want to hear it.

And then the last one is just to empathize and maybe that’s just, hey, thanks for sharing that with me and give them a hug.

I’m glad you feel like you could open up to me and be done because really our role is just to listen, to understand.

32:44

So did you understand them?

If your goal is to understand them, you know, your goal, that’s what you’re about.

It’s not to say, well, maybe you could do this or maybe you could do that, but you could ask the question if they give you that, like so.

Is there anything else that you’ve ever tried to make you feel socially acceptable or what hasn’t worked or just whatever question comes to mind that isn’t going to put them on defense or scold them or shame them?

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So anyway, so yeah, and I don’t know, I don’t know if it’s helped a lot of people because it’s hard to measure that, but it’s helped me because it’s memorable.

Peace on what those letters stand for.

33:28

Yeah.

Well, there’s science that supports that.

It does help and that it’s part of craft fall under like positive communication.

And I think that it’s a really important part of like when you’re listening to understand somebody rather than listening to fix them and think about what you’re going to say based on it, what they say.

33:53

Then you’re able to be more present, you’re able to be more relaxed.

And the IT just builds so much more trust and it just puts you in a completely different position for the conversation.

Yeah, because then they’re not on the defense either.

34:08

They don’t have their hackles up like they’re not feeling attacked.

Yeah, yeah.

And that just creates resistance.

You’re never going to get it.

And I love the part you said about getting consent, that if they say no, you have to listen to that and follow their boundary that they’re setting with you.

34:27

The boundaries don’t just go one way.

We’ve got to follow theirs too.

Yeah, and sometimes it’s really hard.

So you find somebody else that can listen that’s not a player in that conversation, so that you can just vent and get it off your chest and and it’s a safe and healthy person to share with, right?

34:47

Because it does take a lot of practice, it takes like training ourselves differently, so.

If somebody knows that you’re working on that, they can encourage you and imply you for the little steps that you’re taking to, which is why you join Heather’s group and that’s what you all do.

35:04

And there too, we have to applaud each other and notice when moms are taking a positive step and how sometimes it can feel like the smallest thing.

But if we point those little things out to each other, then it it reinforces that and what we’re doing too.

35:24

Yeah.

I think that what you mentioned about the support is so important because even like within the recovery community, there’s a lot of judgment.

And then within the loved ones, there can be a lot of judgment about doing it right and just really like giving everybody grace and support and like I’ll be on the same team.

35:45

Like you keep saying, I think that we all want the same things.

And so if we all just support each other, even just that one change can create.

Changed our experience, yeah.

Yeah, and then if you have grandkids who are watching, Oh my goodness, think of the impact they they could learn from us too.

36:04

So.

Yeah, that’s so true.

So do you have any final words of encouragement or anything we didn’t cover that you would want to share to wrap things up today?

Gosh, I just.

I would just push moms for self compassion.

36:23

Because this is a really difficult journey and I I keep saying moms, but I think you have dads who listen too.

But for parents in general like, and siblings and aunts and uncles like have self compassion for being on this journey with a loved one.

36:40

And yeah, we’re going to make mistakes, but just remember that connection is the antidote to addiction and find ways to stay connected, even if it’s like I’ve told moms.

And my group sometimes just send a positive affirmation like hey, today is July 1st and I remember when you were three on this day and we went to the fireworks.

37:04

Or you know, I mean just bringing them back to an endearing time in their lives or just noticing something small, just keeping staying connected without angst and just become self compassionate.

37:20

Find support groups.

Find, find your people.

There’s so many out there now.

And I guess like you said to the goal, like what is your goal?

And if your goal is to heal and to learn new ways and build a better connection with the family, how are you going to get that?

37:40

Where are you going to get that?

Go looking for that because.

And if you’re a prayer where you’re praying for that, pray that God reveals that to you because.

It’s about connection and you don’t want to have any regrets if something happens to your loved one.

37:56

And I don’t think you have those regrets, do you, Heather?

My only regrets are that I didn’t find this worked that like this way sooner.

That’s the only thing.

And I don’t yeah, that will always be something that I carry.

38:13

But I also am very kind and compassionate to myself about that, because I recognized that I was just doing the best I could with the information that I had available to me and that I was working really hard to find new information.

And there will always be grief that it took so long to find it.

38:33

But I’m so grateful that when I found it, that I dug in and did the work and made the changes.

And it has.

Changed my experience from what it would be if I had years of regret that I had didn’t do the work once I found it.

38:52

Yes.

And it’s giving you so much purpose.

Now you and I are like so connected for the same reason.

It’s like we wish we had found all this sooner.

But what’s the next best thing?

Well, finding it now and then sharing it so that somebody else.

I’m sure you hear this often like, oh, I just wish I would have found all this.

39:12

Found you sooner or found this group sooner or whatever.

But we can’t.

Yeah, just give yourself compassion.

At least.

At least you’re here now and you’re doing the work.

Moms, dads, anybody listening?

And pat yourself on the back because you care enough about your loved one.

39:31

They’re worth your fight.

So go get it.

Go get the information you need.

Yeah.

Thank you so much for all the work that you do and.

Coming on the podcast to share today, I know that this will be a really helpful episode and I love that you call yourself the chief hope builder in your group because I think that there’s so much hope that will come out of this episode I.

39:53

Hope so.

Yeah.

You’re so welcome.

Thank you for.

I’m honored that you asked me to be here.

And I’m so glad I met you, Heather.

I love your work.

I love the work you’re doing and keep.

Going.

Thank you.

So go to momslettinggo.com and download the free guide.

40:12

And I’m also going to put Michelle’s Amazon store link in the show notes so that you can find any of her books that you’re interested in.

And I just want to say to always check the show notes that that’s where I put all of my offers for like my free guide for enabling.

40:36

And then anybody that I have on the show, you can find any information you want to about them in the show notes.

Yeah, and if you go to my Amazon page and you’re a fiction or a nonfiction lover of books, download Fractured Not Broken.

40:55

It’s a memoir, and it won’t disappoint.

And it’s option for a movie.

So do it.

Oh.

Wow.

Well, yeah.

Go check it.

Out.

Bye.

Thanks, Heather.

Bye, bye.

Thank you for listening to this episode.

41:12

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

41:28

Second, you can leave a review.

Talk to you next week.