EP85 Regulating Emotions to Cultivate Connection with Author Susie Armstrong

Living With Your Child's Addiction Podcast
Living With Your Child's Addiction Podcast
EP85 Regulating Emotions to Cultivate Connection with Author Susie Armstrong
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In this episode, we hear from Susie Armstrong, a multi-talented writer, healer, actor, artist, mother, and one of the key figures in Heather’s recovery journey for 8 years.  Every time you’ve heard Heather refer to her counselor, she’s talking about Susie.

Susie’s journey has been shaped by her unique experiences and her commitment to sharing love through various mediums. As a Life Coach, Certified Hypnotist, and Certified EFT Practitioner, she has guided countless individuals on their paths to self-discovery and personal growth.

Some of the topics discussed in this episode are:

  •  The difference between reactions and responses and why that matters 
  • How to regulate your emotions when you feel reactive   
  • How to identify when you’re triggered and how it affects your relationships
  • How triggers relate to beliefs about ourselves

This episode offers a rich tapestry of wisdom and practical advice, meant to inspire you to navigate life’s challenges with love, mindfulness, and authentic self-discovery. Whether you’re seeking to deepen your connections, overcome triggers, or start your journey of self-forgiveness, Susie’s insights provide valuable guidance for all aspects of personal growth.

How to Contact Susie or Find Her Books:

Website

Amazon Store

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, everybody.

0:41

Today’s guest is Susie Armstrong and she is a writer, healer, actor, artist and mother.

She was born in Oklahoma City and raised by a fun, talented, sassy mother and a few interesting father figures.

0:57

She loves connecting with her loved ones, animals, nature and other likeminded humans.

Her passion is to continue to share love with the world through her art writing, acting and healing gifts.

Susie as a life coach, a certified hypnotist and a certified EFT practitioner and former licensed professional counselor and drug and alcohol counselor.

1:23

Susie is an expert in helping people implement change by teaching them daily selfcare tools to improve their ability to connect with themselves and others.

And I also want to add that Susie was my counselor for I think at least eight years and has just been a very patient, constant present in my life that was been very safe for me to a process so much.

1:54

And the patience has been really important because it did take a long time for me to really start showing up for myself and doing the work.

But it’s really an honor to get to have you on here today and to share the things that you’ve helped me with so much.

2:09

So thank you for being here today.

It’s my pleasure.

It’s an honor, so let’s start with you just sharing some of your background and how you ended up doing this work and writing these books.

Yes, of course.

2:24

Well, first of all, thank you so very much for having me.

When you were reading that and then remembering our connection and I just really touched so.

So thank you.

Well, first of all, I’m going to share a little bit about my background as far as history because especially with the what we’re discussing, I had a.

2:45

A bit of a rough childhood and lots of abuse and neglect.

And you know, my parents were Alcoholics.

Most all the people in my family on both sides have had struggles with addiction.

And so it was a bit rough.

And for me, I personally, I started drinking when I was 13 and it just went on from there and it just kept getting worse and worse and I realized that it soothed me.

3:10

So that’s why I kept doing it and it got me out of myself.

Because I was a really insecure kid and I felt really awkward from about 5:00 is when I really remember starting to feel really uncomfortable with myself and is what was happened.

3:26

It was like this keynote event.

My mom cut off my hair and she didn’t mean to.

She took me to a Barber and the Barber didn’t listen and just chopped off my hair because you know there was a thing they did to get your hair to grow back thicker.

Well, it just devastated me and my brother made fun of me and said I look like a boy and.

3:42

And so from then on, I really just, I remember just feeling very, very inadequate.

And it was also because of the abuse and things that I went through.

So again, so then I hit and being in a home with people who were drinking all the time, and that was normal.

3:58

Then it was something that I just did, and I was also the kid that pretended to be perfect.

My parents didn’t know I was drinking or using for a long time until I got in a lot of trouble.

And it just kept, like I said, it just kept getting worse.

4:13

One keynote, another keynote event was I had a party out of my house and they were out of town and a girl ended up dying at the party.

That’s a pretty long story.

But the whole point of that is, is this, that that’s how bad it was until my parents didn’t take me to counseling or anything.

4:30

At that point we just, I was just grounded for a month, you know, And then I ended up changing schools because the situation I was blamed for it.

There was just tons of shame and guilt and trauma at that point.

So anyway we go further on and it just kept getting worse and and then I got into harder drugs, cocaine and then meth eventually and so and then also to back up a bit there was a lot of suicidal attempts that I had So when I was nine years old was the first time I tried to kill myself so and that prolonged like I think a handful of times I attempted to do that.

5:06

And so is what it helped me hit.

My bottom is, is that first of all, I didn’t die.

Obviously, I’m here.

So it was this just emotional bottom because I’d lost everything physically.

I’d lived in LA for a little while when I was in my early 20s, and I’d inherited money from my biological father.

5:25

And I spent it all really quickly and lost everything like I was.

My electricity was turned off.

It was just really bad.

And so then I moved back to Oklahoma and I started.

I got a good job.

I started going back to school and I couldn’t function.

5:43

You know, I couldn’t remember things.

And so, I mean, I had a great memory when I waited tables when I was younger.

I mean, I can remember 30 orders consecutively and not even write them down or anything and remember where everything went.

And I remember that because I got sober when I was 29, but right before I got sober.

6:04

I couldn’t remember anything.

I was working for a chiropractor and they would go behind me and check the charts and things like that because I was always messing up.

And so finally whenever I hit a bottom I was just done.

I just, I couldn’t kill myself.

I couldn’t function and so so for me I ended up going to some recovery meetings and and then that’s when the the true change, the deep change started to happen.

6:31

And at that point, I was in school, I was doing nursing, and I couldn’t get good grades.

I was really struggling even after I got sober.

And it hit me one day and was just like this huge wave of clarity to be a counselor.

And I knew that was the right choice for me.

6:47

And so I changed my major.

And from then on I got I think I got 1B after that, raised my GPA and got a master’s degree and maybe I think I got 1B in my master’s program and that’s it.

So.

Just like those, those affirmation, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

That’s where my heart was.

And so, so then that started my journey of even looking at myself and learning how to work with others And when I started to work with others initially mentoring and and then eventually counseling.

7:17

I mean it made me really, really nervous.

So I didn’t want to mess anyone up right and so and throughout that time.

I got sober and was in a recovery community.

And then I started doing counseling myself too, when I was at school to be a counselor because that’s one thing that that one of my mentors had told me.

7:36

He said you can only go deep, as deep with with someone else as you’ve gone within yourself.

And so so that’s why it’s like now, I mean, I’ve been seeing the same healer for the lab for five years and it’ll just depend.

Sometimes I’m seeing him twice a month, sometimes it’s three times, sometimes it’s once.

7:53

It’s just whatever’s coming up for me.

You know, as they say, it’s definitely a journey, not a destination.

And we never really get there wherever there is, it’s just the continual growth process and expanding.

And so throughout that time, working with people and then looking at myself and being a mother and being creative, really learn to live from my heart and live in that space of love and look at myself whenever I’m angry or I’m resentful and.

8:24

That’s a part of me now is, is that I look at myself.

If something happens that’s uncomfortable, some type of experience with someone else.

If I get angry or sad, I’m like, okay, What is my part in this?

What’s going on in me?

And then and so consequently, I’ve learned to forgive myself really quickly.

8:42

That way I can be more present with my loved ones, with myself, with the world, and bring into this world what my gifts are.

And so share those because I I think that’s one of the biggest things for all of us is, is that we all have special gifts, every single one of us.

9:02

And they are not the same.

They may be similar, but it’s just like me sharing here.

This is coming from my filter, from my experience and so that it’s my journey and if somebody can take a tidbit of that and apply it to themselves and make it their own and use that and it helps them, great.

9:20

But then that’s their.

It’s theirs now.

It’s not mine anymore.

It’s theirs.

They’ve made it theirs.

So, but yeah, it’s it’s been wild, a wild ride.

And I’m just so grateful now that that I’m on the other side of a lot of the tragedy that I’ve experienced.

9:39

Because then I can be their brothers.

I can sit with people in some really, really deep dark stuff and be okay and also see the light.

I can see the light in them and where they have the ability if they choose to.

To change and to make their life what they want it to be.

9:55

Yeah.

So yeah.

So there’s so much there I didn’t know because of the nature of our relationship.

Right.

I’m hearing all a lot of this stuff for the first time.

I knew you had struggled with substances in your life, but I didn’t really know any of the details.

So But I did know, based on the route work we were able to do together, that you had really worked on yourself.

10:17

Because you’re right about what you said, about how you can only go so deep with somebody as far as you’ve worked on yourself.

And I think that’s why I was able to grow so much with you, because you have worked so much on yourself.

I’m curious how you ended up moving from counseling.

10:36

Now you’re into coaching and you’ve written some books.

OKOK.

So yeah, so well, the it’s really interesting because for a while I almost stopped working with others and a lot of that was it was me learning how to deal with energy and also my own selfcare once in raising a son, being a single mother.

10:57

And he said there’s codependency in there.

So with the healing field, anybody who’s a helper typically struggles with, let’s focus on them and not on myself.

So there was this process that I went through as far as with counseling and I thought I wanted, like I said, I wanted to quit.

11:12

In a sense I would blame while I’m, I don’t know, since I blame my clients, it’s their fault like and and that was subconscious, right.

So it wasn’t anything because I love my clients always have that I would struggle with the energy and so I had to learn how to release that and in self-care.

11:28

But as far as shifting over to the life Coaching, well, something happened and I’ve been thinking about it for years.

If something happened with in Oklahoma with the laws and they were wanting, they’re attempting to, it’s the human information exchange or health information exchange.

11:45

So the even though I’m in private practice and I don’t take insurance that they were wanting us to pay a fee and then our then they would have access to all of our client records.

And so it’s still up in the air and there’s all kinds of things going on.

And so I was I just decided that I didn’t want to compromise my clients.

12:05

Felt like a weight over me but that would restrict me from my creativity and my connection with clients and so so then so then that came up and it was just like this really clear picture of now I’m just going to shift over to Life Coaching and I was like okay and it was really interesting.

12:22

Even recently I went wow that frees me up.

It frees me up in so many different ways to because also what people think of counseling.

So there’s.

Beliefs behind it.

Life Coaching is.

And you even said this, we talked about this.

I remember years ago you’re like, you already coached me anyway, you know, it’s my way of doing it.

12:41

I’m your cheerleader.

I’m here to hold space for you.

And that’s how I look with my clients and so so anyway, so that’s how that transitioned.

And then as far as writing, well this, this is pretty interesting.

So to see my mother’s a writer, my mother writes fiction and she is actually writing a trilogy, it’s really amazing.

12:58

And so she’s on the third one right now.

Of the trilogy.

And anyway, so she’s been the writer for a long time.

OK so and I had thought about being a writer years ago and I just kind of pushed it to the side.

Well, then I was involved in this relationship that helped me grow a ton.

13:17

And I know I’ve talked to you about it with this man that I was back and forth with and really helped me dig deep within myself and let myself deeper.

It was like something sparked and and he actually texted me.

It was something like I was telling him that he was a good person, something I was giving him an affirmation.

13:34

And he goes, so are you.

And he put periods after each.

So are you okay?

So that was my first book.

And so, so I started it.

I was just went for it.

And I’m like, okay, I’ve got a right.

So I’ve been.

And then I had to go through the clearing of, oh, my mom’s a writer.

13:51

I’m not because me and my mom have had a wild relationship, you know, I mean, because she was an alcoholic.

I mean, she’s got 20 years.

Over too and so and she was really young when she had me.

And so we have been through a lot together and we have a very, very deep close relationship now.

14:10

But it’s taken a lot of work.

So I had to let go of that competition aspect or fear that I was going to upset her.

And so then I started writing.

And so I’ve gotten like a lot of other books to write.

I have about at least 20 synopsis of other books.

14:29

Yeah.

And it always felt weird for me to refer to you as my counselor because I thought of you so much more as a coach.

And the work that we did together, to me seemed so much more meaningful than that.

And I just learned so many different things from you that it just, it never felt like the right word to use like when I was trying to.

14:52

And I’ve shared a lot of different experiences, I’m sure just at different times about all the different ways that you’ve helped me.

But I want to start talking about like the most recent book you wrote is called reaction versus response.

15:08

And what’s the difference between those two and why is it so important to really identify?

Which I guess state of mind you’re in, of a reaction versus a response.

Okay.

Well, in the book I talk about reactions is I refer to them as the reactions that we have that are incongruent for the situation because we can have other types of reactions.

15:34

Say, is this talk to my mind whenever I was thinking about this or or having our discussion?

Is that when I think I was about 10 years old and I was at my aunt and uncle’s house and I went outside to take the trash outside?

And my uncle was standing on the other side of the fence.

15:53

It was dark on the other side of the fence underneath the tree.

Why?

Didn’t know that was him Okay.

So I went outside and I had the trash bag in my hand and I saw him and I froze, right?

And I went, and then I took a deep breath in through the trash, in the trash can and ran inside okay.

16:11

So that was a normal reaction to something in my environment that was happening right then, because it scared me, right?

So the reactions though that I’m talking about, like I said is, is that when we overlap our past into our present moment, okay, and it can be yesterday passed, it doesn’t have to be years ago.

16:32

It’s just like I think, you know in the beginning I’ll talk about when we people get road rage a lot.

I mean, that’s a very common thing for people and they’ll somebody see somebody cut somebody off and somebody will chase them down or they’ll flip them off and they’re they’ll cuss at them, all kinds of things like that.

16:48

And that’s that’s not a reaction that’s appropriate for that situation.

It’s not congruent with it.

It’s like oh, unless somebody you can tell they’re coming after you purposely following you trying to hunt you down or whatever on the road, but it’s incongruent so, so then that you know and that’s also a trigger in a sense so, so then the responses.

17:14

So a response was a mindful.

Experience.

So, OK, so oh, somebody cuts me off and so I just respond and oh, OK, I’ll slow down.

So I slow down and I take action to not run into them.

17:30

So basically that’s what we what I talked about in there is, is understanding the difference between the two.

So that way you can respond to be more present with your loved ones for anyone and also for yourself.

Yeah, I mean that was one of the awarenesses that you taught me and you mentioned like overlapping your past and your present.

17:54

And like we spent some time untangling my past and my present different times.

And like before, I wouldn’t have even had the words to tell you.

These specific incidents in my life are coming up together for me and I can’t tell the difference in them anymore.

18:10

And like we would spend time like untangling those so that I could see them separately.

So I wasn’t in that state like.

So creating that awareness was really helpful for me to be like intentional with my responses to Helena.

18:28

So like you think about when you’re dealing with some a child that’s struggling with substance use that they’re constantly like triggering us.

And that was another chapter in the book.

You talked about the difference between a trigger and a reaction.

18:45

And I think you alluded to it just a minute ago.

So you want to explain a little bit more about like what a trigger is, why it’s important to be able to identify that it is a trigger and that knowing when you are triggered versus reacting?

19:02

Yes.

So, well, I like to use my son like we talked about this a little bit.

Is Is it because I don’t have my son’s not?

Old and not well, I mean he he could use drugs, but thank God he doesn’t.

He’s only 10, but he struggles some with emotional eating and then video games and things.

19:22

And he’s gone through a lot already.

For example, where I’m divorced and I got back together with his father for a little while and me and his dad had a rough relationship.

So, so he’s been through a through quite a bit.

But so for him, like sometimes he’ll behave like.

19:39

His dad used to and with whenever I was in the marriage and so the trigger for me like I’ll have to like sometime go in and he’ll talk back to me or he’ll say something and he’ll be mean.

And the trigger in me is, is that I mean I can get angry right.

19:56

And I feel attacked okay.

So by him and then and then is what happens inside of me is I’m projecting his dad onto him, right in my past, onto him.

So if I don’t catch that, then I will react to his energy.

20:13

So I’ll get angry and I may say something that is not nice.

I may not do what I really want to do, which is be there for him and hold space for him.

So in the trigger, usually, you know, trigger, you’ll go up really quickly.

And then again, that’s the also the incongruence with the situation because he is a 10 year old kid.

20:32

He is not a grown man that I had a relationship with that was really tough.

You know, he’s my son and he doesn’t understand things right.

So it’s so it’s me.

There goes again like we discussed earlier, it’s imposing the past on the present.

20:47

So in a reaction, I mean so because there’s a lot of different ways to look at that because you can kind of intertwine those those two words in some sense that triggers more specific, right.

The reaction, you know, I’ll just react to something, right.

So in your present moment, so if you have a just a plain reaction, it’s in the present.

21:07

So I stubbed my foot.

Right?

Okay, that hurts.

So I’ll react to it.

Ow okay.

So for me, I learned to breathe and release in order to not.

I was just, I’m just laughing because when you said that, I thought instead of throwing things or throwing a fit, like with just what I may have done in the past, right.

21:31

Yeah, exactly, exactly.

So we’ve become emotionally intelligent really is what it is.

So it’s and then.

But we can’t do that until we learn about ourselves.

And so see, if I didn’t know about myself and done the work on myself, then me and my son would not be bonded like we are.

21:49

And it’s taken work because he’s actually the hardest person for me to regulate with because I’m he was in my belly.

I mean, and then I feel him like, I think his parents were so connected to our kids regardless if if we’re checked out or not.

22:06

I mean there’s an energetic exchange with children and so they like I had took me a long time to realize when he would get really angry.

I mean it would, I could feel it and it would send me in.

But it took me a long time to decipher between what was me and what was him and so I would project out his anger onto him.

22:25

But I was feeling of him instead of regulating.

So that’s that’s The thing is that now I can pull myself away and I can go, OK, I got to pause here because if I just start tangoing, I start fighting, then we’re not going to get anywhere.

And I’m the adult, so I’ve done the healing work.

22:42

He’s only 10 years old, so I don’t need to expect him to mom, stop, you know, even though he’s done stuff like that, it’s pretty funny.

But is this that, you know, I’ll walk into the living room or in the kitchen and sit down at the table and I’ll take a breath and I’ll breathe because our nervous system, when our nervous system gets activated like that, really you’re going to have negative thoughts.

23:01

You’re going to have, you’re going to have a it’s going to be harder to really be in the moment.

So the breath to me is the 1st place to go because we, you know, when we’re angry or we’re upset, we take shallow breaths, we hold our breath even.

23:18

You know, that’s one thing I had to work on a lot and still do.

But I mean, especially early on, whenever I was started, my journey unchange is, is that I was so disassociated from the moment.

And that’s what happens when we live with addiction in our families, with our loved ones.

23:35

Is is that it causes that dissociation because it’s so it we’re just so detached from ourselves and others.

Because of the pain that we don’t want to feel, right?

Yeah, Okay, we’re going to talk about that in a minute, but.

We brought up the energetic exchange and then also like why we’re so easily triggered by our kids.

23:57

I think part of it’s like the conditioning that we get about like what a mother’s supposed to be like and and how perfect they’re supposed to be and all these other things.

So that to me was the biggest thing like this thought because things were going wrong, that I wasn’t a good mom.

24:13

Like that was my most triggering thought.

Anything that?

She was unhappy.

If Lana was unhappy, my first thought was I’m I’m a bad mom.

Oh yeah, yeah, that is the one of the biggest ones, The mom card or the dad card, because that elicits so much shame and guilt.

24:33

So then shame especially, well, both.

Guilt or shame is, is that if we don’t understand where where that comes from and how to regulate and be with ourselves, then that will turn into anger or outwardly you know William mote it out or we’ll do it inward to ourselves and so so yeah that’s huge because that’s that’s the biggest one of the biggest things I have learned over my lifetime whenever I decided to change was is to forgive myself quicker.

25:06

So and then like you said, the being a perfect parent.

There’s no such thing.

The perfect parent.

Thank goodness.

So I mean we’re going to fall short.

We are there is absolutely no way we can be there and be the perfect person for our children.

25:24

They bring it all up and out of us.

I mean they’re probably our biggest healers you know and reflections back to what’s going on and so but yeah the because the if you the more you release the guilt OK, then you can forgive yourself and then be in more space of love.

25:44

So and again we can go into that’s where the doing the work on yourself comes in because So what is it about and you think oh I’m a bad mother.

Where does that come from That’s exploring within yourself and within your instrument that’s you know, our bodies, our cars our vehicle.

26:01

So it stores information So it’s like we sit with that guilt and that shame and then we got to forgive ourselves for how we have messed up.

And what I do personally with my son is all I will admit when I am wrong.

And I have gotten really good at that.

26:17

There’s no shame.

And admitting you’re wrong, You’re human.

And so I tell my son that I’m like I’m I was wrong and I’m sorry.

And I’ll explain to him and he may only be 10, but I’ve been doing it for years.

Because they they may not understand our words fully.

But they’ll feel the energy of our intention.

26:33

Our intention is I love you and I’m sorry I’m human.

I was wrong.

I’ll do better.

And then it’s our job to change and to keep diligently looking at ourselves so we can hold space for our kids, for our loved ones, especially if they’re going through any type of addiction.

26:52

Because as you know that and I watched you do, Oh my God, you were just magical.

You taught me so much with your experience with Helena.

And because you, you went through the process as far as the anger, the resentment thing, the being upset at yourself.

27:09

And then you were so vulnerable with her.

There was one story you shared with me that was just, it was amazing how honest and that brought you to closer, you know, to where you got to experience that love regardless of where which she was doing.

Yeah, and you keep bringing up self forgiveness.

27:27

Forgiving yourself faster was another thing that you taught me was I had this belief about.

The reason I felt like I was a bad mom all the time was because I had a belief that I could out parent addiction.

Like if I was a good enough parent, she wouldn’t struggle because it was a fear because her dad had struggled.

27:45

So then I felt like I had done something wrong, right?

Like I had missed something.

And then there was all the blame and the guilt and the shame that you just talked about.

And then we’ve spent so much time with you teaching me how to forgive myself and working through that process.

So how do you help somebody?

28:04

One like, how do you know that that’s what you need versus something else that you need self forgiveness versus some other kind of self work And then like how do you work through that process?

Well, I think the self forgiveness is probably one of the key points really what it comes down to in as far as this even being worthy, feeling, feeling worthy.

28:29

You know that belief, if I’m unworthy, that is about self forgiveness.

But it can start though with forgiving the people that you downloaded that information from.

Because you know, our parents, we do install in our children our beliefs that they we’re on their same energy field.

28:47

I mean there’s no way we don’t.

I mean because the brain when a child is moving so slow, it doesn’t even change frequency until about 7:00.

So then they just download everything in their environment and that’s how come when we’re adults we’ll end up repeating patterns like and we don’t and sometimes we don’t even know if you haven’t looked at your past and looked at, oh, this is how my parents were.

29:10

So This is why I do this.

You’ll just keep doing it wondering why you’re cycling in this pattern.

And so this is what I tell a lot of people whenever they come in especially is to do.

It’s not that we we want to wallow in the past okay.

29:25

So, but we want to look at it and right size it.

So when I have people come in, they say they have a perfect childhood.

I’m like that’s a big clue, no.

Or if they say it was the most horrible thing, I mean I’ve worked with a lot of people over the years so I have only met two clients out of all of them that I could say they probably had very little positive because there’s always positive and negative usually.

29:49

OK, so that’s if you right size it and go, OK My parents were human.

They totally messed up.

They were not doing this because they hated me per se.

It was because of how they felt about themselves.

So if you go back and you forgive them for how they fell short, then you learn from that, right?

30:09

You learn, oh, OK, forgiveness.

All right.

So they did the best that they could.

And now, now that’s also process.

It’s like you can have a big chunk of forgiveness and then later on in your in your journey, something else will come up.

So it’s not like you just get to forgive once and then and then you really get to apply it to yourself because as you forgive them, in a sense, you’re really forgiving yourself too.

30:32

Because it’s like that’s where addiction.

I mean, I did this myself.

Oh my God.

I remember sitting on a couch when I lived in Los Angeles, just high as all get out drunk and just writing about my parents.

My parents, it was all their fault that I had this horrible life, all their fault.

30:48

But I mean, just wallow in it, so that that drove the addiction.

And part of how I got sober was my mom.

Well, she had already been sober.

So that gave me a really.

I watched her do it.

She was a really bad drunk.

31:04

So that was inspiring.

Well, then one time I like cried wolf.

It was this wild thing that happened.

And they got got a call from me in the middle of the night, somebody that sounded like me, but it wasn’t me.

And so she showed up over at my house, over at my apartment and came in and I mean cried wolf.

31:22

I said I want help.

She knew within herself that I didn’t And she said you’re not ready and she’s like, I love you.

And she left and she had this moment inside of herself where she she let me go.

She like she said it was this profound moment of she just went like she couldn’t do it for me.

31:43

And so that energetic release and then letting me go and I got sober really quickly after that because I wasn’t doing it for her.

And so, and I think that’s a really big message for parents is, is that they had, you know, our kids, our loved ones, they got to do it for themselves.

It’s the love, right?

32:00

And love can look so many different ways on how we do that, so.

There’s so much good stuff there.

One, so you were saying we have to forgive others 1st and then that’s going to lead open the path to selfforgiveness.

And then you mentioned that, like when you were wallowing and blaming your parents that you made it.

32:23

Impossible for you to really look at yourself, which was where the answer was for you to get into recovery.

And then I was thinking as you were saying that about how we do the same thing as parents.

Like when we’re blaming our kids for everything, then it makes us really hard.

It makes it really hard for us to feel any better ourselves.

32:40

And then in actually in one of the I had Helena on the podcast twice.

It was just like a couple months before she passed away and.

One of the things she said, one of her responses to one of my questions, was that she had sensed that I had released her as far as released, my attachment to the outcome of her getting into recovery.

33:04

Like I had released my need for her to change, for me to be okay right?

Which also opened us up to more connection, right?

Like I couldn’t connect with her before that, but as soon as I released.

Her to do or be anything specific, then I could connect with her on the level of.

33:25

Who she was.

Yeah.

That’s that’s absolutely beautiful.

Yes.

Like you said, you freed her and you actually freed yourself in that moment because we a lot of times as parents, you know, because our kids are that energetic thing is, is we feel like they’re us.

33:43

They’re part of us.

In a sense they are.

But really where they’re custody in we’re here to guide them and teach them right and and love them and so you letting her go that freedom in that and then like you said that those perfect words assist that if they’re okay, I’m okay.

34:02

I mean if we live our life that way we’re never going to be okay.

Never.

And so and that’s what I talk about too I think in the in the book is as far as as far as wallowing we wallow or we can learn to feel right.

So if you learn how to be with yourself and know that yes, you’re feeling pain because you’re watching your your child or your loved one hurt or treat themselves poorly.

34:27

And you learn to sit with your own self with your own pain, release that focus on the light within you.

Then you, like you said.

Then you get to connect with them and still see their light.

Because the weed, our light doesn’t go away.

34:43

Even if we’re in the darkest of the dark parts of ourselves in acting out, there’s still a light in there.

So time’s going by really fast and I want to make sure we get to talk about this.

That because you helped me so much with feeling my feelings, like learning how to feel them in my body and process them.

35:04

So if you could just talk a little bit about how you help people.

Feel their feelings instead of like distracting from them.

OK, so so first of all we judge feelings that they’re good or bad, right?

35:21

So and most all of us do that.

We don’t want to feel the lower vibrating feelings.

That’s how I reference it in in the in my book.

Because is it they’re frequencies.

So lower frequencies or higher frequencies and so when we’re we judge them and we stuff them.

35:38

I shouldn’t feel this way.

So then we distract ourselves, right?

We’re not going to feel this.

We’re going to go hurry and skip over it.

And then we’re not.

So we’re not listening.

Because like I said earlier, the body is an instrument.

It is an instrument and it provides you, it informs you.

35:55

So a feeling or a sensation, because a lot of people don’t know how to identify feelings.

Like I feel scared or this.

And that’s not even necessarily important per se, is just you scan your body.

So first of all, like I said early on, you start with the breath, learning how to be in your body, be debris, just feel your body.

36:14

Because a lot of people will float around in their head all the time and they’re not grounded.

They’re not in their body.

It’s kind of like you’re driving your car sitting on the hood.

I mean, like on the.

Yeah, on the hood.

And so you got to get in it.

So the breath will get you in it to be present.

And that’s practice.

36:30

And we’re not always present.

I mean, it’s like we go, we’re there, we’re not, we’re there, we’re not.

So it’s not a something you’re going to attain all the time.

So as far as the feelings though, so you again get in the body and how I do it is I honor it first.

36:46

So I’ll give a great example.

Like I told you, this is very important to me to share with you today.

OK.

So I love you.

It’s vulnerable and but it it’s from my heart.

I was a little nervous about it and so yesterday I was feeling a little anxious.

37:02

OK.

So I was like, OK, so let’s just breathe.

So I breathed into it.

I was having some resistance to sitting down and just preparing.

And so I breathed through it.

And then I sat down and because I honored it, right.

And I started to prepare.

37:18

And as I started to prepare, it’s like everything subsided.

So I honored it.

It’s there.

I embraced it was breathe right.

And also the breath also releases it.

And so that cleared me out to take the action that I needed to do for myself.

37:36

So but again it is a skill and the feelings will drive the thoughts and the thoughts will drive the feelings.

So, so it’s really just learning how to be in your body.

And and The thing is, is that what’s the magical part of this?

And I learned this for the first time from a book called Letting Go by Doctor David Hawkings, which we talked about.

37:55

That book he mentions in there as as far as there’s a whole lot more thoughts than there are feelings you think about it.

So if I feel scared about something, I can go on so many different avenues of thoughts.

I’m just creating all of these scenarios, right?

38:14

So then I’m actually traumatizing myself with my thoughts if I keep that going.

So if you get in the body and then you feel safe have pressure in my chest because I’m scared.

So I just keep breathing into it.

Just keep breathing into it.

Now it might not subside all the way.

38:31

Okay.

So then I breathe into it and release, breathe and release and just let the thoughts float by don’t attach to them don’t.

And sometimes we need to move so we’re energy like we’ll be sitting a lot and and this another kind of interesting point is our so as muscle which is down by our hips and it wraps up to around our back, it actually it is like right by where the kidneys are.

38:57

If that is tight it’ll set off your fight fight or freezer response.

So we sit a lot then that can and we don’t move and and release then that’s going to activate things too.

So that’s why I say like I like to go on walks.

I’m personally a person I like to do hardcore exercise.

39:15

I need to sweat a lot.

Like I’ll do hot yoga and a lot of time my mind will be going.

In the beginning.

I’ll just keep my breath and then going.

By the end I’m just relaxed and my mind’s calm and so I just encourage people to find what works for them.

But you got to keep.

It’s not just do it once, You’ve got to keep practicing.

39:34

I’m laughing because I think we did it every week for years and but as you were talking when I wrote down, you said feelings are information which is so important because like.

One truth that I realized for myself, when I wasn’t feeling my feelings, I allowed things in my life that were unacceptable because I didn’t even know they were unacceptable to me, because I was just pushing down the feelings.

40:00

And so because I wasn’t tolerating any emotions.

I can remember when I was going through a separation with my ex and then we ended up getting back together.

But during the time of that separation, I could not tolerate the pain.

Like I was beside myself and the pain.

40:17

But yet.

Because of all the work that we did and how important it is to keep working at this, I could tolerate the pain of losing my daughter, which was is inconceivable, how painful that is.

But all of our working at it, week after week, and you having me practice with you while you held space for me and made it safe for me to do it.

40:40

The actually feeling the feelings in my body and processing them and being able to sit with them and identify them and all that work we did together like that created the biggest muscle for me to be able to experience the most painful thing.

40:58

And no first one of my first thoughts was I I can.

I don’t want to do this, but I can.

Right.

Yes.

And that was that was magical.

I mean it was a it was.

I remember that day I didn’t worry about you being okay.

41:16

I knew you were going to.

You’re hurting and that.

I mean that.

Obviously, it’s just one of the worst things anybody can go through.

But like I said, I knew you were all right.

You’ve done the work and now you’ve you’ve changed.

You’ve turned your pain into power.

41:33

You use your story and how Anna is helping people from the other side with this connection with you and what you’re sharing with other parents to help provide hope and faith.

But you can make it through anything if you want to.

41:49

You just have to have the desire.

And granted, it’s also, I wouldn’t have blamed you if you didn’t.

I mean if you couldn’t have made it.

I mean that happens too.

So it’s and it’s not to judge people who can.

It’s just that that we everybody has that within them if they want it, if they want to make their life what best possible thing they can, even in tragedy like you did.

42:14

But look at you.

I mean, you are amazing.

You’re doing this podcast.

I mean, you’re helping these people.

And that right there, that’s what life’s about.

It’s like we’re all going to have struggles, we’re all going to have challenges and it’s going to hurt.

It’s also the cool thing is, is that when we’ve had that much pain, that means we are capable of that much joy.

42:36

Yeah, that was a huge surprise for me and all that.

Like that the deeper into pain I went, the higher my ability to experience joy.

And that that was shocking the first time I realized it.

42:51

And I I noticed it more because of the difference between the pain and the joy.

Like it was so much more obvious to me.

Like, what am I feeling?

What’s happening of?

Like, how am I feeling this much joy right now when I’m in the middle of this really horrible experience?

43:08

And, like, started realizing now there’s room for both here.

And it came to me where we were talking to like like if football players like Tom Brady comes to mind, because I’ve watched some of the stuff about how hard he works.

And his skills.

43:24

And I was thinking like, it’s like being Tom Brady working and feeling your feelings.

Like that’s what it took for me to be this person that can hold this amount of emotion.

I had to work at it that hard with you every single week for years.

43:41

And that’s what it takes.

It’s the dedication.

And that’s a great as far as metaphor, you know, looking at Tom Brady, I mean because it is, it’s a muscle, you know.

And so we don’t realize that.

But if we watch externally, it’s just like you can apply say a lot of people don’t have, I think they can’t do it right.

43:58

But if you look like I remember, you know, how diligent you weren’t working.

I mean you were just really good.

I know.

Granted, we know there are little.

We’re all in there overworking.

But at the same time as there were such a, there was a skill there of focus.

44:17

And so that’s the thing that people forget about is this, because one part of their life will be really, really good.

So it’s like you look at that, like if you’re most everybody has something they’re really good at.

So they look at that part like what do I do here?

What do I apply here?

Then you apply those same things to feeling your feelings to live in, in your body, the loving your instrument.

44:37

It may not look exactly whether you want it to look.

Love it.

I mean we are here to me and what I have learned and believe is, is that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

So if we’re going to have this human experience, we got to be in these bodies, love them, appreciate them and however way that whatever that means when a lot of that’s the thoughts, the beliefs.

45:03

So if they are not supporting you and loving you, then look at that.

And it’s like we know to change that, and change is possible.

I mean, look at me and you.

I mean if people, people saw me, I tell people they they have like, Oh my God, you went through that.

45:19

I mean because like you eat too.

Nobody knows because you can’t see it.

So it’s just, that’s The thing is we’re all beautiful beings of life, capable of whatever we possibly whatever our hearts desire is.

Yeah, and I borrowed your belief in that for a long time.

45:36

I feel I hate the time went so fast.

I hate to have to wrap things up.

I would love to continue talking about so much more.

But.

So if somebody does want to find out more about you, I’m going to put the link to your website in the show notes and I will put a link to your books in the show notes.

45:55

But it’s Susie.

Armstrong.com is your website and she’s available for coaching and you can buy your books are on your website, right?

Go on my website, not Amazon.

Yeah, yeah, there’s a few meditations on there too.

I’ll be getting some more of those out as well.

46:10

So yeah, just like 20 minute guided meditations on there as well.

I love that.

Well, thank you so much for being on today.

I really, it was an honor for me to get to share, but it’s been like for me to work with you and get to share what you have to offer to know more people.

46:28

Oh my God.

Same to you.

It was an honor to be with you as I love how things come full circle.

And you know, I just love you dearly and so grateful for our connection.

You too.

Thank you.

Thank you for listening to this episode.

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

46:48

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