Episode 22 What if you didn’t have a child struggling with addiction?

Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Episode 22 What if you didn't have a child struggling with addiction?

How often do you wonder what your life would be like if you didn’t have a child struggling with addiction? This seems like a harmless question to ask yourself, but it’s keeps you stuck in pain if you don’t have the right perspective behind it. 

In this episode I walk you through three steps to create the life you think you’d have if your child wasn’t struggling with addiction:

Step 1 – Have intentional thoughts about your child’s addiction that serve you

Step 2 – Protect your precious resources of time and energy

Step 3 – Use your time and energy to create the life you think you would have if your child wasn’t struggling with addiction

If you want coaching about a loved one’s addiction, creating the life you want, or anything else Sign up for a 45 minute $17 call with me using the link below


For additional resources:

GROUP COACHING PROGRAM –  Peace of Mind Group for moms

Sign up for my free guide 3 Steps To Stay Sane When Your Child Is Struggling with Addiction – How to Move Forward With Confidence TODAY http://heatherrosscoaching.com/3-simple-steps/ 

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Link to my free Facebook group for parents who are struggling with a child’s addiction


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This transcript has not been formatted or edited.


I’m Heather.

And this is a living with addiction podcast where I show you how you have more power than you realize when it comes to helping yourself and your child that struggling with addiction.

Hey everybody.


So this episode is not about self-care, but I want to take a minute to talk about it because between dealing with my daughter’s addiction lately and also dealing with breast cancer, I’ve had to lean into my self-care routine more than ever lately.


In an episode 20, I shared how my recent experiences with my daughter’s addiction.

Gave me a peek back in to how I used to live my life early in her addiction, but with the perspective of everything that I have learned in the last few years, And we had one day that was really intense recently where my old coping mechanism of going numb kicked in.


And it reminded me, just how bad things were for me before I started focusing on my own physical and mental health.

When I was just focused on fixing her before and that experience made it just so much more clear for me than ever.


How important it is to put your oh, no. oxygen mask on first, when you’re dealing with your child’s addiction, Do you think about what you’re willing to do for your own health?

And well-being, I see just more and more that I’m willing to do whatever it takes for myself, whatever it takes the same way.


I used to be willing to do whatever it took to help everybody else.

I’m my priority now.

And I love Crystal singing bowls.

So I started searching for Crystal singing bowl sound baths around here.


I found a few of them, they’re all at least an hour and a half from me.

Each way and I’ve tried three of them.

So, that means, 3 hours or more round trip.

Each time, I’ve gone to different places to try these.


And I found my favorite one is on the beach, every Wednesday night, and it takes me an hour and 45 minutes to get there.

And sometimes I can’t believe that.

I’m that invested in myself that I’m willing to make that drive just to do something like that.


And I also can’t believe that I’m lucky enough to get to live in Paradise where I get to do something like that and the sound bath and guided meditation last for about an hour and a half.


It’s just this incredible experience to be laying on the beach.

Hearing the birds, you know, especially the seagulls and the water and hearing and feeling the single, the singing bowls, and the drums because those instruments all create vibrations.


That you can feel in your body and feeling the warmth of the late afternoon sun and the breeze on my skin, I can’t even do the experience Justice by trying to describe.

But that’s an hour and a half.


Where my mind is mostly quiet in my nervous, system gets a break to regulate.

We get stuck in fight or flight because we spend so much time thinking about the traumas that we experience with our kids and It’s really important to get what I’m about to say and that’s that the more you think about it?


The more you experience it, your body is reliving, what happened is.

If it’s actually happening again, you’re creating that experience in your body by thinking about it.

So we have to learn to regulate so that we can live healthy productive, peaceful lives.


No matter what our kids are doing.

That’s why self care is so important to me.

When I go to the sound bath, it’s a six-hour total time investment for me.

Would driving in the time that I’m there.


But I can’t think of a better investment of six hours of my time.

I leave there feeling like I’ve left the weight of the World Behind.

So I just want to ask you, how are you investing in yourself?

And if you are see, if you can lean into your self-care a little more.


And if you are investing in yourself then I encourage you to find something you love to do.

Just keep trying things until you find.

What works for you?

What helps you what gives you that relief?

I described to you.

I’ve found so many activities that I love that way by just searching for what works for me.


And I have a lot of different things that work for me.

All the stress from your child’s addiction needs an outlet.

Otherwise it’s just stuck in your body.

And a few days ago a client I were joking about how much we exercise to help our nervous system regulate and you know we were talking about and she was like and this is after I’ve ran and done all these other things today and I was like, yeah, I went and ran this morning until I just couldn’t run anymore.


We have to move the energy related to the stress out of our body so that we can have clear thoughts and a healthy body too.

Go through our life with it’s a two-part process.


You have to release the stress from your body and curate very intentional.

Thoughts about your child and about your life.

So you don’t keep reliving the trauma.

I’m putting together a self-care series that will come out later in May there a series of podcasts and I’m really excited to share that with you guys because I’ve given you 2120 some episodes of Mind work but I also want to share how you can help your body to and how those two things work together.


But I want you to start thinking about it.

Now, what can you do for yourself to put your own oxygen mask on first?

How can you release some of the stress we have to take care of ourselves?

The way we want our kids to take care of themselves?


That’s really the answer.

I know we think the answer is fixing our kids but if we can’t do that and they don’t want to do that and they are not ready.

The only answer is for you to take care of yourself.

Okay, so now I’m going to move on to today’s topic.


I want to focus on a question that’s been coming up for me a lot lately and other parents share this with me too.

So I know that it comes up for you as well.

And that question is, what would your life be like without your child’s addiction?


And really you can insert any problem here.

It doesn’t have to just be addiction anything that you blame your life on, its all the same.

Would your life be easier if your child wasn’t struggling with addiction?

Would you be happier and healthier?


And it seems like a harmless question to ask yourself.

But without the right perspective, that question can also keep you stuck.

As long as something outside of you is the reason your life is the way it is, then you’re always powerless, you can’t change it.


Just nothing you can do.

But when you take ownership of the situation and focus on what you can control, then you take your power back and your focus on a battle that you can win.

You’re focused on something.

You can change when you’re focused on the addiction and your child, you cannot win the battle when you’re focused on yourself and what you can control, then you’re on the right track.


And I want to acknowledge that, of course.

You think about that?

Of course, you fantasize about what life would be like without addiction, who wouldn’t?

It’s only natural to wonder about it.

I just want to help you get to the other side of that.

I don’t want you to be stuck there.


I want to help you.

I want to take you from wondering about it.

To creating the life.

You think you could have if your child wasn’t struggling with addiction.

And first, I want to point out that wondering what your life would be like, without your child’s addiction.


It’s a one-sided question, it is tsums.

You’d still have the benefits of the things you learned from your child’s addiction, your perspective of the parent as the parent of a child struggling with addiction.


My daughter’s addiction, was my biggest teacher in life until breast cancer showed up recently.

So right now I have two very intense teachers in my life.

They’re handing me lessons, all day, every day, my perspective about life has changed tremendously because of those teachers.


And my first instinct is to say that it’s changed me, but that’s really not true.

What it’s done is made me more of myself.

It’s helped me shed a lot of the conditioning that I picked up in life and now I live a life that’s tailored to things that I love, instead of tailored to things that other people love.


I also have so much less judgement in so much more compassion.

Less labeling of things is good and bad, more insight less looking at things as wrong, or right.


The question of what would my life be like without my child’s addiction assumes, your life would just be better.

It also assumes.

Nothing else would be affecting your life if it wasn’t for their addiction.


You’d still have parenting to do though.

You’d still be giving your child your time.

It would just feel different because you would be labeling your time investment as beneficial.

So, I spent last Friday driving my daughter to rehab, it was an all-day investment of my time and I didn’t get home until midnight and I was exhausted.


By the time I got home, it was like Once I dropped her off, just the heaviness of everything that hit had happened over the last couple of weeks.

Just hit me all at once.

Like I didn’t even think I was going to be able to make it home and driving.


It was pretty intense.

How hard it hit me?

And I had to spend a couple of days just resting after that.

And so, of course, I had some mind drama about that investment of my time and energy and I was frustrated about it.



I own though that a lot of my frustration stemmed from, not protecting myself, better.

But part of learning how to do that, that’s just part of the process.

I want to be open and vulnerable with my daughter, but that means I’m going to get hurt.


Sometimes, just like in any other relationship though, that’s not unique to dealing with a child with addiction. so while I was driving, and over the weekend, had a lot of hours to think, And I realized that part of the reason I was angry was because I wasn’t sure if my time investment would be beneficial.


I wasn’t sure if my daughter would stay in rehab.

Like, you know, I just on the way home, kept waiting for the phone to ring for her saying, get me the hell out of here, them to say come back and pick her up.

And I wasn’t sure if she stayed, you know, 30 60 90 days, whatever if she would stay sober when she got out, I was just judging the whole situation looking at it from a fearful standpoint.


But then I thought like, all right, Right.

What if I was just driving her back to college?

There’d be no guarantee that her college experience would be successful, but I would be optimistic and labeling it as a worthy investment of my time wouldn’t be fearing that I would be wasting my time.


So, I don’t work through owning my decision to drive her.

I could have said, no, I didn’t have to take her.

It would have felt really shitty, not to take her, but it was still a choice.

Then second choosing to think this is her school rehab.


Is her school, Mind drama about what I was doing was 90% of the battle, and that’s how it is with everything in life, you have to have intentional thoughts.

Those were my intentional thoughts and when I’m not thinking intentionally, it has a major effect on my energy level mean, our thoughts can totally deplete us Were they can be neutral and have no real effect on our energy.


Either way or our thoughts can really energize us.

So in order not to deplete my energy.

I have to see that I’m making every single choice and that I don’t have to do anything that I want to.

I have to own my choices.


And even if I don’t like my options, it’s still a choice.

Like, if I’m not excited about not taking her and I’m not excited about taking her, it’s still a choice.

I choose to drive her to rehab and then I chose how I wanted to think about it.


That gets me out of a large part of the Mind drama, so I can focus on myself and what I want to create in my life.

So, I just walked you through the first step of creating the life.

You think you’d have if you weren’t dealing with your child’s addiction.

Step One is very intentional, thoughts about your child’s addiction that serve you second.


You have to focus on what you can do to protect your time and energy.

That means fine-tuning, what you’re willing to do thinking about boundaries, I have an episode just on boundaries, you can go listen to that to get more ideas about it but this is an ongoing process most parents can’t go from addiction, running their life and total chaos to being in control overnight.


I always tell my clients it’s like a video game.

You get good at one level and you move up to the next level.

You play at that level for a while.

While you build more skills that get you ready for the next level, you just do that over and over again.

Building more skills as you go.


And after this latest round of intense situations related to my daughter’s addiction, I’ve moved to another level.

I’m creating different skills, deciding how I’m going to handle that next level.

I’ve released her a little bit more.


And I’m really focused on the fact that she’s a grown woman, she’s going to be 21 in a few months when I was 21.

I never expected anybody to take care of me, I certainly appreciated help when it was given to me, but I never thought my problems were my mother’s problems and I’m grateful for that.


But sometimes I think that my daughter’s problems are my problems and when I do that, of course I make it easier for her to think that they’re my problems as well.

But luckily I have friends who are You are very brave, brave enough to send me text messages that they’re a little bit worried about being so honest with me.


But I am so grateful that I’m surrounded by people like that because I’m going to read you this text that my friend sent me the other day and it it instantly snap me out of owning responsibility for everything.

And this is what she said.

This was in a series of text messages, this was one of the last one.


She said also this will probably make you pissed off but you’ve been trying to figure out how to get Helena sober and keep her sober for over 6 years.

In none of your ideas have worked.

So what makes you think?

Any of your future ideas would work?


This is like me talking to a client If your mom was in charge of getting your Healthcare lined up for your breast cancer surgery, she do all the wrong things for you, which is why you’re doing it for yourself.

She was 100% right?


I’m the best person to decide what’s right for me and my daughter has to decide what’s right for her.

I can’t own responsibility for her life and I really truly believe.

I don’t know what’s best for her.


I’m the only person that knows what’s best for me.


So why would I think that I know what’s best for her?

Even I need help getting back on track sometimes and I am so grateful that I’m surrounded by people who will hit me with hard truths like that.

That’s a hard truth but it instantly snap me out of powerless, victim mode and I immediately felt a huge burden of responsibility.


Lifted off my shoulders.

Then I could go back to thinking how I can protect my time and energy on this level of the video game.

So how can I protect my time and energy?

I want to share a few things I learned from the events of the past few weeks.


And as you’re listening, I want you to think about what you can do to level up how you respond to your child’s addiction, how you can prepare yourself for the next level?

The first thing is, I have more guilt to work through my daughter, got me with some zingers, a few weeks ago and I immediately started responding to her in the whole situation from a place of guilt, which meant that I stopped following my instincts and started second-guessing myself.


And I haven’t done that in a long time.

That’s how I used to live.

My life was from coming from a place of guilt.

Pretty much for everything and second-guessed myself on everything.

And I shut down my instincts.


I’m not used to living that way, so it was pretty painful to go back into that.

The problem isn’t the things that my daughter said to me that made me feel guilty.

The problem is that I have guilt to work through.


All she did is pointed out to me.

She just showed me areas that I need to work on.

The second thing is in my guilty State, I own the whole situation, instead of putting some of the responsibility on her.


So just like I tell myself and just like I tell you guys, even if I was a terrible mother and my daughter’s life was awful, it’s her responsibility to work through her issues and create the life she wants.


Our kids can’t get better.

If they’re victims of their life.

They have to focus on what they can control, just like we do.

They are responsible for healing themselves now, I’m not saying that I’m a terrible mom or that my daughter’s life was awful.


I’m just saying that.

Even if it is true, she still responsible for her own healing just like we are.

And next time, I’ll point that out, I’ll point out that I have owned my part.

I have changed.

I am taking responsibility in every way that I can and she has to do.


The same thing.

Now, this is not, this hasn’t happened between us in years, so it totally caught me off guard.

Think it only happened because she was really in crisis that day, but it was still a huge learning opportunity for me.


And the third thing is, if my daughter is in crisis mentally or physically again, I will not let it go on, like I did this last time, I will know that I am not equipped to handle it.

And I will seek medical attention for her sooner.

Again there’s more details about this and episode 20 so you can listen to that episode to hear more of the backstory and maybe this will make more sense.


But my point here is that based on what I learned, I will respond differently next time.

That’s just three examples of how I’m going to uplevel protecting my time and energy.


The key Point here is that most of these events took place over to want a 24-hour period but the energy drain has continued on since then it gets a little bit better each day, but it is taken over, you know, away from my overall quality of life and I want to protect that.


That’s why it’s important to learn from each situation and make adjustments to how you want to respond.

Addiction might be there issue but how it affects our life that’s up to us time and energy is a precious resource and I want to spend as much of it as I can enjoying my life instead of needing days of downtime to recover from traumatic events, that can be handled differently.


So here’s the third and last part, I want you to answer the question.

What do you think your life would be like if your child wasn’t addicted?

What would you be doing?

How would your life be different?


How would you feel each day?

What would your family be like What do you think their addiction is keeping you from doing?

I want you to write all those things down.

Then I want you to go create those things.


Your child’s addiction is not a reason not to do any of those things.

Here’s the hard truth, it’s just an excuse that’s holding you back.

You’re stuck in an action which means you probably feel really busy like you’re doing a lot of things but the truth is you’re spinning your wheels and not actually creating anything.


Mean admittedly, maybe your path to what you want.

Looks a little different or takes a little longer because of your child’s addiction.

But you can still get there.

I mean, it’s our natural tendency to wait for this magical better or right time to do things but the problem is fear is always going to say, it’s not the right time yet.


Fear always lists all the things that can go wrong, but what if now is just the best time?

And I want you to know I’m living exactly what I’m telling you to do and I know other mothers who were doing it to other fathers who are doing it.


Other loved ones, who are living the life, spouses that they could live, if their loved one wasn’t struggling with addiction.

And I’ve had those thoughts recently that how much more I could create if I wasn’t dealing with my daughter’s addiction or breast cancer, it’s easy for me to believe that those things are holding me back.


I can come up with great Arguments for how those circumstances limit my life but I can also come up with great Arguments for how those circumstances is.

Have helped me create a better life.

So Ima learn leaning into answering those questions for myself.


Then doing the things I need to do to create the life.

I want.

I’m using my circumstances to push myself into creating more to finding more activities that I love like, sound bats on the beach to dreaming about the future.


I want and taking steps to make it happen.

You can have a child struggling with addiction and you can also have the life you believe you can’t have because of their addiction.

It might not look exactly the same and maybe it takes a little longer like I said before, but it is possible.


So here’s the steps again.

Step 1 have intentional thoughts about your child’s addiction that serve you step to protect your precious resources of time and energy.

Step 3, use the time and energy to create the life.


You think you would have if your child wasn’t struggling with addiction.

So if you’re feeling stuck and it feels impossible to create the life you want, let’s talk about it, I’ll help you move forward and create the life you want, but thank you.


Can’t have use the link in the show.

Notes to sign up for a call with me.

That’s all I have for today.

I hope you have a great rest of the week and I will 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.

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.