Episode 33 What are you hanging on to that’s familiar but not good for you?

Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Episode 33 What are you hanging on to that's familiar but not good for you?

Sometimes we cling to things that are hurting us just because they’re familiar. In this episode I share what I’ve been hanging on to and the effects of it on my life, and I offer some options about what you may be hanging on to and how it might be affecting your life. 

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This transcript has not been formatted or edited.

I’m Heather and this is the 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’s struggling with addiction.

Hey everybody. So today I had one of those life truth moments where I could really see how unhealthy something I was doing was. And I think it’s a great topic for a podcast because we all do it in different ways. I’ve been holding on to something that was killing me because it felt too hard.

to let it go. So I’ve been living with my sister and her wife since a few days before my surgery. So it’s been over a month now that I’ve been living with them. I could have moved home a while ago, but my dogs are happy there and I’m enjoying being around them. And I like the emotional support, so I’ve stayed. But I was at my house getting some things together for my surgery tomorrow, and I found my estrogen and progesterone pills.

And I had weaned off of them a few weeks before my surgery, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. And the insanity of that really hit me hard. I didn’t wanna throw them away because I was seeking a sense of control in the situation with my breast cancer.

I was still holding on to the idea that maybe somehow I could take those pills again, but I really know there’s no way that I can ever take them again. But I was hoping that maybe somehow everything could be the way it used to be again and I wouldn’t have to change. And that’s just my humanness. Like when I don’t want something to change, I resist it. And in the past, like with my daughter’s addiction, I resisted change until I realized

I was fighting a battle that I couldn’t win. The thing is, by the time I saw that, my life was a total mess. I didn’t like what I was doing to myself. It took me so long to see it. I mean, at least this time I learned a lot faster.

And the reason I take hormones is because I went through menopause by the time I was 40. I’m not sure why it happened when I was so young. It just did. Who knows? Maybe going through menopause so young would have saved me from getting breast cancer if I had never taken bioidentical hormones. But I just don’t go there because it’s just like when we try to figure out exactly where our kids’ addiction started. You know,

We try to figure it out so that we can fix it, but what we end up doing is finding all of the reasons that it’s our fault and we just end up feeling awful about ourselves and breast cancer is the same way, so I just don’t do it to myself. Just like with my daughter’s addiction, what I focus on is solutions. What steps do I need to take to ensure the best possible outcome? Those steps…

are my focus in any situation. I don’t waste my time spinning my wheels trying to figure out something that I will never figure out in something that just hurts me in the long run. All right, so back to menopause. And I’m just going to apologize to the men who are listening, but I promise, if you listen with an open mind, you can get something out of this, so just hang in there. And I felt like…

hell without my natural hormones when I went through menopause. I gained a ton of weight. I felt like I was aging quicker. I wasn’t sleeping. My hair was falling out. I had brain fog. It just seemed like physically everything was going wrong. I felt like I was falling apart. So when I started taking bioidentical hormones and suddenly felt amazing, it was like finding the fountain of youth. Like…

it made it easier for me to start healthy habits in my life. So I’ve given the hormones a lot of credit. I’ve given them a lot of power. But when I found out I had breast cancer and that it was estrogen and progesterone positive, which means that it loves those hormones and it feeds on them, I was devastated at the thought that.

I would have to go back to feeling the way I did before.

I was totally resistant to letting the hormones go. I was clinging to something that my breast cancer was feeding on. And I knew that nobody would prescribe me hormones knowing that I had breast cancer or had ever had it in my life. So I even thought about how I could lie and get them. And because I was diagnosed.

at one of the biggest health networks in the area, I knew I’d have to find a doctor that wasn’t connected to that network and lie to them. And I’m not proud of that, that I went down that road and was even, you know, fantasizing about such a dishonest scheme that would have been so harmful to me.

I don’t think it was a good idea. I’m just sharing how desperate I felt in being really honest at how much power I was giving to my hormone pills and how it was clinging to something that was clearly causing me harm. And I was praying that the tests would show that my receptors would have a really low percentage for how much they liked hormones because I was thinking that even then, maybe I could cling to it and keep taking them.

Well, that did not happen. My receptors were 100% estrogen and progesterone positive. I mean, it can be as low as 1% or anywhere between 1 and 100. And mine was 100%. That means my cancer loved hormones. So when I got that news for the first time,

I became willing to quit taking my pills because my doctor explained to me that if there was any stray cells of breast cancer anywhere in my body outside of the area that I was having surgery on, like say you can get breast cancer anywhere in your body, there could be some cells in my leg. If I kept taking those hormones, I would be feeding that cancer that might not otherwise ever grow. Yet…

I couldn’t throw away the pills that I had leftover after I finished weaning off them. So I put them in my drawer and I forgot about them until today when I found them. In the second I picked them up, I thought, wow, this stuff was killing me and I felt the need to save it because I needed a sense of control and I was giving it so much power.

And then I asked myself like, how else am I doing that in my life? Where else am I clinging to something that isn’t good for me because it gives me a false sense of control? What else am I giving so much power to that doesn’t deserve it? And here’s the truth, so far I don’t feel any different since I quit taking the hormones. Nothing is different.

And for four long months, I agonized over my belief that not taking my hormones was going to seriously impact my quality of life in a lot of negative ways. But since I live a much more balanced life than I did when I started taking them, I’m fine. Now that my body doesn’t have all those hormonal ups and downs and I live a life focused on mental and physical health, I sleep eight hours a night, I work out regularly.

I eat healthy, I’m always working on my mental health, I meditate, I wasn’t doing any of those things before. That’s a huge part of the reason I felt so awful. We always have so much more power than we realize. Our minds and our bodies are capable of amazing things like just watching my body heal over the last month.

and the changes in my, you know, like what I was able to do from one day to the next is amazing to me. So I just want you to ask yourself, like what are you clinging to that’s killing you? Maybe not literally killing you, but causing you great stress in stealing your quality of life. Are you staying caught up in…

unhealthy relationship patterns because you don’t believe you can change the pattern? Are you trying to control your child’s addiction but really it’s controlling you? Are you going to work every day hating your job but ignoring that you have a choice in whether you go or not? Or you could change jobs but you choose not to? There’s always choices even when you don’t like your options.

Or do you replay negative stories about yourself that keep you stuck and unhappy? What is it that you need to let go of? I threw away my pills today. What are you going to throw away?

That’s all I have for you this week. I hope that you have a great rest of the week and I will be back next week.

Thank you for listening to this episode. If you wanna learn more about my work, go to heat If you wanna 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.