Hey there, it’s Michelle Lisa Anderson, creator and founder of Love Over Addiction. It’s a community of over 20,000 women from over 130 countries all over the world, which is absolutely crazy to me. We all have something in common: we all love somebody suffering from addiction.
We’re all women (most of us), and there are some men. I receive emails from men all the time, actually, asking, “Is this program for me?” Although we don’t allow men in our secret Facebook group, some men have purchased the program. In their heads, they turn the program from a “she” to a “he,” and they say it works great for them as well.
So, these are universal, practical tools and tips, that you can start implementing today to make a very big difference in your recovery. I’ll teach you exactly what to do.
Isn’t this frustrating when you love somebody who seems so out of control, and you don’t know how to help? And your heart hurts for them. They are hurting your heart, and you just need help.
I remember being that woman and loving a very good man who was so full and still is amazingly full of potential.
He was very good looking, super popular, and could do calculus in ninth grade as well as write poetry. He was the full package. And he was funny, really funny. We met in high school and reconnected later on and fell in love and had three wonderful children together.
I had never, ever experienced addiction, so I did not know what it looked like. It took me about two years to figure it out, which is a long time, I know, but love makes you blind, doesn’t it? Anyway, I remember going through this feeling incredibly alone. And I kept it a secret because I wanted to protect him.
I struggled in my kitchen or in my bedroom or on the bathroom floor for years by myself.
And I thought, “If I ever figure out these answers, if I can ever be of service to anyone, I will dedicate the rest of my life teaching other women what worked for me.”
So that’s what this is: Wife of an Alcoholic podcast, the Love Over Addiction program, Love Over Boundaries program, the Love Over Mistakes program, and all of the collective efforts that we have in store for 2018. We have big plans for this community. I’m so glad you joined us today.
We are going to talk about your recovery. And I’m going to warn you. It’s going to be a little in your face. I know I’ve been saying that a lot on these podcasts, and I’m sorry because I just have this burning desire to be super truthful with you.
So maybe next month I won’t be as feisty as I am feeling this month, but I’m just on fire. And I want you to be told the truth from somebody who loves you and from somebody who gets it.
I didn’t read this in a textbook. I did go to school for psychology, but I have personal experience. So I didn’t read this from a textbook. I’m not somebody who only knows this by hearing a lot of stories.
I personally experienced this for 10 years—loving somebody with addiction.
And we’ve been doing this for, I think, eight years now. So every day, all day long, addiction is my world, and I feel like you can trust me. I feel like I can tell you the truth and you know it’s coming from a friend and a sister.
Also, when I tell you these loving truths, there’s no judgment because I used to do this. I used to make these same mistakes or feel this way. So again, there is absolutely no judgment.
I’m stalling a little bit because I’m about to say something that you might not want to want to hear. Are you ready? This is coming from a place of love, okay? You have to promise me you’re not going to turn this off. You’re going to listen to the whole episode, and you’re not going to unsubscribe.
Here’s the deal: you are addicted too.
You’re addicted too.
You know how you love somebody who suffers from addiction? You’re suffering from addiction as well. And it’s not your fault. It’s entirely not your fault. There’s the grace, right? It is absolutely not your fault that you have become an addicted person.
Addiction is called a family disease for a reason. Addiction has affected the family. And it has conditioned you. Addiction has conditioned you.
You have been tricked and fooled into trying too darn hard to fix someone who isn’t ready for recovery.
Did you hear that? You’ve been tricked and fooled into trying too hard. You’re trying too hard to help somebody—to fix somebody.
Too much of your effort and too much of your thought, too much of your time and too much of your anxiety and your emotions are going towards trying to help somebody who is not ready to be helped.
So, what do you do? Are you hopeless? Do you give up? Well, if you know anything about this community and my beliefs system, it is absolutely not hopeless. You are in no way, shape, or form helpless.
It is not fundamentally healthy for you to just sit back and go, “You know what, I’m surrendering everything. I’m going to wait until they decide to get sober to start to feel better.”
We are in charge of our own recovery—you and me. And we are not powerless.
So just like the one you love needs to decide that they have hit rock bottom, you need to decide you’ve hit your own rock bottom.
And that day is today. It’s going to be the day that you are willing to change your old patterns and start a new beginning. You’re going to rely on your courage, and yes, you have it. It’s deep inside your bones. I promise you.
You are sitting here saying, “Michelle, I don’t have courage. I’m weak, I’m frail, I’m gentle, and I’m fragile.” Listen to me. You have more courage than you know. You have oodles and oodles, and it’s just waiting to come out.
But courage does not happen and show up when you’re folding laundry.
It does not happen until you draw upon it and you act and step out in faith and try to do something courageous. Then it shows up.
Then it’s like, “Oh, you need me. Game on. I’m here for you. I have your back. I have been waiting in the deepest part of your soul to come out. Thank you for letting for giving me a voice. Thank you for trusting that I am here. I will prove to you that I am here.” That’s what your courage is saying to you.
And you need courage.
You need it to break the dangerous and deadly cycle of addiction.
I use the word dangerous, and I use the word deadly. They are intense words, but I use those with intention. I know what I am saying.
And you might be saying, “Michelle, I’m not the one with the problem. I’m not the one getting drunk or doing drugs. I’m not the one surfing porn at 2 am. It’s not me who’s leaving my family and not coming back for weekends or hours at a time. I’m the one who’s responsible and takes care of everything. I’m the one who’s reliable and honest.”
And I get it. You’re thinking your loved one is the one who’s using drugs. They’re the one whose life is out of control.
I’m going to spend the first part of our time together today teaching you what you could possibly be addicted to. Are you with me? Do you promise you’re going to listen? Will you promise you’re not going to turn this off? Okay, did some of you just think about turning it off? Do not do that. Hear me out. I promise this will have a happy ending, and this will help you.
You’re addicted to helping them.
I think, in fact, I’m almost certain most of you found me because you were looking for help for them. I hear it all the time. You’re Googling, and you’re researching ways for them to get sober, and I show up on your phone or your desktop or your tablet.
Most of you got here because you were trying to find ways to help.
You might have been researching about narcissism or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or personality disorders or what to do with the person that you love. Yeah, I get it, and I know that because a lot of times if you google that, my information pops up as results.
Okay, so here’s the deal. If you’re reading anything currently about addiction, I want you to put it back on the shelf or close out of the browser or window or (you know me and my technical skills), X out of that window or whatever. No more. No more researching about addiction. That’s one way that you are addicted to helping them.
You’re addicted to the drama.
I know that hurt to hear, but I was with you. I remember when someone told me that, and it stung so bad, but when I gave it some thought, and I took a break and really thought about that, I realized they might have a point.
And Let me explain why because this is not your fault. I promise you. Addiction has conditioned you to expect drama. You ride the highs of hope when they tell you they will get sober, and then you experience the despair and disappointment when you find out they were lying.
I live in Florida, so it’s like a ride at Disney called addiction, and we’re all in line for it, right? We’re all taking this ride together. And it is going up and down, and if we were to get to a point in the ride where it’s slow and steady, it almost becomes uncomfortable for us.
We don’t know what to do, right?
We don’t know what to do with ourselves.
So we get antsy, and we get untrusting. And so sometimes in those slow and steady moments, we create the drama because we’ve been conditioned.
You’re addicted to the rejection.
Okay, so let’s be real. There is a part of you that deep down inside believes that you are not worthy of the love that you crave. You’re sitting here asking your loved one to become this person you need.
I’m not trying to get super psychological on you, but if the one you love became everything you’re hoping for, do you think that you would be fully ready to accept that kind of love?
Like I said, I can raise my hand to every single one of these. When I left my ex-husband with my three kids, and I started dating Brian who is now my husband, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t ready to accept that kind of love.
Brian is the type of man who is reliable and trustworthy and shows up when he says he is. He always does the right thing. Sometimes it can be mildly annoying. I’m the crazy one, and he’s the guy who’s always doing the right thing.
And I love that about him. I cherish that about him because my crazy is not really that crazy, but it’s just a nice balance. So he’s the slow and steady one. And he loves me so much. He does things for me that just blow me away.
So I am a runner in my relationships. When things get difficult, when conflict happens, in the past, I have always been the one to grab my keys, get my purse, get in the car and leave.
I beat them to the punch when I think there’s a possibility of rejection and I leave.
I used to tell myself it was because I needed space to think, but that wasn’t quite true. It was just a very dysfunctional coping mechanism. And I realized how dysfunctional it was with Brian because there was nothing this man was doing that was causing me to grab my keys and my purse. It was out of fear.
And truthfully, it was a knee-jerk reaction from being so wounded and broken in my first marriage. I still had a lot of work to do to reprogram myself, but I couldn’t do it without getting into another relationship if that makes any sense.
So I had done as much work as I possibly could when I was a single mom on myself as an individual. But there was still work to do that showed up when I got into another relationship with a man. And I worked through that.
And here’s how it happened. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was feeling insecure, and I was feeling afraid, so I grabbed my keys.
Brian came to me, put his hand on top of my hand where I had grabbed the keys, looked me right in the eye, and said, “no more. If you walk out that door, right now, you cannot walk back in. I’m done with this; you cannot leave every time things get tough.”
And you know what? I was so stinking grateful that someone called me on my crap and called me out on this whole cycle of leaving because I was afraid of being rejected by him.
So I want to challenge you. Let’s say you leave the relationship with the one you love, and you’re in another one. And you were loved absolutely unconditionally the way that I craved and the way you crave.
Would you be ready for that kind of love?
Do you feel worthy of that? Do you feel like you genuinely deserve to be cherished? If the answers are “no,” “I’m not sure,” or “I think that would be very hard for me to accept,” then you need recovery.
These are just some of the ways that we are addicted. I cover way more of this in the Love Over Addiction program. So now, if you can identify with anything that I just shared, here’s what I want you to do about it. Are you ready?
You need to start your own recovery. Today. Right now.
Just like how you want the one you love to go to rehab, and you dream about them being super passionate about their sobriety. Well, that’s how passionate you need to be about yours.
Have you ever seen that man or woman who works their sobriety into almost every conversation, or they spend the rest of their lives trying to help other people recover? They share their story whenever possible.
They make decisions not to go out to certain places because they know they’re going to be tempted. They’re on fire for their recovery. They’re the type of people you respect because they are the ones who are always putting their recovery and self-care first.
Have you ever met anyone like that or ever seen a movie or documentary or heard about anyone like that? That’s who I want you to become about you—about your recovery. You need to be that woman who is on fire and puts her recovery first because you are addicted.
And in order to break the addiction that you have, you need to embrace and prioritize your recovery as much as your addict does.
So how do you do this? You need to join the Love Over Addiction program if you have not. It’s over 2 ½ hours of audio, so you can listen to it while you’re running. You can listen to it while you’re folding laundry. You can listen to it while your lying in bed.
There are 21 videos, and if you’re the type of woman who needs a physical product in your hand, I’ve got you covered. We’ve got this amazing 200-page workbook. It’s beautiful.
The woman who did it worked for Martha Stewart. It’s gorgeous, and it’s an option for you. You don’t have to buy it. You get the option once you check out to add it to your order.
I have the tools that you need, but it’s up to you to choose to save yourself—to choose your recovery and guard it with your life.
And until you do, you are dying a slow death.
If you’ve joined the program already and you are part of our community, this is your loving kick in the butt, sister. Make your healing a priority. If you are not inside that program every day, if you’re not taking out your workbook, it’s not enough. You almost need to memorize that program.
You need to hear my voice in your head when the next chaotic situation comes up, so you are strong in your recovery, and you know exactly how to handle it. And you think, “Okay, here’s my list of tools.”
It’s almost like a Rolodex going through your head, and you know what to say, you know what to do, and you’re strong enough to follow through with it.
And if you make your healing a priority, where you are today will not be where you are 30 days from now.
You will be in a completely different place. You will be in an even better place 60 days from now. And where you’ll be a year from now is a whole other world—a whole other vicinity.
You can’t even imagine how amazing and strong and courageous and the transformation of a woman that you will become. But you have to guard your recovery with your life. It’s that difficult and that simple. So, if you’re interested, check us out at LoveOverAddiction.com. Listen to these podcasts.
Also, I haven’t mentioned this in a while, but we have another podcast which is amazing. Thank you for all the amazing feedback and loving support for that. It’s called Love Over Addiction, and it’s me interviewing and coaching women in our community.
Their stories will blow your mind. You will listen to them, and you will say, “Mmm, that is me.” And that is proof that we are all in this together.
You are not alone. I’m here for you.
We are all here for you. You are doing great. It doesn’t matter if you fail today. Tomorrow is a new day. Pick yourself off, and dust yourself off. Remember that addiction wants to fool you into believing that you are powerless, you are not worthy of love, and there’s nothing you can do.
I’m here to be a louder voice in your head saying, “Honey, you’ve got this. You are not helpless. You’re strong. You are courageous.” It’s okay if you want to fall apart today. Make space for that. Then dry your tears off, pick yourself back up, listen to the program, and keep working it.
This is work. This is your job. You need to take on recovery like it is your part-time job. I’ve got your back. This is not going to be helpless forever. I love you. I will talk to you next week.
Subscribe to this if you haven’t already, and don’t forget to check us out at LoveOverAddiction.com. And if you have joined the program and you have a question for me, tag me in the secret Facebook group because I love getting to know you in there. Take Care.