Love Over Addiction Podcast with Susan M.

Today my sweet Susan shares with us about growing up in an alcoholic home. She talks about what it feels like to become the caregiver at a really early age. Susan is so full of courage, and I am in awe of her spirit.

 

We discuss what it feels like to leave your marriage and make the transition, plus many more topics that will move your heart to a deep place of compassion.

 

I know you’re going to enjoy hearing this beautiful woman share her story.

 

Michelle: Thank you so much for agreeing to speak with me. I am really grateful. I know it takes a lot of courage to share your story, and so I really appreciate your help in doing this.

 

Susan: Well, I appreciate you more than you know, and I’m happy to share my story if it can help someone out there, and then I am more than willing and able to do it.

 

M: Well, let’s start a from the beginning. So the first question I always like to ask is: how did you meet your husband, and when did you start to see red flags—signs that something was off?

 

S: We met, actually, in college. When did I start seeing signs? He was a heavy partier, but everybody partied in college. It was just the way things were, and he seemed to be always the first one at the party and always the last one standing. And I think when I noticed there was a problem was really after we had our first child. There was not really settling down. He was still partying like in college. He never went to bars and things like that, but he was still always the first one at the party and the last one standing. And I had since moved on from that. And just—just not taking that next step to settle down and be a family man.

 

M: Ok, so you met in college; you noticed he enjoyed partying. When did you all get married? Was it after college, and did you have any hesitation in marrying him?

 

S: I was actually thinking about this yesterday. We married right after both of us graduated college. And did I have any hesitation? Absolutely not. I was raised in a very dysfunctional alcoholic home, and I was at that point in my life—just so grateful that someone with that popularity and that charisma wanted me. And so, for me, we had a very tumultuous dating history—on again, off again, on again, and then after we got engaged, it got set, and we didn’t really have any problems from that point on, so was I hesitant? Absolutely not. Ready to jump right in.

 

M: This is what you’d grown up with, so it almost felt familiar to you and comfortable in some weird way, even though it was still functional.

 

S: Yeah, my home life—my mother was sick. She was actually the first diagnosed case of Lupus at the Mayo Clinic, and I took on responsibility way too early. I mean, from the time I could ride my bike to the grocery store and get groceries, I took care of a family of 5. And my mother, not on purpose, but because they really didn’t know how to treat the disease, she was hooked on pills way early in the disease. And then it was like if she couldn’t get the pills, then it was alcohol.

My dad just a dealt with it by working. Work, work, work, work—never there. I can’t remember a single memory of my dad before I was a teenager. So I was ready to have someone care for me which is what I thought I was getting into. Oh my gosh, how wrong I was.

 

M: How were you wrong?

 

S: Well, other than monetarily, my husband has never really taken care of me ever. I’ve always been the one that’s done all the caretaking, and he’s been a great provider and a great provider for our kids, but not really there emotionally ever.

 

M: And how long how long were you married to him, or how long have you been married to him?

 

S: We just made 36 years, and we are living separately now. I’m trying to work on myself, and I had to separate myself from him in order to do that, so that’s where I am.

M: 36 years is a long time to be with somebody. Particularly since he’s probably one of the only guys you’ve ever known since you married him right out of college, so how did you get to the point where you were ready to separate?

 

S: Well, our lifestyle has been different. He worked for a company that we traveled overseas and lived overseas and raised our kids overseas, and at a certain point, about 20 years ago, we made the decision to move back to the states and let our kids go to high school there. They’d never been to school in the United States, so we thought it was really important. And when we did that, he started working in Africa. 28 days on and 28 days off. And his 28 days off were horrendous. That’s when his drinking really escalated to the point of starting first thing in the morning and drinking to passing out and waking up and doing it all over again until he went to bed at night.

And his behavior just got so unpredictable. So I did that for about 12 years, and I think the reason I did it so long was because I could always—I knew that 28 days of release was coming. I was going to be able to have 28 days to get myself back together, and so that’s how that went along.

Then finally his behavior just got so unpredictable, and I thought to myself, “I would rather live in a shack than do this,” so I asked him for a divorce, and that’s when he decided to seek help.

And from that point on, he’s been in four different treatment facilities. One for 90 days, and he’s never been sober longer than 6 months. We moved back overseas without the kids and prepared for retirement and built a house, and then I came home to check on the things with the house, and he came with me and went back to go work, and that’s when he fell off big time—to the point where his company said, “You’ve got to go back into treatment, and you’ll never come back here again.” And so when that happened, I had to go back and move all of our things. This was in the Middle East, and that was the hardest thing I ever did.

I mean, it was one step forward, three steps back.

I had to sell cars, and I had to move our things. They wouldn’t let me close the bank account because it wasn’t in my name, and the women over there—they are basically non-existent. So you can imagine what kind of a struggle that was to do that while he’s sitting up here on serenity hill in some rehab facility. But anyway, we got through that, and he—

 

M: How are you feeling about him? I love hearing this story, and I think it’s absolutely amazing and courageous of you to be able to sell cars. We consider that hard to do in America. But I’m picturing you alone by yourself with your husband not even at your side. You don’t have your kids in the country, you’re in a country that is known for being derogatory towards women, and you’re facing all of these challenges.

Are you feeling angry? Are you feeling scared? How are you feeling about him? Are you resenting him that he put you in this position, or how are you feeling about him?

 

S: That really showed me what kind of man he truly was. I feel like he could have worked out some sort of agreement with his company to either stall the move or go back himself and do it himself. But he was just quick to say, “Here you go. You need to go do this, and here are all these papers from the company giving you permission to do all of these things.” And, of course, that piece of paper was just ridiculous. They didn’t honor any of those papers.

I didn’t speak the language. I don’t speak Arabic and never had the desire to learn to speak Arabic.

So it was just honestly by the grace of God and some help with a very good friend over there that got me through it.

I know God had his hand in it for sure because I would have never been able to try to sell the car.

I finally get the cars sold. They pay me in cash. I try to put it in the bank. They won’t even allow me to put it IN the bank. I was saying, “This is a deposit.” I wasn’t taking it out, I was putting it in. And so I had to deposit it into my friend’s account who then wired it to our account in the United States. It was just a real unbelievable—and yes, the whole time I was there, I was scared; I was angry.

As much as I try to work through it, I still have severe, major resentment towards him for that because he never really made amends. As a matter of fact, he got out of rehab while I was still there and drank because he felt so bad that I was there. But I used to hold a resentment. I tried to work through it really hard, and I think I’ve gotten to a place where I can handle it.

 

M: Do you feel like you’ve gotten to a better place because you were able to separate? Do you feel like that’s giving you some clarity, or do you feel like you got to that place before you decided to leave?

 

S: Before I decided to leave. The true reason that I left was because he works the program and he does everything he’s supposed to do, but as soon as I split town to do something that I want to do and that I feel is important to me (like going to take care of my daughter when she has a baby or going to see the grandbabies or going for a girls weekend or anything like that), trying to interact socially, I come home to a shit show (pardon me).

But his binge lasts as long as my vacation. And when I come home, I have to deal with all the drama. He won’t leave the house. He won’t go into detox, he won’t do this, and I gave him lots of opportunities to clean his act up and not do that. And he just continues to do it.

So I felt like I was a prisoner in my own home isolating myself from everybody.

You don’t want to make new friends, you don’t want to commit to volunteering, you don’t want to do any of that because then, when you can’t make it or when you do separate (which was one of my boundaries—I won’t be in the house, or he won’t be in the house when he’s drunk. I won’t be there when he’s detoxing.) even though I’m a nurse, I refuse to take responsibility for that. And so you have to explain to your friends and to your whatever, and I can tell you people at my age don’t take that information very easily. They don’t want to hear it.

 

M: Really? What do they do?

 

S: Well, it’s too much information. They don’t want to know that you’re having issues. I have a couple of really good friends that I’ve had for my lifetime. And they are open and want to hear what’s going on with me. But mostly people—and I’m not trying to categorize them, but people in retirement or people over 50—it’s like it’s too much information for them. They don’t want to process the fact that you’re unhappy or you’re not dealing well. They just want to get together with you and enjoy coffee and socialize and talk about the weather

 

M: Oh wow. Well, that’s isolating and lonely. I never thought about that. I’m glad you’re sharing that because I have never heard that before, and I could completely see that. I wonder why? I wonder why because I feel like this generation—the younger generation is all about airing dirty laundry and being very transparent and saying how things really are, so it’s very interesting that the older generation doesn’t want to deal with that, and that’s really sad.

That’s really sad because think of all the issues that are not getting spoken about.

 

S: Well, I think a lot of people my age—I’m 58, and I think a lot of people my age grew up in that era where you don’t you talk about this. You don’t air your dirty laundry. It’s an Ozzie and Harriet mentality. You put forth this happy family, and you don’t hear anything in the background. That’s where it stays in the background, and it was very difficult.

I was sexually abused as a child numerous—many, many times by my brother, and it was very difficult for me to come forward with that information to my therapist even—or I’ve done some workshops that are onsite in the meadows. I don’t know if you know those places, but workshops for traumas. And so I feel like I’m going get played with all of that, but you just don’t air that kind of stuff. This age group that I’m in—they don’t want to hear bad news.

They just want to live their life with their rose-colored glasses, even if their lives suck (which I’m sure a lot of them do).

 

M: I’ve spoken to other people who were sexually abused that were also in relationships with an alcoholic or even a man who was addicted to pornography. Do you feel like you’re sexual abuse had any influence over your decision to marry this man? Or did it come into play at all when—here you are being vulnerable with somebody and putting all your trust in them, believing them, and then they turn around and hurt you.

Did it mirror anything that you had gone through earlier in your childhood, and would healing from your sexual abuse—was that empowering in helping you deal with your husband today?

 

S: Well, I’m going to share some details on this sexual abuse just because I think it’s extremely important for what exactly made me and formed me, and then maybe it will be a little more clear to you. And you can air it, or you can not. I shared my story, and I’m ok with it, but I actually didn’t realize the sexual abuse until I was over 40. And it started to come back to me in dreams.

My mother would send me next door, and there were teenage boys, and they were from a good family—raised right, but they would rape me every day and put me out in the backyard for the dog to attack me. I was maybe 5—I don’t even know if I was 5.

Then later in life, in my late elementary school, early middle school, my brother abused me. There was never intercourse, but there was definitely abuse there, and so I just thought that was the way it was, and that was the way it was supposed to be.

And I was not raised with any self-worth. I had absolutely none.

I graduated college and became a nurse, and I was very good at it, but I never really realized that until just now. Being a retired nurse and—so, as far as marrying my husband, that goes back to, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this great guy wants me.” Nobody’s ever wanted me, and so I think as far as being empowered now—absolutely, I am empowered by it. Doing the workshops and doing the work with my therapist over this has made me realize—and it’s gotten rid of all my shame, and all of that that goes along with that.

I wouldn’t say that my self-worth is—just that’s my priority. But I am making progress.

And I do realize that I deserve more than what I’m getting from my husband which is what empowered me to split from him—to try to figure out what makes Susan happy.

I don’t even have a clue. What does Susan even like to do? I don’t know. So that was sort of the point of splitting and leaving town and moving to a new place where I could step out of my comfort zone and the codependency and really push my boundaries and try to figure out, ok, what does Susan like to do really? So that’s where I am right now.

 

M: That’s huge. Thank you, first of all. Thank you for sharing that and being brave for sharing that. I know there are women that can relate to what you just shared. And I really appreciate your vulnerability. I think what you just said was so wise: we get so caught up in other people. Even your profession, your fixing and helping other people—it’s always about other people whether it’s our husband or our friend or our kids, and so I love what you just shared about.

I think this is a very important part of the Love Over Addiction program: aking self-inventory and making that list of 10 things that you really enjoy doing.

I remember when I started my list—just the idea that I would say, “What is it that you like to do, Michelle? If you had free time, what would bring you joy?” I remember thinking I haven’t thought that question ever maybe. I’ve never (or in a long time) actually thought about myself, and at first, I felt very selfish about it.

I felt very, “Is this ok that I’m considering my own feelings and my own desires? Shouldn’t it just be about serving others?”

But then I realized how healthy I became when I actually made time for myself every day, and I turned it into a habit.

I felt like I became a better mom. I became a better friend—just a better person. Did you feel that way when you asked yourself those questions?

 

S: I felt that way exactly, and I’m still early on in the process, so I’m just trying to—I still feel if I did something for myself–like the other day I got a massage that my kids had given me a gift card for. And I felt so selfish for doing that. Not only that, I felt like I had to rush home to—I don’t know why. Because there’s nothing to rush home to. There’s no—I have no time constraints on me anymore.

I have no responsibilities to anyone but myself here.

So I’m still working through that, and still, I’m working my gratitude list. I found it very difficult to find anything to be grateful for, but that list is definitely growing, and I’m really trying to slow down and relax in my new environment and just try to focus on things that I might want to go do.

 

M: I adore the fact that you just said, “the rushing home.” I know women listening to this are just nodding their heads so much. I think so many people can relate to the rushing home. Why are we rushing home? We have nothing to do, and I think the guilt—and I also, think that after 36 years of being with somebody, you’re trained. I don’t want to say brainwashed because that’s that’s a pretty strong word, but you’re trained automatically to have these responses.

And when you step out of what’s comfortable for you and do something brave that’s uncomfortable, like a massage, I think it’s completely natural to almost go into panic mode a little bit because it feels so unfamiliar—because it feels a little unsafe.

If you I remember, I was with my ex-husband for 10 years. I would say it took me a good 2-3 years to unwind from being in the dysfunctional relationship. And so I think a lot of times women leave and they think, “Oh, I’ve left; I’ve separated from myself, and all of a sudden, the healing and the growth need to come immediately, and I should be this new woman, and I should be ok in every area,” and that is untrue.

You have to unlearn the habits and the reactions that you had at that time, and that takes years.

So the first thing is always just to recognize that you are actually rushing home. That’s the first and best step possible: to recognize the behaviors and go, “Huh, I actually don’t need to do this. I can slow down, I can take a deep breath, and I can be just fine taking 5 extra minutes going home and obeying all the traffic lights and all of the speed speeding signs and just relaxing into this new way of life.”

S: Everything you said is just so spot on. I thought moving—making the actual move to come here was going to be the hardest thing I ever did. And I was so wrong about that because that was the easy part.

The hardest part now is learning to function in this new environment and trying to get rid of all those old habits.

And of course, I’ve been here now about 6 weeks, and I immediately— “Oh, I’ve got to volunteer; I’ve got to see my grandbabies every day, and I’ve got to connect with old friends. Oh my gosh, I’ve got to get a part-time job, I’ve got to—” all of those things, so I was trying to figure it out in a week. I’ve got to get a new car, I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do that, and I finally—the pressure out of that was just so overwhelming that I just had to sit back and say, “Oh my gosh, you don’t have to fix this today. You haven’t even been here a week.

Chill, and just realize that this is going to take some time, and it’s ok to sit here and do absolutely nothing if that’s what you feel like doing.” So that’s been really difficult for me, but I’m getting better at it all the time.

 

M: That’s so wonderful to hear. I’m so proud of you. I think you’re right. We have to learn to be kind to ourselves again when there’s no noise in the background in your home telling you how rotten you are. Or rejecting you all the time and making you feel terrible. You’re left with white space, with white noise, and with silence. What we tend to do in silence when we’ve just left chaos and drama is starting to realize there are all these other voices getting louder and louder, and it’s making that moment—recognizing in that moment that those are not the voices of God. Those are not pure thoughts; that’s just noise filling up your mind.

Be still to get centered, to listen, and to be gentle and kind and compassionate with ourselves.

To start reminding ourselves that we are going to be ok. That everything will be ok. Reminding ourselves who we trust and why we trust him. Looking back, I think about everything that we have overcome. I know you think that leaving was easy, but I don’t think it is easy. I think you are just ripping yourself off of giving yourself credit for that. That wasn’t easy, sweetie. That took a lot of courage to do. And so it’s looking back over the last 7 days, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, even years, and going, “Look at how far I’ve come!”

You are a woman who has really committed to her healing and her recovery. You’re a woman who’s going to workshops, going to therapy groups, and joining this program. You deserve a lot of credit for having the ambition and the drive to make her healing important. And that is really something to sit still and recognize. That’s a huge victory to be celebrated.

 

S: Well, I appreciate that, and it is exhausting. What I’ve realized is the chaos and the noise and the urgency and the drama and everything that comes with, well, the lifestyle that I led—that was comfortable. As crazy as it is, that, to me, was comforting and comfortable, and this is so foreign. But just being able to open my heart to the newness of this and—it’s a struggle.

It’s not something that comes naturally for sure, but I’m embracing it.

I have to tell myself every day, “Ok, you didn’t move here just to sit on your rear end and be miserable. So what can I do to change that today? How can I change that? What can I do today to make today a good day?” And that’s probably the most difficult thing I say to myself every day because I want to—just the comfortable place for me is just to sit here and be miserable. You know what I mean?

 

M: Yeah, I do know what you mean.

 

S: So, that’s been outside the box for me.

 

M: I love that you are doing it in your 50s, and that is such hope because we have a lot of women in our community who are in their 50s—late 50s, 60s that I get emails all the time saying, “I just feel like it’s too late for me. I feel like I’ve lived most of my life like this. I’ve been married for 30+ years, and I just feel like this is—I’m supposed to stay here stuck. But I don’t want to. But who’s going to love me at this age? And how do I start over when I’m this age?” I love that you’re giving a voice to that. You’re actually the leader and saying, “Listen, it can be done, and I’m doing it, and I am capable of it.”

Do you ever regret it? Are there days where you go, “Mmm, I should probably go back”?

S: I definitely do say that to myself—not so much now as I did in the beginning, but listening to what you just said, it makes me think that if I could share just one piece of advice with these ladies in their 50s and 60s who think it’s too late to do this—all I can say about that is: what motivated me to do this along with just being miserable was I was more afraid of still being here when I’m 80 and still being miserable and not letting life—and the big thing that you said about who’s going to love me. I’ve thought about that. Who’s going to love me?

And the honest truth is at this age, I just have to love me. If I can love me, then that is a huge, huge accomplishment.

I feel like if I can love me, then I’m going to admit that to myself, and others will accept me. And will I find love with a man again. Or I don’t even care about that. I mostly just care about loving myself, and I’ve never had that opportunity before. I’m still not there. But that is a number one goal for me. If I can’t like me, no one else is going to like me, and this is the way it’s going to be no matter where I live or what I’m doing.

If I don’t love myself, I’m never going to get anywhere.

M: That is so powerful. That is so, so powerful. And I know you’re on the road there. I know you’re on the path. You say you might not be getting—you’re not there yet, but let me tell you. You’ve got your bag and your packed lunch, and you’re walking down that road, and you are on your way to your destination. You don’t get there by sitting in your house and going, “I just want to sit in my misery.” You get there by asking yourself the questions that you’re asking. And that’s how I know—and then putting action behind it.

It’s one thing—there are some people out there that think—and I’ve been this way myself, too, where it’s like, they join all the programs, they sign up for workshops, they attend the groups, but nothing really changes. It’s like, if you were to ask them a question, they could logically give you the answer of what to do, but they haven’t done anything about it.

They haven’t made the changes; they haven’t pushed themselves to step out of their comfort zone like you have.

And what I love about your story, and what I want to recognize in you, is that you’re putting actions behind all of the knowledge. You’re seeking the knowledge, but you’re also making the changes that are required to get to that final destination of real, total acceptance of love and self-worth which is huge.

Do you feel—do you take time to celebrate that?

 

S: I’m beginning to. I’m beginning to. It’s a hard concept for me just because it—like we were talking earlier—it just feels selfish to pat myself on the back. It feels wrong—innately wrong to praise myself for absolutely anything. So I am working harder at doing that, and I honestly do realize that this was a huge move for me. I‘m aware of that, and I know it took a lot of courage and a lot of guts to do what I’ve done.

I don’t really want that to get lost, so I’ve got to make the most of this, and I’ve really got to stand firm and strong in what I’ve decided to do here or else all that anxiety, all that worry, and all that pain is for nothing.

And I’d end up being the same as I always was, and I think that was not the point.

M: This is what happens to a lot of other women. They don’t do the work. They leave, but then they end up with another man who is abusive in some way. Whether verbally, or he abuses alcohol or drugs or whatever. But that actually happens quite frequently.

If you don’t do the work after you leave, you will end up repeating the cycle with somebody else.

And so I know you said you don’t want anybody else right now, and I really value that. I think that is wonderful because you’re right—it’s got to start with you.

You mentioned God earlier and sometimes, because I can relate to what you’re saying about not feeling comfortable about giving yourself a pat on the back—self-talk which is a lot of the cycle babble word, but I remember the other day I was walking to a yoga class, and I think I wrote about this. But I have a belly. My stomach is quite large just from having—it’s stretched out so many times—so many kids, and I was noticing that it was kind of bloated and bigger than all the other girls in the class. And I remember saying to myself, “Michelle, your belly is just beautiful. You look great today.”

And it was the first time I’d actually told myself that in that moment.

It sounds so silly to some people, I’m sure, but to me, it was like, wait a second, I’ve been so encouraging and so enthusiastic to everyone around me for so long, yet I’m such—I’m my own worst enemy in certain topics and certain things. And my stomach is one of them. So what if every time I started to feel self-conscious or started to speak very negatively, I literally replaced that sentence. I caught myself, and I replaced it. And I’ve been doing that since that yoga class, specifically about my stomach.

I have to tell you, at first, it felt very awkward, I almost didn’t believe it. I’m like, “This is so fake,” but the more that I’m practicing this, the more I’m looking and going, “Gosh, I really am starting to feel better about myself. I really am starting to believe those messages.” And then it hit me.

This is exactly how God feels about me.

What I’m telling myself is what He would tell me if we were in the same room together. And probably what he’s been trying to tell me for so many years. Then I stopped feeling like so hokey about it and guilty about it and thought, “Wow, I really am—that voice I’m replacing this with, it’s really not my voice. It’s exactly what I think God’s voice would be.

 

S: Well, first off, I have to commend you because that is huge—absolutely huge because saying something positive about your body image—and from what you’ve told me, that’s a huge accomplishment.

My therapist and I nicknamed the voice in my head Agnes because it seemed like Agnes is always talking so loud in my head telling me like—you know how it is—”You can’t do this; you can’t do that. You’re fat, you’re ugly, and you’re this or that.”

And that kind of message that you send yourself is so hard to get rid of. Oh my gosh, I hope someday I’m there with you on that. But I never really thought about that. God is really—that is how he sees me. That’s so interesting. I’m going to have to think about that a lot.

 

M: Yeah, I think if we—if our beliefs about ourselves matched God’s beliefs about who He created us to be, we would be so happy and loving. We would be feeling so proud of who we were. And any time that I put myself down, I’m actually putting his work down. That also occurred to me the other day.

Every time I insult myself, I am basically saying to Him, “You didn’t do a good enough job. You didn’t really know what you were doing. Yeah, you gave me great legs, but you really messed up in this area.”

And that’s the last thing that I want to do. That’s the last thing I would feel. So it’s like, who am I going to believe? Am I going to choose to sit here and believe my Agnes? Or am I going to sit here and choose to believe my God?

And when you put it in that way, it doesn’t really become self-love, or self-confidence. It really just becomes: I’m really open and available to accepting the love that He is giving me and using the acceptance that He already provided me. I’m just opening my heart to say, “I accept it. I receive it, acknowledge it, and agree with it.

 

S: Wow, you’ve given me so much to think about and just that—just the little conversation right there. Thank you for that.

 

M: You’re welcome. I’m sorry I went off on a tangent there, but I just see where I think this is the next phase of your life. I think in hearing your story and hearing where you are, I think that you’re at the point in your journey where it’s going to be all about this accepting, generous, and healing love. And once you forgive (we talked about this at the beginning of your interview. You had mentioned about the resentment), and once you get to the point where you are accepting of yourself, just as you are today, it will be—you will forgive him with no problem.

It will just come naturally.

You won’t have to work on it. It won’t be something that you need to do exercises around. It comes hand in hand. And instead of that resentment when you hear his name or your kids mention him, or you have to talk to him, or something happens, that resentment will disappear, and it will be replaced with a sincere sadness. Not an enabling sadness, but just a sadness for him that will replace that every time you think of him. And it will be healthy for you.

Does that make sense?

 

S: It does make sense. and I long for that day because I really am all about forgiveness. And I don’t like resentment. I am quick to forgive my kids for anything. I’m quick to forgive my family and friends for things. But where he’s concerned, I think it’s just been so long that forgiveness— plus, he just continues to re-hurt. So it’s hard to forgive when that’s going on, but I do long for that day because the resentment really doesn’t hurt anybody but you.

And there is a great truth to that.

A lot of times they don’t even know you’re angry, or they don’t even know you’re resenting them. So it’s not hurting them…

M: Yeah, that’s the kind of thing you can get to, but it will come. I promise forgiveness is not something you have to work on right now. Right now, for you, I’m just so proud of you. I’m so, so proud of the growth that you’ve had. That your commitment to yourself and to your recovery—and I know that your future is going to be wonderful. I know it is. I know in 6 weeks—you’re going to look back from this 6 weeks and go, “Look at what I’ve done for myself.”

And then think about that from there. I mean, every day you’re making a step further. You’re choosing to do a lot or even choosing just to be still. You’re moving forward.

And you’re making progress. I’m just really, really grateful. So thank you so much for sharing with me, and thank you for being vulnerable. I know your story is going to help so many. I know it is.

 

S: Well, I can’t tell you how grateful this has been. Actually conversing with you—and it’s just something I’ll remember forever, so thank you so much for that.

 

M: Yeah, absolutely— anytime. Keep me posted. I’ll see you in the Facebook group, and thank you again.

 

It’s official. I love her. I truly do. The women in my community are the best. Truly. Wasn’t she just so brave? I love the message she had for women over 50. How powerful. I am really proud of Susan, and I know her future is going to be amazing.

 

And I love each one of you. If you’re listening to this podcast, I want you to make sure that you’re a member of our community. We want to encourage you and be your safe place. Find out more information at LoveOverAddiction.com

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