How To Create Your Team Of Experts

How To Create Your Team Of Experts

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to be sharing with you eight really helpful tips. Here’s the deal, I believe in giving you bite-size chunks of information. This week is all about your team. And what exactly that is, and what it looks like.

So many times, we get ahold of a book or you might join one of my programs and you do it all in one chunk because you’re anxious to get started and you’re anxious to learn, and that behavior is really admirable. But it tends to be ineffective because you need time to apply what you’re learning in order for it to really stick. That’s why a lot of times when I read a self-help book, which is almost always, I tend to manage myself. I’ll read one or two chapters at a time, put it down, and then apply what I’m learning.

So I’m going to do that with you in this blog. So these might be a little shorter, but I really want you to pay attention to me, re-read this as many times as you need to throughout the week and then apply what you’ve learned.

Take action because you guys, listen to me…

Loving someone that suffers from addiction is painful.

And instead of waiting around for them to get sober and start to feel better, you need to take back control and power over your life. Because in our community, we don’t buy, not for one single second, that we are powerless over this disease. That’s a load of bull.

We believe you have lots of choices and that you can get your happiness, your joy, your confidence, your self-esteem, your life back and in order and straightened out and get yourself on the right path that you were supposed to be on, whether they get sober or not. And there’s a lot of hope in that. So let’s start with the very first tool or tip that I’m going to share with you: Find your team. Okay?

Find your team. 

What you’re going through right now by loving someone that’s suffering from addiction, whether you are a husband, a wife, a parent, a friend, a sibling, is a lot of work. 

It is trauma, it is chaos, it is dysfunction. There’s a lot of lying going on. There’s a lot of manipulation going on. It is a lot. It is a lot more on your plate than the average person is dealing with. You need a team of people around you during this season of your life that are going to help you through this. You cannot do this alone. 

Let me repeat that.

I know you think that you’re strong and you are, but you cannot do this alone. 

It’s going to take a village, and for a really long time we have allowed ourselves to be isolated by this disease. We’ve kept it a secret from our family, from our friends because we don’t want our loved ones to get angry with us for divulging their business. 

But the truth is, this is our business too. This is our pain too. We’re struggling as well, and in order to get you through this, you need experts. You need people that know more than you, which is why I love that you’re listening to this podcast and reading this blog.

But in addition to joining one of our programs, you need a financial planner if you can afford one. If you can’t, there are tons of financial planning books. Get involved in your finances. I made this huge mistake when I was married to a loved one suffering from addiction and I handed off all the bills, and all of the bank accounts, and all of the debt to my husband. Because I wasn’t good at math and I didn’t think that I could handle that responsibility. 

And you know what happened? We went broke and thousands and thousands of dollars were wasted on addiction because I put my head in the sand.

Please don’t put your head in the sand, instead, find your team.

Get your bank account numbers, get your passwords to all of your accounts, do the math and figure out where your money is going. If you need help, get a financial planner. 

Get to your local bookstore or library and learn about how to manage your finances. Also, we go over this in the Stay or Go program. There’s a tutorial with tons of resources. Listen, especially if you have young children, you need to get informed. Even if you’re sitting here listening to me thinking, “Michelle, there’s no way that I am going to get a divorce.” Okay, I hear you. That’s fine. 

I’m not going to tell you that you need to get a divorce, but you need to know legally what your liabilities are. For example, I spoke at an event in New York City recently. I was on a panel with a lawyer who informed the crowd that you could lose your children if you have allowed them to live under your roof with addiction going on. 

Now maybe some states don’t have that law. I’m not aware of the details of the circumstances but that is your responsibility to find out, go and spend the money on seeking legal counsel. At the very least Google it. 

Also, another team member you should consider is a therapist. When I was going through my divorce, even from the moment that I decided that I needed to leave, I found an excellent therapist. Some of you know her name was Carol because I talk about her a lot inside our programs.

I was sometimes at her office two or three times a week. Now here’s the deal, there are some therapists that are not good. We’ve talked about this in this episode.

Find a therapist who understands addiction and who is not going to enable your loved one.

A lot of you asked me whether or not you should entertain couple’s therapy. And my answer is usually yes. If they are willing to tell the truth. Do not waste your time and your money on couple’s therapy if they are pulling the wool over the therapist’s eyes on what’s really going on in their home. 

The way you recover is by telling the truth. If you are sitting next to a non truth-teller on the couch with a therapist, you’re not going to get anything out of it other than frustration. Couple’s therapy is great if you have two willing participants who will tell the truth no matter what the consequences are, and then the same objection is to remain together and to enrich your relationship. If you guys are on two separate pages, chances are particularly with addiction, it’s not going to work. Don’t waste your time. Just go to individual therapy, get yourself help.

Consider a private investigator. If you’re going crazy because you don’t know what they’re doing, you’re not sure if they’re having an affair, you’re not sure if they are where they say they are, consider hiring a private investigator. 

A lot of times I advise you not to waste your precious time keeping track of them, but if the only way that you’re going to find peace is by knowing, and you’re really willing to do something about it, then do it. Meaning that if you find out the truth and it’s bad, if you are willing to take action after you know the truth, then hire a private investigator. Find out for yourself the truth. 

If you have children, no matter how little they are, a child therapist can work wonders.

I sent my children to therapy during our divorce.

It was terrific. I don’t know who it benefited more –  my kids or me. 

And the therapist told me some really wise advice that we talk about in our programs about how kids really need just one good solid, sober parent. That’s enough. It’s a bonus if they have two, but one parent is really what they need and you are that one parent. But get them help. Give them an opportunity to share what they’re feeling and give them the opportunity to learn tools. 

And here’s my last and final piece of advice: Do not be afraid to fire any or all of your team members if they do not work for you. 

This is about finding a good match.

Your team has to be a good match.

Now I’m not saying fire them if they tell you something that’s hard to hear. That’s somebody actually who you need to go back to. I’m talking about the ones who cut you down, who make excuses for your loved ones’ addictions, who are not convinced that they really have a problem, who cancel on your appointments, who don’t listen to you, who don’t offer you help, but all they do is listen. 

There are a lot of experts out there that are not great. Don’t settle. Have the courage to make the one-time very difficult phone call or email saying, “Thank you, but no thank you.” and then take the time to find somebody else. You might need to go through six, seven or eight experts to find the one, but you’ll know it. 

Finding the right people for your team is like finding your wedding dress: You just know it’s the right one.

But let’s also acknowledge the strength that lies within you that has been dormant.

You’re a very courageous person who can do difficult things, for you and your kids.

You are an advocate and this season of your life is not going to last forever. 

But if you keep putting off finding your team, it is going to extend and extend and extend, and it could be years. So face it, do the work, take it head on and get this season over with because you’re willing to learn the lessons and face it. I believe in you.

I know you can do this a thousand percent because if I can do it, you can do it. And I’m right here with you. So I hope that if you have not joined one of our programs, you’ll consider it as a part of your team. There are very few of us out in this world. We’re a very small group of people and I really want you to get the help that you deserve. I’m cheering you on. I’ll talk to you later.

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson has over 10 years of personal experience with loving someone who suffers from addiction. She was married to a good man who suffered from addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, and pornography. She's used her experience to create powerful resources for women in the same circumstance. Using her own personal experience, combined with years of research and studying, she presents ideas, tips, and tools on how to handle this disease, and take care of yourself, and your family.

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