Addiction does not have to be a lifelong battle. In today's inspiring episode, Deb welcomes special guest Sara, who shares her personal journey with addiction. As Sara shares, she never thought she would ever develop an addiction. As a talented rising star in the Navy, she was moving up the professional ladder. An injury changed everything. This is a must-listen whether you're struggling with an addition or not. You're bound to feel empowered to rise above any setbacks on your own journey, embrace your own soul's lessons and realize your full potential.

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Deb (6s):
Welcome to spirited straight talk the ultimate podcast for anyone who is ready to live a life with intention and help from spirit. I am your host Deb Sheppard, spiritual teacher, medium and author hoping you open up to the whole enchilada or like, we like to say the soul in gelato, so you can truly make your soul rise. So let's go. This is Deb shepherd. Welcome to spirited straight talk. I'm here with my partner in crime, Dana, and we're going to touch the subject today, addictions.

Deb (47s):
And whether you've experienced them or someone in your life has experienced them. We just kind of wanted to address this topic because especially I think during COVID and with what's going on, a lot of people are going to, to things that maybe are not as healthy. I know for me, you know, watching too much news and being on social media, it's almost really hard to stop. And I don't think it's healthy to do that as often. And I know that you, you let me know, like I should have a timeframe. Can we stay on social media just for one hour today? But you know, it's, it's something that I think that I talk about.

Deb (1m 27s):
I know I talk about in our contracts classes about all the different things that we're learning and addictions is one of them. And whether it's the digits, everything being organized or being in control or there's others, addictions that can really weigh heavily on our finances or health and other kinds of things too. And well, we recently, I don't want to say recently, well, back in may, you were hospitalized with a kidney infection and sepsis. And so you were in the hospital for four days. I like to say, I mean, you recovered pretty quickly, but, but it was kind of a dangerous situation. So you were hospitalized for four days and this was not long after, I guess COVID like all the shutdowns and stuff where still is when it was.

Deb (2m 20s):
So it was COVID was in full force. Yeah. So a lot of people, while we were in the hospital, all the nurses were talking about how many people were hospitalized because of alcohol and how many people were drinking so much alcohol. They were literally having to be hospitalized to fight the addiction and come down off the alcohol, which I guess has been happening a lot during, during the pandemic. And so we wanted to bring light to this. And I think the main thing is always knowing that you're not alone.

Deb (3m 0s):
You're Not the only person that has had something like this happen. If you're had a family members in growing up that has some addictions that can really affect you later on growing up too. And it can be hereditary as well. So we are going to bring in our guests. That was really, we have, we have a guest joining us today. It's her name is Sarah. She really shares authentically her journey in dealing with addiction and what she went through and how she really just had to pull herself out of that and make that decision, which I think is a lot of what happens.

Dana (3m 41s):
You make that decision and you pull yourself out of it. But from a spiritual perspective, when Sarah is done kind of sharing her story, you have some insights from a spiritual perspective about socially. Yeah, absolutely. And I think the biggest thing is being brave enough to share where you have that courage, which is what the podcast is about. When you hear someone else's story, it allows you then to say, you know what I want to, I want to deal with this too. I know someone that I could support that's building through this and how do I support them. So it's just a wonderful that people are willing to share, know how they got here. Yeah. Okay. Let's bring on Sarah. We're honored to have on here, Sarah. And she, we met her during a foundation called the Chelsea Hutchison foundation and she was one of the speakers we just became close.

Dana (4m 28s):
And then we found out her, her story that she's willing to share with us. So we're greatly honored that she is willing to participate in and Sarah lives in Oregon. Is that correct?

Sara (4m 38s):
Actually, Washington state. Yes.

Deb (4m 41s):
Beautiful place. So she, she went to town so that she could podcast with us today. So thank you, Sarah. And I think part of this is you feel like you want to stand up and say something and I know it's been difficult. You shared that. It's been difficult to share your story a little bit. So what made you decide to be brave to start sharing your story? We're going to go back in your history of this, but what made you finally say today's the day?

Sara (5m 5s):
You know, honestly, I wanted to do it with the two of you, first of all. And so thank you so much to both of you for having me on today. Actually, I'm just at a point in my life that I can look back and see that there were things that I could have done differently that would have ended up putting me in a spot that would have made my life different and seeing the, where the world is going right now. I can see that the, the external aspects are setting people up to put them where I was and not wanting to see that happen to other people.

Sara (5m 51s):
I really, really just want them to see that it can happen to anybody because if it happens to me, it truly, truly could happen to anybody because I was the last person that I could have ever have seen go down the road that I went down. So I just really want to have other people see that they also are not above that happening.

Dana (6m 17s):
So share with us, like go back to the beginning and share with us a little bit about your story. Cause you, you actually were a decorated soldier.

Sara (6m 28s):
Yeah. I was in the military. I was in the Navy. I was doing very well in the military and was advancing very quickly. I got my college education was getting ready to put in an officer package. I was stationed overseas. I was playing or I was doing very, very well. You know, my knee wasn't feeling very well. I just wasn't cut out on the soccer field anymore. So I went into the orthopedic surgeon and sure enough, I had torn my ACL needed some meniscus work. And so I needed surgery.

Sara (7m 9s):
So I ended up having to have surgery on my knee. It happened to be when a new surgeon was coming onto base. I didn't realize at the time, but I ended up being her first solo surgery ever.

Deb (7m 25s):
Lottery winner on that one, right? Yeah.

Sara (7m 28s):
Yeah. So she did the surgery and within just couple months I realized that my knee just kind of felt the same as it did before for the surgery. And only to find out she had did the surgery wrong. I was aircrewman. So I w I really had to be at the top physical level and I was never going to get back my qualification because my knee wasn't going to do its job. And I ended up having to get flown back to the States for two additional knee surgeries. And when I flew back to my base, after that second reconstruction, I knew pretty instantly that something was wrong and went to the emergency room.

Sara (8m 12s):
And they knew pretty instantly that I had a septic joint. They ended up finding a quarter size DVT in my leg, and I ended up going full sepsis. That's a big blood clot, right? It was a, it was a huge blood clot. Yes. So that surgeon, because her ego had been bruised, she refused to treat me during this whole time. And it took her a week to acknowledge how sick I was. And so this was all a conscious choice on her. Her end though, I ended up sitting in that hospital for about a week, getting sicker and sicker until other doctors stepped in and they up life flighting me to Germany, where I was pretty much just a couple of hours from being dead.

Sara (9m 4s):
I ended up having to be there in the ICU and everything for about 10 weeks. I was in excruciating amount of pain. I remember different points just laying there and not being able to move a single inch of my body and just tears coming down. And I mean, it was, it was, it was pretty bad. And I was really in an excruciating amount of pain. And I had,

Dana (9m 32s):
At that time, you concerned about your career because you were pretty career focused. I was focused basically until then. Right.

Sara (9m 43s):
I really was. I had, since I was 18, 19, 20 years old, I'd been told I couldn't have kids. So basically it was me. I focused on a career, were married at that time as well. Yeah. I was married when all of that happened. He was also military. And, you know, we kind of took a lot of joy in seeing who could advance quicker and super competitive. And I was super competitive in the military and I was enjoying that I could succeed. It was gone in a flash,

Deb (10m 20s):
Especially for a woman being in the military. You know, I think you probably have to work a little harder.

Sara (10m 25s):
Oh, absolutely. And yeah, so I was in, you know, and being in, in the job that I was in, there was very few females.

Dana (10m 34s):
So here you are in the hospital, 10 days in being super sick and on the edge of death, somebody, well, somebody made a mistake, but also your body wasn't handling things very well. So you I'm sure they were giving you tons of pain medication at the time. Then

Sara (10m 54s):
They were, and you could hear every time a nurse would come on on the case, a new one and I'd have a central line in. So, I mean, you could hear them. And I had Betanol, I had morphine, I had Dilauded and every medication it was maxed out and it was basically, you know, just staggering each one. And by the time it was time to release me. They had to make the call to give me methadone, to get me back to my base. And methadone is what they give heroin addicts to detox.

Dana (11m 35s):
So they had to give you a methadone because they, they stopped giving you all the other pain medication

Sara (11m 42s):
Because they had to lower it enough to get me back to my base. I was still on quite a bit of pain meds, but not nearly. I mean, I wasn't taking it from my central line maxed out. I mean, I was taking, I think eight, I was taking a lot.

Deb (12m 5s):
Yeah. There was still pain. I'm assuming which is why you were still taking pills.

Sara (12m 9s):
Oh, absolutely. I was not expected to live. I wasn't expected to keep my leg. I wasn't expected to walk. And I mean, there was a significant amount of pain by the end of all of that. I had seven knee surgeries, so I had four during that hospitalization. And you recently had another one. I did. I just had an April. I had a total knee replacement.

Deb (12m 40s):
Gosh. So when this was all done, did you, what did you go with? I'm assuming you're not in the military anymore.

Sara (12m 47s):
It took a full year, but after all that was done, when that was done, I went back to my base. You know, I knew at the end of that, I wasn't going to be able to do my job. I knew. And because I was higher ranked, they are not going to train me to do another job that they could pay, pay somebody lower rank to train, to do the same job. So the only option is to retire me early. So suddenly I'm looking at getting out. And I,

Deb (13m 26s):
So it's more grief along with that was your feature. That's what you focused on. That was we're lifetime career. And now you're sitting there with all this pain and not being in the place that you had devoted your life to.

Sara (13m 41s):
Correct. And I had always been an avid sports player. I was, you know, I was their high school boys, volleyball coach. I played on the, the soccer team and the volleyball team for my squadron and my base. And I mean, I was an avid runner, so I was an avid sports player that was gone. I have not been able to run since then.

Deb (14m 6s):
So lots of layers of grief. What did you end up?

Sara (14m 9s):
Yeah. Well, my husband at the time ended up transferring to Southern California where I went with him. It was just him and my dogs and myself. I knew nobody. She deployed a lot. I mean, she was gone all the time, which left me in Southern California, by myself, taking a lot of pills, still on a lot of prescriptions. I mean, at that point in, in time, it was, you go to a pain clinic, you walk in and with my injuries, it was so what do you want to take?

Sara (14m 51s):
I mean, it literally, and here's your prescriptions and there's a waiting room full of people. And he's just writing prescriptions. That is what it was.

Dana (15m 3s):
I remember those pain clinic days. Like I injured my shoulder and that's literally, I remember that's literally what they did is it was just management. It wasn't, it wasn't treated as if, okay, well, we need to really figure out and dial in how we can fix this. It was just treated as pain management. How can we manage your pain through, you know, Vicodin through Norco, through muscle relaxers and nothing works really, honestly, nothing works because they're still not addressing the core problem. So I don't know if that's what they were doing to you, but it, it literally is just prescription focused.

Dana (15m 49s):
Right?

Sara (15m 50s):
It was, it absolutely was. And they would just give me right before I transferred to Southern California, I got in a car accident and broke my back. I was on prescription pain meds at the time. I wouldn't say that I, it was before I was abusing them. So that gave them all the more reason to prescribe more pain meds to me here I am. I had just had seven knee surgeries and broke my back. So here is five prescriptions.

Dana (16m 23s):
What would you, what would you say

Sara (16m 26s):
I'm in pain and I've had seven knee surgeries and I broke my back.

Dana (16m 31s):
No, I mean like, what was your, were you taking them on top of each other? Were you getting multiple prescriptions from different doctors? What was the abuse factor? Was it just the fact that you needed them consistently or were you doing things to get them that you should

Sara (16m 54s):
Different doctors? I would get them from my general doctor and the pain clinic doctor and just the VA has, they had zero. They weren't doing the pharmacy showed up everywhere.

Deb (17m 12s):
Right? So what it sounds like Sarah is a lot of this addiction that started was really not only your pain, your physical pain, but the grief of not being able to be active, not doing your career, feeling more lonely and being a place that you don't know anyone. So all those doctors, the doctors, not the system, basically, I guess I could say the system not helping you through this process. And we read that article. I think you've sent us and we read it that the company that produces this drug, the Oxycontin being held responsible for

Dana (17m 50s):
Creating this and paying the doctors to prescribe these drugs. Is that right?

Sara (17m 56s):
Yes. Yes. Oxycontin. Yeah. I think it's $8.9 million. They were just sued and they lost because it was proven that they were paying doctors to prescribe Oxycontin.

Deb (18m 12s):
What's really sad is these doctors, you know, they take an oath in pharmaceutical companies. Of course we know are big into just putting these drugs out here and not caring what happens to the patient. But how long were you on the meds? Just for pain until it became a real problem. Like it was at six months, a year, two years, I'd

Sara (18m 34s):
Say three months

Deb (18m 37s):
So quickly. It turned around into, okay.

Sara (18m 41s):
Yeah. I would say it was three months before I made my first plan to commit suicide.

Dana (18m 48s):
Oh goodness. So you just felt like there is no reason to be here anymore? No. Okay.

Sara (18m 54s):
So I felt like I lost everything. Were you in California at this time? No. The first time I checked myself into the base hotel and made a plan. I mean, I made a solid, that was the first time I made a solid plan.

Dana (19m 12s):
And do you think the addiction, was it shame or was it just so much pain or just feeling so isolated or all the above? I mean, what was so just feeling that there wasn't worth staying here anymore? No. Okay. Will you, will you trying to suicide by the medications? Yes. Which is really sad that we're able to get that many medications and drugs even over the counter to be able to do that. Absolutely. And what was that? What was the wake up call like? You didn't go through it. Did you survive it?

Sara (19m 48s):
What ended up happening is I was pocket dials by the base chaplain that I had a relationship with. And I had not talked to since all of that had happened. I was dialed by him When it right before. I mean, I was sitting on the bed with them, spread out in front of me, getting ready to do it. I mean, that is how I was absolutely ready to do it. And it was, I, it was, I was rational. It was, this is what I was going to do and I was dialed. Right.

Dana (20m 26s):
And that brought you back from, did you, you didn't talk to him though. You just, you just decided I'm not going to do this.

Sara (20m 36s):
Yep. And I just decided, you know what, he, this was my wake-up call. I'm not going to do it. Then I was good for, for a while. It kind of brought me back. Were

Dana (20m 48s):
You still taking medications, pain medications?

Sara (20m 51s):
I was still taking pain medications. I didn't really think I had a problem at that time. My depression, I think was just really bad at that time still. And just the pain was bad. I just, you know, but I was still felt hope at that point. That gave me just enough hope that I was going to try. And, yep.

Dana (21m 15s):
So what was the next step did you ask for help?

Sara (21m 19s):
You know, I got, I saw somebody a couple of times and then we transferred and I went to Southern California and then I lost all hope.

Dana (21m 31s):
Did the drugs just get heavier? Did you take more than was prescribed? What was it?

Sara (21m 35s):
Yeah, I started taking more than it was prescribed. I was isolated. I really just lost all hope in California. And I started drinking on top of that. On top of that, when I was overseas, I still have all my friends when I got to California. I just, at that point I lost everything. I didn't have anybody.

Dana (21m 59s):
It comes to depression. You feel as if you don't have any energy to make a change, like how do you, how to make it another community and how to find another place in life. And that's the big thing with addictions. I think it has a lot to do with depression and not feeling worthy of something or things that are happening. And I know for a fact that people that are very sensitive, like me, we do deal with depression. You've got a lot of sympathy and empathy for others. And I feel like that's probably part of your personality, which means that you're feeling things much more than maybe other people that have gone through the same scenario. So, yeah. And was it, did you feel any shame or did you just feel like there wasn't really anything to think about other than you were not happy?

Sara (22m 44s):
I did feel a lot of shame. I wasn't going to tell anybody that I was on pig. I didn't want anybody to know that I was on pain medicine,

Dana (22m 53s):
Military, you know, there's a lot of pride in that. They're an athlete and you're competitive. There's so much pride. And I think depression, people think that it's a weakness and it's not a weakness as part of how the brain is functioning. And for you, you lost Sarah and you didn't know how to find Sarah again and what that looked like. And so I think that a lot of people deal with those kinds of things and go to addictions in order to kind of comfort themselves or distract themselves from what's really going on in their life.

Sara (23m 26s):
I agree. Yeah.

Dana (23m 28s):
So how long were you in that? I mean, how many attempts for suicide?

Sara (23m 35s):
I really don't know. There was a lot, a lot even ones where I took enough and thought, well, if that happens, that's okay. Very careless. And even when I wasn't actively trying, I was thinking about it.

Deb (23m 55s):
So was it a constant theme in your thoughts during the day? So what was sort of another, when you turned a corner and we, what was the aha that said, you know, I need to make changes. I don't want to live like this anymore. And you know, did people show up in your life to kind of inspire you? You know, like the chaplain,

Sara (24m 17s):
I woke up one day in April of 2013 and I had a feeling. And even though

Dana (24m 28s):
You left your, you were still in Southern California and you left that situation.

Sara (24m 35s):
I did. I had made a pretty close attempt on my life in 2012, I talked to a family member and they contacted my, my husband at the time and he was in the backyard and he came inside and he checked on me. I was passed out and he made sure that I was breathing anyone out. And he had drinks with his friend

Dana (25m 12s):
Where you had taken probably enough pills where you could have passed away.

Sara (25m 18s):
Oh, I was out for probably a full day. I should have died that day. Yeah. He went to work the next day. I do, God was not done with me.

Deb (25m 31s):
You, that was the wake up call for you to get divorced

Sara (25m 35s):
Was knowing that my life did not really matter to anyone that it should have.

Dana (25m 42s):
I think it's probably painful to, to go back through these stories and revisit them. And I know for me, when I've had trauma in my life, I try to put them away for awhile. But then when I come back out, it's like, if you're there again. So the fact this courage to be brave to share this story, we're very proud of you. You were going to talk to us about what happened on that April.

Sara (26m 3s):
Yes. In April of 2013, I, you know, I had moved back to Washington and had met somebody. New had been with him for awhile. You know, I had woken up one day and I just had known, even though I had been told for years that I had 0% chance, I knew in my gut and I knew in my heart that I was going to have a baby and sure enough, I took a pregnancy test. I was pregnant then I didn't quite believe it until I went to the doctor. We welcomed a little boy that December after that day in April, I didn't touch Pilsen.

Sara (26m 47s):
I did. I quit. I quit that minute.

Deb (26m 52s):
Wow. That, that takes a lot of strengths there that maybe the military. Yes. Seriously. You had not been taking any pills for just a little while.

Sara (27m 5s):
I had been taking them. I had not been taking them as regularly as I was. I probably had only taken them once or twice in the three weeks. I found out that I was pregnant only three weeks. And Which was, I believe God's way of protecting me. And I didn't take more than one or two. And I think that that was God's way of protecting Cameron.

Dana (27m 36s):
So how did you, how did you stop taking them? Like, was it a process to stop taking them? Did you just,

Sara (27m 45s):
I threw them away and never looked back.

Dana (27m 48s):
So you weaned, you, did you wean off of them as you were coming, coming, you know, taking yourself off the pills, you said for three weeks, you hadn't taken them very often. Was that a process for you or was it easy?

Sara (28m 2s):
No, I just, wasn't thinking that much about them for me to be able to quit like that and not to really have anything else. Like, I feel like it was such a God thing.

Deb (28m 17s):
Well, Sarah, what I also feel is when you met Josh, there was love there. And I feel like before that you weren't feeling loved or needed or desired. And so that probably was part of the healing. And then when you get pregnant on top of it, I mean, your world went from zero to a hundred in a very short period of time. And I believe that energy affects us. And so, you know, you may have been in a place that you were surrounded with this love, which gave you, or body the opportunity to really fight this. And so, yeah, I guess heal, heal a little bit spiritually too, because if you have somebody who's, who's giving you that support.

Dana (29m 0s):
I think for me, I know I feel completely different having a supportive partner than I did, trying to figure out my way on my own. Yeah. So, you know, thank goodness for Josh too. You stepped into the role of you feeling as if no one cared. Yeah.

Sara (29m 22s):
Yeah. No, it's very true. So yeah,

Dana (29m 26s):
Retard, I've met him. He's a quiet soul, but you can feel his heart, Hey,

Sara (29m 32s):
Is a very quiet, full, although some people don't understand that it's just comforting, quiet. So

Dana (29m 38s):
Yeah, it is. So w what do you feel should have been done differently to keep you from going down this path to, cause I know you feel very strongly about addiction and what is done in our society that helps facilitate people being addicted like this. And it's, you know, when we talk about addiction to alcohol plays into that, you said you, you had that piece of it as well, but what should have been done differently in your,

Sara (30m 12s):
I think the first thing that needs to be done, there's so much stigma for one thing about who we think an addict is to begin with and opening up that conversation and understanding what addiction truly is, and that it isn't necessarily a loss of power doesn't necessarily mean that you are a weak person, because I think most people think of an addict as that homeless person that's living on the street, that they must have made so many poor choices in their life that I am so disconnected from them.

Dana (31m 1s):
And that's not the truth. Yeah.

Sara (31m 5s):
It really isn't all that does is by disconnecting yourself from them. That means are them. And I am me and we have nothing in common by not finding any similarities. Well, I could never be there. You don't find the humanity in that.

Dana (31m 26s):
And I think it could happen very easily and without intention sometimes.

Sara (31m 32s):
Absolutely. And also, always assuming that things like that are a conscious choice. I didn't go down that road thinking, you know, what would be a lot of fun, you know, and most addicts don't have anybody where to meet me on the street. I don't feel that anybody would look at me and be like, you know, she looks like she would be an addict. They would see me and be like, Hey, she looks like she would be a good mom. Or She likes to joke around or, you know, something like that. But not this story.

Sara (32m 13s):
My backstory, nobody would have ever seen me going down that road, especially when I was going down it. So without seeing the humanity in it or keeping it such a taboo subject, we really aren't going to be able to help each other or help another

Dana (32m 32s):
Removing the stigma around this is something as a society that we really should focus on. And especially with the fact that these pharmaceutical companies and doctors, that the doctors are being paid to prescribe these drugs that are addictive, you know, they're addictive. You know, we've heard stories of people with these addictions, certain places in the country, not being able to handle the body count, know that they have trailers that they are having to use for the bodies that are coming in from people dying due to these addictions and these drugs.

Deb (33m 15s):
So it's just is heartbreaking and it's all walks of life. You know, I talk about mental health all the time. And to me, this addiction, any addiction has to do with our mental health and where it goes when these drugs start taking over. And that's what our society is still not willing to touch mental health. And I think there a big combination, and that's why having people like yourself, Sarah, give your story and be heartfelt and who you are in the Navy. And you're being successful in your life is going one direction. And then one thing happens and your life completely changes. And I think people understanding that's how quickly it can happen to any of us.

Dana (33m 58s):
We're not untouchable,

Sara (34m 0s):
Right? Nobody is untouchable and everyone thinks they are until something happens.

Deb (34m 11s):
So now you have this beautiful little guy. Well, I is a joy. He likes to grab your hand and talk to you and walk around with you.

Sara (34m 22s):
Yes, he does. He is going to work. You like nothing else

Dana (34m 29s):
Is that it's all in the Palm of his hand. Well, you know, we appreciate your courage and your transparency today. And hopefully this will help at least one person to say, you know, maybe I need help or I'm not alone. Or I shouldn't be in shame of what has happened in my life or my child's life or my husband's life, or, you know, whomever is, is in their life that is going through this. And I think if we come together and make it more real and talk about it from our hearts, it's going to make a difference in someone else's life. Thank you for being with us, Sarah,

Sara (35m 2s):
Thanks so much for all you do.

Deb (35m 4s):
I'm sure you feel the same way, Dana, this story. That's Sharon, Sarah shared with us really lets you know what people go through and the challenges and how those days that get really overwhelming and dark. And I'm just so proud of her being brave to share with our audience today. Yeah, for sure. So in sacred contracts, which if you've never heard of this term before, it's basically your life purpose, what you're here to learn and you're not here to do what you're great at. That's what you give back to the world. But it really is. I always say, it's what you suck at. We all that shadow side, we have those parts of ourselves that we don't want others to see. And addictions is one of them and what we teach or what we try to let people know that you signed up to learn this, but then let us help you shift this in and be able to heal from it and use that as power to be able to help your community.

Deb (35m 57s):
You signed, you signed up to learn this lesson from both an addict standpoint and a supporter or somebody who is supporting an addict, correct? In some ways. So on both sides, you have those lessons, right? Correct. And you know that, I think the hard thing for people that have addictions and the support system is they want to keep helping them. And there's that fine line where I know that people kind of are pulled into the direction of, do I continue to support them or do I let them figure it out? And so each of those choices are going to be tough and I've had, you know, friends and clients that have been through that and your whole heart is really torn. But I think it's important to understand the boundaries, what this person is learning and to see what your value is in contributing to this person's wellbeing.

Deb (36m 46s):
And I don't think it's an easy thing to go through because with addictions, usually it's like something like the bandaid got ripped off and someone goes back into that really hard place again. But I think the biggest thing is talking about it and learning that there is no shame that you came to learn this and you're here to kind of find your power back and find your voice, find your value. It's not always easy to do, but I'm always proud of those, like Sarah that has come through this and has shared, you know, her story.

Dana (37m 18s):
Yeah. I think it's important to know that you're not alone and you're not alone as a family member or friend of somebody who is an addict, but you're also not alone as an addict and you can get through this and you can find those resources and tools. So from a spiritual perspective, what would you say is the biggest because you, you not only dealt with clients who are addicts, you've also dealt with people or supporters of addicts. We have a good friend actually that did a triathlon last year to support addiction. Yeah. And awareness of addiction,

Deb (37m 56s):
You know, I think is if people can look at this and realize that they came to learn this and overcome it, it might take some of the shame out that we feel that a society is going to judge us or religion or community or family and friends. And because people can lose a lot from these addictions. So I think the biggest thing is letting people know, you signed up to learn this. Let's, let's give you the tools. Let's give you the support so that you can be able to stay on your own two feet in and be proud. Yeah. So for today's still enchilada on addiction. One thing we want to really hit home with is addiction is not a choice or a moral failing.

Deb (38m 40s):
And you say this a lot, it's really a disease of the brain. And so we want to make sure you have to set boundaries. You do have to not be an enabler and all those things that we kind of know, but also on the flip side, addiction is, is not really a choice. It's something that somebody is really trying to manage. And so be very patient with them and love yourself as well. Well, awesome. Thank you for joining us for spirited straight talk again.

Dana (39m 9s):
And if you like the show, please drop a line, leave us a review. We really would appreciate it. Absolutely. And also share with your friends. Thank you so much. Thank you for joining us for this episode of spirited. Straight talk. If you enjoy the show, make sure you subscribe so that you get notified of new shows. We'd also love it. If you'd leave us a review and let's connect visit Deb shepherd.com for more insights support workshops, and to book a session with dev plus enter to get a free reading with dev. All you have to do is sign up for the email list and you'll automatically be entered. Just go to Deb shepherd.com.

Deb (39m 49s):
That's Deb S H E P P a R d.com. .