Candace Plattor (https://lovewithboundries.com) shares how families can stop enabling their loved ones and reclaim their lives. Dr. Deb and Candace talk about addictions of all kinds and how families can thrive from the addiction and not just cope or enable their loved ones’ problems.
Do not miss these highlights:
06:01 Candace’s story of addiction and recovery
13:01 How does somebody know they have a problem – The difference between a habit and an addiction
14:53 The real problem is the denial that’s going on with people who have an addiction
15:59 The actual addiction, the actual behavior or the substance isn’t really the problem, the problem is what’s underneath – what’s the need for someone to be having an addictive behavior
18:23 Addiction is progressive, there’s something called “tolerance” involved in addiction
19:11 The role of a family in addiction
22:24 What’s the difference between enabling and codependency
24:28 It’s not a loving act to do anything that contributes to keeping an addict in their addiction
27:05 Even if there’s a genetic predisposition in your family, even if addiction is running in your family, it doesn’t mean that you’re also going to be an addict – It’s really about choice
31:43 The family is so important in the addiction recovery journey – Let your family member who’s suffering from addiction know that they are loved
34:16 The difference between self-respect and self-esteem
41:08 How to prevent yourself from going into another addiction when giving up one addiction
Whether you are recovering from an illness or just looking to maintain your current overall health, schedule a consult with us at Serenity Health Care by calling (262)522-8640 or visit https://www.serenityhealthcarecenter.com
About our Guest:
Candace Plattor is an Addictions Therapist in private practice, where she specializes in working with the family and other loved ones of people who are struggling with addiction, in her unique and signature Family Addiction Counselling and Therapy Program. As a former addict with over 34 years clean and sober, Candace has learned that overcoming addiction is a family condition: everyone in the family is affected by addiction and everyone needs to heal. For more than three decades, she has been helping both addicts and their loved ones understand their dysfunctional behaviours and make healthier life choices.
The results Candace achieves have been astounding: addicts stop using and families regain their lives from the ravages of addiction. Not only has her success led to a waiting list of clients but she is a sought after leader in the field of addictions. As the developer of the LoveWithBoundaries Family Addiction Counselling and Therapy method, Candace now works with her team of top counsellors and coaches, helping both the families and their addicts break the devastating cycle of addiction for good.
IIf addiction is causing pain and suffering in your family, and you’re ready to do what it takes to reclaim your sanity and serenity so you can live your best life, you can contact Candace for a free 30-minute consultation.
Website – www.LoveWithBoundaries.com
Facebook – Candace@candaceplattor.com
Transcript of episode #164:
Debra Muth 0:02
Welcome to Let’s Talk Wellness Now. I’m your host, Dr. Deb. This is where we talk about everything wellness, and learn to defy aging, and live our lives on our own terms.
Hi, and welcome to Let’s Talk Wellness Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb. And today we are going to talk about addiction. You know, addiction is everywhere. It touches the lives of everyone, whether it’s an exercise addiction, a food addiction, sugar is a common thing for us. Maybe it’s even something like work, or it’s it could be a bad addiction. It could be something that’s healthy. But when it goes to extremes, it’s considered an addiction. And I think all of us know someone who’s had a problem with addiction, all of us know someone who’s had some kind of issue themselves, maybe with a struggle of a healthy habit or a bad habit. It doesn’t really seem to matter. And I’m rambling now and I apologize for that. But today, my guest is Candace Plattor and she’s an addiction therapist in a private practice where she specializes in working with the family, and other loved ones of people who are struggling with addiction in her unique and signature family addiction counseling and therapy program. As a former addict herself with over 34 years clean and sober. Candace has learned that overcoming addiction is a family connect condition. Everyone in the family is affected by addiction and everyone in the family needs to heal. For more than three decades, she has been helping both addicts and their loved ones understand their dysfunctional behaviors and make healthier life choices. The results Candace achieves have been astounding addicts stop using and families regain their lives from the ravages of addiction.
Not only has her success led to a waiting list of clients, but she is a sought after leader in the field of addictions. As the developer of the love with boundaries, family addiction counseling and therapy method, Candace now works with her team of top counselors and coaches helping both the families and their addicts break the devastating cycle of addiction for good if addiction is causing pain and suffering in your family and you’re ready to do what it takes to reclaim your sanity and serenity. So you can live your best life, you can contact Candace for a free 30 minute consultation as well.
So I’m going to bring Candace on here and we’re going to talk about addiction. We’re going to talk about how it affects the family. And she’s also going to share with us tips and ideas of things that people can do, who are suffering from addiction, overcome addiction, and get their life back and have their family life back the way they’ve always intended it to be. So right after this message from our sponsor, we’re going to bring Candace back and we’re going to talk all about addiction.
Have you seen 20+ medical doctors only to be told your symptoms are in your head? Or you need an antidepressant? We understand your frustrations? Are you tired of feeling sick and tired? Tired of not getting the answers you need to regain your health? Tired of not feeling listened to by your doctor at Serenity Health Care Center, we understand and we will help you find the cause of your symptoms. Together we will create a path to health. We specialize in combining the best of conventional and natural medicine to get you back to doing what you love. We have worked with the most complex chronic diseases such as chronic Lyme COVID, long haulers, autoimmune disease, mold toxicity, and hormonal imbalances. But if you’re not sick, that’s fantastic. We will work with you to maintain your health so that you can prevent illness. give our office a call to see how we can help you regain your health and vitality at 262-522-8640. Or check us out at our website at serenityhealthcarecenter.com.
Welcome back to Let’s Talk Wellness Now. I’m your host, Dr. Deb and I have with me today Candace Plattor. And we are going to talk about love with boundaries. And she was going to tell us a very personal story about how she got involved in this. So Candace, welcome to the show.
Candace Plattor 4:51
Hello. Hi, Dr. Deb and everyone.
Debra Muth 4:54
Well welcome. So Candace, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Candace Plattor 4:58
Well, I An addictions therapist in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. And I have been doing this workload at what I do specifically is I work with the families of people who are addicted. I also work with the addicts but I, I primarily work I specialize in working with the families because, you know, they’re suffering and struggling right along with the addicts they love so much. And there’s so little help for them out there.
Debra Muth 5:31
Absolutely. I’m so glad that you’re doing that.
Candace Plattor 5:34
Thank you. Yeah, yeah. So. So I’ve been doing that work for about 30 years now. And I myself 34 years clean and sober.
Debra Muth 5:48
Candace Plattor 5:50
thank you. And July, it will be 35 years. And this occurred because I have Crohn’s disease. And I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease about 50 years ago, when nobody knew about Crohn’s disease. Nobody knew what it was. Nobody was really diagnosing it. In fact, I was often told that it was in my head, which it was not, you know. And I was very sick, and very unhappy. And what the doctors in the early 70s, what the doctors did was, because they didn’t know what else to do for me. And so they threw a lot of addictive medications at me. So they gave me things like Valium and out of them and they gave me things like OxyContin and codeine and morphine. And they kept renewing the prescriptions. They kept refilling the prescriptions like month after month, year after year, and I started smoking more pot, which I had used recreationally it wasn’t a problem before that, but it really helped the symptoms and it helped. It helped the shame of that kind of disease. So for anybody who doesn’t know, Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease. So it’s painful. It’s difficult. It’s embarrassing. It’s, it’s a really hard disease to have. And there’s a lot of shame attached to it, because it has symptoms that nobody wants to talk about. I have those symptoms that nobody wants to talk about. So today, unfortunately, today, most people know what Crohn’s is because they either have it themselves, or they know someone who does, because it’s become a lot more prevalent. And I still have it, they talk about it as being an incurable disease. I’m much much better because I’ve learned how to take care of myself. But you know, I have it. Here it is. So they, they gave me all of these medications. I smoked all this pot. These substances are all depressants in the human system. They’re not like cocaine, which is an upper. They’re, they’re depressants. So if you fast forward about 15 years, I was suicidal. I was suicidally depressed. And I had no idea what was happening to me, because addiction was not on the radar at that point, you know, I mean, it was on the radar, sort of, after 15 years, but it certainly wasn’t really wasn’t during the time that I was using all these drugs I had, I had no knowledge about it. I didn’t know what was going on for me. I just knew that I was miserable. And I really didn’t want to live that way anymore. Yeah.
Debra Muth 8:55
Well, and you don’t think about addiction when a doctor is prescribing medication for you? Right, even though now we know more about oxycodone and narcotics and things like that. But still, a lot of people don’t think about becoming addicted to a medication that’s prescribed by your doctor.
Candace Plattor 9:10
Yes, I know. And that’s really a problem. This is like another another interview we could have maybe yeah, this is like, don’t get me started. Because what’s happening now is that addiction is so on the radar. And there are still a lot, a lot of doctors who are prescribing these medications and getting people helping people get addicted. You know, it’s it’s a choice about what we do with these medications. But, you know, the doctors continuing to prescribe them to people is a problem.
Debra Muth 9:44
You know, and back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon to do that. I mean, I remember my mother in law saying, you know, when she was raising four babies, and she had four of them under the age of three and she had a set of twins. The doctor gave her valium to get through dealing with all of these babies that she had, and they never thought anything of it. You know, luckily she didn’t get addicted to it didn’t have a problem to to it. But that’s what we did back then. Because we had a better we’re know we know a little bit better now than we knew then. But it’s still a challenge.
Candace Plattor 10:17
Yep. And I know this dates me, but I think it was in the 60s that the Rolling Stones have a song called mother’s little helper. And that was all about Valium a little yellow pill. So yeah, it’s, it was a problem back then. It’s a problem now. Yeah. So. So I got to a point where I was seriously thinking about killing myself. I knew I had I had the means, the opportunity, I knew I had enough pills in my house, I knew that I could time it right, so that nobody would find me in time. And I really started to scare myself. Yeah, with it, because I thought I just might do it. And so what I did instead was I called the Vancouver Crisis Center, which was just amazing. Because whoever I talked to 34 years ago, pretty much saved my life. He or she, I think it was a woman listened to me with kindness and compassion and patience. And let me cry, you know? And so she had some suggestions for me. And I, I ultimately, you know, saw a few other doctors and I, I ended up signing myself into a psych ward for about a month, so that they would keep my clothes and not let me out in the world, because I wasn’t sure what I would do myself if I was out there. And during that time, I heard about addiction. I met a couple of people in the psych ward who were trying to get off substances as well. And they were going to Narcotics Anonymous, so I started going with them. And that was really the beginning of my recovery from addiction. I continued to go to 12 Step programs for probably about 10 years, I believe I took a 10 year cake. I think I did. And then I started to, I started to really come out of alignment with what they teach. And maybe we can talk a little about that today. But yeah, so I I work differently than the 12 step programs, which at the time I was recovering was the only game in town right now, but I’m very grateful. I’m very grateful to them. And trust our programs have some wonderful things. And then they have sponsorship and fellowship and clean and sober activities, like dances and, you know, things like that. So it’s just the philosophy that I have trouble with.
Debra Muth 12:59
Gotcha, gotcha. So tell us how does somebody know they have a problem? Like, what’s the difference between a habit and an addiction?
Candace Plattor 13:10
Yes, well, it’s kind of an easy answer. As long as you can be self aware of yourself or aware of somebody else. If, if it’s not affecting your life negatively, it’s not really a problem. And I can say for myself, you know, I, I don’t use any drugs or any substances. I don’t drink. I don’t do any of that. But I have a problem with sugar. I’m promised specifically with dark Belgian chocolate. Yeah, so I have to be careful of chocolate. But, you know, if I, I would be really happy to just eat chocolate all day long and never eat anything else. Now, that would be a problem. That would be a major problem if I did that. Right. So so I don’t do that. So it’s kind of more of a habit. You know, if somebody’s biting their nails, it’s a habit. Unless they’re biting their nails down to the quick and their nails are bleeding, the fingers are bleeding. So if there’s something that’s that’s really negatively affecting your life, it’s Pro and you and you can’t you feel like you can’t stop. You can, but you feel like you can’t stop. It’s an addictive behavior.
Debra Muth 14:32
Candace Plattor 14:34
Does that make sense?
Debra Muth 14:35
That makes perfect sense. And I’m glad you shared with us the difference of that because I think I think it’s very hard sometimes for people to know the difference. Do I have a habit? Or do I have an addiction? Do I have a problem? Or is it just something I’ve gotten so used to that? I don’t know how to stop?
Candace Plattor 14:51
Yeah, and the real the real problem is that so many people who actually have addiction, like to tell them themselves, I don’t have a problem. The other guy has a problem. I’m not going to get addicted, I would never get addicted to somebody else is that the other guy’s going to get addicted. I can stop whenever I want to. I just don’t want to. Yes. So they keep using. Yeah. And so there’s a rationale. There’s a minimizing there’s a denial that goes on, within people who have addiction, I remember it well.
Debra Muth 15:27
It is a very easy pattern to slip into. And we can make all kinds of excuses for it. I mean, we can have healthy addictions, we can have unhealthy addictions, exercise can become an addiction, I’ve seen that happen.
Candace Plattor 15:42
And if you can become an addict, if it starts to affect your life negatively, if I’m watching too much TV, if I’m exercising too much, and that’s really all I’m doing, because see this thing, and I’m really glad we’re talking about this right now. Because the actual addiction, the actual behavior or the substance, that isn’t really the problem. The problem is what’s underneath, what’s the need for us to be having to use an addictive behavior? What’s, what’s the need in the us to want to stop our pain as a pain. It’s just so great, emotionally, physically, psychically, whatever it is. So I, when I work with people who are addicted, I don’t ask them, Well, how much you’re drinking? Because, I mean, really, it doesn’t matter. It does matter if they’re drinking too much. And they’re poisoning themselves with it. But usually they’re not. But they’re, it’s, it’s affecting their lives. They’re sleeping in in the morning and don’t get to work on time. They’re, you know, there’s there’s something going on, that’s making their lives be a mess. But really, it’s not about the alcohol. It’s not about the drugs. It’s not about the casino, it’s about the need to do that stuff. What are we trying to get away from what hurts so much that we have to cover it up with something else?
Debra Muth 17:13
Yeah. That’s the bigger question. Right? That’s the big piece is what what is the issue? What is the need? What are we trying to escape from? Yeah, and Lord knows, there’s plenty of things we could be escaping from right now.
Candace Plattor 17:29
Well, especially now and you know, COVID, like, yes, there was an opioid problem before COVID. But now, it’s so much bigger. Yeah, it was an alcohol problem before COVID. People were drinking too much. And now it’s so much bigger. Yep. Because there are scary times out there now. Yeah, part of the world is at war. And there’s all kinds of things going on, are hard for people, myself included, are harder for people to, you know, to deal with.
Debra Muth 18:02
Yeah. So you locked in our house for two years.
Candace Plattor 18:06
Yeah, That’s right. Yeah, that’s hard. So so what we need to do is find a different kind of way to deal with the problem, aside from running away from it with some kind of addiction. Gotcha.
Debra Muth 18:20
That’s the key, right? It
Candace Plattor 18:23
is because addiction is progressive. And what that means is, there’s something called tolerance involved in addiction. And so we we tolerate more and more of the substance or the behavior. And we need more and more of it to get the same kind of high or fix or, you know, so without help. addiction doesn’t just go away, it usually gets worse. There are some people in the world. It’s hard for me to understand them, but I’m really happy for them. There are some people in the world who can just say, I’m never going to drink again. And they don’t. Yeah, that wasn’t my experience. I needed a lot of help to be able to get past what I was doing. And most people are like that.
Debra Muth 19:09
Gotcha. Gotcha. How does the families play into this picture? I came from a family my dad was an alcoholic, his dad was an alcoholic. So families are affected by people’s behaviors. Tell us a little bit about how family roles are affected by people who have addictions.
Candace Plattor 19:30
Yeah. You know, when there’s addiction in a family and you know, because you lived it. I did to everybody’s affected. Everybody needs to heal from this. And the the really important thing is that the addicts need their families. But they need their families to be healthy with them, not to be enabling with them. So What happens often is that families, because there’s so little help out there, and there are so many, many, many families globally all over the world that have addiction in them. People don’t know what to do. When people come to me, and they say, We know we’re enabling, but we don’t know what else to do. So I’ll just give a really brief definition of helping and enabling, if that’s okay, so people know what we’re talking about. I mean, most people know today, what enabling means. But basically, it means that we’re doing for somebody else, what they can and should be doing for themselves. You know, we’re letting them live in our home, rent free, letting them use all day, all day and be up all night sleep all day. Basically, we’re allowing them to punch holes in the walls, when they’re angry. We’re allowing them to do all these things, because we don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to set the boundary, we don’t know that we even should set a boundary. We don’t know anything. And we don’t know what we don’t know, until we know it. Right? So.
Debra Muth 21:14
And there’s the fear that if we don’t let them do that, what are they going to do? Where are they going to go? How bad is that going to get?
Candace Plattor 21:23
Indeed, yeah, but the thing that families need to understand is that even if they stay in your home, without any responsibility without any need to contribute, they can still get into really bad shape. So you’re not always you’re not always doing the most loving thing, by allowing that to happen. Sure. Yeah. And so so an enabling behavior, keeps an addict stuck in the addiction and the addiction Gotcha. And a helping behavior gives the addict you know, a fighting chance of maybe being able to recover. But if you keep enabling an added y, and enable that it does not recover, because why should they they have their meals cooked or laundry, that maybe somebody’s paying the rent, or it’s just too easy, it’s too comfortable. And so they stay in addiction
Debra Muth 22:22
Candace what’s the difference between enabling them in codependency?
Candace Plattor 22:27
Debra Muth 22:29
Candace Plattor 22:30
And I’ll explain that too. I really like simple definitions. So codependency is a buzzword in our field. And when people are codependent, they put other people’s needs ahead of their own. They go on the backburner on a fairly consistent basis. And the reason that happens on a surface kind of level, the reason that happens is because coded, the word codependency is synonymous with people pleasing. So when you’re a people pleaser, what you hate the most, is conflict. I mean, you just hate conflict. Yes, I’ll do anything to not have to have conflict. They don’t want to deal with somebody else’s anger toward them, or disappointment or frustration. They don’t know how nobody has ever shown them how it’s not that hard. We will help you with that. At love with boundaries, but you know, they don’t know what to do. And the word that an addict hates to hear the most is no, no. So if you combine that No, with I’m a people pleaser, and I don’t want you to, I don’t want you to have any conflict with me. You don’t say no to an addict? Yeah, never say no. You want to say no. You think maybe you should say no. But you say yes. Because you don’t want a hole punched in the wall. You don’t want to be shoved out of the way you don’t want that kind of stuff happening. So you do what the addict wants. And that is not a loving act. It feels sometimes like it’s a loving act. Mom, I need 20 bucks. So you give the addict 20 bucks even though you know where that money’s gonna go. Right? Yeah, but it’s not a loving act to do anything that keeps contributes to keeping an addict in their addiction. If we could get into kind of the reason I left the 12 step programs. So, the philosophy that kind of mandate of the 12 step program, and 12 Step programs are things like Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Al Anon. OCOA, those kinds of groups is basically it says, you have a disease of addiction, you have the disease of addiction, you’re powerless over that disease. And so you know, kind of once an addict, always an addict, and you’re, you’re very likely going to relapse, if even if you try to clean up, you’re going to relapse because relapse is a norm, they say, as a normal and natural part of recovery. So I look at that. And when I was 10 years clean, approximately, I looked at that, and I said, Wait a minute, I’m 10 years clean, I make the choice every day not to use, how am I powerless over this, right? I’m not powerless over this, I make choices. So for me, you know, first of all, I have a disease, I have a disease that I can’t get rid of, I have a disease that’s going to probably, I’ll probably die with this disease, you know, not not from it, but with it, right. And, you know, I can’t just say, Gee, I don’t want to have Crohn’s anymore, I’d love to not have Crohn’s anymore. But I can’t just say I’m not going to have it. So I’m just going to leave it over here and go on with my life. It just doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t work that way with cancer, diabetes, medical conditions, right. But they can do that with addiction. You can say to yourself, I don’t want this anymore, and make a choice. So even if you want to see those, as a disease, if you’re in the 12 step program, and you’re listening, you want to make you want to see it as a disease, even then every single person that’s in a 12 step program that’s in recovery, knows that they make a choice every day. Sometimes every minute, yeah. But it’s really about choice. And even if like like in your family, even if there’s a genetic predisposition, which, you know, the scientists have been trying to prove for a really long time, I haven’t quite come up with it. But I see it running and families like yours like mine.
I think there’s probably some kind of gene. But we don’t know for sure. But even if there is, even if even if your father and your grandfather are alcoholics, that doesn’t mean that you have to become an alcoholic. And if you do become an alcoholic, it may be something you learned at home, it may be that you have a gene for an allergy to the substance. But it doesn’t mean you have to keep using the substance. It’s a choice underneath all of it. You’re making a choice. So I work the choice model. Why are you making this choice? What’s this choice about for you? If you’re making if you’re in active addiction, you’re making the choice to stay in active addiction every day, every minute. I don’t think I need to say this. I don’t think that anybody chooses to become addicted. I know that I didn’t. And I have never met anybody that said, Gee, I want to be an addict. I’m gonna choose to be an addict. No, it doesn’t work that way. But once would there? And we know, because I remember this well, when we know that our lives are a mess. And we continue to use, we continue to drink, we continue to gamble, we continue to watch porn, we continue whatever the behavior is. That’s a choice we’re making. Yeah. And that’s much more empowering than saying, Well, you know, I have I have no control over this because we do. Yeah. And to give the family the information that their addict is powerless. Not not a good idea. To give an addict the information that they’re powerless, not a good idea, because they will respond in one of two ways. They’re either gonna say, in a passive way, they’re gonna say, Oh, I have a disease and I can’t help it. So leave me alone. Or they’re gonna get really aggressive and they’re gonna say, I have a disease Get out of my face. Leave me alone. And nothing changes. Yeah.
Debra Muth 29:40
So true. I’m glad you’re talking about this. Because this does bring people power. It brings the families power, it gives them power, and it gives it back to them to say, This is my life. This is what I’m choosing to do with it. I mean, we’re gonna choose to continue to do the behavior that’s going to destroy my life even more than it is, and it’s my choice, or I’m going to choose to fix it, I’m going to choose to change and yeah, have control over my life. Again, it’s so much better when we have control. I see this every day in health care, when we give people options of taking care of their health, and they have the choice, and they have the control and the power. Yeah, they do so much better with it than if we look at them and say, Hey, you got this disease, and you know, there’s not really much we can do for you, and you’re just gonna be miserable for the rest of your life.
Candace Plattor 30:35
I had a, I had a doctor, a medical doctor who told me in my early years of Crohn’s, because I remember asking him, How can I not be sick all the time? What can I do for myself? And he said, it doesn’t matter what you do. It doesn’t matter what you eat. You could eat sawdust, you could eat McDonald’s for the rest of your life, it doesn’t matter what you do you have Crohn’s, you’re always gonna have Crohn’s. You know, he in a way he was right, because it seems like there’s no real way to get rid of this thing. Now. But what he didn’t say to me was that you have choices about how you take care of yourself. Yeah, so choice is so important. And even even addicts who are in active addiction, and choosing to be they have control over their lives to they’re in control of that nobody’s making them do it, nobody can make them stop. But when families can do, because I don’t want to, I don’t want to give the message, the families can’t do anything, because and they’re really, the family is so important in this whole equation. And what the family can do is say to the addict, we love you. We love you so much. It’s tearing us up to see what you’re doing to yourself. We don’t even want to watch it anymore, because it’s just so hard. And I think it’s okay to tell an addict that. And, and so, you know, we’re, we love you so much that we’re no longer going to enable you to stay in addiction, because we don’t want you to be in addiction. So we’re not going to give you money anymore. And we’re not going to let you live rent free in our house anymore. And if you’re going to be using, you’re going to have to go someplace else to do that. And that’s because we love you, not because we don’t love you, this is not a punishment. But you know, things need to change here,
Debra Muth 32:40
You’re not going to support their bad behaviors that are destroying their lives. So support them with all of the positive things they can do that will make their life wonderful, just not the bad thing. Right?
Candace Plattor 32:51
Exactly. So we will no longer support your addiction, financially or any other way. But we will support your recovery as best we can. So when you make that choice, let us know. We’ll be happy to you know, if we can’t help financially, we’ll be happy to, to stand with you and love you through it, you know, but we’re not going to support the addiction any longer. Because we love you so much. That’s the message. And and you learn how to set the boundaries that you need to learn that you need to set. You learn how to language them, you learn how to maintain them. And this is what we teach. It’s amazing what happens when families start to do that.
Debra Muth 33:37
That’s wonderful. You know, I think so many times, we haven’t learned how to set boundaries. You know, so many of us are codependent in many different ways. We don’t know boundaries, there’s codependency that is outside of addiction. You know, you don’t stick up to your boss, you don’t stand up for yourself with your best friend or your sister or whatever it is. We don’t know how to set those boundaries that make our lives healthy for us. So learning how to do this in any realm. Sounds like it would be really helpful for people.
Candace Plattor 34:08
It’s so important because you know, there’s a self respect piece that happens. For me, there’s a difference between self respect and self esteem. I differentiate between the two with self esteem. It’s like I could say to you, Dr. Deb, I, you’re a great interviewer. I love what you do. I love your shirt, your hair looks great. You know, it’s, it’s coming from the outside of you in, it’s coming from somebody else to you. The problem with that is that if you don’t think you’re a great interviewer, if you don’t think that your shirt is nice or your hair is nice, you’re gonna think I’m absolutely crazy for saying so you won’t be able to take it in. You won’t have it you You’ll try to get more and more and more from people if you’re empty in that way. But it won’t work very well. So self esteem is not, it’s nice, but it’s not, it’s not the end all and be all. self respect is just the opposite self respect comes from the inside out. And most people have not had the information or the opportunity to develop that self respect. I know I lived without it for a really long time. Not negotiable for me anymore. I’m never giving it away, you know, but it’s, it’s about how do I feel about myself? How do I feel about myself when I look in the mirror? At me? And I don’t necessarily mean physically, but how do I feel about myself at three o’clock in the morning? If I’m awake? Yeah. You know, how do I feel about myself. And once we have that piece, it’s kind of like the cake, and the icing, and the sprinkles and the cherries, or the self esteem. It’s really nice to have the, the icing and sprinkles and cherries, but we have to have the cake first, otherwise we get sick.
Debra Muth 36:12
Yeah, if you can’t build that foundation, you have nothing to go off of.
Candace Plattor 36:17
That’s right. So so when we don’t set boundaries, and we know we really need to, and there’s a part of us that really wants to say to the addict, what are you doing to us, you know, you don’t, and you don’t find a way to do that. Your self respect takes a hit. And it’s the same for the addict, you know, they continue to use and they know that they shouldn’t be and, and everybody else around them, the people they know are having lives, you know, their friends are getting married, having children, and they have jobs and you know, their lives are quite functional, whereas the addict maybe isn’t. There’s no self respect in that. So what what the family can do is help the addict, develop self respect, and the family needs to do that for themselves. First, because this is why I work with families. And I usually work with the families before I work with the addicts in the family, because an addict will not go to the family and say, Please set some healthy boundaries for me. Yes, they won’t, you know, and they and they also will go and say thank you for setting healthy boundaries with me, I really appreciate that can happen I got a thankless job. But eventually when this is consistent, and the addict takes notice and says, Oh, this isn’t really working for me very well anymore. Things start to change.
Debra Muth 37:53
Yeah. Early on in my career, I worked with adolescents who had drug addiction. And one of the things as they were getting better, they would say, I want my parents to be parents, I don’t want him to be my friend. I don’t want them to try to take me out and have a good time and do all this. I want them to tell me, I have to be home at 10 o’clock or 11 o’clock. Instead of saying come home whenever you want. It doesn’t matter. That’s right. Why did those boundaries so desperately? Because it made them real. It made them feel like their parents cared about them when they set those boundaries. But they weren’t right to ask for them upfront. It wasn’t until they were unhealthy and started getting healthy, that they learned that this was what they needed.
Candace Plattor 38:38
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And so sometimes it works backwards. So if you’re working with adolescents, or you’re working with addicts, who realize that they need their families to be healthier with them, then the families can be involved and start learning how to be healthier. But usually the the people who come first to me anyway, or the or the loved ones. of the people who are struggling with addiction. Yeah. So So unless they change first, the addict probably won’t. And that could kill them. Yeah. So how is that a loving act? To keep doing things that keep an addict in addiction? How is that a loving?
Debra Muth 39:24
Yeah, you know, it makes me think about so many times I hear women say I’m trying not to eat all this junk food or have this chocolate or this ice cream, but my husband keeps bringing it to me. And I keep saying I don’t want it and I don’t need it. And yet they bring it and then I cave and that relationship is being so strained because one person in that relationship is trying to change and the other person doesn’t realize that they really don’t want this. Yeah,
Candace Plattor 39:57
yeah, yeah. So You know, the person who the ice cream is being brought to, is going to have to be able to stand strong and say, I don’t want this. I want it. I want it. I love it. My taste buds wants it. My taste buds really want it. And I may go into some withdrawal if I don’t need it. But I but what’s more important to me is to feel good about myself is to have my self respect. That’s more important to me than being an ice cream addict. Yeah, I mean, it would be really easy for me to be an ice cream junkie too right? But I care about how I feel about myself today, because I know that I know what it’s like to care about that. And I know what it’s like to not care about that. There’s just no, you know, I was gonna say there’s no choice for me. Of course, there is a choice, I’m making the choice to care about me. And, and that allows me to have a life free of addiction, free of Crohn’s symptoms, a lot of the time. It allows me to have a life.
Debra Muth 41:08
How do we prevent ourselves when we give up one addiction, oftentimes, people will go to another addiction. So if they give up alcohol, they might smoke, or they might have ice cream. I have a friend who gave up alcohol, but then he ate a pint of Ben and Jerry’s every day. Yeah, it was another addiction that he didn’t see as an addiction. But looking back, you could see he was trading one for another.
Candace Plattor 41:32
Yeah, he didn’t see it coming. Because alcohol, specifically, alcohol has a lot of sugar. Sugar. Yes, no, when you give up alcohol, you’re gonna go into a sugar withdrawal. If you don’t eat sugar, yeah, and if you don’t want to feel those withdrawal symptoms, and if you’re not willing to go through that, then you know, you’re gonna you’re gonna end up with another addiction. But again, you know, it’s about how do I want to feel about myself? That’s, that’s the way that that’s the way we stop addiction is to care about that.
Debra Muth 42:07
Yeah, care about ourselves and really focus on that.
Candace Plattor 42:10
Yeah, and it’s the same, it’s the same with the, with the families, they have to start caring about themselves. Self Care. I have a chapter in my book, maybe we can talk about my book in a minute. But, you know, I have a chapter in my book that says, one of the tips in my book, self care does not equal selfish. Yeah, and, and so many people, especially women, because we’re brought up that way we’re supposed to give to others and given given give, yeah, you know, we need to take care of ourselves. And if especially if we’re in situation where we’ve done an adequate, we’ve been trying and trying and trying to help them, shop yourself. First. It’s the, it’s the classic thing of the airplane, and the masks come down, and whose master they tell you to put on first. So it’s so tempting. When you’ve got a little child, maybe a baby, you’ve got maybe an elderly or sick person, and you want to put their mask on first. If you do that, you’re going to be lying on the floor, not able to help anybody. Absolutely. So you put yours on and then and then go take your mask on and then go help somebody else.
Yeah, that’s wonderful. Qantas, this has been such a great conversation, tell us a little bit about your book, and how people can find out more information about what you’re doing.
Thank you. Well, I have three books now.
Debra Muth 43:33
Candace Plattor 43:35
You know, and two of them have won USA and International Book Awards, which has just surprised me so much. Because when you’re in addiction, and never think that you’re ever, ever going to do anything that’s going to help the world. So I’m gratified every day that I’m able to do that. But my book is called Loving an addict loving yourself. It’s the top 10 survival tips for loving someone with an addiction.
Debra Muth 44:04
Wonderful. I love that cover.
Candace Plattor 44:06
Thank you. Yeah, so this is the loved one. And this is the addict.
Debra Muth 44:10
Candace Plattor 44:12
So my book is for the loved ones. It’s not for the addicts. The addicts do not like my book. I like to say that because yeah, if you got it on the coffee table and your addict starts to read out, they are not gonna like it. Because it’s all about boundaries. It’s all about self respect. It’s all about things that they don’t want to quite have to go to yet, you know. So I have 10 tips in there and that are really helpful. Things like, stop trying to change other people, because you really can’t. You really can’t. You’ve probably proven to yourself that you really can’t. You’ve probably tried really, really hard to change somebody else. And it hasn’t worked. So, so it’s about not doing not doing something different instead, it’s about learning the difference between helping and enabling, learning about self care. You know, that’s what the book is about how to survive living with, and sometimes not just survive, but actually thrive, thrive while while having an addict in your life. And you know, it’s, most people don’t know that you can do that.
Debra Muth 45:24
Yeah. Wonderful. That is wonderful. Oh, great. This is so wonderful. How do people find you?
Candace Plattor 45:33
Well, they can go on my website. That’s one thing they can do. My website is www. Lovewithboundaries.com. So all one word love with boundaries. I have a TED talk a TEDx talk. And you can just look up TEDx and look up my name Candice Plattor. And I have a YouTube page, a lot of people really enjoy my YouTube videos and webinars and that sort of thing about what we’re talking about today. And you can get my book on Amazon, if you if you want to do that. So that’s how, and and that love with boundaries. Like I said, before we work globally, we I have, I have clients all over the world, in Japan, and Australia, you know, different places, and United States and Canada. And it’s one of the, it’s one of the good things that have happened from COVID, I think, is being able to work on Zoom, because it means I can see anybody anywhere. And I have a team of counselors and what, what we do is we have a 30 minute free zoom consultation, where we will learn more about you, you will learn about our program. Are you a fit for us, are we a fit for you, and we go from there. There’s absolutely no obligation to have this you will not be charged for anything if you have this consultation with us. And all you have to do to have it is to fill out our questionnaire and the link for that is on the website.
Debra Muth 47:19
Oh, wonderful. That’s fantastic. And for those of you who are driving or working out while you’re listening to this, don’t worry. We’ll we’ll have all of Candace’s links and all of her information below in the show notes. So you can just click on it and take you right to her place.
Candace Plattor 47:32
Fantastic. Yeah. Yeah. Don’t hesitate. If you need help. We are here. And we know how to help you. We know what to do for you. Many, many people who work in the addiction field have no idea how to help the families. Yeah, because they just they just haven’t specialized in it. And they don’t know what to do. We do.
Debra Muth 47:52
Yeah, that’s a big resource that I think hasn’t been tapped. People haven’t focused on the families, they focus on the individual, but not the family. So I’m so glad that you’re doing this because the families need so much support and so much help. And-
Candace Plattor 48:08
when the family gets help the addict starts to change almost always. I mean, every once in a while you get somebody who absolutely refuses to come out of addiction. Usually it doesn’t happen that way. So when the family changes, and I’ve got this this line on my website, it’s my tagline. I wish I could say that I came up with it, because it’s brilliant. Simple, and it’s brilliant. But I stole it. So it’s if nothing changes, nothing changes. Changes. Yeah. So the other way to say that is if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten gotten. Yeah. So if you want to have if you want to continue with what you all have always had, which probably don’t, you know, so it’s a decision on your part to us the loved one, are you are you willing to stand up and your family? Are you? Are you willing to be courageous and say we need help? We need it now.
Debra Muth 49:07
Yeah. And we’re willing to do the work that it takes and we’re willing to do what it takes to get the results that we’re looking for. That’s always the hardest part, right? But we have to be willing to take that first step. And we take that first step. As difficult as it is. The second step is easier. It’s like watching a baby walk. Their first steps are really challenging. Each one gets a little easier and a little easier. And yeah, that’s what this is like to.
Candace Plattor 49:31
Yep, that’s right.
Debra Muth 49:33
Yeah. Awesome. Well, this has been such a pleasure. Thank you so much for being with us. I greatly appreciate you being here.
Candace Plattor 49:40
Thank you. It’s been great.
Debra Muth 49:42
Thank you. Hey, it has been really great sharing this time with you guys on the let’s talk wellness now podcast. If this episode has helped you or you feel as though this episode would help someone else we’d love for you to leave us a review, share this podcast. And if you don’t want to miss the most exciting episodes we have coming. We’d love for you to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Until next time, live every day to the fullest