The Ripple Effects of Addiction
Today, we are breaking the mold on a topic that touches everyone in some way: addiction. And it isn’t limited to drugs and alcohol like we’ve always thought. We can have addictions to food, sex, technology, work. The list of compulsive behaviors that yield potentially negative consequences is endless. This week Jaime is joined by Dr. Nzinga Harrison, a psychiatrist, addiction specialist, and host of the podcast In Recovery, who takes the shame out of the conversation and might just change the way you think about addiction forever. Jaime opens up about her lifelong struggle with body dysmorphia and gets a new perspective on her past history with cocaine. Together, they answer questions about what to do if your partner has a severe addiction and how to determine if you can live with the consequences of someone’s addiction.
FYI: Tell Me What To Do contains mature language and themes that may not be suitable for all listeners.
Please note, this show is hosted and produced by a team that does not have any clinical or other mental or physical health training. If you are having a health or mental health crisis or emergency, please contact 911. For non-emergency mental health and addiction needs, try https://www.samhsa.gov/ for national and local resources.
Do you have a question for Jaime? Call 833-4LEMONADA (833-453-6662) and leave her a voicemail! You can also email her at [email protected]. Your question might get used in a future episode!
Did you know that this show is supported by listeners like you? It is! You can become a member, get exclusive bonus content, and discounted swag at www.lemonadamedia.com/memberships.
Take a brief listener survey and get a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card at https://www.lemonadamedia.com/survey
If you aren’t already a devoted Jaime fan, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @JaimePrimak
Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.
[00:30] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Hey, guys, it’s Jaime. Before we begin, I want you to know that this episode contains a question from a listener that references child molestation. It’s not graphic, but I wanted to let you know that in case this topic is triggering for you. I love you.
[01:25] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Hey, guys, you’re listening to Tell Me What To Do, and I’m Jaime Primak Sullivan. This is a call and answer show where you guys call or email me, and I hopefully have something inspirational or insightful in a way that tells you what to do. So I was in Jersey a couple of weeks ago and it felt very, very weird to be on the list of states that had to quarantine when I got there. I kind of felt like a pariah, like I had a scarlet X — on my is it Scarlet X or Scarlet A? Scarlet A. Anyway, so I get off the plane and suddenly I’m like, can everyone tell I’m from Alabama? Like I’m from Jersey — forget that I’m recognizable in Jersey, I get off the plane and people are like,” hey, Jersey Belle,” like I’ll never escape that. But like I just like every person that looked at me, I was like, they’re totally like Alabama! Quarantine! So I followed the rules to such an extreme that it pissed my best friend Courtney off so bad because she was on the phone for work and she’s like, “run in and grab our Starbucks.” I’m like, “I can’t. Governor Murphy has quarantined me. I cannot go in anywhere.” She’s like, ugh! I’m like, you knew what it was when you signed up.
[02:55] Jaime Primak Sullivan: I noticed that I drink a lot more alcohol in New Jersey. I don’t know if it’s because I feel like I’m on vacation, because as a mom, I am not with my children. And I don’t know what it is about moms. the second we are geographically separated from our children, we become these like drinking, cursing, I’ll fight you in the parking lot and sleep with your man. Like, all of a sudden we’re just like, I’m going to do it everything that I can’t do when my kids are around! So I get to New Jersey and suddenly I’m a day drinker who drinks tequila at one o’clock. And like, sure, some of my friends are legit alcoholics. I mean, we had some heart-to-heart conversations while I was there, because by day three, I was like my pee smelled like an actual, like distillery. I was like, I think we might be taking the day drinking a little too far. I don’t think 7:45 is an appropriate bedtime for someone who’s 43. And they’re like, “it’s fine! Take a nap and do it all over again!” I’m like, a nap at 7:45?
[04:10] Jaime Primak Sullivan: I don’t know what that’s called. I think that’s just called a poor night’s sleep at this age. So we had some conversations about how social drinking makes you feel like if you’re not drinking alone, if you’re drinking with friends, then you can’t be an alcoholic. And that’s just fucking absurd. And I love my friends, but some of them needed to hear, like guys, I get that I don’t have my kids, but I can’t keep up. I just can’t do what you do. And the fact that you can do this every single day means we might want to talk about this because there’s not even any water consumption. Like, are we OK? And listen, I’m not here to judge. We’re all trying to do the best we can with kids home right now and a deadly fucking Michael Bay movie happening outside our houses every day. I’m waiting for the Decepticons to just, like, start changing in front of my house. Fucking take me to your leader, already.
[05:23] Jaime Primak Sullivan: OK. So with all of that on my mind, I wanted to bring on an amazing doctor, psychiatrist and addiction specialist, Dr. Nzinga Harrison. Not only did she help co-found an amazing outpatient clinic for people with substance use disorder called Eleanor Health, she’s also a mom, a daughter, a sister. And a fellow Lemonada Media podcast host. Her show, In Recovery, is like this show — question and answer style. But her show is about all things addiction, from sex to chaos to work to drugs and alcohol. So today Nzinga and I are teaming up to answer your questions about addiction.
[06:10] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Hello, Jaime, that was maybe the most amazing introduction ever. \
[06:16] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Heeey. Hi, hi, hi. I’m so grateful to have you on. I’m not sure if you’re familiar, but I do a Facebook digital series called Coffee Talk, and I’ve been doing it almost six years. And very often — just to give you a little background, it is rooted in the human connection and social responsibility and kindness. It’s sort of my way to give back because I was a bully for so long and just not really a girl’s girl. So I kind of turned my love around. Right. And now I try to give that back. And so one of the things that comes up a lot is addiction. And addiction affects all of us in one way or another, even if we ourselves don’t struggle with addiction. But I do really feel like there are certain topics that I can empathize with, and maybe even in some way struggle with in certain ways for myself, i.e. an eating disorder. But I am not an expert. I have not dedicated any of my life to the study of this or the tunnel to help people through. So I really appreciate having you on. And I can share a little bit with you about my small slice of addiction. So I grew up in a house where my mother drank, but she never fit the model of like what you saw in the ‘80s as an alcoholic, because remember those after school specials, it was always like, “Steven, get in here!” And like the dad was beating him. And someone was like, “I think Steven’s father is hurting him.” And you found out he’s an alcoholic and he gives this tearful apology to Steven at the end, and it’s tied in a ribbon. But they don’t show Steven’s father in and out of rehab for 10 years and trying to get sober and going to AA and all of those things.
[08:27] Jaime Primak Sullivan: My mother was a social, happy drinker, but what I realized was my mother had to drink. And I think that I went the other way, I became very turned off by people who had to drink. And let me just say, I have tried to get addicted to everything. Legitimately, been like I’m going to be a lifetime smoker, then my dad died of lung cancer. And I was like, meh, not for me. You know, I’m not proud of it. And probably like, this isn’t my shining moment, but there was a time where I had a $1,000 a week coke habit. I loved cocaine. My point is that I couldn’t get addicted to anything. It’s not my personality. But I struggle with something called body dysmorphia. And I know it’s not exactly an addiction, but it’s a compulsion, it’s a thought process that I can’t unhinge myself from. So I don’t understand addiction, but I do understand a compulsive thought that I can’t free myself from. An inner voice, that no matter how hard I try to silence it, it calls for me. And so to anyone who has an inner voice that calls for alcohol or drugs or sex or porn or food or gossip or social media, I understand the voice you can’t tune out. So I have a certain empathy for that. What I would like first, if you would, help me understand the difference between someone who uses in moderation, or someone like my mom who is totally functioning and happy and great, and there’s no after-school special about her, but she has to drink every day. And then someone that unfortunately, Hollywood and the media has painted as like, you know, the dysfunctional falling down, hurting the people they love. So if you could just talk us through some of that.
[10:36] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Yeah, I can talk you through. So thank you for sharing so openly with me and with your listeners. The first thing I’m gonna say is you say you don’t understand addiction, but you do understand it. And so I think you’re saying I don’t understand maybe being addicted to a substance, but the way you conceptualize that compulsive inner voice that even when you don’t want to hear it, it is calling to you and compelling you to do something that you know doesn’t necessarily have goodness for you, can come with negative consequences, that is literally the concept of addiction. And so what we’re doing on In Recovery is breaking down that wall — because and hopefully you can take this push back on you. I think part of when I hear people say I don’t understand addiction, and then they tell me their own experiences, which sound exactly like addiction, it’s just not a drug, it’s because of the stigma that we’ve built around this concept of addiction. Like, I was used to a $1,000 of cocaine, but I don’t understand addiction. But I have body dysmorphia. Like, it’s easier for me to grab onto that. I think that’s the stigma that we have for addiction. So to your question about like, what is the difference between the Skid Row, after-school special person with alcoholism, and mom who has to drink every day, and a person that drinks but doesn’t have addiction. And so we can fill in whatever we want to put there. Cocaine?
[12:08] Jaime Primak Sullivan: I was very, very young. I would like my listeners to know I was like 20. I’m 43 now.
[12:14] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: You don’t even have to qualify it, Jaime, because in Nzinga Harrison is not drawing any conclusion about you because you had a love affair with cocaine. And the way you talk about it, guess what, Jaime? Lets me know that you had an addiction to cocaine. Because when you have a love affair that runs that deep to something that’s not a person is when we have to start thinking about it. But to answer your question, like, what is the difference? It’s the same thing, like, substance use disorders, addictions are mild, moderate, severe. So it’s like some people have diabetes and it can be controlled with diet and exercise and it’s mild. And other people, they’re on insulin, three different oral medications, they’re exercising, following all of the recommendations and still in the hospital in a diabetic coma. Even though they “did everything right,” it’s just because their illness was severe. And so something about your biology protected you. Stopping smoking cigarettes — I tell people cigarettes are the hardest addiction that I help people get in recovery from just because every puff is another reinforcement in that pathway in the brain. So if you smoke half a pack a day, you just reinforced 200 times to your brain that you need this to survive. So something about your biology that let you stop smoking, that let you stop cocaine, but for some reason has made it difficult on body dysmorphia, sounds like you struggle still a little bit with that.
[13:55] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Not a little bit. Every day.
[13:56] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Yeah, a lot of bit. Right. So something about your biology, along with your life experiences, is informing that. But it’s the same for everybody. So, yes, it sounds like your mom had an alcohol use disorder. It was probably mild to moderate, when you look at our diagnostic criteria. That after-school special dad had a severe alcohol use disorder. And so it’s just not so much the concept of who the person is or what the person’s personality is so much as it is the disease. Mild, moderate, severe.
[17:53] Jaime Primak Sullivan: I have to ask you before we move on, because I have to know for myself, I don’t think people understand how exhausting it is to live with a voice in their head that tells them — it’s not like a voice that tells me anything so much as it reminds me. And it constantly — I have not had a day in my life since I was probably 10 or 11 years old, where I have not thought about my body, critiqued my body, wished differently for my body, felt differently about food, wanted to be different about food. Felt fake about my thoughts, felt terrified of my thoughts felt shame about myself. I don’t think people understand how just exhausting it is to not ever get a break from the thoughts that consume. It’s like a mental chain or an anchor. And it’s always like I’m running a race in my life and one foot is dragging behind. And it’s just exhausting to never have reprieve from that. And I know people want to be helpful and go, but you’re beautiful, but you have a great body, but you’re whatever. And I try to explain it to them, I can not see what you see. Do you know that I have never, not one time, not one time ever have I had a day in my life where I have not looked at my body and wished it was different. Not one since I was 10 years old.
[19:53] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: And it’s awful, isn’t it? So it’s like exhausting, devastating, all-consuming. And your illness is severe if you haven’t had a single day of reprieve. And I can imagine all of the ripple effects that come from not having a single day of reprieve, like feeling like you’re white-knuckling it every single day. And then on top of that, like you said, from the outside to other eyeballs, everything looks great. This is exactly what I try to say, so many humans are having experiences that each of us is not having. And so you’re having that experience, I’m not having that experience, but can I for one second connect with you deeply enough to feel the pain of that experience so that then I’m motivated to figure out how I can help you resolve that pain. And it may be that you never go a day for your whole life. That might be what we’re dealing with. The same thing whether I’m talking about physical pain or emotional pain, for some people I’m taking care of, the illness is so severe that we can’t even benchmark to getting a day free without symptoms. But we can benchmark to OK, so if this ball and chain is going to be around my ankle, how do I strengthen that leg enough so that I can still run a marathon, so that I can still climb this mountain, even though, yep, I have that ball and chain. I accept that I have that ball and chain. But how can I still live my life? And the answer to that is that not alone. It can never be done alone. We are pack animals, that at some point is going to be too heavy for you to lift. Like today, you might be badass ball and chain, ha, looking you in the face, lifting my leg, climbing this mountain. Got it. Tomorrow you might be like, I can’t even get out of the bed. This ball and chain is so heavy. And you have to have somebody there who can help you lift your leg out of the bed for that first step. And it’s the same no matter what addiction we’re talking about.
[22:04] Jaime Primak Sullivan: And that’s why I have always been so celebratory with people in recovery when they post that they are a year sober, or they’re five years sober, whatever. I’m like I may not have ever — well, now I see it differently. Maybe I did have an addiction to something that I just couldn’t hold on to, but I may not have ever experienced addiction the way they experienced it, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And how great for them, because I’m going to tell you this, that I had like a little aha moment that you gave me here. I mean, I’m not over anything, but if people with addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, food, social media, whatever it is, hear the same voice I hear about my body every day?
[22:57] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: You get it, right?
[22:57] Jaime Primak Sullivan: They are not answering the call. When I tell you that I am almost envious because I don’t have something to let go of. I can’t hand over a pack of cigarettes.
[23:11] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Because you can’t hand over your body, right?
[23:12] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Right. Oh, my God. Somebody take this body. So anyway. So now I have even a new level of respect to anybody who is listening to this episode right now who, like me, struggles with an eating disorder but does not believe you have an addiction. And you see people in recovery around you. We are one in the same one. It is the same pull, the same consistency, that same voice that we hear when we get up first thing in the morning. What are you gonna do today? How’s it gonna be? And the same voice we hear at night. How’d you do today? I’m still gonna be here tomorrow. And it’s that exhaustion of that constant whisper in the back. So that’s a holy shit that is so fucking heavy. OK. We do have so many questions that are not about me, and I want so badly for people to get to have you tell them what to do. So I would love to read you this question, if you wouldn’t mind. Mary Lou says “hi, Jaime and Dr. Harrison. I am 64 years old and married my high school sweetheart 44 years ago. We have two sons and three beautiful grandchildren. He was a weekend alcoholic when we met until our children were eight and six. I thought after he quit drinking that he would have it made. We had a wonderful marriage until we reached 22 years. He was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Little did I know his alcohol abuse was masking his illness. He is addicted to Percocet and abuses his prescriptions often running out before they are due. He takes over-the-counter remedies for nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, headaches and often uses much more than the recommended dosage, then goes through withdrawal symptoms, often sleeping many hours a day to cope. He is in bed for the night anywhere from 4:30 to 6:30. I spend many hours alone while he sleeps. My question is how can I throw in the towel after 44 years, knowing how unstable he can be? I worry about him harming himself or someone else, to watch the person whom I love with my whole heart literally destroy his life with his unhealthy choices.”
[25:38] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: This is so, so, so heavy, so I want to touch on a couple of things. Number one, what I always tell loved ones, wives specifically in this case, you have to get some support in place for yourself. And I don’t mean friends. I don’t mean a sister or brother. I’m talking about some professional support. I need you to have a therapist, because this is too heavy to carry on your own. Number two, like Jaime and I were just talking about a second ago, your husband has one, two, three very severe illnesses. And everything I read and what you’re saying about him is that he’s in pain. He’s in a lot of emotional pain and he’s trying to figure out how to navigate that. And that is coming out with the way that he’s abusing these medications, over-the-counter and prescription. You are right to be worried about him harming himself, because just what you said here, is at a dangerous level. And so what I would ask is, does he have a psychiatrist? Does he have a therapist? If not, he needs both. Has he had a complete physical health evaluation? Because as we age, there are actually physiological changes in our bodies. So for all I know, his testosterone is low. For all I know, his thyroid is out of whack. For all I know, other aging processes are happening that are creating pain or discomfort, either physically or emotionally for him or otherwise, just like physical health conditions drive mental health conditions and addiction. And I need to see a set of labs if he’s drinking this heavily. Right. Like, I just need to know what’s going on with his organs. So if he doesn’t have a psychiatrist or a therapist, and if you mention that and that’s a no-go, then hopefully he will at least get to a primary care doctor so that he can get that physical evaluation. But the last thing that I’m — since the name of this show is Tell Me What To Do. And then, of course, I’m a doctor, so I always have to give the disclaimer, I haven’t met you or your husband, done any evaluation, so this is not actually medical advice, but in telling you what to do, the next thing is that we need you to get that therapist so that you can set some compassionate boundaries. And so a lot of times when people think about an intervention, or they think about boundary-setting, it’s punitive. And what I try to help people do is know that number one period ever is your physical safety and your emotional safety. And they are both equally important.
[28:11] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Put your mask on before helping others. Put your oxygen mask on. You cannot be of service to him. You cannot be of service to yourself. You cannot be of service to the two beautiful children you spoke about, or the three beautiful grandchildren you spoke about, if you do not put your mask on first. There is help out there for you. If your car broke down on the side of the road, you would not sit there and ask the universe to put the knowledge in your mind on how to be a mechanic. You would call somebody in for reinforcement. Get a therapist. Like Dr. Harrison said, there are other groups, Al-Anon. But I think sometimes people don’t understand that addiction, substance abuse is a reaction to a cause, and the cause is mental and emotional. If there’s a water problem in your house, you got to get to the pipes underneath. OK. Mary Lou, I hope that helps you put your oxygen mask on so you can help others. Get help, get support. I know it feels selfish because you are not the one with the substance abuse problem, but that does not mean you are not one with a problem.
[32:02] Caller: Hi, my name is Marie. I’m an alcoholic. I’ve enjoyed your podcast. I am currently dating a man who originally identified as an alcoholic, and then after we hung out for a couple of weeks, we traded stories and turns out he is a child molester. He molested his stepdaughter a couple of times over a period of years. He recognized he had a problem and he turned himself in. I talked to my sponsor, talked to my therapist, was curious if you had an opinion, is this something that people can do to work, do the steps and move forward, pay their debt to society with? Or is this something that once you have that problem, that addiction, that you are forever marked or scarred? He claims to be healthy in mind and spirit now. He describes it as a temporary wire crossing. It wasn’t a life-long, long-time adult obsession or thought process. It’s complicated, though, by alcohol and drug use. Just trying to make sense of this. Is this something that is that red flag, no-go, walk away from, or if this is something that you can recover from? Thanks.
[33:34] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: First, I want to say that I’ve worked with actually a lot of professionals who work with people who have committed sex offenses, including child molestation, and there’s a lot of stigma and shame and fear around these behaviors, understandably so. Like keeping our children safe is one of the things that is most important to us. But what these colleagues have told me is that similarly to the joy that I get working in substance use disorder, and being able to separate the behavior and the illness from the person, and knowing that very often there are interventions we can make to treat underlying causes, to get at what in childhood kind of led to these behaviors, to work on a support system and meaningful life connectedness that can then prevent the symptoms of that illness from having to be a lifelong, constant daily struggle. The way I have that joy, taking care of people with addiction, is the way people who take care of individuals who have committed sex offenses often are able to see that transformation in the people that they’re taking care of also. And so the short answer is that, no, it is not for everyone, once a child molester, always a child molester. I think it is a positive sign that he told you. And if you can corroborate the story that he told you with objective sources, I think that’s even more a positive sign. I think that he is in recovery from alcoholism — often when people get in recovery from alcoholism or other substance use disorders, that comes, especially if he has worked the 12 steps, with an inventory of all sorts of things that they’ve done in their lives and making amends and taking a hard look at self. And so I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually did work on that period of his life as part of his getting into recovery for alcoholism. And so, in short, yes, having molested a child is something that people can work through with the steps. It is absolutely something that people can move forward with. It is absolutely something — although I know it’s difficult probably to hear me say that — that people can pay their debt to society for.
[36:13] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Know that for everyone who has molested a child, that is not something that has to forever mark or forever scar them. And so I think what you want to do — it’s kind of the same way we’re thinking about addiction, which is knowing what the red flags are, knowing what the triggers are, if there are any, working hard to avoid those triggers. Being able to recognize those red flags before there’s any type of relapse. And so if we’re talking about the relapse that we’re trying to avoid being a relapse to molesting a child, I would say he has to be able to be 100 percent in and out, absolutely transparently honest with you about what led up to his molesting his stepdaughter. What made it stop? What work he has done in the meantime, what 12 step work he has done, what professional therapy work he has done. And what triggers there would be for him to develop that impulse again? And then you have to make that decision for yourself. Illnesses make humans do a lot of things that in different circumstances, humans would not do. And so I don’t think you have to brand him as forever marked or forever scarred. But I do think he has to be able to have a level of honesty with you around this that gets your comfort level to where you can make the right decision that is right for you. And then you have to know what those red flags are, and know what those triggers are, and keep your eyes open for them the same way you keep your eyes open for being triggered to drink alcohol, the same way he keeps his eyes open for that.
[38:03] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Dr. Harrison, you obviously, as somebody who has a lot more experience with recovery, and if recovery is indeed enough to stop certain ancillary behaviors. I don’t know. I think we are conditioned to hear crimes against children and immediately think, you know, that person is canceled. You know, it’s not up for any type of discussion. And I admit that I am biased. I hear anything against a child and think, no, sorry, I can’t give you any kind of chance. But I have to be honest, this is tough for me. I don’t know. I’m glad Dr. Harrison has the experience to take the lead on that one, because this is a conundrum for me.
[39:02] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Nzinga, thank you so much for coming on and being with me and for helping me tell others what to do. Addiction, as I said in the beginning, affects everybody one way or another. And you are doing God’s work. Thank you for loving people and for committing your life to helping quiet the voices that fight to be heard. Truly, I am better for knowing you. I am so glad that my audience got to know you a little bit and they can hear you more on your amazing and so important podcast, In Recovery. And you guys can find that podcast wherever you get your podcasts. Thank you so much for being part of Tell Me What To Do.
[39:45] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Thank you, Jaime. I absolutely loved it. And thank you for having a podcast about painful things that’s not a funeral dirge.
[40:00] Jaime Primak Sullivan: The biggest thing for us to remember is that addiction comes in all shapes and sizes, and it affects people differently, and it affects all of us, whether we are the one addicted or whether we are the one loving through addiction. I always believed that unless you were the after-school special version of an addict, or experiencing debilitating addiction, then you weren’t really an addict.
[40:28] Jaime Primak Sullivan: And I now have a profound understanding that you can suffer from addiction, mild, moderate or severe. And that was really eye-opening for me, because I knew that I did indeed have a love affair with certain substances, but was very fortunate that I could walk away when the time came. But that does not mean that I was not addicted. And that is very eye-opening to me, because I convinced myself with my narrative that I did not have an addictive personality and see that it’s just not necessarily true. The other thing that I think is very, very important for us to come away from this episode with is that you absolutely cannot thrive in a situation with an addict unless you put provisions in place for yourself to get help. Otherwise, you are rowing a boat on one side while the waters are doing everything to take you under. And that is just an unfair situation for you to put yourself in. It is an impossible situation for success. Hear me when I tell you: it is an impossible situation for success. If you are rowing on one side of a boat through a storm by yourself, you need help. Get a therapist in that boat with you so you can row together. I’m not saying the waters won’t be rough, they will, but at least you have someone rowing with you.
[41:59] Jaime Primak Sullivan: I think the third thing for me is that there are a lot of poor decisions that can come with addiction. Doesn’t mean they will, but they can come with addiction. And you have to decide if the ancillary behaviors from addiction are behaviors that you would be comfortable with without the addiction. So if a person admits that they have molested children because of their addiction, is that a behavior that you would be comfortable with, with or without the addiction? You know, and that’s a personal choice. I do believe that people can heal. I do believe that through sobriety and in recovery, people can get well. But I have to look at the ancillary behaviors and go, what are the ancillary behaviors that come with relapse? If the ancillary behavior is sleeping too much, can I live with that? If the ancillary behavior is molesting children, can I live with that? And that is a personal choice for all of us, but it is a very real thing that we cannot look away from because, like me, someone who lives with this eating disorder, my ancillary behaviors when I get into a dark space with this is I become jealous and envious and petty and nasty. And if that is something you can live with while I am trying to course correct, then I am the right friend for you. But if molesting children is not something you can live with if someone backslides, then that is something you have to be honest with. Because ancillary behavior comes with relapse and you have to be OK with that. Because at the end of the day, I say it all the time, you knew what it was when you signed up. And if they are honest with you in what those ancillary behaviors are like, and what they can be and how dark they can get, you can’t say you didn’t know what it could be.
[44:08] Jaime Primak Sullivan: And everybody in recovery wants to believe, and truly does believe, that they will stay there forever. But the truth is, not everybody does. So when they tell you who they are, and what their ancillary behaviors were, sure. did those ancillary behaviors trigger from the addiction? Yes. Can you live with those? You have to decide that. I love you guys so much. As a reminder, this show only works with you. So please call us. Email us. And as always, thank you so much for listening.
[45:01] Jaime Primak Sullivan: Tell Me What To Do is a production of Lemonada Media. The show is produced by Kryssy Pease, and associate produced by Claire Jones. It’s edited by Ivan Kuraev. Music is by Dan Molad. Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jaime Primak Sullivan are executive producers. Rate and review us, and follow us @LemonadaMedia on all your favorite social platforms. Of course, you can follow me at Jaime Primak Sullivan on Facebook or at Jaime P. Sullivan on Instagram. If you have any questions for me that you want me to answer on the show, give me a call at 833-453-6662.