I can’t wait for the day to end so I can go to sleep.

Dear Katie,
I don’t know who I am anymore. I feel like life is whizzing by me; I walk around like a zombie, getting nothing much accomplished. I should be happy—my son is in early recovery! I feel like I’ve lost my purpose somehow and there is a big hole in my heart. What can I do? —Rachelle

Dear Susan,
Often, when our loved ones are actively using a substance, we feel like we are running in circles, putting out fires, making doctor appointments, navigating insurance, finding a treatment facility, doing everything possible to save their life. There is such chaos going on, but we have a goal that we are in pursuit of and will bust through every potential barrier to achieve it. Now that things have calmed down a bit, the chaos may not be there, the goal has been met, and, although we feel relieved, something is missing. 

That missing piece may be that you aren’t in PURSUIT of something. When we have a goal or a challenge set, we become alive during the pursuit of it. Let’s try to establish one small goal. What makes you feel alive that you haven’t done in a while? Or is there something inside of you that wants to try something new? Maybe it’s planting a garden; maybe it’s taking a walk every day or painting that bathroom. Pick one thing and COMMIT to it. When you are feeling lost and overwhelmed, GET UP. KEEP GOING. Wipe those tears and say, YES, I AM DOING THIS!

Warm wishes,

Disclaimer: The above advice is not meant to be construed as medical or legal advice. If you need professional medical, psychological, or legal advice, please contact a doctor, lawyer, or medical center.

Katie Donovan is a family, life, and relationship coach; keynote speaker; and writer with a passion for empowering women. She has been interviewed on ABC, NBC, and Fox Sports and featured in cover stories in Time and Money magazines. Katie’s award-winning blog, www.amothersaddictionjourney.com, reached over a million views and was seen in 146 countries within thirty days of its inception and has been syndicated in over thirty publications, including USA Today and Disney’s blog Babble.

Are you struggling to get your inner sparkle back? Have the relationships with your partner, family, or friends been affected? Ask me anything! You can send a confidential email to katie@amothersaddictionjourney.com with Shift Happens in the subject line.

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