Previously, I’ve written an article about a top list of behavioral addictions. It’s kinda surprising how positive or common habits can turn into behavioral addictions. Addictions can lead into negative lifestyle. As long as you can resist yourself, you won’t suffer into those addictions.
When I searched for those behavioral addictions resources, I found a website about overcoming addiction called lynnelivingwithaddiction.com. Although it is specifically designated for drug and alcohol addiction, I felt that we can learn from it to resist behavioral addictions as well. So, I contacted the website owner to see if she agreed if I asked her some questions.
Her name is Lynne Huysamen. I read her profile and found out that she was a former addict too and decided to build this website to help other people recover from addiction. Such an inspiring person, isn’t she?
It turned out that she replied my message and was really helpful! I asked her some questions about her website and life story. We talked a bit and I was genuinely touched by her story!
This is a summary of our chat with the Question & Answer format. You can learn a bit about how to recover from alcohol and drug addiction by reading her life story
General Tidbits You Should Know About Lynne Huysamen
1. Hi Lynne, thank you for sparing your time. Can you describe a bit about yourself?
I am a 36 year old married mommy. I have a 2 year old son that clearly is already working towards being a stuntman when he grows up and a beautiful 4 year old girl that keeps me on my toes all day every day with questions about everything and anything.
So that’s all the normal stuff about me, here are my issues: I am an alcoholic and drug addict that has bipolar disorder and suffers from insomnia. I can also label myself a self harmer, nicotine and sex and love addict.
Charming right? I am now 7 years clean and work a 12 step program of recovery. I recently quit smoking too so I can add in that I am free from nicotine for 3 months.
2. Can you tell me about what you do to make a living?
I have an online baby store in South Africa, selling retail and wholesale baby clothing and various other baby products.
I have 2 other website blogs, one is an affiliate marketing website about making money online and the other is about recovery from addiction which is my passion.
The Website and Her Vision
1. Now let’s talk about the recovery-from-addiction website. What inspires you to build lynnelivingwithaddiction.com?
The main inspiration is sharing my story with others and the feeling of release when I share things with the world. It helps me to heal and grow as a person.
2. What is the main goal of your website?
I want to help other addicts in their fight against addiction. Imagine that I can maybe save someone’s life by sharing my story, how I got clean and stay clean? That’s some powerful stuff.
3. What was your struggle in building your website and how did you overcome it?
There is only one struggle I have and that is that I would love to share absolutely everything about my journey. In this way I would be able to help more people. I wanted to get really raw and real so that others could see what it is really like.
I wanted to also educate non-addicts on how powerful addiction is, to let them see things through my eyes.
The problem with this is that I have parents. I have a husband. I have children. Yes they all know I am an addict but there are some things that are best just left alone. There are things that they really shouldn’t have to read and know is out there in the public for everyone to see.
This means I have to be quite careful in how I say things and what I share with my readers. This is a limitation I would love to throw away.
4. What is your best achievement in this website so far and how do you react to it?
Well it is a very new website, just 6 months old and it is more a project on the side and not a full time focus for me. This means I haven’t had much expectations to reach people so soon but I have which is so exciting.
I recently had a woman phone me, she was so excited to talk to me. As it turns out she lives a few towns away from me which is incredible, I couldn’t believe she found me! She asked for advice about a family member that is an addict.
I explained how addiction works, how the family relations come into play in the addiction and what she can do to help the family member with tough love, strict boundaries and educating herself about addiction and getting support for herself.
It was so amazing when she said everything is now making sense and she now knows how she can start really helping the person she loves. For me this is such an achievement. Through helping her she could help the addict break through his denial and finally get the help he needs. Perhaps I have already now played a part in saving someone’s life?
“Most things can be preserved in alcohol; dignity, however, is not one of them”
– Lynne Huysamen
Her Way of Life
1. It was an incredible story, Lynne. I’m also happy by hearing it By the way, what is the first sentence that comes in your mind when you heard about the word “passion”?
No sentence as such comes to mind but it is a very powerful word, it makes me think of love, enthusiasm, energy and of course sex!
2. Assume some people out there treat you as their role model. What kind of inspiration do you want to give them as their role model?
Don’t put me on a pedestal, I am just a person like you. If there is something about me you admire I am flattered and feel all gooey inside, but don’t think I am better than you. Just make it a plan to achieve that for yourself too.
We are all able to get what we want.
There is such a small difference between a dream and a goal. Take your dreams, make them your goals and draft a plan to get there. Keep it that simple.
3. What is your biggest fear in your life? Any plan to overcome it?
I fear relapsing. I fear damaging my family, my children and my husband if I go back to drugs. This is my deepest fear and something I keep in my mind every day.
I must never forget where I came from and I must always work my program of recovery.
4. What is the biggest failure or lowest point in your life, and how can you rise from that situation?
I am a drug addict so I honestly can’t pick just one bad point as there were so many. They are all moulded into one big mess that was my life. I have been in hell, I lived there for 15 years.
The strange this is that I really don’t regret my life. Yes I have made mistakes, but I have also had some good times too. I have certainly had enough parties to make up for 5 lifetimes.
The 12 step recovery program I work makes me constantly look at myself and improve the person I am. It also shows me how to help myself by helping others.
It comes down to one thing. I am now proud of the person I am today. I would not be who I am today without all the experiences in my life, good and bad.
5. There are a lot of mindset types that can prevent someone to achieve success, such as complacency, comfort zone, fear to change, procrastination, and many others. What was the negative mindset that have ‘attacked’ you before and what did you do to counter it?
Most definitely denial was the biggest obstacle in my life. It prevented me from seeing that I had a very big problem. It stopped me from getting help for a very long time.
Then I would say fear and shame were fighting for a spot too. When you are a drug addict you do many shameful things. It is hard to face this and I had to live with the fear every day that someone would find out what a horrible person I was. What a failure I was.
Creating a Better Life
1. How do you define success as?
Happiness. If I am not happy nothing else really matters does it.
2. What do you do on daily basis to make you closer for achieving success?
I drink a lot of coffee and write a gratitude list. Being grateful for what I have helps me to stay happy in the moment. If I don’t do this I start thinking “I will be happy when **fill in what I want at that moment**” instead of being happy for all the things I do have right now.
3. To have a better life is what everyone wants. In your opinion, how can we achieve it?
If you want to achieve something get on with it, get started and don’t procrastinate. We only live one life and quite frankly it is starting to look like it goes quite quickly.
The only way to fail is to not try in the first place. If you try something and don’t get it then pick yourself up and try again. There is more than one way to do something so if you fail try another tactic next time and keep going until you get it.
Oh and ask for help, nothing wrong with that. BUT be a giver too and not just a taker otherwise you will come short.
4. Lastly, can you tell me what motivates you each day?
Without a doubt my children and my husband. They are my greatest gifts and the light in my life.
“Don’t quit before the miracle happens”
– Lynne Huysamen
And that is our chat. I would like to say thank you again for her to spare some time for the chat. You can visit her website to see and learn more about overcoming addiction. If you have any comment, do leave one below in the comment section
Read more interviews with inspiring people by clicking here.
Note: Beside Lynne’s photo, all other images are for illustration purpose only and bear no direct connection with her.
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