Andrea Sorensen: What God Taught Me Through the Addiction of Loved Ones
Resilience Talk Network
In today's episode of Stories of Hope in Hard Times, Tamara K. Anderson interviews Andrea Sorensen. Andrea has been able to thrive despite growing up in a home with an alcoholic father and a mother addicted to opioids. Find out what lessons she learned along her bumpy road and how she overcame a victim’s mentality.#tamarakanderson #storiesofhopeinhardtimes #podcast #hope #God #help #lessons #hardtimes #addiction #victim #alcohol #opiodsYou can see the show notes for this episode here: https://tamarakanderson.com/episodes/andrea-sorensen-what-god-taught-me-through-the-addiction-of-loved-ones/
What a bright Light Andrea is! Andrea Sorensen's story will inspire you to be better and to have more compassion for those who struggle. Andrea shares stories from her conversion, her family’s struggle with addictions and the difference that focusing on the good and not on the trial will make in our lives. It is her belief that when we connect through our shared experiences we can remember that we were always enough. Andrea uses her experiences with faith and addiction to help write a chapter of hope for those seeking peace and healing. Andrea delivers her message as a speaker at community events. Tune in to listen to her life-changing story and also check out her powerful blog at https://www.andreajeansorensen.com/blog #andreapower #compassion #love #peace #kindness #mindfulness #empathy #gratitude #life #wisdom #spirituality #healing #motivation #hope #faith #believe #forgiveness #spiritual #soul #awareness #truth #beliefcast #tsinspires
Episode 55- Finding Peace Despite Your Circumstances with Andrea Sorensen
On this episode I am talking with Andrea Sorensen. Even though we all have different experiences, I believe we still have similar emotions. Andrea grew up with an alcoholic father and a mother that was addicted to opioids. Maybe this isn't your story. But, have you ever felt alone, or scared or confused? Have you ever felt there was no hope? Are you looking for joy? Andrea experienced all these emotions and today she is sharing how she was able to find peace despite her circumstances. Connect with Andrea on Instagram or at https://www.andreajeansorensen.com Connect with Jackie on Instagram
Episode 188: Andrea Sorensen, Active LDS, Married Mother of 5, Addictions
Listen, Learn & Love Hosted by Richard Ostler
My friend Andrea Sorensen, a convert to the LDS Church, shares her journey with her parents addictions (Dad with Alcohol and Mother with Opioids). Andrea’s mother Debbie died from her addictions in June 2018. Andrea is on a mission to eliminate the shame around addictions so people be more likely to solve this challenge. She has so many helpful and thoughtful insights. I wish I had heard someone like Andrea before my YSA service. If you are working to solve an addiction (drugs, porn, etc) or are trying to help others, please listen (and share) this podcast. Thank you Andrea for your great work. To have Andrea speak at your Stake, Ward or event, email email@example.com or follow along on her journey to share hope on Instagram @andreajeansorensen or on her blog at www.andreajeansorensen.com You can also find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/andreajeansorensen. Thanks for being on the podcast Andrea. You are giving hope and healing to so many!
Andrea Sorensen details how addiction changed her mother and plagued her family
On this week's episode, we're joined by Andrea Sorensen to talk about the story of how her family's addiction plagued her growing up and why she took on the responsibility of her parent's actions. She also describes the moment she realized her mother had a problem and the moment they decided to look into treatment.
The struggles of letting go of an addict with Andrea Sorensen
On part two of this week's episode, Andrea talks about how her mother's addiction began to tear the family apart and how her mother's actions started to catch up to her. We also dive into what Andrea is doing now to raise awareness and educate others surrounding addiction.
Andrea Sorensen: What God Taught Me Through the Addiction of Loved Ones
Stories of Hope in Hard Times
Andrea has been able to thrive despite growing up in a home with an alcoholic father and a mother addicted to opioids. Find out what lessons she learned along her bumpy road and how she overcame a victim’s mentality.Andrea’s BioAndrea was raise in Utah and California. She grew up with an alcoholic as a father and a mother who became addicted to opioids. At the age of 16 she found Jesus, and her conversion is at the heart of who she is and has carried her through every dark time she has encountered.After high school she felt God pushing her to figure out who she was and applied to serve with AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). She spent the next year serving with at risk youth, building houses with Habitat for Humanity, and even with the American Red Cross in New York after 9/11. Andrea prayed to God pleading that she could find herself, and He showed her exactly who she was while she served others.She met her husband of 15 years just three weeks after returning home from the Corps. Andrea is a proud stay-at-home mom of 5. Her husband is a rocket scientist and she is the crazy extrovert. They have lived in Seattle, Washington, Charleston, South Carolina, and recently moved to Layton, Utah.She is an active board member for A Reason to Stand.Andrea is passionate about family, friendship, and sharing the message that peace can be found in Christ and joy can be found in any circumstance.Andrea’s StoryAndrea grew up in a home where her parents loved her deeply and she believes they were doing the best they could. Knowing her parents loved her helped her through a lot.Addiction in Her Childhood HomeAndrea goes on to explain “addiction comes from a place of pain.” And Andrea knew her father was dealing with some depression and other challenges. In an effort to get through them, he chose substance abuse to numb the pain. “That is where most addicts come from,” Andrea explains.AlcoholismThe tricky thing about growing up with an alcoholic is their home environment was very unpredictable–kind of like walking on eggshells all the time. Andrea never knew if she was going to have a happy father or a raging father. In an effort to numb his pain, her father would also numb everything else which enhanced his anger and frustration.Andrea’s dad was amazing too, but he struggled with the addiction so much that, “There was contention in the home. It was really difficult. You lived in fear all the time.” Sometimes it was fear of how much he drank and what it was doing to his body. Other times it was fear of his mood or fear she wasn’t good enough.One of Andrea’s early wishes for her father was that he would live long enough to see her graduate from high school. She worried about him because he drank so much.Mom, The RockSo, Andrea’s mother, Debbie, was the rock of the family in these early years. She was so fun and joyful. Andrea’s mom was the type of person who was going to hug every person in the room. You almost couldn’t help from loving her because you knew she loved you.Andrea’s mom tried for years to “save” her dad and finally when she turned 13, decided maybe it would be better for her daughters if she got a divorce. That way they wouldn’t be fighting all the time. Her parents got joint custody and so they rotated houses every two weeks. This was hard for Andrea and her sister because they constantly felt uprooted as teenagers.Her mother met and married Andrea’s step-father, who has been a bright spot in their lives ever since.The Surgery that Changed EverythingHer mother was working as a house-cleaner at the time when she slipped, fell, and broke her knee. During the recovery, the doctors gave her opioids, and she became addicted to those. Years later (in a brief moment of sobriety) her mother explained she took the medication as prescribed, but they gave her more than she needed. She got in the habit of taking the medicine at a certain time of day even when she wasn’t in pain and noticed that it gave her energy to get through the day. So, at first it was habitual, and then it led to “I can’t function without this anymore.”Andrea’s mom was able to hide her addiction and keep it a secret for several years until Andrea was a junior in high school. They notice a change in her mother. She was more agitated, she couldn’t sleep or she slept too much. Andrea noticed that there began to be tension in the home, but she couldn’t pinpoint the problem.What is the Problem?During Andrea’s senior year, she got sick and her mom took her to the doctor. Andrea explains that addicts are really good manipulators, and by the end of the doctor’s appointment, her mother had convinced the doctor that Andrea needed a medication stronger than ibuprofen to help her. They walked out with a prescription for Loritab, which Andrea never saw or used.They started to get little clues that something was going on because similar medication situations kept happening. For example, after Andrea graduated from high school, her step father called with a similar medication situation. Then her pediatrician called her because her mother said Andrea got hurt working with AmeriCorps (even though she was fine) and asked if she really needed a prescription.At this point Andrea began wondering what was wrong with her mom and if she was in pain and needed help because she was taking prescription pain medication all the time. Andrea thinks her family was in denial and they also didn’t understand what they were up against because opioid addiction wasn’t as talked about back then.ChangesAs a family, they thought Debbie would just figure it out, but unfortunately people don’t just figure their way out of addictions. It takes intention, action and a desire to change and become free from addictions.When Andrea came home after serving for a year with AmeriCorps, she was on fire and so confident she was going to change the world. She met her future husband three weeks later, and after dating for about a year, they got married.At this point, Andrea thought she was home free! She was free from the addictions and the crazy family drama. She was going to make her own family and it was going to be what she wanted it to be.The FireThis all changed one day when she got a call from her dad’s neighbor who quickly handed the phone off to a fireman. The firefighter informed her that her father had a house fire and had 3rd degree burns on his hands because he had tried to put the fire out.This was a low-point for her father, and it was excruciating for Andrea to watch him and help him the next few weeks while he was healing from his burns. She and her husband had to clean the burns so he would heal properly.This experienced changed her father. He changed being a raging alcoholic. He seemed to realize what mattered most and where his focus should be. Andrea’s father was able to let go of a lot of anger after the fire. So, as hard as it was for him to hit rock bottom, this event changed his life for the better.The SwitchThis house fire is also the point where Andrea’s parents switched places as far as their addictions go. Andrea’s mother went to visit her dad three weeks after the fire and she stole his morphine pills. This was a turning point for Andrea. This action was enough to move her past the denial and realize, “My mom is an addict.”So, Andrea reached out to her step-father and her siblings and they decided to have an intervention for her mother. At first Debbie denied everything, but then she broke down and admited she had a problem.Trying to DetoxAndrea then took her mother to a hospital in Salt Lake City and checked her in for rehab. She vividly remembers Debbie walking through the double bi-fold doors and them closing behind her. Then Andrea lost it. She ran to the bathroom and sobbed. She just couldn’t believe this had happened to her mom—her life-of-the-party, light-up-the-room, love-everyone mom.Unfortunately this same scenario repeated itself over and over for the next few years. They’d check Debbie into a detox center and she’d promise she’d get better…and then she’d relapse. She was so high all the time and Andrea describes it was like “talking to a wall.”Debbie’s body also started showing signs of addiction. She’d go from being overweight to bone skinny. She went through unnecessary surgeries so she could get more medication. For example, she ended up having all of her teeth pulled because she’d go into the dentist complaining of pain, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. They’d prescribe medication and then pull that tooth. But the complaints continued until all her teeth were gone.Debbie’s eyes became sunken and bloodshot. Her coloring and skin looked frail, and she was weak and tired. She looked 30 years older than she was.How God HelpedAndrea was always a religiously conscious child. When she was young, her family was Methodists, and Andrea loved wearing the robes and lighting candles as a child. Andrea thinks that because the disfunction was so great in her home, it just made her seek for God. After years of visiting different religions, Andrea found her place at age 16 when she joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Andrea admits she was very young in her relationship with the Savior at this point. It took years for her to develop a deep relationship with Him where she learned to listen and knew she was strengthened and lifted up by Christ no matter what was happening. “it takes time to develop that kind of faith, but the hope was there for years.”Andrea really had to learn to dig deep to rely on the Savior as she balanced being a wife, a mother, and trying so save her mother.Debbie’s BattleDebbie got to the point where she lost everything because of her opioid addiction. She lost her husband, her home, and was living on the street. Her mother finally hit this low and attempted suicide. Andrea’s brother found her and rushed her to the hospital. After two weeks, the doctors released her from the hospital and her family put her on an airplane and sent her to Seattle to be with Andrea.DetoxingAndrea wanted to try to work with her, to try to get her mother back. So despite the fact that they had four children, they decided to bring her mom into their home and try to help her detox. It was really hard, but after two weeks they had her completely sober. Andrea thinks it is because she had no car, no phone, and she didn’t know anyone out there. They literally had her on “lockdown” in the house.Andrea admits she was a little brutal and gave her a little bit of “tough love” because she wouldn’t even buy Debbie cigarettes (but she did give her nicotine patches.) Naturally, Debbie went through withdrawals and was upset. But after two weeks, Andrea had her mom back. She was finally free of the drugs, but the light or spark her mom used to have wasn’t back. And that wasn’t something Andrea couldn’t fix.Andrea’s FrustrationAndrea expressed, “I was convinced that if I got the drugs out of my mom’s system, she would finally choose me instead of the drugs.” This is one of the reasons it is so hard to deal with an addict. You wonder, “Why are the drugs more important than me? And why can’t your realize that you’re worth it? You are worth more than all of these substances!…I just wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her and say, ‘Mom, you’re enough. You’re enough the way you are.’ It’s okay to come to the Lord as you are. It’s okay to come to Him broken. That is what He is there for.’”The ChoiceAndrea’s mom stayed with them for three months. At the end of this time period she and her husband were hopeful Debbie could stay sober, and they invited her to stay with them for another year. They would help her get a job and get her feet back under her, but they knew they needed to keep her out of her old environment with her drug contacts.Ultimately, Andrea’s mom refused to stay because she wanted to get back to Andrea’s younger sister, who was 15 years younger than she was. Andrea told her she wanted her to get back to her, but she needed to go back whole, strong, and sober.Debbie kept reassuring Andrea she could do it. She was ready. She could do it on her own now and she felt ready. Andrea knew she wasn’t ready, but she let her choose to go home to Utah by plane.This was a low for Andrea. She had been in survival mode for so long and she was so determined to fix her mom that she had withdrawn from the Savior. “When you are in survival mode, the very thing that is going to help you the most which is reaching for the Savior, reaching for God, is the thing you withdraw from.” Sometimes we do this because we think we can control the situation.The Last TimeJust as she was sending Debbie through security at the airport, Andrea felt a whisper, “This is the last time.” And she knew it was the last time she would talk to her mother free of the drugs. So, she took her mother’s face in her hands and told her mother, “Mom, I love you. Thank you for loving me all of these years. Thank you for making me feel like I was the greatest daughter in the whole world! You are enough. You’ve always been enough for me, and you’ve always been enough for the Lord.” Then Andrea hugged her and let her go.And that was the last time Andrea ever talked to her mom sober.Andrea’s Heart to Heart With GodThe VentThat night on the drive home from the airport Andrea was screaming at God, “What more do you want from me? I have done everything that I can. I have shown unconditional love. I have tried to put her in detox centers. I have tried to be her rehab center. All I want is my mom back. This is a righteous desire. Why can’t I have this?” Andrea had to vent her feelings to God that night, but she wasn’t ready to listen for the answer.The AnswerBut, slowly the answer came: Debbie had to had to want to change. Andrea couldn’t be the one to control Debbie’s recovery. It was Andrea’s job to show her love. That was it.This was the most painful realization of Andrea’s life—because Andrea has always been a fixer. She was always the type of person who if she decided she wanted something, she made it happen. This was the one thing she couldn’t figure out how to fix. Andrea felt so defeated, discouraged and alone!The Fixing SourceAndrea had to dig deep and search for God through prayer, fasting, reading about the Savior and diving into the scriptures. Over time she realized, “It’s not me that has to fix this. It is the Savior.”Andrea found a great quote by Richard G. Scott, “Do not attempt to override agency. The Lord Himself would not do that. Forced obedience yields no blessings.” This was an ah-ha moment for Andrea. She realized that agency is a gift from God. It is at the foundation of God’s plan. “Without that freedom to choose, we don’t make progress. We’re stagnant. There is no growth and there is no learning when decisions are made for you.”The Ah-ha MomentAndrea realized, “The reason my mom was never able to recover from the substance abuse is because she never chose it for herself.” Andrea has since learned as she has talked to other addicts that it wasn’t until they made the decision to heal and recover that it started happening.“The growth won’t happen, the change won’t happen, the healing won’t happen unless we choose it for ourselves.”So, let others choose for themselves, and give it God. Give it to the Savior because it is too heavy to carry on our own.Lessons LearnedLesson 1. Knowing Your WorthFor Andrea, breaking the cycle started with realizing she was a daughter of God. She had to realize that she was worth taking care of.The example she had from her parents was, “if it is hard, numb it.” They always told her she was strong and capable, but they also said, “Do as I say, not as I do.”So, it wasn’t until Andrea internalized that she was a daughter of God, and that due to her inherent worth she could overcome and do things she previously thought impossible. Knowing this, planted the seeds which would grow into more confidence in God. It is a confidence which comes from being His and feeling worth it.Lesson 2. Don’t be A Victim“So many people who go through hard times, don’t get out of the hard times because they are playing the victim.” People often go around wearing their “victimhood” on their shirts like a scarlet letter. But the question people need to then ask is, “What do you have after that?”Andrea spent some of her teenage years playing the victim. One day she had an epiphany during church which changed her perspective. Andrea felt like every Sunday there was a hymn that played called, “Families Can Be Together Forever.”Andrea hated the song because she was a victim. Every time she heard the lyrics of the song she thought about what she didn’t have. She thought about her addict father, and her divorced parents, and how hard it was living in a broken home. Due to this Andrea had a private conversation with God in her head, “Really, Heavenly Father?”Some IlluminationThen, about halfway through the song, Andrea heard the words in her mind, “can be” in the song. “Families can be together forever through Heavenly Father’s plan.” All of the sudden it was like a light switch was flipped in her brain and her whole world was illuminated. Andrea realized she could choose. She could have a forever family. It wasn’t about her current circumstances. It was about what she wanted for her future.Focusing on the Future, Not the PastAndrea realized she had been focused on the past,when she should have been focused on the future with hope. This realization altered Andrea’s life. Every decision Andrea made after that she weighed it against her ideal she had for the future. She would then ask herself, “Is what I am about to do going to get me the forever family? Or will this keep me trapped in my current circumstance?”And that is how Andrea broke the cycle. “I looked toward the future. I believed in my divine worth as a daughter of God enough to know that I was worth that forever family.”Challenge Your VictimhoodChallenge your victimhood. Step outside of your victimhood. Hope for a better future. “Why am I wandering around wearing a dollar store t-shirt with a “V” for victimhood, when I could be glamming it up with a shirt from Tar-je? I don’t have to be the victim anymore. I get to decide. That power of choice is tremendous! But it has to come from desire, and a place of action. Then we become so much more than we ever thought possible.”Be aware if you have been a victim, you sometimes don’t believe you are worthy of those big dreams and aspirations. Have God help you create a future better than your past.Changing Her DreamsFor a long time Andrea never wanted to be a mother. She didn’t want to bring children into a broken, awful life. It wasn’t until Andrea had her epiphany that she felt she could start to entertain the possibility that she could create a better family than she was raised in. God often plants these seeds of possibility in our minds when He knows we are open to better dreams. We just need to...
Ep. 87: Kitchen Design with Andrea Sorensen and Matt Walquist of IKEA
Hungry Squared: Where the brain and belly meet
We have special guests Andrea Sorensen and Matt Walquist from IKEA to talk about kitchen design, from the beginning stages of I need a new kitchen to the inspiration and dreaming phase, then on to the actual measuring and designing your kitchen. The IKEA Kitchen Event is happening till April 8, 2018, so come in this week if you're ready for a kitchen. Let's taco 'bout it! Hosts: Sharon Titus and Winter Redd. Sound engineer and editor: Leland Redd.