Annette kicks off the first episode in the “month of love” by inviting speaker, coach, and host of the Very Happy Stories podcast, Liza Blas, to discuss a type of love that so many parents of special needs children push to the side — self love.
Liza opens the episode by telling a story of when she and her daughter, Ava, who has battled anxiety, depression, hallucinations, Lyme disease, and more, went to see a therapist together. During this session, the therapist asked Ava what would make her happy. Much to Liza’s surprise, Ava simply responded “I would be happy if my mom was happy.” It was only then that Liza realized that her daughter was right — she wasn’t actually happy herself.
This incident was a starting point for Liza in realizing that for over a decade, she had told herself and other people the lie that ”all I need to be happy is for my kids to be happy.”
In that moment, she realized how much pressure she had been putting on her children to be happy. Her daughter and son couldn’t help that they were both battling mental illnesses, and yet they knew that their mother’s happiness depended on their own.
Liza shares the lessons she has learned over the years about the importance of pursuing self-love and independent happiness outside of the happiness of their spouses and children — a valuable lesson many special needs parents should heed.
Listen to the full episode here.
Annette Hines has been practicing in the areas of Special Needs, Elder Law, and Estate Planning for more than 20 years. Ms. Hines brings personal experience with special needs to her practice and podcasts as the mother of two daughters, one of whom passed away from Mitochondrial disease in November 2013. This deep, personal understanding of special needs fuels her passion for quality special needs planning and drives her dedication to help others within the special needs community.