Fill Your Own Cup First

Cathy Taughinbaugh
3 min readDec 6, 2022

When you are trying to help your child change.

A mother and son sitting together.
Photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash

For us to feel compassion for our children, we can’t be running on empty. Feeling stressed or overwhelmed blocks us from developing an understanding of ourselves and our children. When we’re stressed out, we aren’t calm or peaceful. We feel insecure, we distance ourselves from others, and we may lack the capacity for joy.

Substance use disorders affect your child — and in addition, other family members feel the negative impact of the problem. You may have problems arise due to your child’s substance use, including financial, health, work productivity, and relationship issues. You may also experience more stress and depression and feel overall less happy about your life. It’s hard to stay focused and balanced when you are continually worried about your child.

Substance use is a painful problem. While it’s natural to want the pain to go away — especially since substance use can take a while to correct itself — know that you can help your child while also feeling pain at the same time. When you do things to support yourself and stay resilient, you will feel less overwhelmed. Later in the book, I’ll go into more detail about self-care.

What I have found when working with parents is that as they changed the way the approached the problem, their children started to be more open, less…



Cathy Taughinbaugh

Invitation to Change Certified Group Facilitator & Author of The Compassion Antidote. Learn more at