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Unapologetically Sensitive

We explore how sensitivity weaves itself into our lives; the richness that it adds, and the strengths we have BECAUSE of our sensitivity--and some of the challenges it poses as well. You may learn to live a bolder, brighter life.

Sep 17, 2019


Sensitive Souls Can Be Prone to Addiction with Angela Raspass



Angela Raspass



We discuss the struggle that some Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) have with addiction. Angela shares her recovery story and provides the tools she uses on a daily basis to be her best.  We talk about the importance of trusting yourself and leaning into your strengths.  Sometimes, what we feel is a weakness, is really our greatest gift(s). Angela talks about the different types of inner critics we have. With addiction, you’re not a bad person, just a sick person who needs to be loved back to life.



  • Angela didn’t realize she was a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), but in “kindsight” she realized she is an HSP and she struggled with emotions
  • Angela felt like a chameleon, trying to be a specific way so people would approve of her
  • Angela grew up in Australia and began struggling with alcohol addiction in high school
  • Angela used alcohol to numb the pain; help with feelings of insecurity, and to help her forget her self-loathing
  • Angela felt like she was walking around without skin
  • Alcohol helped her interact with people, without worrying about what people thought about her, and her belief that she did not measure up
  • Angela talks about what it means to be a high-functioning alcoholic
  • We discuss Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN), which can happen if a parent is NOT an HSP, and the child is
  • Those HSPs who had “difficult” childhoods have a higher rate of anxiety and depression
  • Angela has been sober for 13 years and she is passionate about helping others
  • Angela got to a point where she could NOT stop alcohol; she was emotionally dependent on it.
  • It can be very hard to ask for help. We have a feeling we should be able to stop drinking on our own
  • Brene Brown says that shame needs secrecy to survive, but if you bring it into the light, you can find freedom
  • With the Cycle of Addiction, you use something to stop feeling bad, and then you feel bad for using it, so you use it again
  • With addiction, the addict tries everything to try and trick the addiction. The biggest step is to surrender
  • Recovery is about stopping living in the problem and starting living in the solution
  • You’re not a bad person who needs to become good; you are a sick person who needs to get well, and you need to be loved back to life
  • Angela’s perception is that everyone at recovery identifies as very sensitive—like people, who felt like they had no skin.
  • There is power in naming what is going on and sharing it and allowing people to see our vulnerability
  • Emotions are created by thinking, and HSPs think much more than non-HSPs
  • It’s important to know our triggers—things like comparison, envy, jealousy
  • Recovery is about needing tools to recognize the emotions that are behind the feeling. You can allow yourself to move through uncomfortable feelings and not get stuck.
  • It’s all about self-realization. Angela gets through emotions a lot quicker now because she honors her feelings, and she recognizes them, which allows them to pass
  • Tara Brach talked about the second arrow. The first arrow is the pain, and the second arrow is the hard time we give ourselves over feeling the pain
  • We need to keep ourselves in a fit spiritual state
  • Angela has tools she calls Bookends and Park Bench
  • BookEnds – are used at the beginning and end of day
  • Morning Book End: First thing in the morning, Angela uses daily Calm App, 10-15 minutes, to do a short meditation before doing anything else in the morning
  • Evening Bookend: Gratitude Journaling about 4-5 things that she’s grateful for, and a few things she did well
  • In the middle of the day, Angela uses the tools of Park Bench. She sits down, breathes, thinks and appreciates
  • Additional tools include being sure she is sleeping well, eating well, and using bookends and park bench
  • Angela understands the true nature of who she is, and if she cares for herself emotionally and physically, she won’t have to go back to where she was when she was using
  • Russ Harris – ACT  - Acceptance, Commitment Therapy is what helped Angela. Actions of confidence come first, feelings of confidence come later You need to practice it for a while before you actually begin to feel confident 
  • What are your values/strengths? 
  • Self-care is important. You need to do the work to show up in the world.
  • Taking steps on a daily basis builds a sense of self-esteem and lets us know we can count on ourselves
  • Some HSPs have a struggle with being sensitive to other people’s opinions
  • When the real you emerges, you can make decisions that honor who you are.
  • Angela talks about feeling like her business was killing her; she was sad, stressed and was smoking. She was sensitive about other people’s opinions, but she closed that business, which was what helped her move to the next level
  • It’s okay to design a business around your sensitivity—to play to your strengths
  • You can use a strengths-finder quiz online to find your strength. Angela’s is positivity.
  • Angela tells others, “You can borrow my belief in you until you believe it yourself”
  • Is your addiction costing you more than money? It is taking an emotional toll? Is it affecting your relationships? how often are you thinking about drinking?
  • There’s no shame in asking for help
  • Abstinence is like having a tiger in a cage, that stays locked in the cage, but moderation in terms of addiction is like opening the cage every so often and letting the tiger out
  • There are AA volunteers to help you 
  • There is also Smart Recovery, though Angela did not take that option.
  • Once you decide, you can look into the “next chapter” – you recognize your values and strengths.
  • Angela offers a confidence guide on her website 
  • She also has a quiz to figure out what type of inner critic you have: perfectionist, mean girl, imposter, etc.
  • Finally, Angela’s website has a guide to breakthrough those critical walls.
  • Angela would tell her younger self that it’s okay to feel things, and it’s a superpower that gives you an opportunity for a deeper connection
  • Angela is about to launch and is publishing her book, Your Next Chapter.




  • “Shame needs secrecy to survive.”
  • “I felt like I was walking around without skin.”
  • “You keep getting the messages from the world that you’re a bit strange, and that you don’t fit; that does hurt.”
  • “I just turned 50, and it feels like life is just beginning. Turning this next chapter is exciting.”
  • “I’m no longer working on auto-pilot. Things are getting better and better since I stepped into recovery.”
  • “Life is so much brighter with emotional freedom.”
  • “You don’t have to do your business by the book.”




Angela Raspass is Business Mentor and Podcast Host who supports businesswomen craving more fulfilment in their life to confidently identify and turn their ideas and experience into unique, tangible and impactful business models. She wraps her clients in strategic and emotional support to ensure sustainable growth through masterminds, retreats and personal mentoring. Angela has been self-employed since 2003, having launched her own marketing consultancy at her dining room table with two small children underfoot after a corporate career in market, sponsorships and sales with News Limited. Ideas Into Action expanded into a Sydney office with a team of full time staff and clients in three states. In 2012, Angela decided to pivot into her own Next Chapter, moving from pure consulting to mentoring the rapidly growing audience of women-led solo and micro businesses.



Patricia Young works with Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) helping them in understanding their HSP traits, and turning their perceived shortcomings into superpowers. Patricia is passionate about providing education to help HSPs and non-HSPs understand and truly appreciate the amazing gifts they have to offer. Patricia works globally online with HSPs providing coaching. Patricia also facilitates online courses for HSPs that focus on building community and developing skills (identifying your superpowers, boundaries, perfectionism, dealing with conflict, mindfulness, embracing emotions, creating a lifestyle that supports the HSP, communication and more).




Angela’s Links:

Website -

Facebook -

Confidence Guide -

Take the Quiz -

Breakthrough Guide -



Russ Harris – ACT -

Calm App -

Brene Brown on Shame -

Tara Brach -

Alcoholics Anonymous –

Smart Recovery,


Patricia’s Links:



Facebook group Unapologetically Sensitive--




Show hashtag--#unapologeticallysensitive

Music-- Gravel Dance by Andy Robinson

Editor & Show Notes: Cianna Reider –