Healthy coping mechanisms for stress and how to model them for your kids
How many of us learned healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress, anxiety or depression when we were kids?
If our parents didn’t model for us healthy ways to cope with the normal human emotions of overwhelm, loneliness, resentment, anger or fear, it’s easy to emulate their patterns or buy into the narrative that alcohol will help us take the edge off and relax after a hard day.
And if you’re the parent of tweens or teens, asking them to not drink or experiment with drugs, it’s hard to reconcile that message with opening a bottle of wine every night.
One of the reasons that kids start using alcohol and drugs is because they don’t know how to manage and cope with their emotions.
And in order to help them it’s important for parents to be present to model healthy ways that kids can manage their emotions.
Today I’m talking with Brenda Zane, a Mayo Clinic Certified Health, Wellness Coach and Parent Coach, whose work supports moms of kids with substance use disorder. Her mission is to help moms maintain their health and sanity as they navigate the chaos and fear of having a child who’s misusing drugs or alcohol.
We’re talking about how to build healthy coping skills for negative emotions and stressful situations and how to model those coping mechanisms for your children.
Listen in as Casey and Brenda discuss:
- Why women are turning to alcohol in times of stress
The three components of healthy coping mechanisms to model for your kids: mind, body and community
- How to help tweens and teens manage overwhelm, anxiety, depression and insecurity without turning to alcohol, marijuana or other drugs
- Early warning signs parents should look for in kids related to a substance use disorder
- Brenda’s journey of parenting a teen with addiction
- Resources for parents with strained or hostile relationships with their teenage children
- How to maintain your health and sanity if you are navigating the chaos and fear of having a child who’s misusing drugs or alcohol.
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More about Brenda Zane
Brenda Zane is a family advocate, parent coach, host of the podcast Hopestream, and founder of an online community, The Stream, for moms of kids with substance use disorder. Brenda is the mother of four sons, the oldest of whom struggled with an addiction to a high-risk lifestyle and illicit opioids and benzodiazepines for over 5 years. After nearly losing her son to multiple fentanyl overdoses, Brenda left corporate America to serve other families dealing with the fear, confusion and helplessness parents usually feel when they have a child who’s misusing drugs or alcohol.
Brenda is a Mayo Clinic Certified Health and Wellness Coach whose mission is to help moms maintain their health and sanity as they navigate the chaos and fear of having a child who’s misusing drugs or alcohol.
Brenda also writes for various publications and is available to speak on topics such as parenting kids in addiction, purpose and transformation, self-care and coping strategies, and the impact of the opioid crisis.
Learn more about Brenda at www.brendazane.com
Follow Brenda on Instagram @the.stream.community
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ABOUT THE HELLO SOMEDAY PODCAST
The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The Sober Girl’s Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement.
Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.
In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more.
Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life.
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READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW
Healthy Coping Mechanisms For Stress And How To Model Them For Your Kids
coping mechanisms, stress, depression, teenagers, tweens, kids, talk, drinking, feel, parents, alcohol, people, substance abuse, wine, anxiety, mom, life, modeling, Brenda Zane, emotions, drugs, women, community
SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Brenda Zane
Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.
In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.
Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a bus, how to sit with your emotions, when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.
I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.
Welcome to this week’s podcast! We are going to talk about how to model healthy coping mechanisms for your kids, and also how to adopt healthy coping mechanisms for yourself. A lot of us never learned how to cope with emotions without tuning out or wanting to numb out with alcohol.
Brenda Zane is my guest. She’s a family advocate, parent coach. She’s the host of the podcast Hopestream and the founder of an online community, The Stream helping moms of kids with substance use disorder.
Brenda is the mom of four sons, the oldest of which struggled with an addiction to a high risk lifestyle and illicit opioids and benzodiazepines for over five years. After nearly losing her son to multiple fentanyl overdoses, Brenda left Corporate America to serve other families dealing with the fear, confusion and helplessness parents usually feel when they have a child who’s misusing drugs.
So we’re going to talk about three components of healthy coping mechanisms that you can model for your kids that will let them manage negative emotions or any emotions that they they don’t know how to cope with, without numbing out or getting into alcohol or drugs.
And they are components that I think we should all have as well. So I’m hoping you’ll learn something not only for your kids, but for yourself. I also have to say that Brenda lives in the Seattle area. And we’ve known each other online for about a year. We finally got to meet in person last weekend, which was amazing.
And Brenda also quit drinking during the pandemic, and has great insight into all the benefits she’s found. And I think what you went through Brenda was a lot of what a lot of women do, right? You were struggling with your kids, you were in a highly stressed environment. And so you turned to drinking as well.
Yeah, I mean, drinking is, I think it’s just such a part of life. It’s just like water, right? And yeah, I did quit during the pandemic. And I don’t have a crazy story. I don’t have you know, any of those moments where I was like stumbling around or anything like that, which I think can be really confusing for women, for anybody, but especially for women because you measure yourself against others. And if yours isn’t that bad, then you must be okay.
And so the pandemic, just really, I don’t know what it was it. It just brought so much to light. I think when you’re at home all the time. Life was very stressful.
I’m in a better place now with my son, but a man I went through some really challenging times with him. And so yeah, quitting drinking has been life changing. And I’m super excited about it, to talk to you about it. And just to help other parents kind of navigate through this really tricky and confusing topic. I think it’s just in it’s one that doesn’t get talked about in the substance use world from the perspective of parents.
I know a lot of women who are listening to this kind of get to the point where they’re like, I need to deal with this because their kids get older to the point where they start to notice it.
And they start to worry about their kids drinking, or their kids doing drugs. And they’re kind of like, what am I modeling for my kids that I’m, you know, getting buzzed getting drunk, you know, tuning out every single night.
So I’m telling them not to drink, and yet they see me drinking a bottle of wine every night. So, I know a lot of women, when they get to this point, they want to stop or get this under control or deal with this, not only for themselves, but also because they’re worried about what they’re showing their kids every day.
Yeah, it really does when they start to get to those tween years, in particular, is when kids are starting to experiment. I run a community for moms, and we have kids who are 12 and 13, who are starting to drink and starting to use marijuana. And you know, it’s shocking, but it’s just reality.
And so you have to start looking in the mirror and saying, What am I modeling? How am I showing my kids how to cope? What do you do when you have a hard day? What do you do when you don’t make the soccer team, all of those things?
And so yeah, it kind of starts to become uncomfortable. When you are looking at those things, and you’re saying one thing, and then doing the other and kids are sponges, as you know, you’ve got some, they’re sponges and they, they will really look at what you are doing way more than they’re going to listen to what you’re saying.
If you’re listening to this episode and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit. The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study, sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step-by-step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one-on-one coaching. And The Sobriety Starter Kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it, when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time. This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step-by-step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life. You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better, you’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course.
Before we dive into it, one of the things I loved when we were talking earlier was just you were so exuberant and positive, and talk so clearly about how much better your life got when you quit drinking.
And I know it’s really recent for you. I mean, when I stopped drinking, it was five plus years ago, a lot of my guests stopped a number of years ago. So since it’s so recent, will you tell us like how you physically felt when you stopped drinking versus before?
Yes, I would say I had been on an antidepressant medication for 10 years or so. And I had and I had actually gotten off of it a couple of years ago so I didn’t stop taking that because I quit drinking but I still struggled with a lot of ups and downs. It was either like lots of ups and downs or just kind of neutral and and just a lot of I would call it depression, not maybe clinical depression, but just not feeling great mornings, I would just drag and just not feeling great in general.
So the depression literally going away when I stopped drinking was probably the biggest shock. I was like, whoa, wait a minute, what just happened?
It literally vanished, just like that. It was really, really strange.
And you know, when I would travel for business, people would be bright and chipper and happy in the morning. And I was like, how do you do that? How do you feel so great in the morning? I’d I just thought they were a certain breed of people.
So that has definitely changed just like waking up and feeling excited for the day. There are days where I don’t jump out of bed for sure. Because I like to stay up late and work. But you know, just feeling great in the morning is amazing, and being able to regulate my emotions.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but there was a very evident decline in my mood at the end of the day.
So as I would have a glass of wine, or gin and tonic or whatever. I thought the alcohol was my treat, my reward, at the end of the day. And it was great for like, half an hour. And then I would just progressively get kind of more sad over the course of the night. And I just thought that was normal. I was like, oh it’s just been a long day. I’m unwinding. And at the end of the day, I’m tired.
And so cutting out alcohol was amazing. I was surprised that now I actually feel the same at 8:30 at night, as I do at 8:30 in the morning. That was a revelation.
Another benefit from not drinking was the emotional stability that it gave me.
I work in an industry where, day in and day out we’re dealing with life and death situations. The people I work with, have kids who are using substances that are killing them.
And so I have to be able to be emotionally very stable for them. And I just couldn’t do that. I had this substance in my life that was causing these ups and downs.
Another benefit from removing alcohol was better sleep. I mean, holy cow who knew that you could actually sleep through a night? And that was pretty life changing as well.
I just thought that waking up at 3 am with a racing heart and anxiety was caused from my work and stress in life. I just thought that was normal. And I I’ll never forget of a girlfriend saying, “Oh, your doctor hasn’t given you Xanax for that yet. You just take Xanax at night”. And turns out that we don’t have to live that way.
Oh my gosh, yeah. I took Ambien to sleep. I just kept going to my doctor and saying I had insomnia. And he was like, “here you go”. And so I would drink a bottle of wine and take an Ambien, which is really dangerous. And you know, you don’t want to blame doctors, because they do what they can do. And I’m sure I didn’t tell him the truth about how drinking. I was like, “my job is so stressful. I just have a couple of drinks a couple nights a week”. I didn’t tell him that I was drinking a bottle plus every night.
So drinking wine just started impacting me more to where I was noticing that I just felt so sad and down at the end of the night. And that’s just not me.
But when it happens, you know, over a long period of time, you don’t necessarily you can’t necessarily pull that apart and and recognize what it is. And so, like for your listeners, the more you start educating yourself, it’s like, well, no wonder I feel this way. It’s like, so in the morning, I take an antidepressant and then at five o’clock, I take a depressant. That makes no sense.
I thought that when the doctors tell you not to drink when you’re taking anti anxiety and anti depressants it was a joke. I was like, “Well, I know people who are on antidepressants, and they’re all drinking so it must just be one of those like, cover your ass things that doctors have to say. You know, like the commercials where they say “this drug may cause diarrhea, stomach pains, blindness, etc.”
Exactly. And when you’re in you know, you and I were both in corporate America and in marketing and that world revolves around alcohol. If we were in the office three o’clock, the bar cart came out and it sounds so mad men, but it happened.
Yeah. And so it’s just part of the culture and then you wined and dined clients. And I mean, it just is so normal. And I never really saw anybody not drinking in when I was in in that world. And I also represented a lot of alcohol brands.
I was laughing about this because we were talking and Brenda actually was in advertising representing my absolute go to wine, Chateau Ste Michelle Syrah.
That was my jam, literally would buy six+ bottles of it a week. And Brenda represented them. They have a big, beautiful winery three miles from my house, and I’m pretty sure that’s why I moved here.
So we were on the same wavelength there. I was your pusher.
You know what, I didn’t need to push. Right. I was already over the line.
As far as marketing, the, you know, we had 50 page strategy documents and PowerPoint decks on how to market to women and what was important to women.
And, you know, I am not putting down Chateau Ste Michelle at all. I think they’re beautiful people. It’s an amazing place. They have great concerts. But there is a ton of strategy that goes into marketing to women, especially marketing to women with young kids, we had that deck.
Oh my God, I want to do an entire episode about this. Would you be up for that? You know, we don’t talk about that. Just about this strategy, because I just did an episode on like, literally came out yesterday on the mommy wine culture. And I go into the articles about the feminization of marketing to women in the targeting of moms with the wine and alcohol industry. But you were there. I mean, I worked in marketing for years for L’Oréal. I know we did focus groups, and in depth studies, and we paid all the influencers. And we looked at what was resonating and did A/B testing and messaging and all that shit. So you did that for a winery and for alcohol companies, targeting women with 50 page decks about how to influence them.
Oh, yeah. And millions, millions, millions of dollars of budget.
Yeah, we know we have to do an episode on that so that people can recognize it. I think that would be wonderful.
But let’s talk about what we’re here to talk about today, which is healthy coping mechanisms, both for yourself and to model for your kids.
And so tell me what those are and also how you help the women in your community.
Yeah, so I think this is really important to talk about. Because one of the biggest reasons why young tweens and teens start experimenting with drugs with alcohol is because it’s really hard being a tween and a teen today, and there’s tons of stuff that they’re dealing with.
And if they don’t know how to handle their emotions. And as we know, alcohol works brilliantly at relaxing you so does Xanax so does oxycontin, so does marijuana. So that’s the easy button for them.
And so it’s important as parents when you have kids in the house to from a very young age, but even if they’re in their their tweens or teens now, to model for them, how to cope with life, because life is hard. It isn’t always going to be easy. And we want them to not turn to a substance to manage life and to live life.
And so the three key kind of components of that, to talk about today, are role modeling how you deal with your mind, how you deal with your body and how you deal with your community. Those are three really important pieces of the puzzle. The mind really being that we need to make sure our kids know that all emotions are okay. You don’t have to be happy all the time. As parents we want to see our kids happy. We want to see them smiling and laughing and giggling. And that’s great.
We don’t like them to be surly or down or sort of rude to us.
And I noticed this with my 13 year old son, who, you know, sometimes he’s grumpy, and I always want him to be like, “Love you, Mom, you’re the best mom”. Because I remember him at seven and five, and just the cuddles and the love and the joy and the exuberance, and of course, in puberty, at 13, he’s going through all the changes, right?
It has to happen, and yet, I know I don’t allow him as much as I should. To be in the mood he’s in. I want him to smile for me.
Right. Right. And, and that’s really hard, because they do feel all of that. And we need to just be curious when they are feeling that. Why are you feeling that way? And I you know, I feel that way too sometimes. So just really validating for them. Yeah, it’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be lonely. Those are all totally valid emotions to feel. Now, what are we going to do with that emotion?
Yeah, and this is where especially with alcohol comes in, because a lot of times what we don’t realize is we come home from work. Oh, what a day as we’re pouring a glass of wine. So what is that telling our kids the way you deal with a rough day is you make it go away with a substance in, in some cases, wine. In some cases, especially, you know, like in our state marijuana is legal recreationally. More and more parents are using marijuana in front of their kids. And so we just need to be really careful about what message we’re sending. How do you cope with these tough emotions? Yeah, and not a lot of parents say, oh, man, what a rough day I’m going to do some yoga. Yeah. Which would be a much healthier and that’s what we would want our kids to do. Right? We want our kids to come home from seventh grade, like go play sports. Right? Go do something. And yet, what we’re showing them is that we’re pouring our glass or bottle of wine.
I’ve talked about this on the podcast before I had at four months of pretty major anxiety episode. And after that, so I started going to therapy, I started taking medication for it, I still do today. And when my son, who was like, eight or nine at the time, kind of said, “Oh, Mom, what are what are you taking?” because I was taking pills every morning. And I started to dismiss it and just be like, Oh, it’s just for vitamins or something. And then I stopped. And I said, Actually, I feel a lot of anxiety and overwhelm, and this is medication, to help lessen that, and make me feel better.
And that I just, I never heard that or got that message or got any messages like that from my parents, my parents were like, you know, you have no problems, we have no problems, you need to be grateful. My, my family comes from a long line of WASPs. So you know, white Anglo Saxon Protestants, like we do not talk about anything ever. Right? So things good, we’re fine, we’re fine. Deal with it, move on. Like, you know what I mean? And so, you know, when I was in college, I was like, my mom called me and she’s like, what’s wrong? And I was like, I think I think my boyfriend and I are going to break up, right? My first big real boyfriend. And she was like, we’ll do it before lunch, and you won’t get your homework done. You won’t be able to concentrate. And I was just like, Oh, this is why I never talked to you about anything. You know, she was just like, Oh, my God, let’s get that over with because I don’t want to add that was the end of the conversation. So right. I know that now. I’m trying to be more open with with my kid about my own mental health. struggles, obviously, you know, I quit drinking and you know, knows, you know, that it was because it was bad for me and physically and mentally. But I have to admit, when I’m talking to you that I don’t really encourage him to feel his negative feelings. I probably do the waspy thing of like, Well, anyway.
Good, good. Well it is because you’re in that phase where they do go from being the cuddly, snugly super fun to this kind of alien creature that’s living in your house. And there’s, you know, there’s not a manual for it. I mean, I’m sure there’s a million books. But it’s just, you know, I try to, to work with the moms and my community, just to say, the best thing is just the truth. Just say, Wow, I’m so sad that you’re feeling sad, can we talk about it? And just really be curious about it, because you will learn so much about him about what he deals with things that are happening at school. But yeah, it’s, you know, you could always just go back to knowing how it feels to have those things be dismissed, and it doesn’t feel good. Yeah. And so to just allow those and to celebrate those and say, Okay, well, you know, let’s do our sad dance or whatever, like, we can, we can work through those. And that will just benefit him in the long run. Because when he’s, you know, 17, and he’s dealing with some really hard stuff. And he’s going to know, he can talk to his mom, and she isn’t going to freak out because we talk about emotions in our family. And I don’t have to go vape marijuana in the bathroom, because I can do the seven other things that I’ve learned along the way.
So it’s really important. And what happens if your kids are at the point where they’re like, I don’t want to talk to you where they’re kind of hostile, or they’re worried that they’re just going to get in trouble. Or you know what I mean, that relationship has gotten strained to the point where encouraging them to talk to you at this point is sort of not happening. It goes back to modeling.
So what are you seeing?
So ask them, what kind of friends do you have? Are you hanging out with these friends? Well, who are you hanging out with? Are you isolating at home? So really looking at what you’re modeling? And then just being really honest with them and saying, dude, this sucks, I miss talking to you. Yeah, Miss going out on a jog with you, or whatever it is that you used to do. And the more that we can just be real with them and just say, I hate this. I hate that. We don’t talk anymore. We don’t do this anymore. Can you talk to me about it?
And they may be surly and brush you off. But you’ve got to keep at it. Yeah, it’s probably not gonna happen the first time. But if you’re consistent, and you’re genuine about it, and you’re not snarky, or passive aggressive, a lot of parents get to that passive aggressive, yeah, with their teenagers. It’s hard to be vulnerable like that with, with our kids to get to the point where you can say, first of all, this sucks, because I really love you. And I would really love to have a relationship with you. I know it’s not going to be fun and snuggling cuddly like it was when you were five. But maybe we can go stand up paddleboard together, or maybe we can go whatever, you know, you kind of have to elevate it.
I find that my son talks to me the most (and maybe it’s just because he’s off his screen and off the couch) is when we’re driving and in particular, on the way home from baseball or basketball right after he’s gotten his energy out after he’s seen some people he tends to be really talkative. On the way to practice. He’s very quiet, but I know that’s because I still drive him places, right? Yeah,
Yes. It’s true. It’s so true. Because after practice, all of his good chemicals are flowing through his body. He’s not face to face with you. Yeah, as when you’re sitting face to face, like, okay, we are going to have this talk, nothing’s going to come out like they are going to just shut down. And so finding those moments where they’re, they’re actively doing something, motion walking, biking, whatever it is, is is huge. And it just it really goes back to to that emotional regulation of you been okay to have in ready to have that conversation if it’s going to happen at 9:30 at night. And you can’t do that if you have three glasses of wine in you.
So it’s it’s so important to be emotionally available to your tweens and teens when they are ready for it. And that’s probably not going to be at three o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon because they’re going to be at school or they’re going to be at practice or whatever. Your moments for those conversations might come at 11:30 at night when they come home from a party. And you want to have a you know, a check in with them. Yeah, smell their breath and look in their eyes. And you got to be present for that.
Yeah, I know. I was just talking to a client this morning, who’s at about two months and without alcohol. And she was saying that one of the best things that happened to her this week was both of her sons called her separately, once a little bit, once out of college ones going to college next year, at night, and she was totally present and able to offer really good advice to one of her sons that that wanted to talk to her. And wasn’t three, four glasses of wine in and unable to really focus or be there, and with her other son just had a really fun exchange. And, you know, sort of looking at like, that was really good.
Yes, yes. And they notice that, they noticed the difference, if you are dialed in totally present, enjoying them enjoying being there versus, you know, kind of trying to stay a little bit back and, you know, just not being able to focus. It’s huge. And they see that.
And so, yeah, I would say that, from a emotional regulation standpoint, is so important. And then also, just from a more role modeling standpoint, with your body. You know, kids are going through such massive change in their bodies during those those years as they’re growing up and getting into adolescence. And it anything along with talking about emotions, talking about how we need to take care of our bodies, and not from a like, you need to exercise type of standpoint. But you know, saying and, and the brain is part of the body, right? So we somehow we’ve logged off our brain as some other thing, like it’s okay to go lift weights for your arm muscles. And it’s okay to swim and do all those things. But if you’re going to take care of your brain by maybe going to see a therapist once a week or twice a month, somehow that’s become this other weird thing. Yeah. And the more we can normalize that, because sometimes teens don’t want to talk to their parents or stuff is going on that they don’t feel like they can talk to their parents.
So being able to role model, hey, I go see a therapist. Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s like, we talked about preventative medicine. We want to prevent heart attacks, we want to prevent diabetes, we want to prevent all these things will, we also want to prevent our brains from taking us to places that they don’t need to take us and seeing a therapist or being a part of a group or you know, whatever it is for the kids that they need. That’s good body management, that’s just taking care of your body and normalizing that as well as talking about your emotions. So all of a sudden, if I can talk to my mom about my emotions, whether they’re good or bad, and I can say, gosh, you know what, there’s just I’m feeling this. I’m just not feeling right. Is there a doctor for that and making that doctor not be shameful? Like, yeah, oh, my daughter wants to go see a therapist and freaking out about it, like, celebrate that?
Yeah. Yeah, no, completely. I mean, I know, you know, I started seeing a therapist. And and did you know, I was open about it, because I was gone every Thursday night after work. But I, but I might have been anyway. And now I certainly am. And I see kids in the therapist offices who are teenagers, and I am just that jealous, but so happy.
I wish that when I was 16, and 17, and 18. And feeling all of this. So I see these teenagers in there and I’m like, Oh, my God, good for you. Because I probably could have saved myself many, many years of bad coping mechanisms where I drank wine, or beer. I was a keg girl in college. Yeah, I joined the rugby team was introduced to kegs. I went to college and I mean, that was like my jam. And my roommates sophomore year, and I used to watch like, bad talk shows. I swear to God, it was like Ricki Lake with Rosie out of a box before dinner. Like that was what we did.
I found alcohol and I was like, Oh my God, this shuts off my brain. This takes away my fears. I still Stop worrying about the future what I’m saying or if I’m awkward. And so I’m hopefully these kids getting it younger. If you model it, if you encourage it, if you make it available, can save them some pain.
My husband works. In a middle school, he used to be Dean of Students for high school. And the biggest thing that they worry about with their kids is mental health. So lately, there is so much pressure on kids about college about succeeding about competition, or about like checking out because you feel like you you’re not, you’re not competitive. So I’m going to protect myself from feeling like I don’t measure up. So it’s so important.
Yes, absolutely. And I love what you said about just making it available and making it just like you would say, Oh, honey, do you want to go see a dermatologist for all the acne on your face? Hey, honey, do you want to talk to somebody about all these issues that are going on at school? These kids are dealing with so much. My two youngest stepsons are 15 and 16. And it’s just a lot like they deal with stuff that we didn’t. When we were in high school, social media is just ridiculous. Yeah, there’s just so much going on that that may be uncomfortable for them to talk to us about. So I think adding it to the repertoire of tools that are available to them is just fantastic. Because then they don’t feel weird. If they have to ask for it. Or in a lot of cases, they just won’t ask for it.
I always dealt with anxiety. Like it was just something you know, as a kid growing up. And my wish would be that both my kids never had to deal with that. I felt like my son was a chill guy. He does not worry a lot. And I was like, Oh, thank God. And then my daughter who’s seven – starting two years ago, every night when she gets into bed. She’s worried the next day about school like crying, am I smart enough? I’m not gonna get into second grade. And I’m just like, Oh, honey, you’re good. You know, like, I tried reassurance I tried minimizing it. I tried all these things, right.
And so we started listening to anxiety meditations for kids off insight timer, just holding hands. And like the breathing and trying that, which seemed to really help. And then one, a friend of mine who actually was one of my early podcast guests, she does Emotional Freedom Technique, the tapping, and came on to talk about that. I actually did tapping with her because I thought it was super cool. And she’s hosting a workshop on helping kids with anxiety through tapping, and I like signed up within minutes. It’s actually not till next week, but I just was like, yep, I need this. And so I’m gonna get be we’re gonna see the recording, I’m gonna do it with my daughter.
That’s awesome. And see, that’s a perfect, perfect example of what you can do as role modeling to say, Look, you’re I have anxiety, I get anxious about things that are going to happen. And here’s a really cool way to deal with that. Because Xanax will also deal with that, but it’s also not a really good way for her to go.
I’m talking about later down the road when she is trying to cope with that. But if she has something in her, it’s just like when you’re building that sober toolbox. Yeah. You got to have your kids building their toolbox of you know, okay, I’m feeling anxious. What did I do? Oh, I remember being with my mom that time and we did this tapping thing. And so that is just going to serve her so well down the road because she will turn to that or she’ll be able to ask you and not feel weird about it. Like, Hey, Mom – I felt so much better afterwards, or I meditated. And so it’s just it’s really making it so normal to deal with stuff like that.
A lot of people and I know I’m still learning new coping techniques and new ways to, to feel better. And so if you know even we never learned those techniques. And if Drinking has been your main coping technique for overwhelm and anxiety and boredom and sadness and loneliness and anger. For years. It’s really important when you stopped drinking to say, Okay, I’m angry. How do I deal with this? And I know some people do. breathwork some people run some people do yoga, some people, you know, journal, I talked about I did rage gardening, which was helpful is, you know, still trying to be like, okay, is it meditation for me? Is it tapping? You know what, for me, it’s calling my girlfriend’s and kind of bitching it out, you know, not venting to the point where it’s unresolved, but you kind of got to get it out of you.
Yeah, absolutely. And it’s probably a mix of those things, right? It’s like, so yeah, I need something like, just like the rage gardening or whatever it is, or hit a punching bag. And then some days, I just need to sit and be quiet and listen. And so and sometimes you can be sad and curl up and cuddle an animal and cry. That is a valid coping technique that’s way more natural than downing a bottle of wine.
Absolutely. It’s so and I think people can sometimes, you know, think about this and think that there’s going to be this one thing that I always go to. And then I think that that’s really not true. I think there’s a variety of things. Because sometimes, you know, like, if you’re on an airplane, maybe you can’t do your rage gardening. But you’re feeling anxiety on the on the airplane, and the flight attendants coming in, you know, there’s a bottle of wine on the cart. What are you going to do, you can’t rage garden, so you have to have a bunch of different things that you can go to.
Yeah, and even a link to it in the show notes on an earlier episode, we, we did want to managing anxiety. And my my guest talked about the RAIN technique, which is Tara Brach. And, you know, you can listen to that if you want, but I was just thinking she talked about that method as being one that you could do in a work meeting, meaning like you could you’re freaking out at work. And how do you deal with that? In the moment? If you’re in a big meeting, and I was just imagining on an airplane, the RAIN technique would probably work really well.
That’s awesome. Yeah, you just have to have a lot of stuff to go to. And there’s so many people that have great tools. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. It’s like, Oh, my gosh, I want to listen to I have this, like list of 50 different TED Talks. And oh, yeah, you know, meditations and all this stuff that I want to listen to, because it’s also good, but it all comes in time. And I think the most important thing is just when you’re thinking about role modeling, not for your kids. Be just be super honest. Yeah, man, I don’t know what to do right now. I feel whatever, fill in the blank. And I don’t know what to do. What should we even help? You know, get them involved? Like, what should we do? Should we should we go on a bike ride? Should we try jumping rope? Should we whatever. And they need to see that you don’t always have all the answers. Yeah, totally fine.
Yeah, we’re fine. And they also need to see that you also feel anxiety, you feel sadness, you feel loneliness, you feel overwhelmed. And, you know, you’re, you’re talking about it, because so so many times we’re like, you know, if you’re anxious and overwhelmed at work, we feel like we shouldn’t burden our kids with that. And you don’t want to make them absorb adult problems. But at the same time, you’re, you’re modeling that you’re human. And so if they feel that way, too, hopefully they could talk to you about it.
Yes. Yeah. I mean, right now, more kids are entering treatment programs like wilderness therapy for anxiety and depression than they are for substance use. And so it’s just a indicator of how much these kids are going through how much they don’t have coping skills. And that’s flipped in the last 10 years. It used to be substance use was the number one reason kids would go into wilderness therapy. And now that’s turned so it’s so important.
I love that you said that because when I was 16 or 15 I went on six week backpacking trips, first in the Northwest, and then in Alaska. My parents were overseas so I had to go somewhere. But I picked that and it was six weeks of camping and hiking and sleeping in a tent with a tent mate with 20 or 30 kids and having fire circles every night and cooking dinner together and singing and, you know, holding hands and all the things. And I have to say that of my entire childhood, those were the moments that I felt such contentment and connection. And like these people really understood me and cared about me. And then I started drinking and all my girls trips were, you know, drink heavily. And it wasn’t until I stopped drinking and came to a sharing circle that we had with our Seattle group last weekend, you know, at our friend’s house that’s on a farm that’s just gorgeous. And it was in those kind of moments. And then in the yoga retreats that I’ve been to, that I felt that joy and contentment and understanding, again, the same thing that I felt when I was 15 and 16, and just overwhelmed by the beauty and the feeling of accomplishment. So I love that you talked about the wilderness retreats, because for me, that was, you know, life changing.
It’s huge. It’s so life changing for kids. And, and I think, you know, if there’s a parent who’s listening to this, and you’re noticing some of these things in your kid, you know, anxiety and depression, they’re isolating, they’re in the room all the time. Video game addiction is a real thing. You know, it’s not a bad option to look at. It’s not the first option that you want to go to necessarily, as far as I’m talking more of like a therapeutic. Yeah, wilderness therapy less. So like, I know, there’s a couple that are not therapeutic, they’re more like a summer camp. Yeah. And if you’re looking at a therapeutic one, they are really life changing. And for kids, my son went, he he says today that saved his life. Because you remove them from the situation that they’re in again, not the first, by no means is that the first stop along the road of getting help for your kid. But if you’ve exhausted all of your local resources, and they’re not responding, and you feel like they’re in danger, which there’s a lot of danger in in street drugs today are all laced with fentanyl. And kids are overdosing and dying, not addicted. These are these kids are not addicts. They’re experimenting, they’re taking stuff because they know it’ll make them feel different right away.
Or everyone else is doing it or it’s cool. Yep. So it’s, it’s definitely a good thing to look at. There’s lots of great programs out there. So anyway, I you’ll link, I’m sure to my website, there’s lots of information on there. But it is it is something to look at. And it’s a scary thing as a parent to think about that. But it’s, it’s so beautiful. It’s such a gift to them to send them to that just like you experienced. It’s like, oh, man, I just treasure those days and those trips and those relationships that you’ve built.
I’m convinced that’s why I moved to Seattle, because on my first backpacking trip, it was in the northwest, and it was sort of all over Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington State. And then, you know, spent two days in Seattle. And, you know, a decade later, I was like, let’s move there, that place was awesome.
So you had mentioned a couple things, one, that the wilderness therapeutic thing was great. But you’ve said a couple times, that’s not the first thing to go to. So I absolutely want to hear the signs that kids may be in trouble. And the first thing is to go to but also did we cover the coping mechanisms, both mind body and community? I feel like we didn’t quite talk about community.
Yeah, we haven’t gotten to community yet. But maybe I’ll hold off on that for a minute because that ties into the the community that I host.
But if we go back to Yes, the the the first kind of line of defense that you want to turn to if you have a child who’s struggling. And when I say child, I’m talking about kind of that early teen 12 or 13, all the way up to 18. When you basically lose control, unfortunately, from a legal standpoint.
The first step is to turn to your local resources, whether that’s local therapist, there’s what’s called
alternative peer groups. And those are basically groups of young people who are trying to be sober and trying to live a healthy life and use better coping mechanisms. And they tend to be in high schools.
So there’s also sober high schools that people don’t know about. And so if you have a kiddo who’s been maybe they’ve been to treatment, they’re coming back or they just want to get away from the bad influences that are at their school. There are sober high schools that they can go to.
So there may be a church group right there. Maybe within your faith community, there may be different groups there that they could plug into.
There’s also like intensive intensive outpatient, so IOP. And that would be where they might go to a program, like every day for three hours. So they can still go to school, they can still participate basically in normal life, but they’re getting some therapeutic help along the way. And that can be local.
There’s organizations, both for profit and nonprofit that offer mentors. So sometimes kids just need a positive mentor in their life, you know, especially if they’re a single mom, there are so many single moms out there that are just struggling because they don’t have a positive male influence for their kids. And so there are organizations that offer mentors, and then they also offer parent coaches.
So you can be getting coached as the parent at the same time that your kid is being mentored by somebody who’s on the same team.
So there’s lots of resources, and you’ve really want to exhaust all of those because an out of placement and out of home placement can be I mean, just think about sending your son like if you were to say, okay, you’re gone now for a year for the next year. That’s torture. It’s so hard. Yeah. So you don’t want to turn to that first. Exhaust all of these other resources first.
And I assume in your community, on your website, you have a lot of those resources, because I know I’ve never heard about them. And I can imagine if you’re worried about your kid, or you see early signs, you know, not only a possible drug or alcohol use, but also depression, anxiety. You know, cutting eating disorders, I know, they’re all varied, but I wouldn’t even know where to start. I would probably know my doctor and maybe a therapist, you know, to begin.
Yes, yes, absolutely. I have them on on my website. And then also, the Partnership for drug free kids is now called the Partnership to End addiction. Go to drugfree.org. It’s an amazing nonprofit organization. It’s got tons of content, they offer free parent coaching. So if you are struggling, and you need some resources, that’s me, you can call they have a free helpline, they’ll sit down with you and work through a plan, they’ll assign you a coach who’s been where you are before, it’s all free. What is it like the hidden goldmine of resources. So there are resources out there. The problem is a lot of times, you know, as a parent, you’re once you get there, you’re like, Oh, my gosh, and you’re kind of in panic mode. And, again, going back to emotional regulation, he wants to be emotionally stable when you’re making these hard decisions about your kids. And so when I imagine you’re feeling all the feelings of anger, resentment, fear, overwhelm, you know, you’re feeling everything, isolation. You don’t want to be judged by other parents, you might feel attacked, if people are like, your kids, a bad kid, I mean, all of that is coming at you too, and feeling helpless. So you’ve got a lot to deal with.
Absolutely. It’s so overwhelming. It’s so scary. Everybody’s like, well, this would never happen in my family, like my kids. You know, I mean, I said that my kid would never, you know, do this. And so you need to be in the best frame of mind that you possibly can be when you’re having to find those resources, engage those resources, make really tough decisions about helping your kids.
So being being really present is important. And then as far as the the things to watch for I think, moms in particular, and I’m guessing this is mostly women who who listened.
But any parent, trust your gut. People constantly that I work with are like, Oh, you know, I had these little like, yellow flags that were going up when they were 13 and 14, even earlier, and I didn’t listen to them. And I wish I would have listened to them.
So I would say the first thing is listen to your gut. If your gut is telling you something is off, because you know your kid better than anybody. You know them better than their pediatrician, you know them better than any therapist, you know them better than the website that you might be looking at, that’s giving you like 17 checkboxes, you know, is your kid doing this. So trust your gut, and don’t be ashamed or afraid to reach out for resources, just like if your kid had diabetes, or leukemia or anything, you would be on it all over it, doing the research calling for resources. So I would say those two things first, but then a little bit more practical maybe would be to really look for a change in friend groups.
Typically kids will make a switch and it’s usually around eighth grade, they will switch friend groups. It’s a really common sign, school grades dropping can be a sign. But these kids that tend to be a little bit more susceptible to substance use are usually the brilliant ones. And so often they can keep their grades high, even if they’re using. So that’s not always dropped grades is not always an indicator.
But definitely also looking for isolation. If they’re spending more time in their room. If they’re spending more time online, you know, either video games, and I’m talking like all day, and if you’ve lost the relationship, so it’s not just one of these things, because as you know, the teen years, they start to get a little wonky anyway, like, there’s, you know, they’re trying to like separate from you.
So parents will say, Oh, I don’t know what’s normal, separation. But if you’re seeing a combination of these things, all of a sudden, there’s different friends hanging around. All of a sudden, they’re a little bit evasive, about what they’re doing, where they’re going, they might be spending the night at friend’s houses more. So whereas they used to want to either be at home or come home, they’re now spending the night elsewhere. Those are all things to look for changes in their hygiene, I mean, teenagers, especially boys, you know, the hygiene isn’t necessarily their first concern. But if it gets even worse, if they’re really not taking care of themselves, that’s a sign that mostly that loss of relationship, because even when a kid’s going through normal team weirdness, you’ll still have that relationship. But if you’re saying to yourself, I don’t even know who that kid is, like, Where’s my kid, that’s a sign that things have gotten awry, and you’re going to want to try to pull in some resources. So those are just some of the more obvious things.
But really, I just encourage people to trust your gut, it’s so dead on usually, you might not know what is wrong, but you know, something is wrong. And that’s where you want to step in. And I say that, because the drugs that are out there now are so much more dangerous than they were five years ago, 10 years ago. So like I said, before, kids are dying from fentanyl overdoses that are not addicts, these are just regular old kids who are experimenting, they go to a party or find there’s a bowl of pills, they pop a few pills, because that’s one of the things that kids are doing now is to see who can sort of get blacked out first. So they’ll combine alcohol. And what they do is, they’re pill parties. So they’ll say everybody go in your parents medicine cabinet, take a few pills, or whatever you can find, bring them to a party, they put them in a big bowl in the middle of the table and say, okay, and they’ll just start taking them. Until the like the first person blocks out. The most terrifying thing to think about as a parent, but this is happening.
And so again, helping your kid realize like, I don’t need to do that. I don’t need to start doing that kind of stuff. Because I can have fun in lots of other ways. It’s so important.
But the just the risk, and the danger today is it’s just insane. It’s so, so sad. And we have lost three kids in our community in the last three months, because of this exact reason. Kids are experimenting. Two of the three, actually all three of them had been in treatment been out of treatment, we’re doing better. But went back and just took that one pill. And there’s usually almost always alcohol involved also. And that combination just suppresses your breathing, and they don’t wake up more and more. So it’s not something that you can really afford not to address.
So if it feels awkward to have this conversation, you know, with your kid about emotions, or about your body or about whatever, think of how much worse it’s going to be if you’re standing at their funeral. And I don’t say that to be overly dramatic. I just say it because it’s happened three times in the last three months with people I know. And those parents are saying, look, look at the yellow flags, don’t ignore those flags, you’ve got to hop on those. And there’s just not time anymore. With fentanyl in the market. There’s just not time to wait around about it or think maybe it’s a phase. Just can’t do it anymore.
So and so what would you say to parents who have younger kids? Because now I’m like, I need to get off this podcast and go talk to Hank. Like what would you say to a kid? I don’t even think he’s been to a party. But like, just to be like, here’s the danger, what do you recommend?
Just making it part of the conversation just saying straight up, dude, there are pills out there, it would be like handing you a beer and saying here, it’s half of it is cyanide, but half of it is Coors Light. Go ahead and, and drink it. That’s the equivalent of what it is today, sort of like Russian Roulette
It is 1,000%, Russian roulette. And so you just need to be that open with them. But also at the same time saying, you know, I know you know, your kid, I know you feel anxious sometimes. What do you do when you feel that way? What you know? Or what makes you feel that way? What can I do to help you when you feel that way? What are things that you found that have helped, you just have to normalize the conversation and let them know, a it may be in your DNA, you may have a family history of addiction and and that’s a great conversation to have to say just like cancer, this is another thing that you haven’t loaded in your gun. Or you may not, you may not have anything loaded in your gun.
But the the other thing that I would say is to look at there’s the ACEs test, which is an adverse childhood experiences, and it’s just 10 questions that you can ask of yourself or your child.
And it’s just about childhood traumas and things that have happened. And typically, when we hear the word trauma, we think of like war, and rape and all these horrific things. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, trauma can be a car accident, it could be your sister trying to commit suicide. These are real things. And so you can take this short test, get your score, if you have a score of three or higher, you’re more susceptible to substance use. And then that can just normalize the conversation to to say, Wow, buddy, look at look at the score that you have, we need to talk about this, you know, this means that you might need a different kind of doctor than we’ve been taking you to maybe we need to take you to a doctor where you can just talk, you know, so just getting really real, don’t be afraid to have the conversation. You can’t afford not to, and let them know it’s okay to talk to you about it.
You know, a lot of times kids don’t talk to their parents, because they’re afraid they’re going to send them to treatment. It can sound crazy, but kids are really afraid of that. So just being honest and saying, I don’t want to send you to treatment, I saw last thing I want. First of all, it’s like crazy expensive. So you really don’t want to Yeah, but to them, you know saying I don’t want you to be to go anywhere. I want you to be here in our home, I want us to be together. But we just have to be able to talk about this stuff. And I promise to you, I will not freak out. I will not shame you. I will not blame you. I will not make you feel like a bad person. If you came home and you said, Mom, I drank at the party last night. Okay? Why? Why were you feeling like that? Why did you feel like you needed to instead of you’re grounded, I’m taking your phone? I’m taking the car that you know, just Okay, why? What happened? Tell me what that felt like. You know, so you have to get moved more a little bit into a consultant type role, then the authoritative, coming down harsh, all these things are going to happen. And that doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences because there should be consequences. But they need to know you genuinely want to understand why did you do that? Why are you feeling like you want to numb out? Why are you feeling like you want to pop a Xanax? because these kids in high school are taking Xanax like it is candy. And so it’s just a conversation you have to get comfortable having.
Yeah, I mean, I feel like I’m totally oblivious to all the things you’re you’re scaring me but in a good way. I need to learn this shit. About what, you know what’s going on. But I totally hear the, you know, peer pressure or what other people are doing. I mean, when I was in college, it was a sport. Literally the goal was to throw up in blackout on the rugby team like that. That was the regular. You know, that was the goal. And I can only imagine if it was a stronger drug than than beer.
Yeah, absolutely. And it is and so we just have to be getting comfortable with those uncomfortable conversations with our kids.
And I know you’ve talked about this that a lot of times when moms have kids doing opioids doing stuff that has fentanyl in it, it can be really easy to minimize wine, beer cocktails, a gin and tonic, right? You’re like, I’m stressed, I’m not doing hard, addictive drugs. Therefore, there’s nothing to see here. And yes, the idea that not only will stopping drinking, help you emotionally regulate yourself, help you be there for them. But also, drinking is not helping you deal with the stress. It’s just not, you know, we think that it is helping us. And that is part of our toolkit, it is actually making your anxiety, your depression, your overwhelm your fear so much worse than it would be otherwise. I know, it’s hard to get out of it, but it’s not helping.
Right, right. And, you know, I think some of some of the moving away from that comes through education. I didn’t know until I started listening to your podcast and other podcasts about just physiologically what’s going on in your body when you drink alcohol. So I think that’s super important. And interesting, just to learn what’s going on?
That’s crazy, because you’re in the community on addiction, so you didn’t actually know that stuff?
Nope. Did not know it is as you just thought it was in a different category, like hard drugs. Why? Wine perfectly fine. Absolutely. I mean, I knew in general, like, it’s probably not really great for your body. But on the other hand, you hear these reports of you know, red wine is healthy. Red wine is healthy. And and so it just Yes, it seemed like it was in a different category. When if you like, it sounds like you weren’t drinking to hangovers daily. Like I was not remembering stuff at night. So you don’t do you know, but you still got to the point to say, I don’t this I don’t want to do this anymore. I mean, yeah, you know, that’s, I think that’s great.
Yeah, no, I mean, you wake up enough mornings with, I want to, I mean, maybe it was a hangover. I don’t know how you define that. But just feeling like really ragged in my head, kind of, not throbbing, but just not great. You know what I mean? There’s just like, this icky feeling. And, and when you do that long enough, and you just think, well, this is just how I feel in the morning. And then you realize, Oh, this is not just how I feel in the morning is amazing. But back to your your comment about Yeah, I just, I mean, it’s just because alcohol is everywhere. There was I was not making the connection.
Well, and you’re in marketing and advertising.
And I’m over here, like, I’m in Napa at photoshoots for five days, staying at a winery with all these photographers. And you know, like, it’s glamorous, it’s beautiful. And so, yeah, so I wasn’t making that connection. But I think when you are thinking about if you have a kid and you’re worried or they’re or they’re struggling, you’re just doing, you’re just kind of stacking the cards against yourself, if you are not fully present, fully aware, because you are going to have to make some hard decisions, whether that’s a local, you know, somebody to help your kid or whether that’s an out of home placement. These are really hard decisions, I will tell you really, really hard. And if you’re making those under the influence of anything, first of all, you’re going to doubt your decision, you’re going to doubt “Am I doing the right thing”, because there’s just, there’s just that fuzziness around you and so, really like the best gift that you could give yourself, if you’re not willing to, you know, to say I’m gonna quit forever, just say okay, for now, a I want a role model to my child that this isn’t how we deal with the hard things. And so maybe I’ll do it for a while, and then I’ll see how it feels. And maybe it’s gonna feel great. And I want to continue but you know, and I think this is what you talk about too, is like, just think 100 days. Just try it. Yeah, just try it and then it’s not like alcohol is gonna go anywhere.
Yeah, it’ll be there after three months from now, but you might feel so good. You’re not gonna want to go back to it. And that’s, that’s my belief, because that’s my experience and the experience of so many other women. And these coping skills, I mean, that brand is talking about they can help you the mind The body, the community, I know all of them have been huge for me because even when you remove the alcohol, they’re still life underneath in the stresses and, and your emotions that you never developed healthy coping skills with, and I know, exercise and therapy and medication and you know, all the other things, as well as community, like talking to people in groups, getting real about your emotions, getting real with my friends about drinking, and not drinking, and anxiety.
And then also sharing circles, if you find them or other other women on the alcohol free path, I mean, all of these things for you are so healing, and you model them for your kids. And, you know, talk about your need for love and when you’re lonely, and when you’re sad. And it’s not just if your kids are doing hard drugs, it’s so much else. I mean, I know, suicide and depression is a real concern. But also cutting and eating disorders and just general, you know, sadness and, and feeling lonely or bullying. I mean, there’s so much that your kids need healthy coping mechanisms from so thank you so much for sharing them.
And, and the community part is huge. And we have in the stream as a community that I host for moms of kids who are struggling, either experimenting, or addicted, or in treatment or sober living. And you know, when you can sit with 100 other moms who know exactly what you’re going through, and you don’t have to be ashamed of it. You don’t have to sugarcoat what happened last night, you don’t have to do any of that it is so healing. And you find out you’re a lot more like other people than you, you know, you might think, Oh, I’m the only one going through this. I’m the worst mom, if I hadn’t gotten divorced, if I had gotten divorced, if I hadn’t done that thing, or if I had done that thing, you just you realize we’re all in the same boat. Like we’re all dealing with the same thing, we did not cause our kids to go and do this.
And I think that’s another important thing I want to make sure and get across is that even if you are not modeling healthy behaviors right now, and your child is struggling with substances, it is not your fault, you did not make them do that. Because I have multiple kids and only one ended up going that way. The other one went the opposite way. You know what I mean? So yeah, it’s not that you’re causing it. And I think that’s super important to make sure and mention, but you have the opportunity to show that there’s a different way. And so wherever you can do that is is important. But yeah, sitting with a community of other people. And you look around, you’re like, Oh, she looks just like me. Yeah, she’s a therapist, and she has a son in treatment, or she’s a pediatrician, and she has a daughter who’s, you know, cutting or whatever it is, it just makes you realize that it doesn’t matter. And that’s the thing about addiction is it is equal opportunity, man it is.
Well, I mean, and also just like alcohol, right? They should, it’s addictive, right? So it’s not that you did anything wrong, or even that the kids did anything wrong, like you with enough exposure to a substance that is surrounding them. If it’s in their social circles, it will work as designed. I mean, you will want to consume more and more often. And some of these are highly, highly, highly addictive. You know, and it doesn’t discriminate, right? You know, single parents married parents, high socioeconomic, low socio economic, does not discriminate.
No, and unfortunately, the resources available do discriminate, is just incredibly painful and hard. So, unfortunately, everybody doesn’t have the same access to treatment or even information and prevention. So there is definitely a disparity there. For sure, as a privileged white woman, I’m sitting here talking about how my son went to treatment and all these things, which is amazing that I had that ability to do that for him. So there is discrimination as far as what’s available, but the substance itself works the same on every brain. And and yeah, it’s when it’s designed to do that. It’s not only that you want to use this drug that you have to use more as you know, if you’ve been drinking one glass of wine a night for a year. Pretty soon you’re not going to get the same feeling.
After one glass of wine, you have to go to two glasses of wine, right? So heroin is the same. oxy cotton is the same Percocet, Xanax, all of those are exactly the same. And so once, once it hits the brain, you’ve kind of lost control of what you’re going to do with it.
You’re doing such amazing work on your podcast and in your community. So if anyone listening to this is worried about their kids or just wants to be more informed or more informed about what’s out there and warning signs, I really encourage you to listen to Brenda’s podcast. And can you tell us, like where people can find you? What’s your website?
Yeah, just BrendaZane.com. And from there, you can find the podcast, you can find the community, it’s a private membership community, it is not on Facebook. It’s a very positive healing space. I’m on the health and wellness coach. And so we really focus on mom’s health and wellness, insanity, we talk less about our kids. So this is all about you.
It’s a space for you to heal and to find resources. So it’s all at my website, BrendaZane.com, and I’m on Instagram at the.stream.community. The stream community is where we hang out. And my podcast is hopestream. And yeah, I talk about all day talk about addiction and treatment and coping skills for parents and moms and all that. So and before we go, yeah,
Tell us how your son’s doing now.
So he is doing amazing. He struggled for about six years with a very severe addiction to not just substances, but also high risk lifestyle, overdosed twice in 2017 and he today is miraculously doing fabulous. He’s studying to be a psychologist he wants to go work with young kids are struggling. Hopefully in January moving out to work at the treatment program that he ran away from when he was 17 years old. So I can get it all emotional that I know anything. And I know you’ve been through so much. Hell, yes. So yeah, and it can change, it can change, and it can take a long time. And so that’s going back to the community. You got to have a team around you.
Yeah. And the moms need support. The mothers need support. And so talking about this, I know really helps. Well, thank you for being on here. I really appreciate it. And so glad to know you and be your friend.
Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more.