Clinging To Hope: An Epic Saga Of Addiction, Medical Innovation, Loss, Recovery, Hope and Unconditional Love

Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Clinging To Hope: An Epic Saga Of Addiction, Medical Innovation, Loss, Recovery, Hope and Unconditional Love
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ABOUT THE EPISODE:
Sometimes, there's a story so unbelievable it's hard to know where to start when telling it. This is one of those. My guests are mother (Pattie Vargas) and daughter (Rebekah Mutch), and they trusted me with sharing their family's journey to hell plus the miraculous twist that no one saw coming.

Intertwined with their family's dark tour through decades of addiction is the little-known story of a 50-year-old medical breakthrough that's saved rockstars like Eric Clapton and Keith Richards from their drug addictions. Adding to the storyline, you'll hear how my own son's struggle with substances and the forced isolation of early COVID  led to the unlikely convergence of us all.

It's a binge-worthy episode that merits its own NETFLIX series. You'll come away awestruck by the determination of a Scottish surgeon, the power of a mother's fierce love, the human ability to triumph over addiction, and the realization that parents should never stop clinging to hope.

EPISODE RESOURCES:

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This podcast is part of a nonprofit called Hopestream Community
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Find us on Instagram: @hopestreamcommunity
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SPEAKERS: Pattie Vargas, Bekah Mutch, Brenda Zane

[00:00:00] Pattie: I said, would you go if I can get you in? And she said, yeah, I’d go. She had said yes to nothing, nothing. She said yes to that. 
[00:00:11] Bekah: at that point, you should have seen the situation that I had found myself in. You’re texting me and I’m like looking around my life at that point. And I was just like, why not?
what am I doing with myself? What am I expecting to achieve out of any of this? Nothing good is going to come of this, and I’m not going to be able to pull myself out of this situation. it’s getting progressively worse, and it’s getting progressively dangerous, and I’m really going to find myself in a situation that I’m not going to be able to walk away from.
[00:00:48] Brenda: Welcome, you’re listening to HopeStream, the podcast for parents who have a child misusing or addicted to drugs or alcohol or in a treatment program or early recovery. I am Brenda Zane, your host and also a parent who lived through this challenge. So I can relate and that is why I created this podcast.
You can learn more about me and how I serve parents like you at my website, brendazane. com. my friends. This episode, which I’m calling an epic sode, has been a long time in the making. And when you listen, you’re going to hear why I’m going to try and keep the intro here short, but you need a little bit of background before we jump in.
So let me give you a bit of a timeline. This all starts back in 1972 with a Scottish surgeon named Meg Patterson. She was doing research in China using electro acupuncture for post surgical pain control. What she serendipitously found out was that specific neuron stimulation or brain stimulation using an external device could prevent withdrawal symptoms and remove cravings for people who were addicted to drugs.
This was a completely unintended outcome of the work that she was doing on pain control. But she quickly made this her sole mission to use this knowledge to help people to get off of the drugs that were controlling their lives without any withdrawal symptoms or cravings. The story then evolves from China back to Scotland, where for the next 25 years or so, Dr.
Patterson used what she named neuroelectric therapy or NET, which is how you’ll hear me refer to it. To treat heroin addicts, including rock star royalty like Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Peter Townsend, and Boy George. But, even after decades of work and successful outcomes using NET, Dr. Patterson’s treatment and device never received FDA approval.
it has never been widely available as a treatment option. There are two HopeStream episodes that you might want to listen to to get all of the background on this incredible treatment. Episodes number 86 and 83 will give you a lot of background if you’re wanting to learn more about NET and how it was discovered and why it has not so far been approved for use.
But that is the 30, 000 foot story of NET. Now, around the same time, in the early 80s, there was a family in the U. S., not a celebrity family or one out of the ordinary in any way, but a mom, dad, three kids, starting out in Arizona. They were a simple, healthy, church going family whose lives revolved around their faith, their family, and their church community.
The mom, Patti, had no idea what was going on over in Scotland or that the device Dr. Meg Patterson was working on would ever intersect her world. She also could never comprehend that her family would soon be shattered by divorce or that she would come within inches of losing two of her three kids to addiction.
Now, fast forward to 2017, the year Patti’s world collapsed and I myself sat in an ICU room with my son on life support after his second fentanyl overdose. Patti and I, at this point, have never met, but we’re both at war fighting for our son’s lives. She in California, me in Seattle, Washington. Her son doesn’t win his battle with addiction.
And mine does. I decide at that point to commit my life to helping other parents who are alone and in the fight against addiction, and I quit my corporate job to start a podcast. Fast forward three more years, 2020. We are in the dark days of early COVID isolation, and I meet a lovely lady named Patty in an online training course that I’m taking, as is she.
for parents who want to coach other parents with kids who are struggling with substance use. I hear part of Patty’s story, but I don’t have the full picture at that point. And I ask her if she wants to help me out in a community that I host for moms and she graciously accepts, which is when I find out about her daughter and what you’re going to hear today.
Another year goes by, and in October of 2021, I publish Hope Stream episode number 83 with a film director who created a documentary about this interesting but crazy sounding addiction treatment called NET. I had never heard of it, but it seemed important to talk about, so I did an episode. This is the point at which all three worlds intersect, and you’ll hear now, Hope.
How the stories of Dr. Meg Patterson, Patty, and myself mesh together to create this almost unbelievable story of faith, determination, hope, and most of all, love.
Patty and Becca, welcome to Hope’s Dream. Such an amazing episode to be doing with the both of you and Patty, I don’t think we could have envisioned that we would be having this conversation when we met. You just never know where life is going to take you, right? So welcome to both of you back a year in Kentucky.
Where are you specifically in Kentucky? I am in Lexington, Kentucky. Okay. That is beautiful. I went there a couple of times for work and I was like, Whoa, it’s like you see in the movies, like the green and green. Hills and the white picket fences. Why don’t we step back in time? If we took a camera back into let’s call it mid 70s, what would we have seen in your family?
Tell us a little bit about who you are, what you were doing, 
[00:07:13] Pattie: what was going on. So mid 70s, gosh, I was married to the kid’s dad and we were living in Arizona and We’re really involved in a church there that pretty much was what our life evolved around. We lived in a little tiny town called Wickenburg, Arizona.
There was like 3, 500 people in it and no stoplights. So Steven, my oldest was born in Wickenburg in 80. And then shortly after that, we moved to Glendale, Arizona and, and Joel was born in Glendale in 81. And so I, our life was very much. Evolved around the church. We worked in the church and we worked in the community and so forth.
And in 83, we relocated to San Diego and Rebecca was born in 85. So she was a California baby through and through. Gosh, we were so normal. It was ridiculous. Because we were so active in the church, we didn’t do a lot of stuff outside the church. We didn’t party, we didn’t smoke, we didn’t do any of that kind of stuff.
Everyone we hung around with was just like us for the most part. A lot of the work though that we did was in, is, was in working with gangs and with heroin addicts on the streets of San Diego. So I, I used to say that everything I knew about drugs I learned from the church, and then later I said everything I know about drugs I learned from the church and my kids.
So 
[00:08:52] Brenda: you have three kids, you’re living in San Diego, living the dream it sounds like, that sounds pretty great. What do you remember, Becca, from that time when you were younger? Obviously, you guys spent a lot of time in the church. You, it sounds like you’re a pretty close family. I definitely 
[00:09:10] Bekah: wouldn’t go as far as saying that we were a normal family.
As far as I remembered, at least we were the quintessential preacher’s family. We were definitely very, very involved in the church. It was Always a big part of our life, until my dad decided to leave the church, and that happened very abruptly, and it was very shocking to all four of us, but that really made a huge impact on all of us, I think, as far as what we felt like we could rely on.
Because that had been such a huge cornerstone of our life and this man that was supposed to be a man of God that had taught us everything that we know and everything that we’re supposed to believe in to be true, just all of a sudden did a complete 180 and really just completely turned his back on the church and everything that he had been teaching us for, for our entire lives.
So that’s really like the only thing that I would, that I would add to that. How old were you when your dad left? He left when I was nine. Okay. So, you have vivid memories of that. And it was, we were very, very close. Before he, he did a whole personality lifestyle change, just in the blink of an eye, really, and it honestly wasn’t until I read my mom’s book, actually, that I realized how quickly that all happened, because in my head, I knew that it was quick, but I thought that it was over the span of a year or something, no, it was not, it was not at all, and it was very shocking, and then he just wasn’t there anymore, and so that was definitely a hard thing to pill to swallow for me at a young age because he was, he was the father that, that took me to the father daughter dances and we would go on daddy dates and all that, and then all of a sudden he just really was not existent.
So it was definitely a big difference. 
[00:11:10] Brenda: I just did an episode on, on trauma. And I think before I learned a lot in this journey, I don’t know that I would have called that trauma. I think I would have just been like, Oh, dad left. And now I really understand and I think more people in the therapeutic world and just in general are starting to understand how traumatic that is.
And as we’ll find out with, with your story, it has a profound impact on everybody. Patty, you’re now a single mom with three kids. Yeah. 
[00:11:47] Pattie: The change was a two step thing. Yeah. First he left the church, and then he left us. So there was a gap in there, but in that gap he began to, just like Becca said, just live a completely different lifestyle that was just alien to everything we had ever known or signed up for, and So overnight, I’m a single mom and complete loss of identity and, and game plan and, what was supposed to have, it’s, it’s I think of it sometimes it’s like a, like a record just, suddenly scratched and it’s Whoa, wait, wait, wait, wait, now what?
I worked quite a distance away, so at that time it made sense to move closer to where I worked so that the kids would be close to where I work, I could be home if I needed to quickly. Plus, I had family up there, so we moved about 45 miles up the road and, Took the kids out of school. So that was just another disruption.
It was just like disruption after disruption on them and hindsight’s 2020, I that’s one that I play over in my head over and over again So that’s what I did moved them took them out of their school and moved them up there and And Joel had started getting into trouble before we moved in that gap between his dad leaving the church and then leaving us and he had started smoking and I think he was smoking pot, with a couple of the neighbor kids and not coming home from school when he was supposed to and that kind of thing.
And so there was already some tension with him and it just exacerbated once we moved, he. I felt like he fit in and just got real rebellious. And if there was a rule, he was going to break it. If there was a boundary, he was going to push it. If there was a shitty kid to hang out with, he was going to find him.
Except one, he did have a couple of really good friends too. It was really a shock. And it was, the hard part was. We weren’t financially supported by their dad either. So then I had to decide, do I work overtime because I need money or do I go home and be home and make dinner and do all of that stuff? And it didn’t matter what choice I made, it was the wrong choice.
And so I just felt. Constantly on edge and constantly being judged and constantly judging myself and I felt really bitter. I have to say, I felt really, really bitter about doing what you thought you were supposed to do. And then this is the reward, you get for that. And you had probably 
[00:14:33] Brenda: had visions of your life going in a very different direction, not seeing yourself as a single mom with a, husband who’s vanished from the picture.
And as you’re seeing Joel start to do some of these things, are you thinking, This is probably a phase, kids go through this, or what was in your mind as you started seeing him take some of these bigger risks with his 
[00:14:56] Pattie: behavior? I hoped it was a phase, and I tried to look at it that way.
I also, did all the, you’re grounded and taking away things and doing all that kind of stuff. But, I was, Really, really distracted in those days too, so it was, it wasn’t like I had the time to sit down and say, okay, now I need to figure out what to do with this child, and I did take him to therapists.
But they weren’t any help, once they found out he was smoking pot, they said they couldn’t help him until he quit smoking. So it was sort of like, that’s great. It’s what am I supposed to do about 
[00:15:38] Brenda: that? And so Becky, you were watching this happen as well. Mom’s working a lot. Dad’s gone. What’s going on with your life at that point?
[00:15:48] Bekah: I was still pretty young. And I wasn’t privy to what Joel was doing. The age gap between us at that age was pretty significant. So he was hanging out with his friends, doing teenager stuff. And I was probably still playing with Barbies and I noticed. Definitely that there was a lot more arguing and stuff between my mom and Joel and I remember he got kicked out of school a couple times and different things like that, that I knew that he, he wasn’t doing well, exactly.
I’m pretty sure he, he just barely graduated high school. I graduated him from high school. Yeah, yeah, I remember that. But I definitely saw what was going on, but I wasn’t really able to wrap my mind around it at that age, like how, how significant any of it was. 
[00:16:43] Pattie: I think at that age, you were still protected, 5th, 6th, 7th.
But once you got into junior high, And you knew a lot more at that point, you started seeing a lot more that was going on and you were more privy to it. He was in and out of the house by that time too. 
[00:17:01] Bekah: And seeing lots of things like arguing with his girlfriend on the phone for hours in a way that only a drug addict does pretty much, not like a normal boyfriend and girlfriend fight, but a crazy fight and different behaviors like that, that I picked up on.
And that’s, that’s when I started seeing the real decline of his health and whatnot. He got really skinny and that kind of like vacant look in his 
[00:17:26] Brenda: eyes, I’m trying to imagine how exhausted you must have been at this point having to be juggling being a single mom, working, you’re watching one of your kids get into this risky lifestyle and there’s drugs involved by this point, right?
And Yeah, you still have two other kids. And so you’re the proverbial cat in the hat with all the plates in the air, trying to juggle everything. It sounds exhausting just to even hear you 
[00:17:57] Pattie: tell that story. there was, there was this one time. When I found some therapist that talked to people about getting off pot and he was in a another city So I took off work meaning I wasn’t getting paid and I drove home to get joel And I couldn’t find him and when I finally found him and drove him to this doctor’s appointment.
They told me I was too late and they wouldn’t see him. And I had a meltdown in this doctor’s office. I just had a complete meltdown and I’m sure they thought, are you sure your kid’s the one who’s on drugs? Because I just, I just lost it. I’m thinking in my head, I just took off work. My job is in danger already and Joel wasn’t even ready.
And now I’m here. And I can’t get him back to see the other therapist. If he doesn’t do this, I just felt like I just can’t do this. Those were awful, awful, awful 
[00:18:50] Brenda: days. Beck, what are some of your favorite memories of your brother? 
[00:18:54] Bekah: He was hilarious. he could keep us all laughing for hours and hours and he was incredibly creative.
One year for my mom’s birthday, he made her a book that was attack of the giant baby. He went through all of our photo albums and he took pictures and he made this whole story about. This giant baby attacking a city and he used pictures of me as a baby. And the whole family was involved in the story and it was just really funny and he drew a bunch of pictures and stuff and he was a great artist both like drawing.
As well as musically and he could rap for hours just freestyle off the top of his head just about anything and it just always blew my mind because The words that he would use and the the length of time that he could go for it was just unreal It was just so fun to watch 
[00:19:47] Brenda: Yeah, so 
much talent. What about you,
[00:19:49] Pattie: patty?
What are your favorite things? Oh, he was funny and he was creative I mean from the time he was a little little guy He He always got the double entendre in a joke, which you know, it takes takes some maturity to get that but he always did or he would Say something and then just look at you like am I gonna get in trouble for having said that because then I can pretend I didn’t really mean it or I didn’t know, and he loved little things like he loved Legos, he loved little Lego men.
I remember one time picking him up at the bus stop. He was coming home from from pre k And he had left his Lego man We had a million of them, but he had left this Lego man on the bus and I had to chase that bus down to get That Lego man back from him And he he would make flip books like he would take a Pat a post-it notes and he would draw a little picture at the corner and then the next one, a little picture and the next one, and then flip them.
I, I mean that the attention to detail and stuff, that was when I started realizing, I think this kid’s got a DD or something because he, he would just sit and focus on that like crazy. And he was talented. He was funny, and he, he was brilliant. 
[00:21:02] Brenda: Sounds like such a cool guy. And obviously we’re talking about him in the past tense, so you graduated him from high school it sounds like, which I think is the case of a lot of moms who have kids who are, struggling and experimenting and finding their way.
Take us through what happened after that. 
[00:21:22] Pattie: I married my, my husband, my last husband, my final husband, when Joel was about 16, I think, and he stepped into, into a shit show. He married an intact family with me. Problems and Joel was was already using drugs and everybody had their issues going on But he was a stabilizing factor for all of us.
Our family just Settled down there was certainly a lot of pressure off of me because now I had somebody else to help with everything and Joel we sent him to live with his dad at one point that didn’t work out. His dad was not present enough, to do that and so You know My husband actually ended up going and getting Joel and bringing him back home, and he stayed with us until he graduated.
And then, he was in and out of the house, off and on. When he had nowhere else to go, or he’d run out of money, or, or whatever. Friend he was involved with their relationship ended. He might come back for a little while, but he didn’t live with us for any Extended period of time after that and I think because of that when he progressed to pills and stuff it was such a shock to see that because it wasn’t happening right under our our own roof and He was going to a lot of raves down in Mexico.
He was buying drugs in Mexico and bringing them across, so that was always a source of concern, As a family, we staged a little intervention. 
[00:22:57] Bekah: That was an eye opener for me, because I knew that something had to give, because I had actually dropped in on Joel when he was working at a gas station.
It was probably One or two o’clock in the morning and I just dropped in to say hi to him and he didn’t know I was coming. And when I walked into the gas station, he was so surprised to see me. And it was just heartbreaking to see him because he would just look like walking death, and there was just nothing at all behind his eyes.
And that was what made me realize that something had to be done to, to get him some help. Because like my mom said, he, was like out of sight, out of mind. And we didn’t see him for extended periods of time. So we didn’t know how bad it was. And one thing that Joel was always good at was, was painting a picture much differently than it actually was.
So I understood why my mom felt that she needed to take that route. But I still felt like a certain sense of loyalty to Joel that, I needed to protect him from all these bad people that were trying to send him to rehab or trying to do all these things, when he left, I was just like, wow, so that’s how it is now, and it was just, it was sad, but I was really happy that he went.
[00:24:06] Brenda: So he did go when you did this intervention. 
[00:24:09] Pattie: Yeah, he went. He pulled me aside and he goes, I can’t go. And I said, yes, you can. And then he went. I was shocked that he did. But they told me later that they had never seen anybody bring so much meth into a rehab home. He had shoved it in everything he could think.
Wow. So he went and did he stay long? He stayed the 30 days and I just remember just being like, okay, that’s it. Now he’s going to be all fixed. It’s all over. I didn’t even know how to find resources. I had no idea what to do. Nobody that I knew really had had that experience. And talked about it, Yeah, that’s the thing because later you find out, and so I was on the internet looking for places and unfortunately the ones that come up are the ones that have a lot of money to pay for SEL, so they look really great and shiny and, We took out a second mortgage and sent him. And honestly, I thought 30 days was all it was going to take.
And he would come out all fixed and we’d have Joel back and life would be wonderful. And in my mind, he’s, he’s going to go to school and it’s just so crazy. And it’s so sad that that’s what you feel. think, and that these places that are so willing to take your money, don’t tell you, this is just the beginning, Yes, this is the tip of the iceberg. 
[00:25:38] Bekah: Especially the place that he ended up going to, they didn’t offer any sort of aftercare, they didn’t offer any plan for what he was going to do once he completed. When he completed the 30 days, they were like, okay, so you can either pay for another 30 days, or Bye. And that was, that was it, so just basically just, just 
[00:25:59] Pattie: thrown out.
It was a very high end place. I didn’t know that there were county based things or any, I didn’t know there was any other options. And so when we decided to pay for it, we were really stressed. And it’s okay because he’ll be all fine. And then they literally gave us a list of places to call. When he was discharged.
So he went to a halfway house. I think he lasted three or four days before he got high with another guy and ended up back at our house. It was really sad. 
[00:26:32] Bekah: One thing I was going to say was I think that a common misconception that people have about treatment facilities is the more you spend, the better it is.
And that’s definitely not the case. And one thing that I remember vividly of Joel saying to me when I was finally starting to actually admit that I had a drinking problem, which took me years to years to get to, but I was talking to him about it. The first rehab that I had gone to was a private rehab also, and he had said to me, Becky, I think you should go to accounting.
And at that point he had been in and out of a whole bunch of different facilities and he’d experienced quite a few different types of treatment programs. And from his experience, the standard of care doesn’t depend on the price tag. It depends on the intentions of the people. And so that just always stuck with me and I ended up experiencing 
[00:27:26] Pattie: that myself as well.
And by this time, Beck, I think you were starting to use. 
[00:27:34] Bekah: I was drinking really, really heavily, really heavily. 
[00:27:38] Brenda: So I’m imagining, because I went through the same thing, Patty, you, you get dropped into this world that you didn’t even know existed because you’ve been just going on living your life in the normal world where like people are fairly healthy and, your family had gone through some difficult times, but when, when you get dropped into the world of.
Substance use and treatment programs and addiction and all that. It is a whole new game. You realize, Oh, there’s a world out there that I didn’t even know existed. I thought it was just in movies. Like I’ve seen this in the movies, but now it’s my life. So you’re in that mode and you’re seeing him, go to this program and thinking, okay, cool.
He’s going to come out. He’s going to be fixed. Good to go. That didn’t happen. Because he ended up relapsing, what was happening there and were you aware of what was going on with Becca and her drinking? 
[00:28:40] Pattie: Yes, yeah, but she was functional to a certain extent and, and she was still my best friend. And we had this awful thing over here with Joel.
So it was like, okay, I need to pay attention to this. But. With Joel, the last weekend that we visited him before he ended his program, I knew he was not okay. I knew that he had no plan. I just knew this was not going to go well. And I knew he also wasn’t really serious about staying sober. He, he just wasn’t.
And in the meantime, Becca’s problems are beginning to get less easily swept under the rug, having to face that. So it was a really scary time and everybody’s got an opinion, everybody’s got advice for you and definitely went down the path of that’s it, Joel, you’re out of here. Get yourself together and then come back.
And I might hang with that for maybe two weeks and then something would happen and I would feel like we needed to help him build them out of things and. You know at this point he started his jail career as well. So He would go to jail for these short stints I think the first time was maybe five months or something And then he would have to go to some sort of little mini rehab some county rehab for a little bit which in my mind he just Viewed it as an extension of his sentence, and as soon as that’s done, then I’m back in the game, and that went on several times, and then in the meantime, Becca was getting worse, getting sicker, her stuff was showing up 
[00:30:15] Bekah: more and more.
I think one of the biggest differences between Joel’s using career and my using career, including alcoholism, was Joel was just a mess. From almost from the minute he started using, it was just so in everybody’s face all the time. He wasn’t able to hold a job. He didn’t have stable living conditions. He didn’t have healthy relationships.
His health was deteriorating in front of everybody’s eyes. Whereas, I Always had a full time job. I always had my own place. I was, a functioning member of society and doing everything that I was supposed to be doing. And I think that’s part of why it was, it was easier to, to not recognize. And, and like Joel, I was really good at making people see what I wanted them to see.
I had become very good at, at making everybody think that everything was okay when it wasn’t at all. And when it all ended up coming out in the open, it was a big reveal. Whereas Joel, the whole time, he was just Going balls to the wall, and everything was just always a hundred miles an hour for him.
[00:31:29] Brenda: It’s so interesting how two people in the same family can be and present so different with the same issue. And I just wonder, Patty, how are you During this time functioning and coping when you know one is really bad, you probably had your mom intuition that things were pretty bad over here with your daughter.
But how are you coping with that? Because you’re also, I imagine, working a job and living life and you have other relationships and parents and husband and how, how did you do that? 
[00:32:10] Pattie: On top of all this, we had the care of my husband’s parents and, and then my parents obviously were aging as well and I was fortunate enough to live in the same city as my brother and my brother carried a huge part of that burden.
But I was getting increasingly angry at Becca. To me, it felt like you’re just loading on me more. And, and where did my friend go? Where did, where did the person go that used to sit and cry with me about Joel? And now you’re doing these things. And my mom died in June of 2012. And I just remember feeling.
Just so alone. I can’t even describe it. It felt so lonely, just really, really lonely. And I wanted to run away. I wanted to run away from everything. You don’t get to run away when you’re an adult, but I wanted to just run away. I was like done. I was over it. I was over Joel. I was over Becky.
I was over everything. I just wanted to run away and, and my mom died and about the same time or a few months after that, our first granddaughter was born. And I said, that’s it. I’m out. I’m out. I just, I don’t want to be here anymore. There’s, there’s nothing for me to be here for. I just need to go. And so we did, we relocated up north, Becca actually moved into the house we’d been renting and she took that over because she was doing 
[00:33:45] Brenda: so 
[00:33:45] Pattie: well.
[00:33:46] Brenda: She was doing so well. So you moved up north and now Becca’s living in the house that you were in and where’s Joel? What’s going on with him at this point? Joel 
[00:33:57] Pattie: was living with his girlfriend. He had relapsed again. I think he’d been in jail like three times by then. It was Christmas. And he didn’t even come.
So we left. And, and he continued to spiral downwards and he got arrested again. And we refused to bail him out that time. We’d always helped before. And that time it was just like, number one, it didn’t have any, didn’t have anything. So I think he was away for eight months, which was like, okay, good.
It’s a relief. I know where he’s at. he writes amazing letters and, Probably have the best relationship ever when he’s locked up, but meantime We know things are not good with rebecca 
[00:34:44] Bekah: That was actually when I started losing things like I had said earlier. I always had a full time job.
I had just lost my job I had a really, really good job and I had been there for about five years and I just lost that because I was drinking non stop and, and I worked at a brewery. So they expected everybody to drink, but they weren’t expecting you to get completely hammered every night and then not be able to wake up in the morning and go to work.
So that didn’t, bode well with my boss. Probably the 10th time or so that I did that and I ended up losing that job and I had lost my apartment. So I’d moved in with my parents and that was like really when when my life just started to be completely Unmanageable and out of control entirely but at that time I wasn’t willing to do anything about it or admit that I had any kind of a problem and it just got progressively worse And when my parents left and I took over the lease It just it spiraled even more out of control and I was drinking probably about a handle of whiskey a day and I mean like not a little fist like normal bottle like normal people drink like the giant jug and I Woke up one day and felt a Walls were just like closing in on me.
I basically had a little mini meltdown of some sort And I decided that I just had to I had to leave like my mom was actually just saying like I just for Some reason I just had to get out of San Diego And I just wanted to just get in my car and drive as far as I could drive to And for some odd reason, the only place that I could think to drive to was to my dad’s house in Texas.
And I hadn’t seen or talked to my dad in at least a decade at that point. Because I had given up at some point in my teen years. I had tried really hard for a long time to continue to have a relationship with him. And then finally I just had to get to the point where I just had to Acknowledge and admit to myself that he didn’t want to have a relationship and that wasn’t my fault That was hard But it was something that I just had to do and for whatever reason that morning when I woke up I got in my car and I drove to texas.
It was just a terrible terrible decision that I thought would be okay for some reason And it didn’t tell my family where I was going, so my mom starts looking for me and they basically threatened to call the car and stolen if I didn’t come home and I came home and I knew that when I came home that I was leaving and that I was probably going to rehab or I was doing something that That I wasn’t going to want to do and that’s exactly what happened when I got back.
They basically had packed the house up and as they were packing the house up they started finding all my alcohol bottles all over the place and just seeing the level of how bad it had all gotten really and that was pretty embarrassing. But that was my first venture into recovery. It wasn’t a very big venture.
I didn’t go to rehab or anything. I just moved right into a sober living house, which I don’t recommend to anybody. Patti, so you 
[00:37:43] Brenda: had to have been thinking, is this deja vu? am I doing this again? Because you had some experience, and I just think the feelings must have been going through your heart and your mind, of seeing this happen again.
Were you feeling a little bit more informed and confident about things because you’d been there before 
[00:38:08] Pattie: with Joel? Not really, because once Joel became adult, approaching 30 and 32, it was sort of like, what can we do? We didn’t really have any control other than just trying to stay close to him, And like I said, when he would go to jail, it was, it was a relief because as awful as that is, at least I knew where he was. And he would make great turnarounds while he was there. And then with her, I don’t really think I got a clue, honestly, about the whole recovery continuum. I think I was just more still trying to live, trying to not.
Be angry trying to not blame myself because I was in full on blame mode surely it’s one thing to have one kid, but to have two come on, it’s got to be you you know, you had to have done something wrong and that was really tough and having her up in the bay area was For a while, it was great, right up to the point it wasn’t, and she had gotten a good job, and she was living on her own, had gotten a cute little place, and then things really spiraled out of control, and that was when she went to real rehab the first time.
And the difference there was knowing this isn’t, The end all be all. This is just the beginning and watching and being worried about things, hoping for the best, but knowing that it was just the beginning. It was a rough road. And then my dad had Alzheimer’s really bad. Meantime, Joel had gotten the big arrest and was in jail down on the border.
And he had a five year sentence. And so we were driving down to see my dad and we were driving down to see Joel. I don’t know how I functioned, honestly. And then his sentence got reduced to three years and he got let out. But as part of the release, he had to go into a, state sponsored program. It was the best.
Best, best thing that ever happened to him. He got whole person treatment for the first time. he saw a doctor for the first time, first physical he’d ever had as an adult. that’s when we discovered he had a heart condition and he was seeing a psychiatrist. He was seeing a psychologist and he was on medically assisted treatment.
He was on impulse control medication. He was getting. Financial counseling and life skills training and it was a long program. It was seven to eight months long It was the first time ever that I saw Joel come to grips with what he had done to himself and not want to do that anymore and He started working a real job when you come out of jail they give you a felon friendly list of workplaces that most of them won’t hire you You Or they they only pay minimum wage and here’s where we get into complete justice reform how is somebody supposed to make restitution?
And find a place to live and build a family on minimum wage it’s a Guaranteed revolving door. the, the drug to prison pipeline is a very real thing and not to mention just the trying to live your life with those kinds of pressures hanging over your head is not good for anybody who, who has a kind of a tenuous hold on sobriety.
But he did great. He got trained in construction equipment. He got hired in at the union. He started working as a roofer and he had all these plans for his life. And he was counseling Becky on what she needed to do. 
[00:42:00] Brenda: I was gonna ask that. So you have you’re seeing your son back, which has got to be just a miracle.
So he’s doing well. And now, does he really understand what’s going on with you? No, 
[00:42:14] Bekah: I don’t think so. I don’t think anybody really understood what was going on with me. I was really good at manipulating everybody. And Just making people see what I wanted them to see. I’ve always had a very, it’s funny to use this word, but a very even keel, just a very like calm demeanor.
And so people. tend to think that you’re all right if you’re not freaking out all the time. Because anytime I’ve gone into treatment or anything people are like, why are you here? Are you sure you’re supposed to be here? And I’m like, yes. but it’s just, that’s just one of the things that like, I’ve, I’ve always just been able to make everybody think that I was okay.
Even when I was completely falling apart. And it can be a blessing and a curse because I am a very private person for the most part and so I don’t usually like a whole lot of people asking me if I’m okay and constantly just wanting to be in my business. But when everybody thinks you’re always okay, it seems like nobody really checks in on you.
They just assume that you’re okay. you’re fine. And then when I found myself on the opposite side of things and living that alternative lifestyle, I just couldn’t apologize to him enough for thinking that I knew anything about any of it, because that is one thing that’s unique about my, my perspective as far as my family.
goes is I’ve been on both sides, like I understand where my mom and my brother and my stepdad are coming from with them not understanding what it’s like and being confused and hurt and upset and frustrated and, just wanting you to just, just be better. But then I saw it from the other side and I understood that it’s not as easy as just getting better, so it’s just given me a kind of a unique perspective as far as my family goes.
So Joel and I actually ended up getting really, really, really close. I didn’t start using with Joel. I had started using in Northern California and then ended up moving back to San Diego. And at that time, Joel and I started using together. I had been using probably for about a year at that point, but for obvious reasons, we got close at that time because we were doing the same things.
But I had always been shielded to that and I didn’t know anything about it before. So it was hard to experience it. And. While I would never recommend anybody going through it, it did give me a much different sense of understanding about 
[00:44:50] Brenda: where he was coming from. I’m wondering, how do you transition from, as you said, air quotes, just being an alcoholic, knowing what your brother’s gone through, how does that Then proceed to harder drug use.
[00:45:06] Bekah: I’ve always said that I went to rehab for alcohol and that was when I met heroin. I, and, and that was never in a million years ever, ever something that I thought would be a part of my story. that was just, I think you said earlier, something that you saw on TV, and something that was part of other people’s lives.
I, I had never seen heroin. I had never known anybody that did it. I didn’t know anything about needles. I’ve never seen anybody use one. it was just not, not anywhere in my realm of possibilities. And. When I went to rehab, it was obviously you meet a lot of people, and I met a lot of people that, that used heroin and meth and everything in between.
And I met my, my ex boyfriend, unfortunately, and he basically, ultimately ended up introducing me to the whole life, the drugs and the drug dealing and everything that goes into it. I never used needles myself, thank God. But that became something that was just normal and people would be shooting up around me all the time.
There was just several, several times where I just looked around and was like, How the hell did this happen? Like, how did I allow my life to become this? It’s just, it never, And, and it really did happen very quickly because I went to rehab for my very first time when I was 30, maybe 31. Yeah. Yeah.
And I just turned 36. it happened really quickly. And I thought that I had lost things before that, but I lost everything, everything. And I became homeless and I completely lost all relationship with my family entirely. It was pretty. It was pretty bad. Absolutely. 
[00:47:04] Brenda: yeah, it’s, it’s literally a nightmare coming, like a parent’s worst nightmare, your own personal worst nightmare humming to life.
And I’m glad that you shared Becca how this was so far outside of the realm of anything that you could have ever imagined. Because I think there’s a perception when people see somebody who’s struggling like that, Oh, this is the choice they wanted. Which I never understand that because I can’t imagine that anybody would say, Oh, yeah, that’s that looks like a really great lifestyle.
Let me try that out. But so I was glad that you said that because I think that is a really salient point for people to understand is that this is not something where you were like, Oh, let me try this. Oh, let me try that. It was very much like that’s not part of your life. It is what in the movies.
It’s Oh, this is some other world. So now you and your brother are using together and Patti, do you know this 
[00:48:03] Pattie: when she came out of her? Rehab for alcohol and started getting into trouble with this guy and stuff. She Decided to go down to San Diego And she was going to live with Joel. I didn’t know Joel was back to using.
He lived down there, we lived up here. We would talk on the phone, we would text, but I didn’t know he was using again. And I was relieved that she was going to go stay with Joel. I thought, this is going to be good. And it wasn’t. Good. And, and it got to where it was just, it was chaos. she would be complaining to me about him and he would be complaining to me about her and, and they were both lying about everything.
It was horrible. It was awful. And the me who wants to fix everything is that’s it. I’m just driving down there and I’m just gonna, I’m going to fix this. I’m going to take care of this. And we drove down to do exactly that. And the minute I walked in the apartment, I, I knew all my worst fears were right.
It was back to having 7 million pieces of furniture shoved in this room so that you could sell something, I don’t know what the reason, but it’s just, everything looks like chaos and craziness. And She was mad at him and he was mad at me and we ended up just driving home I don’t I think we stayed a day and turned around and went home.
He didn’t want to see us and she didn’t want to come home with us, so we Turned around and went home
[00:49:45] Bekah: Things got really bad between joel and I Like, we were really, we were really, really, really close, but when you’re using drugs, there’s paranoia that sets in, you start thinking things that aren’t true, you start feeling like you can’t trust anybody that’s around you, and for good reason, because a lot of people you can’t trust that are around you.
And you find yourself in a lot of really, really chaotic situations and really dangerous situations. And I loved him with all my heart. I, that never changed. But it’s, you just can’t have any type of a healthy relationship with anybody when, when those drugs are involved. Like it’s just when they become the center of your world.
And that’s the only thing that’s driving you, there’s no way that you can have any sort of harmony anywhere in your life. 
[00:50:34] Brenda: Did you realize that you had entered an alternative universe? 
That was what was so strange because I I, was born and raised in San Diego. I lived there until I was, I think, 25 when I moved up to the Bay Area.
And so it was all I knew, and it was home, and it was comfortable, and then when I moved back after I started using, I saw a whole different side of San Diego that I didn’t even know existed. I saw the whole underbelly, and I saw a completely different state of mind, and felt a completely different vibe, so I was lost at that point, didn’t really know where I belonged.
At this 
[00:51:13] Brenda: point, Patty and Becca have a conversation about Joel’s health, and in particular, his heart. When he was at the county rehab program, he had a full physical, and they found out for the first time he had a heart condition. When he later relapsed, he started having issues with his heart, and on more than one occasion made trips to the hospital near where he was living.
One particular scary time was when he was arrested. Narcan on Joel and then left him alone in a jail cell. The problem is, when Narcan is administered to someone using opiates, unless the person is under medical supervision, they will go into full withdrawal. That is what happened to Joel and his heart couldn’t take the strain.
He had a heart attack right there in the jail cell. And after having CPR, he was taken from the jail to the hospital where he was chained to a bed under guard. And this is where Patty found him. 
[00:52:08] Pattie: And so anyway, he ends up in the hospital and they called me. And so I flew right down there and I had to go to the watch commander to get permission to see him.
So this whole long thing, I fly to San Diego, I rent a car, I drive out to the Vista courthouse. So I get the watch commander to. Sign something to say I can see him And the only reason they would let me see him was that it was considered life threatening And so I go over there to see him and there’s nothing like passing through guard after guard like Three rows of guards and you finally get to go into this room and your kid is chained to the bed chained to the bed and But he didn’t know I was coming and I can still see his face when he looked at that door and he saw me and he, Joel didn’t cry.
Joel would get, you kidding me, your hair, he just, I’ll never forget that. And one of the things that is, is a great solace is I know how much he loved me and I know how much he knew he was loved. 
[00:53:16] Brenda: My heart just breaks thinking about that moment. Seeing your child like that is almost unbearable to even think about.
[00:53:27] Pattie: So what, what happened next? So he was in a hospital, and it was a high end hospital. of course, they transferred him to a low end hospital once he was stable. He was supposed to have open heart surgery and have a pacemaker implanted, but the surgeon refused to implant a 100, 000 piece of equipment in a junkie’s chest.
Those were his words. So he was wearing a, External defibrillator, like a vest thing. And he said, mom, I can’t ever do drugs again. This is, I I’ll die if I do drugs again. So I, I can’t do drugs. And he ultimately got discharged through some kind of weird paperwork snafu. And so they discharged him with prescriptions and he’s wearing this vest.
And by then he’s homeless. And I, I drove down to see him like maybe three weeks at, I’d be like, Joel, what are you going to do? Where are you going to go? Oh, I’m living with this friend out in Valley center, which was way out in the middle of nothing. He was right back in the life. And I drove down to see him and I don’t even know where you were at that point back, but I was driving him around.
[00:54:46] Bekah: you guys brought him to my hotel and he had been using your phone to text message somebody to try to, to get something. This is the crazy 
[00:54:55] Pattie: ass life, right? Joel had gotten arrested and we paid that bail because I didn’t want him in a jail cell again, thinking he’s going to have a heart attack. He’s going to die.
We bailed him out, picked him up at the jail and he started using our phone. And so we dropped him off at this hotel. I didn’t realize you were there, Becca, dropped him off there. And then went to see my dad and started looking at my phone and realizing that was something just broke. I I’m in the hospital seeing my dad and I just picked up my kid at jail.
And he’s given me this song and dance while he’s texting people that he’s got certain things to sell them. and I remember texting him, shame on you. Shame on you. And he goes, yeah, shame on me, but I’ll have X amount of dollars by the end of the day. And then I can turn this around. Yeah. So 2017 was a shitty year.
She entered this program that was really bad, bad program. And she left. And I can’t really blame her for leaving it. It was a really bad place. But what I wish I had not done was I wouldn’t go get her. And so she ended up making her way down to San Diego and hooked back up with Joel. 
[00:56:17] Bekah: When I left that, that program, I left and I didn’t have anything.
I didn’t have any money. I didn’t have a working cell phone. I didn’t have a car, obviously. I didn’t have anything and I was just on foot in Vallejo, which is not anywhere, anywhere really. You want to be like on foot. And, and I was just like, I have to get back to Joel. I just have to get back to, to San Diego and to Joel and everything will be alright.
And it took me about five days. To get back there from the Bay Area to San Diego with no phone and no money, but I, I, I’m telling you, we can be very resourceful. Very resourceful. It’s, it’s amazing to look back on some of these things, but I got back to San Diego on my birthday and I was in bad, bad, bad shape.
My breathing was terrible. I was having asthma attacks like every 20 minutes. And I was just in really bad shape. And Thanksgiving was just a couple days after that. And all I wanted to do was spend it with Joel. I like had texted him. Cause I had a Wi Fi phone, but I said, can we just have a nice Thanksgiving, not any drama, not driving around trying to figure something out or make some money or do whatever.
Can we just try to have somewhat of a normal Thanksgiving, if that’s at all possible? And he said that we could, but of course we didn’t. it was just like any other day during that time. And that, so that was Thursday, obviously. That Monday was when he passed away.
[00:57:46] Pattie: He was sleeping in the park that night and. That was our last text exchange and the next morning I knew something was wrong and I called the San Diego Police Department and I said, can you please go find my son? He’s in a park and I’m worried for him. I just wanted somebody to pick him up and put him in jail again.
And I remember the dispatcher saying, do you know how hard it’s going to be to find a guy in the park? I said, he’s six foot three and he’s carrying a chihuahua. She said, Oh, maybe, but they didn’t. And I kept texting him and I kept texting and I didn’t get anything. And then he died on Monday.
[00:58:33] Brenda: It’s so unfathomable. Just hearing that and knowing that this is not some guy that you see in the park. This is. A person with a personality and a family and I think that gets forgotten when we hear statistics and we see these people who somehow we think are different from us in some way and they’re not.
They’re our kids, our neighbor’s 
[00:59:09] Bekah: kids. to add to what you were just saying, once I had ventured into the other side of life, that was one thing that I learned the hard way was that all these people that I had never even really seen before, now I was one of them. And, and it gave me obviously a whole new understanding of just how easy, how easy it is to get there.
And I remember one time it was raining really hard and my ex boyfriend and I were trying to just get out of the rain. We were homeless at the time and we went into a parking garage and we were just standing under the the awning thing and all these people were just being so Mean and ruthless and just trying to just push us out of the parking garage and make it so that we had nowhere to go And I remember I My mom called me and I said to her it’s hard being homeless and she’s you’re not homeless and I was like, but yeah, this is my life now, and it was a hard thing to, to admit.
And at that time, because my mom lives so far away and she wasn’t seeing it right in front of her that she didn’t see it that way either. That’s not 
[01:00:14] Pattie: what I meant. What I meant was you’re not homeless. You have a home. yeah, 
[01:00:20] Bekah: but like physically. It was very, strange because it’s like when you get a new car and you start seeing that car everywhere that you never really had seen before and you’re like, wow, I didn’t realize there were this many of them, that was when I started seeing all these other walks of life that I had just you’re just, you’re just blinded to them and you don’t even realize because you don’t give them.
You don’t give them a backstory and you don’t give them a family and a personality and all of that, so it’s just, it’s very interesting to be, to be in that world and, and actually seeing, seeing how prevalent it all really is, we had gotten back in touch with an old family friend of ours that he, That he was really close to in high school, and he had let us come and stay with him, and his mom had come over to the house at one point and found a stash of Joel’s needles, which was not okay at all.
And our friend had to basically give him the boot, and he was staying in the park across the street. It was a particularly cold morning and our friend woke up to go to work. And when he went out to his truck, Joel was sleeping in the back of his truck. And so he came in and he, he said, Becky, come get your brother.
And so I went out and I woke him up. And he was like, Oh my gosh, it’s so cold and he hops out of the truck and he’s shivering and I’m like, come inside and just lay down on the couch and watch TV with me or something. And he’s no, I’m going to go, lay in the bed. And he went into the room that was maybe about 10 feet away from me.
And I’m sitting there, watching TV and probably drinking a bottle of vodka and doing drugs at six o’clock in the morning on a Monday. And my dog was sitting on my lap. And she jumped up all of a sudden and ran over to his side and was barking at him and looking back at me and my heart just dropped.
I just knew. And I very slowly walked into the room and I was saying his name and I was telling him to wake up and he wasn’t moving. And I was shaking him and he wasn’t moving. And finally I almost ripped him off the bed at that point. Trying to wake him up and at that point I lifted his eyelids and he just wasn’t there at all.
I, I just didn’t even know what to do. I completely froze and I called my friend and yeah, it just, it just was complete chaos and 
[01:02:53] Brenda: he was gone. I assume that this was an overdose that, that he died from. He went in 
[01:03:01] Bekah: his sleep and if, I guess if it had to happen, that’s the best way that it could have happened.
My mom had mentioned that he had an external defibrillator and at that time this girl had stolen it from him. that can just give you a glimpse of how that life is. And that’s one thing that weighs on me constantly is I didn’t understand, how fragile he was. So it sounds like his body just stopped.
Yeah, and he was getting, progressively weaker. Like my mom said, it just seemed like his hope was gone. And that was definitely true in, in the way that he was carrying himself and the way that he was talking. And, and there wasn’t as much laughter. There wasn’t really anything that had any, happiness or joy to it.
He had pretty much just given up on having any semblance of a happy or satisfying life at that point. And so I think maybe that his body had just followed suit. 
[01:03:55] Pattie: Yeah. Yeah, the toxicology report, he had a lot of drugs in his system. 
[01:04:03] Bekah: I’ve said he didn’t die of an overdose, but he died due to his intravenous heroin and meth use over, so many years.
And it may not have caused his heart problems, but it absolutely made them significantly worse. so I don’t at all discredit the fact that it was drug related.
[01:04:30] Brenda: So just hearing all of that, we just took a little pause just for people to know because It’s so much, it’s so heavy, it’s just almost heartbreaking beyond anything that I can describe. And we took a little break, but what we thought we would do is share what happens from here, because I think the Disney version of this movie would be, Becca sees how dangerous this lifestyle is.
The family is grieving the loss of your, your son, your brother, and you, Becca, say, I’m going to make a lifestyle change and get better, and life goes on. That is not what happened. 
[01:05:20] Bekah: I wish I could say that that was. What happens from there? It got progressively worse. It was really hard at that time for me because then I felt really, really, really alone.
I had felt, alone for a while because I was living this different lifestyle that I wasn’t used to at all. And I had left all of my relationships and family and friends and everything behind and lost all the things that I knew about life up to that point. But then when I lost Joel, I really, really felt like I, like I had nobody and especially in my family because then I didn’t feel like there was anybody in my family that could understand where I was coming from or that I could relate to.
I just really went into a very dark, dark place and I started using even heavier and I started taking a lot more risks as far as crime is involved, honestly, and didn’t really care about any of the consequences. I was getting in a lot of trouble. I got arrested several times after that. And I was doing it all on my own.
I was living in and out of hotels, in and out of cars, sleeping on people’s couches. And as a female in that lifestyle, it’s just not a very safe place to be, period. And especially when you’re under the influence of some very heavy drugs, it’s definitely not a safe place to be. So looking back on it, I’m very blessed to have come out of it, because there was definitely very many situations that were, could have gone a whole, a whole lot worse for me.
yeah, I do wish that I could say that was something that would wake me up, but it, it wasn’t. 
[01:07:06] Brenda: Sounds like it almost did the opposite where you spiraled down even further and so Patti you’re watching this She had made 
[01:07:13] Pattie: her way up to Northern, California by then So for most of those really bad four years, she was never very far from us Sometimes she wouldn’t tell me where she was Or she would be at so and so’s house.
Of course, I never even knew who so and so was and then she would call me from jail. So because she was a woman and I, after Joel died, I really threw myself into advocacy and learning more. And the more I learned and the more that, that my exposure to stuff grew, the more terrified I was of what she was going through, but she wouldn’t take any help.
She wouldn’t. And, and the thing about Becca is that was very different from Joel is she’s very independent. So it’s not like I need to come and crash with you, which Joel would just announce that he was moving back in for, a few weeks or something, but she never was like that. And, and there were times I wished she would, and, and that I would even say, why don’t you just come home for a while and get, get safe.
Thanks. picked her up one time on the side of the road, literally, and took her to the hospital. Picked her up in a hotel after she’d almost been robbed. It was terrifying. It was, it was terrifying and, and you felt so powerless. And so helpless, but all I could do was I would text her. I would tell her I loved her.
I would tell her she could come home. I would send her lyrics to songs because that had always been me and Joel’s thing. And then it became me and Becky’s thing. And. I just wanted that door to be left open. And if I didn’t hear from her for a few days, then I was really panicking, but I didn’t know any of her circle.
One guy, his dad texted me and said, you need to find Becca and do something because she’s in real danger. The guy she’s hanging around with is armed and, and I’m like, what am I supposed to do with this? What am I supposed to do with this information? it just would be terrifying, so not only have I lost my son and I’m grieving all of that, I’m grieving somebody who’s not even dead.
And she would 
[01:09:33] Bekah: constantly text me or call me and, and, and tell me that she’s terrified that she’s going to lose me, like she lost troll, or that she woke up in the middle of the night because she had a feeling that something had happened to me, or not even like scared that I’m going to, to die, but just waiting for it to happen.
And. And that just made me feel terrible, like absolutely terrible. Not enough to make me get help at that time, but I would always be telling her, No mom, Joel and I, we were different. The way I use is different than the way Joel used, but the more that I lived in that life, the harder it was for me to deny that that was a very real possibility for me, just as much as it was for him.
While I may not go the exact same way, there’s several other factors that could have taken me out easily. And finally it got to the point where I was at some random person’s house, I didn’t know from Adam, and I had just been robbed the night before, literally everything had been taken from me. And I overdosed and it was like to the point where they almost Narcan ed me, and And it was something that I had taken that I didn’t even know.
It was a fentanyl based Xanax, was what it was. And so I didn’t even know that I was taking fentanyl. It was really scary and I was really, really sick. I was throwing up a lot. And I could barely even move off the couch. And she had always been sending me messages about going to treatment and sending me different links to different Different programs I could go into and she was always saying that she would come and pick me up and take me, Like my mom never ever stopped and to be completely honest.
I barely ever clicked on the links that she would say But I never ever felt like she was giving up on me ever, And I think her all the time for that now She called me That day, and it was just a few days before my birthday, last year. And she told me about your, your podcast and about how she had heard about the NetDevice.
[01:11:28] Brenda: In October of last year, 2021, I hosted a screening for members of the stream to watch the documentary, The Final Fix. The film follows four guys through their experience with having nut treatment at Isaiah House in Kentucky. Patty was one of the members who watched the documentary shortly after she had listened to the podcast.
[01:11:51] Pattie: Actually, back up, because the weekend that we saw the final fix, Becca was at the house, and I had asked you to watch it with us, but you were in the bathroom, locked in there, and wouldn’t come out and see the movie. And so when we were driving her back to this place where she was staying, we listened to the podcast with the filmmaker, and And I turned to her in the car and I said, if that was available, because at that time we thought it wasn’t available anywhere, in the U.
S., and I said, if that was available, would you go? And she said, in a heartbeat, and I was just like, this is so unfair. This is so wrong. Then when I found out about the trial, and then I think I reached out to you, Bryn, and I said, Oh my God, there’s actually, there’s a trial going on. And then I texted her and I said, That thing you said you would try, there’s actually a trial.
And she’s What? And she always says, Shut the front door. And she’s shut the front door. I said, Would you go if I can get you in? And she said, Yeah. I’d go. She had said yes to nothing. Nothing. Clearly, she wasn’t clicking on the links I sent her. she’d said yes to nothing, but she said yes to that.
[01:13:03] Bekah: at that point, you should have seen the situation that I had, found myself in. When you’re texting me and I’m, like, looking around, My life at that point, and I was just like, why not? what am I doing with myself? And what am I expecting to achieve out of any of this? Like nothing, nothing good is going to come of this.
And I’m not going to be able to pull myself out of this situation. Like it’s getting progressively worse and it’s getting progressively dangerous. And I’m really going to find myself in a, situation that I’m not going to be able to walk away from. And so I, at that point, when she said it was in Kentucky, that may as well have been Tokyo.
I was like, okay, Kentucky. like when she very first even mentioned the device to me, I was like, yeah, sure. That’s not real. That can’t be. That can’t be real. That’s not a thing. 
[01:13:54] Brenda: I would love to ask you, Becca, because your mom and I do coaching and we are always Talking to parents who have kids in your exact position when you were still using and they are desperate to understand when does that thought process change?
Like when does it transition from I’m not clicking on the link. I’m just going to keep doing this thing. I’m just going to keep going to this place. I’m just going to keep getting high. And then something changed where you said, I can’t keep doing this. I looked at my life and, and All the parents that we work with are looking for that light bulb, like, where is that switch?
Where do I find that switch? And what we always tell them, so I’m curious to hear your perspective on this, is we always tell them you can’t find the switch. The switch is with them. Yeah. And until they find the switch, all you can do is be there like your mom was for you. Is that true? Or what, what’s the thought process that you’re going through then?
[01:15:00] Bekah: Absolutely. Like there, there is, there’s definitely not anything that anybody else can say or do that’s going to make you get help and actually get clean and make those changes. Absolutely. Absolutely. I would try to explain to my mom all the time. It sounds so simple to you, yeah, just go to treatment.
Yeah, that sounds like nothing to you. But I have to change every single part of my life. Literally every single part of my life. Which, in that situation, from the outside looking in, it’s yeah, why wouldn’t you change every part of your life? But, it’s very overwhelming and it’s hard to admit that you’ve fucked up so bad.
And two, it’s It’s hard to take that first step because you can’t help but look at everything that you have to do and all the little cliches and stuff that you hear in AA and NA and stuff when they say like one step at a time or one day at a time. easy does it and all that stuff like that, that is real.
You really have to just do one small step at a time and those steps gradually get bigger and, and you make more stride and you get, you, all these blessings start coming to you, but when you’re in that pit of despair and you’re stuck in that, Whole, it just seems so impossible to get out of that. And if you decide to go to treatment and you get some clean time under your belt and you start doing the things that you need to be doing, it starts to get easier.
You look back on that and you’re like, Oh my God, like, why didn’t I just do that? like it’s, and at that time, obviously it’s a lot easier to look back and be like, if I would have known it was going to be that easy, I would have done that years ago. But it’s, it’s not easy and it just really is a very daunting task.
[01:16:49] Brenda: So you, you’re thinking my mom’s crazy. She’s telling me about some device and it’s in Kentucky, which who knows where that is, but you’re like, okay, I’ll 
[01:17:01] Bekah: go. yeah, I mean the, the device in, in my mind, I was thinking like, yeah, if that’s real, that’s amazing. Absolutely. And who wouldn’t want to do that? but I really didn’t.
Fully believe it. And when she said Kentucky, like somebody asked me, what do you think of Kentucky before you got here? And I was like, I didn’t ever, ever, I was never recently that crossed my mind. So the thought of. That a little bit easier for me to, to make the decision because it would completely take me out of the environment that I was in.
There’s no, there’s no way for me to go back to those, those neighborhoods or those people that I was hanging out with and out here, all of the relationships that I’ve made and everything that my life is based on, basically surrounded by is all based in recovery. And so that’s helped a tremendous amount.
In the past, when I’ve gone to treatment facilities in California, it was all too easy for me to just call somebody and, and be right back to whatever I was doing. And there was a lot of hurt and trauma and reminders all over the place that kind of just would take me right back to, to how I was feeling, before.
So it’s been, it’s actually been really helpful for me to be in a completely new environment. I don’t really miss California. I pretty much, just left a path of destruction, like, all over, up and down the whole state of California, so when I left there, there wasn’t really much, I miss my family in California, but there wasn’t really much left for me out there, so it’s like I got a clean slate out here, and so it’s just, just something to be aware of for, Family members that are going through the struggle when you’re trying to go get help, just know that it’s not easy, as easy as you may think that it is, or however bad their life has gotten.
And you think just, just go and it’s just, it’s a, it’s a harder step to 
[01:19:01] Brenda: take. The perspective that we have from looking from the outside in is very, very different because it just seems so logical and so easy. And I hear that a lot. So I’m glad that you said that. So Patty, you’re now thinking.
Oh my gosh, she’s willing to go. I got to get my daughter from California to Kentucky and she 
[01:19:25] Bekah: didn’t give me any time. I was trying really hard to be like, let’s just wait until after my birthday or let’s wait until after Thanksgiving. And in typical fashion, looking back on it, I’m like, Oh, she did the right thing there because I would have just prolonged it until forever.
who knows what could have happened in that time. So you just bolted. 
[01:19:44] Pattie: Yeah. I’m talking to them and they’re like, yes, we’ll take her. I never in California. Stand on one foot, face the east, turn your head this direction, give us the blood of your firstborn child and, and then maybe get in this line and make sure you call every single day to see if there’s a bed.
It’s impossible. And I called them and I was like, Prepared to beg. I had gotten every credit card I had and I was like, I’ve got this much money here and this much money and I didn’t care. I was like, please take her. And they were like, of course, we’ll take her. like what? Okay. So then I was telling her, I said, Hey, you can go right away.
And, and then she’s My birthday’s coming, Joel’s anniversary’s coming, those aren’t good days for me. And, and I said to her, you have not spent those days with us for the last three years. I don’t know how you get through them, but it, it can’t be good. let’s just try it this way. I think the fact she was at this house that she didn’t know these people, she’d just been robbed, and she took the Xanax.
That, I think, was the thing, because she called and said, I need to go now. I was afraid, okay, now she said yes, and now I can’t get there. 
and I was terrified to just put her on a plane and send her. And when I picked her up at that place, I thought, she’s dead. She’s not going to survive the plane ride.
And she got in the car. How many times did we have to pull over because you were still throwing up? And I don’t know how many times, but she came here and I was going through all of her clothes that she had stashed here and trying to put things together to pack her a bag. And she was finally able to go to sleep.
And I said, why don’t you take a shower and get dressed and then just lay down and I’ll get you up when we have to go to the airport because we’re going to have to get up at, oh, dark 30. And she’s no, I’m, I’m good. I’ll get up and shower. And when I, old habits take a long time to break.
And when I woke up. I just knew for sure I was going to come out here and she was still zonked out or she’d somehow gotten high or something. And I heard the shower and I’m like, she’s in the shower. And then I’m like, no, she’s not in. She’s in there getting high, and then I go to the bathroom door and I’m knocking on it.
And she’s I’m good mom. I’m, I’m in the shower. I’m almost done. And, and then I knew she’s, she’s going. 
[01:22:14] Bekah: I basically just latched on to my mom’s belt loop and just followed her to wherever I needed to go. The whole thing was just like a big blur to me. If I had just been dropped off at the airport, there was no way I was going to make it to my gate and do all those things that you would need to do.
So I basically was just autopilot, just following wherever she took me. And she got me there. That’s 
[01:22:34] Brenda: a hard thing for me to do. And were you going into withdrawals? Because I’m thinking by this point, you, you’re used to being completely pumped full of. Drugs, like how are you functioning at this point? 
So this is something that you don’t know mom I’m, probably not gonna be surprised.
I was gonna say I don’t think you can shock your mom I had brought my heroin with me on both of the planes I had it when I walked into Isaiah House. I handed it to them when I, when I started my intake. 
[01:23:09] Brenda: So you had it just in case? 
[01:23:12] Bekah: I was using it most of the time. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I, I knew that I was going into treatment and I wasn’t trying to sneak it into treatment with me, but I wasn’t planning on stopping until I absolutely had to stop.
And when I got there, there was actually a split second where I went outside to smoke a cigarette right after I had this little tiny intake with. And, and I went to smoke a cigarette right before they really bring you into the facility. And my mom was talking to a lady and I was outside smoking by myself.
And there was a brief second where there was this ledge and I was like, I could just hide it over that ledge and I come get it later. And in that like brief moment, one of the peer support specialists walked out and started talking to me. And I was like, all right, I’ll take that as a sign. And I just.
Surrendered right there basically that I was gonna like actually, do this really do this and not try to take any shortcuts and so I just handed it to her right then and there. 
[01:24:08] Pattie: Wow. it’s a five hour plane ride five plus two and I thought what’s going to happen if we’re on the plane and she starts.
Getting sick, and so a couple times I stood up and turned around to look at her because she was sitting behind me and looked around, to look at her and I didn’t know if I was going to find her dead or if I was going to find her really sick. So I wasn’t surprised back. I figured you were because you were just zonked out.
You were just. I wish I had taken a picture of you before you got to Isaiah house. It was scary. It was like, should she use? Should she not use? I think she probably should use. But I’m not going to make that suggestion. I’m just going to, 
[01:24:55] Brenda: play dumb. Wow. So you were on the NET device for seven days.
You must have been really wondering what the heck is this because you’ve been to treatment many times before this is not anything like what you’ve been through before. What was that like? 
[01:25:16] Bekah: I, I got there and nobody knew that I was even supposed to be there. Be getting the So I had gone through like the whole intake process and everything and I’m starting to feel pretty crappy And I finally get to lay down and at that point when you’re going through There’s a whole lot of questions They got to ask you and there’s a whole lot of things that they got to explain to you And it’s just like a long daunting process and when you’re Not feeling well, it’s, it feels like it’s taking even longer and so when I finally got to lay down, I just laid down and went to sleep when I was woken up to do my actual intake, which is like a really long, like asking you all your, medical history and all of your using history and everything else that goes, that goes into it.
It’s a very long, question and answer process. And I was just not having it. I was just like, I was just a terrible person to all these poor people that were trying to get me like into the program. And I was like, I’m not answering any of your questions. I came all the way out here from, from California for this, for this device.
And you guys don’t even have the freaking device. what is going on here? what is this show that you’re running? And, and so they, they got in contact. With the person that was in charge of all of it and they made some stuff happen and they got the device over there and by the time they got there, I was really going through it.
I was like getting into like acute draws and I was sick and very anxious and not in a good place at all. But just a couple minutes later, the nurse was like, she’s going to be here in an hour. And I was like, Oh, okay. And so she came and, and they got me hooked up on the device. And as they were putting it behind my ears, I was like, I can still take Suboxone if I’m not feeling well, right?
And, and she was like, you’re, you’re not going to need it, just, just wait. And I’m not even exaggerating. Within 20 minutes, you could see a complete change in, in me. I sat straight up. I stopped fidgeting. I apologized to everybody for being a complete, a complete terrible person. I was like, I swear I’m not normally like that.
And I was able to answer all the questions that they were asking me. I wasn’t feeling sick whatsoever. It literally it’s so hard to believe and it’s still hard to believe when I’m saying it and I went through it, but it literally alleviated almost 100 percent of my withdrawal symptoms. It was unreal.
[01:27:40] Brenda: It had to have been so surreal for you in that moment to be like in that, in your body. 
[01:27:47] Bekah: Yeah, I couldn’t believe it. I had heard about it from what my mom had played for me and stuff, and I had done like a tiny bit of research on it and stuff, but it didn’t seem the claims that they were making could possibly be true, and then when I got to experience it myself, it was just like, wow, this is a game changer.
This is absolutely, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and tell everybody about it because if this is something that’s offered to people, As well as suboxone, methadone, whatever other, forms of quote unquote treatment that they’re giving people, it’s, it’s just, it’s an amazing, amazing treatment.
[01:28:25] Brenda: And you didn’t have withdrawal symptoms or cravings or anything? Was it just smooth from there on out? 
Yes. there’s a lot that goes in to addiction other than just like physical withdrawals and cravings, obviously about, and so there was still a whole lot of work that I had to do. But as far as the physical aspects of it, they were, they were completely gone.
And, and that’s why it’s so just an unbelievable and amazing because it gets you. Out of that physical distress and that incredible uncomfortable feeling and it allows you to start tackling all those issues that you really need to start adjusting to, to be able to deal with the addiction problem. 
[01:29:12] Brenda: You had the device on your behind your ears for seven days and during those seven days are you.
Like getting therapy or are you just like those seven days are like the physical process of getting everything out of your system and then did you transition into like therapy and all that hard work that you mentioned like it’s still there. All the yuck is still underneath. 
[01:29:37] Bekah: Yeah, I, I transitioned into it right away and, and had I not used the device, I would have been going through all of those withdrawal symptoms and dealing with all of that for probably that whole time that I had the net device on and, and I wouldn’t have been able to be, even if I had attended classes or gone to therapy or anything during that time, I wouldn’t have been present for it.
I wouldn’t have been able to like, really absorb any of. Material or really get very far as far as the journey that I had to go on, but taken away just allowed me to just jump right into it and do it with a clear head, which I had not had in a very long time. 
[01:30:20] Brenda: Yeah, 

was gonna say that must have been so bizarre to be like, Oh, this is me.
Yeah, 
[01:30:27] Bekah: yeah, it definitely was. You get so stuck. And that way that of life that you have been living for so long and you start to forget what quote unquote normal even feels and it’s hard to imagine it and it’s hard to recognize it if you do feel it. So when I felt like I had a clear head for the first time in so long, it was like weird.
It was, it was definitely different. But it was good. Different, and it was just crazy because I, I looked different. The color of my skin looked different. The sound of my voice was different. Ev everything was just different. And, and it was just absolutely just amazing. I, I just can’t , it’s so hard to even describe like how incredible it was.
[01:31:13] Brenda: there just aren’t words for that because you’re literally going from walking dead to alive. And Patty, are you staying there with her or did you fly back? Because I have to imagine as a mom, you’re just like, what is going on? 
[01:31:31] Pattie: a lot of times when I would check her or Joel into a thing, they’re like, Okay.
Thanks. we’ll reach out to you when we need another check. They, they don’t want you to anything and by ATM and these people loved on me like, and I couldn’t take it. It was, I felt like I was glass. Just don’t, don’t hug me. Don’t touch me. Don’t do anything because I’m going to break. I fell apart there because I could feel how much they cared about her.
And I wasn’t just handing her off to a program, and one of the girls turned to me and said, don’t worry, mama, we’ve got her, we’re going to just love on her and, and that just wrecked me, just wrecked me. And, I just stood by that door and I, and I hugged her and stuff. Then I was like, I got to get out of here.
I got to get out of here because I’m going to be ugly crying in a minute. And I just got to get out of here. 
[01:32:33] Bekah: he said, she’s our 
[01:32:33] Pattie: baby now. Yeah. Yeah. And, and they were just all Just like warm people. I don’t know. And I went outside and I sat in the dark waiting for my uber to come and i’m bawling, and and I thought he’s gonna come and pick me up and think i’m running away because I have a suitcase and i’m crying And then somebody came outside they were leaving and and they said are you gonna be all right?
I said i’m fine. I’m fine So I flew home. I called This gentleman who’s in the finance department who had been the one I had talked to the most when I was trying to get her In there the one who had said yes, we’ll take her. We’ll take her I called him and I said, I just want to tell you thank you, thank you for your help and he goes well, I heard she’s doing great And he said she had a lot of drugs in her system, and he said she had heroin, meth, and fentanyl.
And when he said fentanyl, I, I lost it. that had been my, how it is out there now. that had been my biggest fear, and she kept saying, don’t worry, mom, I got my strips. And, and when he said that, I was just like, holy shit. We just, we just dodged a bullet. And I, I cried with him and then he said, nobody ever calls and says, thank you to me.
That was really sweet. And then I called back the next day and I, and I said, I’m sorry to call again to the regular house where she was. And they said, you call us anytime you want. When I finally got to talk to you, she said, this place is like no place I’ve ever been before. And, and that was what I had felt.
[01:34:19] Bekah: It was just completely different this, this time around. Every other time that I had gone to treatment, there had been a specific purpose. I was trying to get a letter to the D. A., or there was some sort of something that I was trying to get out of, or it wasn’t because I, I wanted to get help. I had just gotten to a point in my life where I had no, they say, rock bottom, and I definitely had hit rock bottom.
Rock bottom. Rock bottom. there wasn’t, there wasn’t anything left for me. 
[01:34:45] Brenda: How long ago was that that you arrived in Kentucky? 
[01:34:50] Bekah: I got here on November 16th. 
[01:34:53] Brenda: Wow. 
[01:34:54] Bekah: So not very long. Not very long ago at all. I celebrate four months in five days. 
[01:35:01] Brenda: Incredible. to see you, and I wish everybody could see you because You’re just beautiful and radiant and so articulate, obviously, and to think that that has been four months is mind boggling.
It’s completely mind boggling. And when I first did the podcast with Norman Stone, who is the director of The Final Fix, And then I was able to get Owen fielding on, who you probably know, Becca, who’s with NetRecovery, and I just thought, holy cow, we have got to get this information out here, and we’ve got to tell more people about this, but never in a billion years would I have thought that my friend and colleague, Patty, would, that this whole thing could even have happened.
Possibly happen. It’s just, it’s so incredible in such a short amount of time. And so I want people, I want you to tell people what you’re doing now, Becca, because I think it just, it makes everything come full circle. 
[01:36:09] Bekah: So while I was at Isaiah House, For treatment, we, in the second phase that I was in the IOP program, we watched the final fix because like my mom mentioned, I didn’t watch it when they, when they watched it at their house.
And so I finally got to see it and I had, I had the device off by that time for like probably five weeks or so, but I wanted, I had wanted to see it so badly and I kept bringing it up to Rob. are you, are you going to show it or are you going to show it? And he finally let us watch it. So I got to see Rob when he first used the device and that was another really cool thing was I was in treatment with somebody that also had used the device.
So there was somebody that I could absolutely relate to and we’d like swap stories and then I got to watch the documentary and see where he came from and how, how much it had changed his life and also heard the entire origin of, of the net device and, and Dr. Mike Patterson and, and Murr and all of the work that they’ve put up, put into it and how long it’s been around and how hard it’s been for them to get it out to the masses, the powers that be are trying to put a stop to that.
And it just infuriated me. 
[01:37:19] Brenda: By this point, Becca had been at Isaiah House for a little over a month, but what she didn’t know was that the woman who had helped her the night she arrived, almost dead and high on heroin, fentanyl, and several other drugs, was Dr. Meg Patterson’s daughter, Myrrh. Myrrh took the reins from her mother when she passed and has been working tirelessly on getting FDA approval for NET.
[01:37:45] Bekah: And even though I had used the device, I didn’t know all of the history of it and everything. And so I had met Mer Winston several times at that time. She’s the one that put it on me and she was the one that I would do my daily checks with and all of that. But I did not know that it was her mother that had founded it and that had pioneered the whole thing.
And so after watching the final fix, then I saw her the next day and I just ran up to her and just wanted to give her a giant hug, and thank her for not giving up the fight because they’ve been trying so hard. And there’s, they’ve put so much work into this to get it out to people because it is, like I said, it’s a game changer.
The fact that they’ve been met with so many red box and so much red tape and they haven’t given up and they’re still fighting to get it out there. And I just couldn’t stop thanking her for doing all that. I wanted to get involved somehow because I really wanted to raise awareness to it and to help, also get it up.
And she, she was like, yeah, no, definitely. We always want people to be involved in some way because The more people that are talking about it, the more people know about it, the better it is. And so when I did finally complete at Isaiah House back in January, I was on Facebook and I saw a post that they were hiring research assistants and I was like, Oh my gosh, that would be so cool.
So I sent an email and Owen actually responded and said that they required You had 12 to 24 months sobriety, and I was like, okay, I understand that it’s like out of respect to both the company and myself, but I asked him if there was a way that I could get involved just to raise awareness. And he’s absolutely.
We’re always looking for that. So just a couple weeks later, I got a call and they actually decided to, to hire me as a research assistant. So I’ve now been working with the NetDevice people for about a month now. And it’s just. It’s just amazing. Absolutely. Just the coolest thing Looking back on everything.
It’s just so crazy and just such a wild ride and like how everything that brought me to this point Like it’s very hard for me to think that it didn’t happen for a reason And that this was what I think I was called to do. So 
[01:39:52] Brenda: I think absolutely you were I just have chills because I I agree that you go through so much.
I watched my son do the same thing And then you come out the other side and you realize that you can make such a difference in so many people’s lives and how lucky for them to have somebody like you who is not just like doing it for a job, right? You’re passionately involved. And it’s just so, incredible to see that.
And I just know you’re going to put the world on fire with this and the fact that you’re working with Murr. It’s just, it makes my heart so happy, and I’m sure, Patty, if my heart is happy, your, it doesn’t even come close to what yours has to be. Oh, God. 
[01:40:43] Pattie: Sometimes I can’t stop smiling. we have such a tight community in the stream that you facilitate, and it’s I can tell these people because I understand what was happening.
And I have this weird little recovery posse on Twitter, and nobody cares where you are or what your thing was or what happened or whatever, and I posted something, and I said, my, my baby girl is 100 days sober. I can’t stop smiling. And people are just like piling on. It’s like a load is off me. And there’s a lot of trauma still that goes on.
I, I dream, I have horrible dreams. And then I wake up and it’s it’s a dream. It’s a dream. It’s a dream. Yeah. But it, it, eyes wide open. If it happened for us, it can happen for others. And our job, our responsibility is to just be there for other people. Becca has a path now. She has a, a calling.
My calling is to help other parents. Come alongside them when it when there is no hope when death has come to their door. That’s what it’s all about I have my best friend back. She has a really wicked sense of humor and From high school on it was like there was just like twisted things we could say to each other and it was totally okay And, and she’s in her sobriety now, she’s, she’s back.
that twisted, weird, dark person is back. And I was telling somebody, I said, Oh my God, she’s, she’s so perfect. She’s. she’s spiritual and she’s beautiful and she’s sarcastic and she’s profane and she’s all the good things, again, yeah, 
[01:42:35] Brenda: I just wonder what role it played for you, knowing that your mom was there.
She didn’t disown you. She didn’t. Say, you’re out like you are never talking to you again. What role did that play when you were in some of those conversations with yourself about, could I get out of this? 
[01:42:56] Bekah: my mom, she never did once give up on me, and I, I can’t thank her enough for that.
Not everybody is lucky enough to have that. She 1000% never, never failed to let me know that. That she was there for me, not in the sense that she was going to enable me, but that if, whenever I was ready to take the steps that I needed to take to, to change my life, that she would do whatever she could to support that she would send me treatments to look at and send me different places that I could go and offer me to come stay with them and the countless sleepless nights and all the good Heartbreak that I put her and the whole family through, because she would have done anything for me to get better.
And, and the sad thing is that that still wasn’t enough, that’s a giant burden that parents wear when they want so badly for their child to just get better and they can’t make them better, and that’s just a fact of that is their own personal journey and they have to be the ones that take those steps.
I’ve read this other thing that said, change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. And I was like, that pretty much sums it up. It’s like, when the whole like saying of when you’re sick and tired being sick and tired, it’s like, it’s very real because nobody is going to be able to do that.
Take that journey for you, and as much as my mom wanted to fix everything, she’s a big fixer and she wears the weight of the world on her shoulders. She couldn’t do that for me and I still can’t thank her enough for being there for me and putting up with putting up with all of my. Madness, because there was certainly a lot of it, but she has a heart of gold and I’m eternally grateful for her.
Absolutely. 
[01:44:48] Brenda: you hit it on the head because every parent listening and every parent out there who’s going through this, we, and I put myself in that category, we think that we can fix it. It’s if I just found the right program, if I just said the right thing, if I just held the right boundary, if I, if I, if I, if I, and so I’m glad to hear that.
I think it’s incredibly helpful to hear from someone like you who’s been there to say, I had to make the decision on my own. And that pain that teeter totter had to tip in the direction of too much pain and that your parents. Can be there for you and they can love you and they can do all those things, but they cannot fix it.
Yeah, 
[01:45:37] Bekah: and I think on that on that same note, it’s definitely worth mentioning that it’s not your fault Either because I think that was also something that guilt that she carried with her for a very long time Especially after joel passed away just her Constantly reflecting and thinking God, if I just would have done this, or if I just wouldn’t have done that, or if I didn’t, I didn’t kick him out that one time, or if I, and she was, she was doing the best that she could, and she was doing what she thought was, but she didn’t have any manual for any of this, there’s no manual that would be able to work for every single person.
And I think that that’s a really hard pill to swallow for a lot of people when they’re looking at their children and they’re just. Carrying all of that with them that there could have been something that they did or whatever they could have done to to protect them from that. But my mom did everything.
Amazingly. And when I look back on my life, I was a very blessed child and I was given everything that I could have possibly ever needed. And like I said, I’m lucky to, to have somebody like that in my corner because not everybody has that, A lot of people are doing this on their own and the fact that she had that truly unconditional love for me and, and was just always there for me in any way that I could have possibly needed outside of my manipulation tactics.
Yes. there’s always those. Because that’s a lot to sift through as a parent. Are they being honest about wanting to get better? Are they just trying to get something out of me? And that’s a lot to go through because us as addicts, we can be very, very. cunning and can be very conniving and deceitful and just really hurtful, and so It’s a lot to try to get through and try to be doing the right thing at all times But I mean with all of the obstacles that she had to go through she did a pretty stellar job 
[01:47:35] Brenda: It’s so special.
There’s, there’s really not even words for a mother, who almost lost two of your babies. I can’t even think of how it must feel to have snatched her back. Really, that’s what I see in my mind is no, you don’t get her to. And for you, Becca, to have seen both sides and now to be doing what you’re doing and helping people because you have been there, you can relate to them and, and you can hear their stories and not judge them is just such a blessing to, it’s going to be to so many people and you both are just going to be.
Change agents in so many people’s lives, Patty, you from helping parents. And I guess in, in wrapping up, I would ask, if you’ve got the attention of at least a couple thousand people, mostly probably frazzled parents where you were at one point. And possibly even some, if somebody clicks on the link that their mom sends them and listens to this, which we know probably won’t happen a lot, but in case it does, what would each of you just want people to know?
[01:48:50] Pattie: I think as parents, we, we want to fix everything and we also take the blame for everything. And, and I think if you can just shrug that off and say, All I can do is love them where they are, but that’s the only thing I can do is love them, pray for a miracle, and pray that that, that penny drops at some point, try to not take the blame for everything, somehow find a place where you can take care of yourself long enough to have a sense of hope and gain some perspective.
That’s what I would say is the more, to. I think the easier that it is, the more you know about the disease, the more you know about what, what they’re up against, I think it helps, so that you’re not just operating from, why don’t you just get it together, or I’m just so angry at you, why don’t you, why are you doing this to me, and realizing they’re not doing this to me, this is, this is their disease.
That’s beautiful. 
[01:49:57] Bekah: I read once this quote that really resonated with me and it was, never get so comfortable in pain that you forget happiness is still an option. And sadly, I think that that’s where a lot of us addicts find ourselves, that becomes our normal, all of that chaos and all of that, all of that hurt and constant just turmoil.
We don’t feel happiness or anything else besides any of that is. It’s an option for us anymore, and it feels like it’s just so out of reach and impossible to attain. I just wanted to reach out to everybody out there that’s still struggling with it, that, that it absolutely is still an option, and, and there’s so much life to live out there.
And if you feel like you don’t have anything to offer, the possibilities are absolutely endless. There was something that I had read that there was two pots and one of the pots was able to hold a full pot of water and the other pot had a huge crack in it, and so it would leak out half of the water by the time the person got to the top of the hill.
And the person, after a couple years of holding these pots, said to the crapped pot that they had actually been watering all of the flowers as they walked up the hill and so that pot had a purpose still, and it’s just like I keep finding little gems like that in everything, it’s just Life is so beautiful and mysterious and awesome and when you’re constantly numbing yourself and beating yourself up and running from whatever you might be running from, you’re missing out on so much.
And so there’s always hope, like that day could be the day that your whole life just turns around, That’s so amazing. 
[01:51:39] Brenda: I was going to ask you that because when you were So deep in that lifestyle, did you think you were ever going to get out of it? 
[01:51:49] Bekah: it’s interesting because at each like stage in my life, I had to come to terms with certain things.
There was certain points in my life where I had to admit very hard truths to myself. like I was homeless and I was a heroin addict and I was in an abusive relationship and I was in jail. Ways that I never thought my life would go, and I had to really take a step out of myself and have a bird’s eye view and admit that this is, this is what’s happening now, because when you’re on the outside, and you’re, you’re seeing people that are, are going through Serious struggles like that, if you’ve never experienced it yourself, it, it just seems like something that’s so abstract and something that can never possibly be.
And then when I found myself in those situations, I was like, holy cow, like, how did I, how did I let this happen? It’s, it’s just like this sense of despair and like utter hopelessness and you don’t know where to even start. So it does feel like you’re never going to get out of it. And especially when you’re in, Those situations, you tend to be surrounded by people that are also in those situations.
And so it just seems like, all right, so this is my life now. It was definitely hard to imagine my life getting any better, because the amount of work that I, that I was picturing having to do just seemed like it was just, Impossible. The task of it all was just so daunting. And I would look at it, the whole picture as I need to fix all of this right now.
And there’s no way I’m going to be able to do that. So why would I even try, 
[01:53:28] Brenda: yeah, 
[01:53:28] Bekah: all the cliches that you hear in AA and whatnot, one day at a time, and easy does it and all that stuff that those are real, you really do have to just break it down. And if you can’t do one day at a time, you do one hour at a time.
And you just You just take it as it comes, and you put one foot in front of the other, and that’s when you start to see, how rewarding life can be if you just keep trying to do the next right thing. There is hope that no matter what you’ve gone through, no matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’re at, just take that leap of faith because It really is beautiful being on the other side, the amount of blessings that you can gain in sobriety or just beyond your wildest dreams, and just stop limiting yourself because you have something to offer this world.
[01:54:24] Brenda: ladies, this has been epic and it’s so meaningful. Just thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. I hope you got as much out of this story as I did. If you want information about the NET trial that is going on right now, which is May of 2022, and other resources mentioned in this episode, you can find those at brendazane.
com forward slash podcast, then scroll or search for episode 113. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for doing all the work that you are to help your child. And I will meet you right back here next week.

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