Part 2: Why Do They Do What They Do? Answers On Addiction From One Who’s Lived It, with Stacy Eakman

Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Part 2: Why Do They Do What They Do? Answers On Addiction From One Who’s Lived It, with Stacy Eakman
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ABOUT THE EPISODE:
Nearly every parent of a child who’s living in addiction has the same questions – 

  • why do they keep taking drugs or drinking alcohol when it’s ruining their life, making them sick, killing their family, and pretty much everything in their life?
  • why do they do things that are so high risk, and obviously have bad outcomes?
  • should I keep helping him/her with things like rent and a phone? Won’t they get worse if I don’t?
  • if I stop helping him/her will she or he think I don’t love them? (because that’s what they tell me!)
  • what can I do if my son or daughter is addicted to drugs or alcohol?

In this 2-part season opener, you’ll hear a mind-blowing story of an all-American baseball star who goes from imagining a Major League Baseball career to being broke, addicted to heroin and cocaine, and stealing anything he could from his loving and caring parents.

Stacy Eakman, president of Eakman Construction in Seattle, WA generously opens up about his life, struggles with addiction, and his eventual path to sobriety. He answers the tough questions parents often have about their kids’ substance use. Stacy is a straight shooter, doesn’t spare us the truth (even when it hurts), and is an inspiration to anyone who believes their life isn’t worth anything because of their past and their addiction.

Listen in to both episodes of the launch of Season 2 of Hopestream for this inspiring story.

This podcast is part of a nonprofit called Hopestream Community
Learn about The Stream, our private online community for moms
Learn about The Woods, our private online community for dads
Find us on Instagram: @hopestreamcommunity
Download a free e-book, Worried Sick: A Compassionate Guide For Parents When Your Teen or Young Adult Child Misuses Drugs and Alcohol

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Part 2
Brenda  01:15
Welcome to part two of Stacy Eakman’s incredible story of transformation. We left off in part one with Stacy in a Safeway parking lot, trying to negotiate leaving treatment and being faced with the choice of going back or sleeping outside in the parking lot. He was dope sick, broke, standing in front of his dad and his uncle. And that’s where we’ll pick up.
Stacy  01:44
I was screaming and crying. “Just take me home.” And they just left. And then I got in the car and I went with Luke and it was a Friday night, I continued to detox, they called treatment and said hey, we’re gonna bring this kid back. They said no, not till Monday, not till the counselors here, we have to reevaluate. And I laid on his folk’s couch in the basement, so sick, so miserable, tried to go home, tried to ask my sister for a credit card to pay for a cab to go to Yakima, like, what is the matter with me? I told her I was stuck on the pass and the cab driver figured out that I didn’t have any money and he had called the cops and he had like, I made up all kinds of stuff when I was really at the 7-11 next door to the house, you know, like just crazy. And my sister was just devastated and said, I can’t, I’m not going to do it. I can’t I’m so sorry. But I can’t, if you’re going to jail, you’re going to jail. That’s it. And I went back on that Monday morning. I went back, Luke bought me a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich and an orange juice and dropped me off at the front door. And I went ahead and stayed. They made me start over. So I stayed for another 30 days, and ever since then, I haven’t touched a drug.
Brenda  03:11
Wow. So it sounds like at some point, and this sort of relates to one of the questions is, it sounds like your parents started putting some boundaries in place. And it sounds like it was that night after your dad found the heroin and the crack pipe and everything. Where they finally said, that’s it. No more. And what was going on in your mind? Because I think a lot of what I hear from parents is they have a really hard time doing that. They feel guilty. This is my kid, I can’t cut them off. I can’t take away the truck. I can’t turn off the cell phone. Because then what are they going to do? What’s your thinking around that?
Stacy  04:01
I mean, my thought around that is if I would have had any other option but to go that next morning, I would have taken it, right? So when I have a cell phone, well, I can figure something out. When I have a truck I can figure something, right? When mom and dad haven’t kicked me out or actually said I’m not allowed there, it can last another day. It can last another day. Right? But the reality with that is, I feel like you’ve got to treat everybody the same as you would treat anybody, and I know that my dad, if anybody else in the world stole from him, took advantage of them the way that I did, lied to them the way that I did, like I just wouldn’t be a part of his life, right? 
Like, just you’re just not welcome here. And it’s not because I don’t love you. It’s not because of anything, it’s not even because I want you to get sober, I’d love you to get sober. But just because it’s not good for my life, you just can’t do this to me. And I think the thing that I learned after getting cleaned up, getting my life turned around was that you as a parent, like, my parents had two options. It was, take care of themselves, and not participate in me committing suicide, right, like me killing myself with drugs watching me do it every day helping me do it every day. Or they can continue to participate. Because they’re afraid that I might think they don’t love me or like, you know, I think a big fear with a lot of parents is, well, if I just like, kick him to the curb, then what is he got to lose? Right, then he’s really gonna overdo it, and he’s gonna end up dead. If that’s the case, it’s so sad to say, but he’s gonna end up dead anyway, you’re just going to help him do it. Right? Like, do you want to be a part of it or not. 
And if you don’t want to be a part of it, then you just got to set some boundaries. And those boundaries can’t be based on trying to change what your son or daughter is doing. It has to be based on what’s best for your life. And, I mean, I know that my family was in turmoil because of me. Right? Like, it was just, it was chaos all the time. And nobody was happy. And it was all because of me. So my parents continuing to pretend like this wasn’t happening, ultimately hurt my sister and hurt my sister’s relationship with them, I’m sure in the moment and hurt my nieces. And, and you know, all of that, like, hurt it for sure, mom and dad’s marriage just wasn’t happy. And if you look 30,000 feet up, and you say, whoa, I want to fix everything in my life, with one move, it’s pluck Stacy out of it, and everything is fine. I mean, I know that that’s like, impossible as a parent, and I think about it, I think about it all the time with my son, he’s 10 and I think, am I actually going to be able to do that, it when that moment comes. So it sounds easy, but, I mean, it sounds really hard and I’m making it sound easy, but it ultimately it’s the only option.
Brenda  07:50
Right. And I think the whole concept of just throwing them out and detaching and, and letting them hit rock bottom is very extreme and I think what instead at least the therapists and psychologists and everybody is recommending now is just is to hold the boundaries set the boundary and say no, this isn’t happening this isn’t healthy for myself. However, if you decide you want to get some help, I’m here to help you. Meaning I will drive you across the state to treatment you know not I will give you money, but to say I love you, here are the boundaries, you can’t come home, you can’t have a car, you can’t have a phone, whatever it is that that you need to do. Like how would that have sounded to you or maybe your parents said that to you? Because I think that’s what parents are being encouraged to do is to hold the boundaries with love, to say I love you, I’m not doing this because I don’t love you, it’s not I don’t love Stacy anymore just get out of my life – it’s I love you and I love myself and I need to do this for myself and I’m here to help you if you want help how does that resonate with somebody? Since you’ve been in both shoes you’ve been in the shoes that are addicted and then you know now not being
Stacy  09:13
Absolutely, if you’re a person who can actually do that. If you’re a person who can actually set that boundary and then, because I know for me, and I can speak for myself, if my dad said exactly what you just said, in my mind, the door is still open. I’ve still got the ability to manipulate the situation, right? Okay, I need a ride. Give me a ride or give me a ride to treatment or I’m gonna go to treatment dad but you know i i really need to take care of this before I go or like there’s a fine line. It’s a difficult line to hold, I guess, because they love us so much, you love your son so much. And my parents love me so much that, right? If there’s still an opportunity for communication, and any of that in my mind as the addict, I think, Okay, well, it could have been worse, like, I still have an opportunity to manipulate this situation. 
And then you go back, and if I can’t manipulate it, then you know, I keep hitting that brick wall. Well, then then, ultimately, it works. But I personally think nothing that my parents did, like them cutting me off like that, that’s not why I decided to get clean. It’s because I had no other options. So if they would have cut me off six months before, I wouldn’t have gone to treatment on Monday. Right? I still had other you know, I wasn’t in total debt with the drug dealer, and I still could like hustle up some work. And I hadn’t stolen everything there was to steal. And, you know, I still had some options. So, right, that was a big thing. But I just think that the decision needs to be based on what’s best for you. Because you’re not actually affecting it one way or another, as the parent, which is we want to say, yeah, as much as we want to think as people that we can push and pull to get to help our kids especially, make the right decisions and do the right things. And it just really, really doesn’t work that way. Especially with somebody who’s addicted to drugs.
Brenda  11:57
Right, because you’re not working, I think one, one thing that’s easy to do is, if you’re in that situation, as a parent, you forget that you’re not actually dealing with your child, you are dealing with your child, who is now owned basically by a substance. And it’s not like you’re talking to or negotiating with or rationalizing with your child in this in the state of mind that they would normally be in or is a healthy state of mind. And that’s why it leads to the question of, well, why would you do that because you forget who you’re dealing with. But it sounds like any little sliver of a window that is still open or door that is still open, you will charge through that like a raging bull, if you are in that position. And you can you see that little window open, it’s like, okay, I can still do that. 
And I love how you were saying that you made up these stories because so many parents and moms will say, well, wait a minute, but then he said he had, he owed this money, and then we had to go over here and then we had to do that. And then I bought him that because… and the complexity of the stories is, is impressive. Like maybe you should be a screenwriter because there’s so so many interesting twists and turns that happen, and I know, at least with my son, come to find out later, none of that was going on, there was none of that it was just you know, the way of being manipulated into doing whatever he wanted me to do.
Stacy  13:35
There’s a reason that drug addicts in particular if we’re the lucky few, the blessed few that actually come out on the other side, there’s a reason that they are usually amazing salespeople, I can sell an idea of how this has to happen and how you need this and I and it’s gonna benefit me I can sell it to the wall, right, I talk to the wall and it’s giving me that money. Right. And I that’s a learned behavior because I had to, like, I had no other option, but to figure out a way to talk mom into giving me some money so that I could pay that to get drugs. But really it was, I got this bill that’s due, and if that check bounces, well then I’m going to lose my checking account. And if I lose my checking account, well then my credit card payment will bounce on Friday, and it’s gonna cost $200 when really all I need is $80 bucks. Okay, here’s 80 bucks, you know, like every time.
Brenda  14:48
The manipulation is masterful and for parents, you’re not even functioning well because you haven’t slept well because you’re so worried about your kids. So you’re not even coming from a healthy place, and then that black-belt level of manipulation done on you is pretty crazy. But so well, you’ve answered a lot of the questions just in talking through your story. And, and I also want to say congratulations on, you know, just having listened to this, you know, I just am so astounded at your, your journey and then to be able to go and I think it’s so fascinating that you say I went because I didn’t have any other options so you have to really get to a point then where it is your choice because like you were saying nothing that your mom or dad could have done would have gotten you there – is that a true statement?
Stacy  15:52
That’s true. And I didn’t decide, I didn’t decide to quit doing drugs until after I got home from treatment. I mean, I came back home and, and with every intention of getting back to my life of who I am, because I had nothing else except for that life. And, you know, other things happened that, ultimately, I realized that, I didn’t realize that I had a – I knew that I was a drug addict. And I like doing drugs. And I was gonna do drugs until I died, when I was doing drugs. That was fine with me. But I hadn’t really accepted the fact that I couldn’t, not do them. I kept telling myself, oh, the reason I have to do them tomorrow is that I’ve got to go to work. And I can’t go to work if I’m sick. And you know, I always had an excuse of why I had to do it. But when I was dead sober 34 days, 35 days, dead sober. And my counselor said to me, on the way out of treatment said to me, Hey, man, I know you have no intention of staying sober, you think you’ve got it under control. Just try just do it for two weeks, when you get home, see if you can stay clean for two weeks. 
And I looked at him and I was like, done. I’ll text you in two weeks. Like it was a challenge, like dad, right? When I got the catcher’s gear, fine. Two weeks, piece of cake. And I wasn’t there for eight hours before I was on my way to get drugs. And I didn’t get drugs that night. Somebody from treatment and called me to check-in and a whole bunch of things, like really like big, God-things happened. But when I was sitting there on the phone, and of course didn’t tell the person I was in treatment with like, where I was going or what I was doing, and thank goodness she called. I was like, oh yeah, I’m great. Everything’s good. Yeah, loving it. Blah, blah, blah, and mom and dad are so happy to see me. It’s great, you know. 
But after I got off the phone, I realized I was screwed. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stay sober. Even if I promised somebody I would. And I’m somebody that if I say I’m going to do something, I do it. And I couldn’t, I couldn’t do it. It totally owned me. And that’s when I really decided I was gonna get cleaned up. And so really, what got me sober was me deciding I was going to get sober, not mom and dad taking everything away. I mean, not having any other options, that probably kept me alive for the next 30 days, 35 days so that I had the opportunity to make the decision. But that’s not why I got my life turned around. Right? It was because I decided that I needed help. 
And so then I did what everybody told me I was supposed to do, which is start being around people who had been through it. And then that’s when it really started to work. And I decided I’m okay with the next three or four years of my life being way worse than the worst of the worst drug years. I’m okay with that. So that I can actually have control of my life. I couldn’t stand it that I would wake up in the morning and every day I would still think about doing drugs and I needed something to wake up and I just I was so sick of that. So that’s when I decided to do it. 
So I think that for the moms and dads presumably sisters or brothers or anybody who’s listening, you know it’s it your child is putting you through anything like what I put my folks through and my sister through, I’m sorry, I do not envy you and it’s really difficult. But I think that my biggest advice is to take care of yourself. You can’t take care of your child unless you’re really healthy mentally and physically and getting some sleep and it’s a whole lot easier said than done, but your life matters too. So try your best to be happy and do what you can to have good relationships with the people who aren’t stealing from you and the people who aren’t keeping you up all night. Because those people deserve it. So I think that’s really important.
Brenda  20:19
And did you see your mom doing any of that? Did you see her taking care of herself and, and saying I can’t have this in my life?
Stacy  20:31
Not until I got sober. And at that point, once I was sobered up, you know, mom was still struggling. They didn’t trust me, I had moved into an Oxford House over here in Seattle. And so they don’t know what’s going on. I have nobody, I have no job. Of course, they’re worried sick about me. At some point, she talked to my friend’s mother, who was married to my friend’s dad who was long time sober. And, and she told my mom that she should start going to some al-anon meetings. And mom started doing that. And she really started living it. And it helped her a lot, it helped her understand that she’s just got to take care of her. And helping me continue down the wrong path is not the right way to go. And, you know, at this point, I was sober, but just understanding that it’s okay, that you don’t trust, she didn’t trust me. And that’s okay. You know, I let her down. And it’s not up to her to learn how to trust me again. It’s not, that’s not her responsibility. And that took years, you know, like years of me showing back going home and showing up years, I didn’t see a checkbook sitting on the counter. Like, they might just be in the habit of putting the checkbook away.
Brenda  22:00
Right, that’s locked away, somewhere. 
Stacy  22:03
And I mean, at this point, I didn’t, you know, I didn’t become a major league baseball player, and buy their house and do all the things. But last year, I did buy their house and mom works for me, she gets a paycheck every Friday from me and I help financially support them, just like I would have, if I was a major league baseball player. Now, they don’t have Mercedes, like they would if I was a major league baseball player, but that I am fulfilling that thing I told them I was gonna do, I’m just doing it a different way. And, but even with all of that, when COVID happened, when they like, shut us down, and it was crazy. And my business was closed for a couple of months. My mom still, you know, 11 years and 9-9-09, so 11 years in, my mom, my sister, and my dad checked in and said, are you gonna be alright, through this? Like, is everything gonna be okay? And my mom said, if you need a meeting, you go to a meeting. Can you call Chad, Chad’s another one of my really good friends that, you know, just Danica, my wife? Does she know what to look for? And like, I haven’t even thought about doing drugs for seven, eight years, you know, like, I haven’t even crossed my mind. But it’s okay that they don’t trust me. I don’t know, until I realized that I don’t deserve that. Like, I’ve earned this where I’m at. You know that I’m in denial at that point, because I think they should just trust me.
Brenda  23:47
Wow. There’s a couple things in there that I think are really important, A- that you are so committed, and and what a interesting and beautiful twist that your mom is now getting checks from you versus you stealing them from her. I think that’s incredible. And then the other is that you say I haven’t even thought about it for years. And I think that’s one thing that parents can’t imagine is ever going to happen. And that people just I know, in talking to my son, that he would have never thought and if somebody would have told you that when you’re 25 or 26 oh, dude, there’s gonna be a time when you’re not even gonna think about using drugs. You would have thought they were out of their mind. Right? Like, there’s no way you would have believed that. 
Stacy  24:41
You don’t get it. Yeah,
Brenda  24:43
Like, you don’t understand how bad I am. And so I don’t know if anybody will listen to this who’s actually in addiction right now. But if they do, I think that’s super important to hear, but also for parents to be able to understand, this is changeable, this can change. And that kid who is making your life hell right now can be paying you and employing you. And I think that hope and that is so important to reiterate because it is so hard to see that when you’re in the thick of it. It doesn’t seem possible. 
Stacy 25:25
And I do all of that. And I was excited to do all of that. And it was like my goal and dream to hire mom and all of those things. And she kicked me out of the house. I wasn’t like, well, heck with her, she screwed me, right? No, now that I’m cleaned up, I’m emotionally intelligent enough and self-aware enough to know that she had no choice. She was doing that out of 100% love. And it was the hardest thing for her. I knew it was hard for her. And I used that against her. That’s how low we are in that moment, like mom is devastated, and that’s right where I want her, because that’s when I can talk her into giving me what I want. It is so crazy.
Brenda  26:23
It’s so twisted.
Stacy  26:25
So twisted.
Brenda  26:28
But I’m so glad that you said that because the guilt and the not knowing and the sleepless nights of should I have done that are just such torture for moms and dads. And so hearing that from somebody who has been there is so important. And I think that that can really help to alleviate some of the questioning, there’s the constant questioning that you know, as a parent you go through every day is like the series of 18 questions of Am I doing the right thing? Or the wrong thing? And should I’ve done that? Or should I have done that? Or? And so very, very helpful. 
There was one, I think you answered all the questions, you magically will have those in, but one of them that I think would be interesting to ask is when you were younger, so when you are going through all of that with the baseball and realizing that, oh my gosh, maybe this isn’t gonna happen. And then you know, you went off to college, and then you came back. And you were really hit with that reality. And psychologically, that would have been really painful. And that’s when you started drinking and experimenting. Is there anything that you can think of that could have helped at that stage? Right, when you are at that tipping point of like, Oh, this isn’t going to happen? And I’ve made such an ass of myself. And maybe I can’t do what I want to do for my parents. Do you think there’s anything either that parents could have offered? Or from the outside and outside resources? Or do you think that’s just a phase of life? That’s where you were and it is just what it is? What are your thoughts on that?
Stacy  28:10
So I don’t know the whole answer to the question, because obviously,
Brenda  28:14
you don’t know what you don’t know.
Stacy  28:16
Something changes and everything. One thing changes and everything changes. But I know for sure that if my mom and dad were to sat me down right there, and hey, I know you’re going through a tough time, we love you anyway, don’t start doing drugs – wouldn’t have changed a thing, you know. I honestly believe that what could have happened right, then is if I realized that the real issue with the way I was feeling was the fact that my identity was so like, I didn’t know who I was and who I was going to be and how I could show up and how I had let everybody down. And you know, just to be clear, like, I still feel like I let my dad down. But he’s never like when I was done playing baseball. Never did he was he like, oh, I wish he would have tried harder or right. He just loved it because I loved it. You know, when I was done, he was done. And that was fine. 
Stacy  29:20
But if somehow I would have come to that realization on my own, instead of because, you know, nobody told me I was a let-down. I just felt that way. And the reason I felt that like it’s a double-edged sword, because the reason I felt like I was letting everybody down is that my whole life everybody believed in me, you know, and I and I continue to live up to that, right? Like, my parents think I’m gonna be really good at this or that and I end up being really good at this or that. And so that moment, when they thought I was gonna do something I didn’t do it. I decided I let everybody down. Nobody, nobody else felt like I let them down. They didn’t care, I bet in the back of my dad’s mind, he probably knew I wasn’t gonna be a major league baseball player. There’s not that many of them, you know,
Brenda  30:18
it’s a pretty special thing.
Stacy  30:20
He just wanted me to love what I was doing and believe in myself. And I did that so much that that ultimately I lost my identity. So, back to the point is, if something would have happened, who knows what it is, but if something would have happened in that moment, that made me realize that wasn’t my identity, for me to realize that may have changed. I may have not needed to, you know, drown my sorrows with drugs. That being said, something would have come up in life. And I would have been there. Like, that’s just who I was, it wouldn’t have changed me, it wouldn’t have said, okay, Stacy, you’re not an addict, you’re not a drug addict. It would have said, well, you’re not a drug addict, yet. Something’s gonna come up. Because really, what got me out of that is, is doing the work and understanding how to treat people and understanding what that holding resentments against people is a miserable way to live. And that ultimately drives you to hold resent resentments against yourself, and, you know, all the things that lead up to that. I know how to combat those feelings now. And I wouldn’t have learned how to do that. Unless I went through that time and learned from people that are just like me, can’t say no.
Brenda  32:00
So it’s been a teacher, in some ways, a very painful teacher. And did you do that through  AA or what was your mechanism for getting through that and getting to the learnings?
Stacy  32:14
I did, I did it through AA, went to a ton of meetings, because it’s all like, it’s all I had. And they accepted me there. When I was here, I had nothing and you know, I just rode it out for a long time. I’m not a believer in the saying fake it till you make it. Unless you’re just getting sober. And you just keep going to meetings. It’s really hard to find any heroin at an AA meeting, so just keep going, just keep going. And that ultimately is eventually, you know, it’s the saying, there’s a famous saying in AA that’s, if you hang out at the barbershop long enough, eventually you’re gonna get a haircut. And they say that as a negative thing, like, hey, you’re sober. But if you go hang out at the bar long enough, eventually you’re gonna mess up and have a drink. Or if you’re dating somebody who drinks every night, eventually you’re gonna have a drink. So stay out of the barbershop or you’re gonna get a haircut. Yeah, but it works the other way, too. I just hung out at the barbershop, the AA meetings until it started to click in enough to where I wasn’t at risk of just at noon going out and getting high. 
I wasn’t fixed until I went through another really hard time in my life where a relationship fell apart. And I had made kind of that relationship, my identity, right? I did the same thing with her and that relationship that I did with baseball, like she was cool, she had a great job, everybody loved her, she was popular, all of the things. And so then when we broke up, I felt just like I did. And that is when, you know, I was dead sober a couple of years or three years sober at that point. And I was a wreck. And I then I got a sponsor. I worked the steps. I had a sponsor, quote-unquote, prior to that, but I just didn’t ever work the steps, I would get two or three and then stop going to the meeting or stop going to our meetup. 
And I called him a couple days later, in stronger language I said, I’m screwed. I’m screwed. I got nothing. And he said, Well, are you willing to try one more thing? I was like, Yeah. All right. All right, I’ll see you Tuesday. And then I worked the steps and I did them for real, and they were terrible. And I learned a lot about myself. That, you know, through that, and my relationship with my family during that was very distant. I know that the people listening to this, mom’s primarily, like I was so distant from my family, I wasn’t going home on Thanksgiving, and I wasn’t going over there for the holidays. I wasn’t calling every day and checking in, I was so distant because I needed to figure me out, you know, I was still really ashamed of who I was, I was still just a stain on my family, a burden. I felt like a burden, I was still always broke, I had nothing. I mean, this is this was three years and probably, you know, I was probably 31 years old, 32 years old, and I was still needing money. 
But I quit asking for money because I felt too ashamed. I think what I’m getting at is I got sober and got my life turned around, without any help from my parents, you know, they helped me financially, they paid for the Oxford House. Of course, if you’re sober, we’re gonna help, but they had no part in me actually figuring out who I was, and getting my life turned around. I decided that, and I used them as motivation, right, I want to make them proud. I want to do this. But ultimately, my relationship got more and more distant during that time of me, like really learning who I am.
Brenda  36:31
That’s very interesting. I’m so glad you said that. Because there is, I think a perception that once he or she gets sober, it’s all going to be lovely again, and we’re gonna go on family vacations, and we’re gonna have Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s, it’s all just gonna be fine again, and it sounds like that is not necessarily the case, because there’s still a lot of work that you’re doing on yourself.
Stacy  36:57
Yeah, and during that time, it sounds selfish. But during that time, if we’re really, really, really doing the work, we don’t have time to make sure mom trusts us, and we’ll get to that. I’m gonna keep not doing drugs, I’m gonna keep not drinking, I’m gonna keep not doing drugs, I’m gonna keep not drinking. And at some point, I’m gonna see mom, everything’s gonna be fine, but she’s gonna be looking at me funny because I know, she doesn’t trust me, and she’s gonna be worried I’m gonna go get high. And then I’m gonna just keep not doing drugs, keep not doing drugs. And you just know that eventually, everybody’s gonna see that Stacy doesn’t do drugs anymore. He just doesn’t do drugs. And mom and dad, of course, like I said, COVID they were really worried. But we don’t talk about it anymore. Nobody’s like, whoa, how you doing except when something comes up.
Brenda  37:53
Like a pandemic…
Stacy  37:54
Yeah, like the world might be coming to an end. You never know. Right? Yeah, they check in to make sure nothing happens. But it just, it really, really, really takes time. And nothing happens overnight. And that for me, when I see somebody who, quote-unquote, got sober. They come out of treatment, 30 days in, and they’re walking around, like, everything’s okay. And they’re showing up to family dinner, like, everything’s okay. That’s a huge red flag to me. Because if they’re really going to get their life straightened out, stuff is not okay in that moment.
Brenda  38:40
Right? Because getting the substances out of your system in a detox, in a 30-day program, or even a 90-day program, that’s just the substances, but then there’s the rest of the work.
Stacy  38:54
Yeah, I don’t have a drug problem. I have a life problem. Right? Yeah, like drugs are not my problem. Drugs are my solution. Drugs are not the problem. Whatever makes me do those drugs is the problem. And so when you take the drugs away, when you take the solution away, the problem becomes more and more glaring. And if you’re walking around, like there’s no problem. It’s just a matter of time before drugs are if they’re not already – if you’re not already doing them, they’re coming. Right? You’ve got to deal with the problem.
Brenda  39:35
Wow. Wow. Well, thank you so much for so much honesty. And I think if I had heard this, I’m trying to think of how many years ago a lot of years ago, it would have been incredibly insightful. So do you want to just talk briefly about kind of what you’re doing with your business and I know that you do help people when they reach out to you,
Stacy  40:03
I live my life and my business is built on the idea that I’m not the center of the world. And I’m not going to be, I’m no better than anybody else. And so whether it’s drug addict or alcoholic, or just somebody down on their luck, or whatever it is, we just take a whole lot of pride in helping when we can, because I know exactly how that homeless person feels. Now, I’m not saying that we just hand out dollars to homeless people, but I know what it feels like to be dead sober, and have no idea how I’m gonna buy dinner. Like, I know that feeling. And I don’t have that feeling anymore. But, you know, my life, I’m extremely blessed. And I’ve worked really hard, we aren’t in that spot right now. But I have been there. And so I know what helping whether it’s, you know, with dinner or with, with talking to somebody or helping a kid or, or whatever it might be like, we’re always, we’re always looking to help. And that’s kind of what, you know, gets me up in the morning. So I think that in life, that’s how I stay on the right track is I just try to think about other people, instead of thinking about myself.
Brenda  41:36
Wow. And you were saying that, when you were in, in those dark days, you thought your life was over, you didn’t think that there was anything worth getting clean for? Because what would you do? Because, you know, you’re going to be an addict, and nobody’s going to hire you and so seen, I think, you know, for people to see. Yeah, actually, there’s a lot that you can do. And, and I’m sure that people look at you and see that and say, Wow, okay, this is what life can look like. It’s amazing. And you can even be giving back is, is so important to see that, that it’s not the end of the road, because I do I have I’m thinking specifically of a couple of moms in my community who have kids, they’re 19. And they’re saying, I’m not going to get sober. Why would I do that? There’s nothing for me. And they’re 19 years old, 
Stacy  42:42
Didn’t go to college, got bad grades, like what’s the point? 
Brenda 42:46
yeah. And the moms are just beside themselves. Because obviously, you’re looking at them saying, you’re 19, you’re a baby, you know…
Stacy  42:57
Same thing my dad was saying at 28. What are you talking about? You’re a kid. What are you talking about? You’re not even supposed to have it figured out. Now’s the time to start figuring it out. So let’s get straight now. What are you talking about?
Brenda  43:13
Exactly, exactly. It’s all about perspectives. Stacy, thank you a million times over for this it is going to be really game-changing for a lot of parents. Just quickly, is there any resources, besides obviously AA, and I’ll put a link to your website on there, is there anything that you have found like books or podcasts or courses or speakers or anything like that, that you would recommend to somebody to check out?
Stacy  43:44
Unfortunately, no, just talk to people who have been through it. You know, continue to talk to people who’ve been through it try to find the podcast where you know somebody like you right? Like you’ve been through it as a mom and listen to Brenda and Brenda, continue to try to have some drug addicts and alcoholics on that are no longer in it. You know, I think that brings good perspective. So just talk to people who have gone through it. But also don’t expect to understand it, you’re never gonna understand it if you’ve never been through it.
Brenda Zane  44:15
Well, I hope that you have been impacted by Stacy’s story as I am. It’s one that is so important to share. Because parents get to a point where nothing they do is working or helping. And we feel completely hopeless. Stacy is proof that people can overcome addiction. And I want to thank him again for generously and bravely sharing his story. And also thank you so much for listening. 
If you’re a mom listening to this and thinking, there must be other moms out there listening to, I can tell you that there are thousands of other moms that are searching for this same information. And for a more personal connection. You can find me and a bunch of these moms by going to my website, BrendaZane.com. And there you will get lots of information about a really special online community of moms called The Stream. We have regular calls and chat sessions. We do a monthly yoga class for stress and anxiety. And it’s all positively focused. It is not on Facebook, and it’s completely confidential. Membership is on a pay-what-you-can model, so if you want to join this community, and you need the support, you’re in. 
You might also want to download my free ebook called HINDSIGHT: Three Things I Wish I Knew When My Son Was Addicted To Drugs. It is packed with information that I truly wish I had known back in the darker years with my son. And so I share it now in case it might be helpful to you in your journey. You can get that at Brendazane.com/hindsight, and I will put a link to both of these resources in the show notes as well. Thank you so much for listening. I’ll meet you right back here next week.

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