Recovering From COVID, Podcast Changes, Healing Power of Community, Documentaries and Books; The Casserole Episode

Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Recovering From COVID, Podcast Changes, Healing Power of Community, Documentaries and Books; The Casserole Episode

What to call an episode that covers lots of ground and has a variety of things included? The casserole episode!

This short, solo episode will give you some personal updates, exciting changes coming for Hopestream, a bit about the healing power of community, book and documentary info, and more – basically a podcast casserole.

It's short and sweet so grab your dog, hop in the car, or flop on the couch with a cup of something for a few minutes and exhale with me.


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Hey friends, I don’t know about you but it just hit me that we’re less than 80 days away from 2022! For me, the past month is a bit of a blur because as some of you may know I had a breakthrough case of COVID, and I honestly didn’t feel horribly sick at first, but over a month later I’m still not 100% and for someone who’s used to running at 120% every day, to slow down to like, 80% is really challenging.
But, I’m getting better and this is really teaching me a lot about self-compassion because it’s easy to start beating yourself up when you can’t do all the things. And the timing is actually good because in The Stream our book club is reading Kristin Neff’s new book called Fierce Self Compassion so I don’t know, maybe it was karma, but if you’re like me and you’re used to operating at a very high level and then you find yourself not operating at that level, whether it’s because you got sick or your kiddo is causing so many issues that you’re not able to focus and function – please please give yourself a break, and if you want to go a bit deeper into what self-compassion is and isn’t, take a listen to episode 77, it’s called Self-Compassion, Laziness, Or Self-Sabotage? Being The Right Kind of Good To Yourself When Your Child Struggles with Drugs or Alcohol. So episode 77 – or just google Hopestream self-compassion episode and that’ll get you there too.
Ok, so today’s episode is going to be what I think I may have to call a casserole episode because I have a bunch of stuff to tell you and talk about, and it’s all going to get plopped into this episode and I’m hoping it’ll turn out good – I don’t know, that’s the only thing I could think of to call it.
And before I jump into the casserole I just want to say what an honor it is to be with you each week, while you’re working, or working out, or driving around – you’re multitasking and the fact that you’re taking me along with you is so huge and I just want to acknowledge that. Your life, more than most people, is filled with ups and downs that are really significant so what I hope this time is for you, is a few minutes to exhale, remember you’re not alone out there, remember that so many other parents are going through similar situations and that you are an incredible parent. 
I hope you’ll find comfort here and also get a little fired up with some of the information you hear, and ultimately, if you gain some confidence and feel more empowered in the day to day stuff you deal with, that’s a win, and if I can contribute to that in some way, it’s a huge win for me. So, thanks for letting me and my guests chatter in your ear, it really is such an honor.
So, first of all, here’s where the casserole starts – I went to a conference this past week and it was a conference specifically for female podcasters – so cool, it was amazing and I learned so much. It gave me tons of new ideas and tips, so if you’re a long-time listener, you may notice some new stuff in the coming weeks and months, and I say long-time listener but Hopestream is just 20 months old – I’m still counting like you do when you have a baby, I think around 2 years is when you start using years, but it’s only been 20 months that i’ve been podcasting and it’s been such a gift in my life – and I’m wondering, because I know many of you and your stories and your family’s stories – do you have a podcast in you? Or a book in you? 
My guess is many of you do, and you might be thinking about it, turning it over and over in your mind, and then getting overwhelmed thinking about what it would take to bring it to life – but I want to encourage you to not give up on your dream, or on your story. There are so many people who would benefit from hearing it, and even if now isn’t the time, you can do something each week or each month to keep the pilot light on – just know there will be a time and a place and a way for you to share your story. 
If someone had told me back in 2015 or 2016 that I’d be releasing episode number 84 of a podcast I would have laughed you out of the room because life was so chaotic, but I knew deep inside that someday I wanted to do something with all the pain and all the crazy that I was going through – I needed to make it matter and I knew I wasn’t the only one wading through the muck – so, don’t let it go, know there will be time, and if you do start a podcast be sure to let me know so I can pass on all the amazing resources I’ve found.
I mentioned that I would be making some changes and I don’t have everything ironed out but two things I can tell you about that I’m really exited for are that I’ll be creating playlists – so on my website you’ll be able to find episode playlists that should make it easier for you to find all the episodes that focus on a particular topic – so I’m planning one for siblings, one for recovery stories, one for CRAFT skills, etc. so watch for those- and if you’re not getting my weekly email please go to and shoot me your address and that way you’ll get all this stuff when it comes out.
I’m also starting a new thing in November that is going to be really cool and that’s coaching episodes. So members in The Stream can join me for an episode where they’ll share a particular challenge they’re having either with something they want to change or shift in themselves, or it may be something they’re having trouble with related to their son or daughter and their substance use. So each month you’ll get to eavesdrop on a coaching session which should be really helpful as you go through your journey and can hopefully relate to what other parents are dealing with. 
Ok, next into the casserole is an update on a few things related to our amazing community, The Stream. For those of you who aren’t members, it’s a modern, safe space online – not connected to Facebook or any other social media at all – it’s on it’s own little island, so very private and confidential, and it’s where moms can meet each other, get support, offer support, learn new skills and basically just exhale. 
I’ve been talking a lot lately about the healing power of community and what that means to moms when their son or daughter is experimenting with substances, or if they’re in active addiction – and also for those whose kids are in treatment right now or in early recovery. 
The healing power of community really happens when you mix together people with a shared experience but who are all in different stages of that experience- so for example in The Stream we have groups depending on where your child is in their journey – and the beautiful thing is there will be moms who are a few months or even years ahead of you so they can provide perspective and insights from their experiences, and there will be moms a few weeks behind you who you can help with your input – so it’s like this organic source of information and wisdom all centered around an experience you may be really struggling with.
We recently had a retreat in San Diego where for the first time in over a year and a half we all got to get on airplanes and meet each other in real life which was such a profound experience. And I’m telling you this because if you are feeling isolated or you’re feeling ashamed of what’s happening with your son or daughter, getting plugged into a community like this is invaluable to your mental and emotional health. I want to read a text I got from one of the women who came to the retreat because I think she nailed it on the head when I think about this concept of the healing power of community:
“The 2021 Restoration Mom Retreat in San Diego ranks high as one of my most magical experiences.  The food, activities, and group work facilitated by Brenda were all nurturing and impactful.  This retreat by far exceeded my expectations.  As a result of this experience, I truly feel l’ve made some life long friendships with other relatable moms. This group of women hold such a special place in my heart and I feel so blessed to have shared this long September weekend with them all. Thank you for creating this magical time and place.”
Again, I share that because I know how hopeless and helpless you can feel when you’re going through this and I want you to know there is a way to break through that, you can find ways to stay connected and build a genuine community even when your kiddo is in a bad place – or if they’re in a good place – you’re the momma we want to help nurture and encourage others. It comes down to the fact that we need each other and so I really encourage you, come hang out with us for 2 weeks – it’s totally free, then if we’re your kinda people just stay and pay whatever you can, and if it’s not helpful then that’s fine too, no hard feelings, but at least you did something to wrap some support around you. 
And what happens in the communtiy> Well I’m so glad you asked – I just sent out a 2 page calendar of all the events happening between now and the end of November, so if you want to be, you can stay very busy with us, but here are a couple of great events we’re having soon.
One is a Ninja communication skills workshop – if you’re tired of having your conversations end up in either a shouting match or total silence, and we’re also having a boundaries workshop because most parents have a hard time with knowing how to set a healthy boundary and then how to hold it when someone tries to cross it. 
We’re also having a private screening for a documentary called The Final Fix – it’s not available to watch in the United States but I convinced Norman Stone, the director, that our members needed to see it, so we get to do that on Saturday night. 
If you haven’t listened to episode 83 about The Final Fix. it’s a must, must-listen show about a treatment for addiction that was discovered in the 1970’s and is just now, finally starting FDA trials for approval, I can’t even explain how groundbreaking this is without spending another 20 minutes so pop back just one episode from here to number 83 and listen to that. 
Ok and then finally – have you started watching Dopesick on Hulu? It’s the entire story of the opioid crisis, starting back in the mid 1990s with the Sackler Family who owns Purdue Pharma – holy cow – I’ve literally read every book about the opioid crisis and what I’m loving about Dopesick, (which is based on the book by Beth Macy) is that it brings the whole thing to life. Even though we hear about the Sackler family – in my mind they were always just this nebulous corporate entity, and what you get from watching the series on Hulu is that these are just normal people – well, really super wealthy normal people – but they’re humans, who made these decisions about OxyContin and you also start to see all the other people and organizations who participated in the marketing and distribution of OxyContin, so I would highly, highly recommend watching it if you can and if you’re interested in understanding the crisis and where it began. 
I think it’s important for parents to watch if your child is struggling because even if they weren’t hooked in the way that people were back in the early 2000’s, it shows how these chemicals affect the brain and might be a way to empathize with people who are addicted to them. 
And then, the last thing I’ll throw into the casserole episode is an upcoming Hopestream episode I’ll be doing with Ryan Hampton who just released a book called, “Unsettled” which is also about the Sackler family and the bankruptcy trial that is supposed to help fund solutions for all the millions of people who are still today being impacted by the family’s business decisions decades ago. 
Ryan will be sitting down with me and talking about the book and his own lived experience with addiction to OxyContin, his work at the White House and also his seat at the table during the bankruptcy trial. I’m almost done with the book Unsettled, and it’s actually a great title because it’s the way you feel about the whole thing as you’re reading – unbelievable and so so important.
Ok, there you go – the casserole episode is coming to an end, I so appreciate you being here, I know this was a little bit of a funky episode but I felt like we just needed to chat and know that I’m incredibly passionate about bringing you resources to help in any way I can, I offer you the healing power of community, and I truly love meeting you here each week. 
Please take really good care of yourself, and I send you lots of love and light – and I”ll meet you right back here next week.

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