The Question Parents Really Need To Ask Their Kids Who Struggle With Substance Misuse and Addiction, and Some Big News! with Brenda Zane

Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
The Question Parents Really Need To Ask Their Kids Who Struggle With Substance Misuse and Addiction, and Some Big News! with Brenda Zane

In today’s episode, I announce some big news for my organization and also share the question I've come to believe parents really need to ask to help their kids heal and move away from misusing substances. This question is hard to ask and many parents don't want to go there, but it's necessary and doable with the right support. 

I share what parents see "above the iceberg" and why that's only part of a big picture they need to have visibility to. It's a short but important message you'll want to hear if you're confounded by your child's unhealthy relationship with drugs, alcohol, or anything else that's taking away from their health and wellbeing.


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0:02I know as parents, we sometimes don’t really wanna know the second why. We’d like to figure out the first one and solve for that anxiety. Cool. Let’s do some d. A D. D, okay. We can get Ritalin or Adderall, and those are good places to start and good actions to take. And by all means, take the actions that you need to in the short term to start to resolve these issues. But if we never go into the second why we’ve closed the lid on something that may still be brewing, You’re listening to Hope Stream, the place for those parenting teens and young adults who are misusing drugs and alcohol in a treatment program or working their way toward recovery. It’s your private space to learn and to gain encouragement and understanding from me. Your host, Brenda Zane. I’m fellow parent to a child who struggled, and I’m so glad you’re here. To learn more about all the resources available to you besides the podcast, please head over to Hope Stream Community dot. I am really excited to be able to share some news with you today that’s been in the works since January, which feels like a really long time ago. But in the background, we’ve been working quietly away, turning all the various support offerings we’ve got into a brand new thing As a quick history lesson, I began this podcast in January of 2020. Not having the slightest clue what I was doing, but feeling very passionate about not leaving other parents unequipped and unsupported when their child is misusing substances and taking us on that rollercoaster ride that we’re all familiar with. The podcast quickly grew into a private community for moms called the. which then spawned a private community for dads called The Woods because the moms said their partners needed a place to go. And then we realized that our first retreat for moms was so successful and so needed that we are now planning our fourth retreat. And I kept getting emails from people saying they really wanted to take one of our workshops, but they weren’t ready to join the community yet. So we started offering workshops And yeah, it became a whole thing. And the marketer in me was feeling very anxious because everything felt disjointed and disconnected, and I really like things to be cohesive and as simple as possible. So, Kathy, my business partner, and sometimes podcast co-host and I, we set out to figure out a way that we could make this all work better, and we made the decision to gather up everything that we were doing and house them together under a new nonprofit organization called Hope Stream Community. We thought long and hard about becoming a nonprofit because there’s a lot that goes into that decision. and in the end what we decided is we want to be able to offer everything we do at a very accessible cost in order to help as many parents as possible. And if a parent can’t afford what we offer, we will be able to provide a scholarship with no questions asked. The contrast to that is from a for-profit business sense, which is the world I have lived. Forever. You want to charge as much as the market will bear and return a profit increasingly year over year to your shareholders. Well, that didn’t sit well with us energetically knowing that we would need to prioritize profit and growth from a parent’s worst nightmare. So we decided to shift our model to be able to focus more on breadth and support and close any funding gaps with donations in. It’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with being for-profit. It just wasn’t the right model for us. We’re super excited. It also feels like a big leap of faith, so we are just really grateful that you’re here alongside us in the process. and if you are a Hope Stream podcast fan, which I assume you might be, if you’re. I have a really cool thing to share with you that we just launched. It’s called Friends of Hope Stream, and it is for those of you who would like to support the podcast and help with the cost of producing it 52 times a year. Each episode costs about$295 to create record, edit, publish Market host. And if you do the math, that is over$15,000 a. You may also have noticed that we don’t do any external advertising on the podcast, and that is very intentional. I want you to come here and know that each episode was created without any attachment or obligation to anyone. So the cost for producing the podcast comes directly from the organization. The cool thing about being a friend of the Hope Stream podcast donor is I will be hosting a live call each month with our monthly supporters. We’re gonna talk about the guests from that month. I’ll answer any questions you might have. we can connect and I’ll be able to say thank you for your support. So if you wanna do that, you can go to Hope Stream and you can get all set up there. if you’re on my mailing list, you will get more information about Hope Stream Community, how you could help. But for now, just know that we are really fired up. We’re in the stream, we’re in the woods. We’re hosting work. our incredible signature spring retreat is happening in just 28 days. A lot is going on, so take a and you’ll find everything now in one place with one exception. Quick note about show notes for the podcast. I would love to tell you that the podcast is living on Hope Stream because that would make a ton of sense. However, I haven’t yet figured out how to move over 160. all the show notes, all the resource links from one website to another. So for now, if you are looking for show notes, they are slash podcast. When that changes, I will definitely let you know. It’s just a really big project that hasn’t happened yet. Okay, so for what we are gonna be talking about, I have summarized this as the why beneath the why. It’s the real question we need to ask to help our kids heal, and it’s one that I often see not getting asked by parents. This stems somewhat from my conversation with Dr. Ga, who was on the podcast on episode 1 31. Definitely take a listen if you have not yet, because he really highlighted for me that the world we are living in today is not. It is highly toxic in a lot of ways that I don’t have time to go into today. You can listen to the episode and read his book to get more detail on that, and that the toxicity is having a really big negative impact on our kids, and so they find ways to subsist in a often painful and challenging world. And unfortunately, as you. Substances do a really good job at that for a while. Dr. Mae is well known for his statement. Don’t ask why the addiction? Ask, why the pain. Now, if you’ve been here with me for a while, you’ve heard about the Invitation to Change approach, which is what we teach within all of our offerings. It’s an approach that helps you as the parent understand and motivate your child toward healthier. in a variety of ways, and one of the core ways we start to understand and then have compassion for our kids who struggle with substances is by asking them what’s right about your use? What does it do for you? What problem is it solving? This might sound crazy if you’re brand new here, so don’t worry. There’s a lot to understand and a lot to learn, and you. If you’re familiar with this approach, this will make sense to you. It’s part of helping our kids by understanding them, so we know that the substances they’re using are the answer to a problem, not the problem. And finding out what that problem is, is the first why. Why is your relationship with weed so important? How does cocaine make you feel? What are the upsides of drinking? And when you ask this, what you’ll often get is a response like, well, it helps me sleep, or it takes away my anxiety, it makes me more social, helps me study I’m less awkward. Or what my son told me, the only time I feel normal is when I. This is the first why, and it is super important because when you know the first why, you can start working at ways to help your child solve the problem that they have that doesn’t involve substances. Now, this is great if you get here and if your young person is able to access treatment, they’ll hopefully start working on the second why, which is, why do you have the anxiety? Why the depression? Why the A d D? Why the lack of social skills? If we don’t ask the second why we’re missing a big part of the iceberg that’s under. Above the iceberg, you’ll see the symptoms like substance misuse, self harm, suicidal thoughts, opposition and defiance, isolation, risk taking, all this stuff that keeps you up at night underwater though is the cause of the symptoms. And when you ask the second why, those are what you start to uncover. And what you’ll find many times are big tea or small t. that have impacted your child and have now manifested themselves in the behavior that you’re seeing. If you rewind to episode 56, 1 0 4 and 1 31, you’ll find some incredible information about trauma, so I won’t go deep into it here. It’s a lot, and I’m not a therapist, so be sure to take the time to listen to those people who are literally some of the world’s experts in childhood trauma and addiction. I know as parents, we sometimes don’t really wanna know the second why. We’d like to figure out the first one and solve for that anxiety. Cool. Let’s do some d. A D. D, okay. We can get Ritalin or Adderall, and those are good places to start and good actions to take. And by all means, take the actions that you need to in the short term to start to resolve these issues. But if we never go into the second why we’ve closed the lid on something that may still be brewing, and why do we not want to dig into the second why? I think it’s because it’s a scary place to look under the ice. it’s a place that we could potentially find some stuff. We don’t wanna find family issues, medical issues, experiences that our kids have had and never talked about. You name it. And we often feel a deep sense of guilt and shame when we realize that our kids have been bruised by life, by bullies, by their school environment, by their childhood experie. by other people and sometimes even people that we know and love, which is why this entire process is a family gig. This is not your child going through it. It’s you too, and whoever else in the family is around and participating, they’re in it too. You are all headed into treatment. If that’s the direction you’re going, you’re all doing the work because we need to heal too. We need. For what we might find under the iceberg so that we can understand it, we can process it, and we can find our way through it. Ask the second why. Surround yourself with the people you need to be able to do it or to do it for you if you can’t. I had to do this and it was a painful process and there was much guilt involved, many nights, crying myself to sleep, wondering if I had made different decision. with things have turned out differently for my son and for our whole family, and it took a willingness on my part to be vulnerable, to be human, and to wrap myself in a huge amount of compassion and self-care, even when that felt completely wrong to do. If you already know the second why, I’d encourage you to do whatever you. To get a therapist on your team, work with healers who will gently repair your physical and your spiritual body and really lean into your higher power, whoever, or whatever that is for you. It is the way through self-compassion, education, therapy, healing, and a knowledge that something bigger than you is out there and on. I’ll wrap it up with that. Just a short message today, but this is what was on my mind and in the show notes, you can find links to, of course, the episodes that I mentioned, and also a couple of documentaries and resources that will be helpful for you to get the courage to look under the iceberg and some actual ways that you can do that. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to invest in yourself and in your. you’re doing the work it takes to create healthier young people, who, by the way, become old people. And those people run our communities and those people impact all of our lives. So what you’re doing here is bigger than your individual circumstances, and by being here, you are also investing in a greater purpose. If you would like to get a free ebook, I wrote called Hindsight, three Things I Wish I Knew When My Son was Misusing. You can find that at brenda It is a book that will help you start to understand why your child is doing some of the things they are, and to find some ways to navigate it in a more healthy way so that you don’t lose yourself. And remember, for now, show notes are slash podcast. Until further. I’m sending you so much love and light this week, and I’ll meet you right back here next week.

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