The Secret Menu; Reframing The Experience of Parenting and Addiction, with Brenda Zane

Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
The Secret Menu; Reframing The Experience of Parenting and Addiction, with Brenda Zane

Sometimes you can gain a different understanding of things by looking at them through a new lens. Today's bite-size episode does that for you as the parent of a young person who struggle with substances – in the form of a short story.

You'll hear about a restaurant owner and her strange, secret menu. And for those who eat from it, it can provide benefits and gifts not available anywhere else.

It's one you may want to single-task for to absorb the full meaning. Created with love and compassion by me, just for you. 

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0:03You’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 Hello, my friend today, I went with a different format than usual. I decided to explore an idea I talk about often, but I haven’t been able to really articulate it in a way that I feel. Like truly expresses my belief. So I’ve been chewing on this idea in my head for a long time, and finally sat down on a very hot summer day. And the house was quiet and I had some mental space to really think. I don’t know about you, but I find it is often almost impossible to just think and not think about doing things. Or fixing anything or making plans. That’s a different kind of thinking. I’m talking about actually thinking big thinking about life. About what you’re actually doing about what you want to do with your days and your weeks and your years. And let me just say that if you are in the chaos right now, With the child off the rails and other stressors like aging parents and work problems and financial strain and other kids with other issues. I know you do not have time to do this most likely. You’re probably just grateful if you make it through the day in one piece. And fall into bed before imploding. I’ve been there. So I recognize this concept of just thinking. Might seem like a luxurious pastime. But don’t give up on seeking out small pockets of time, even if it’s just five or 10 minutes to think about something longer term. It will help get you out of the immediate and remind you that. Well, this is where you are today. You aren’t going to be here forever. It is temporary and you’re going to want to have something on the other side when you get there. I hope it’ll share here today will allow you to zoom out for a few minutes. Getting at a bigger picture view of where you may find yourself today. It came to me in the form of a story. So again, I’m departing from a more traditional episode today. And just want to say, thanks in advance for being along for the ride on this. So here’s the story. There once was a restaurant owner. Who saw lots of regular customers come through the doors and eat off her menu over the years. Every once in awhile, a customer would notice a somewhat hidden area of the menu they hadn’t seen before. And ask the owner about it. What’s this part of the menu. I didn’t know. It was there. Some of the customers were young. Even as young as teenagers and some were older. Those who inquired about the secret menu? Looked both rich and poor came from the country and city had all levels of education and were from vast ethnic backgrounds. So the restaurant owner could never guess who would approach her about it. Upon their asking the restaurant owner would reply. Oh, that’s a very special menu. One that only a small number of my customers will ever eat from. It’s filled with many items that are unfamiliar or appealing to most difficult to understand. And honestly, Some don’t taste. Very good. Often the curious customer would exclaim. Well, why would you offer this menu? If the items on it don’t even taste good. I also noticed they cost more than your standard menu. This seems like a bad business decision. Ah, the restaurant owner would reply. What you don’t know about this menu is that those who eat from it. Over time become very wise. They know more about themselves than most. They become compassionate to those who are suffering. They build resilience to persevere through the worst of times. They are grateful for each day and kind beyond measure. Very often. They go on to make life better for others who also eat from this menu. Hearing this, the customer would often frown, shake their head and hardened their stance. They would look at the owner as if she was crazy. They prefer to eat from the menu that most people ate from when that contained familiar comfort food. Dishes that were easier to pronounce and didn’t challenge them too much. Sometimes even though the restaurant owner could tell her customer was hesitant. And really didn’t want to experience this strange, uncomfortable and often bitter tasting menu. They would step forward and opt into it. Sometimes this broke her heart. Often it made her very proud. That’s when she knew this person. The one who might’ve stuck with the standard option belong to her most exclusive customer group. She knew there would be parts of the menu that would acutely challenge her customer. So she would bring them extra water and even built a tent for them in a beautiful field behind the main restaurant. Only those who ate from the hidden menu or allowed in the tent. Sometimes they would gather and compare notes on the bitter menu items or learn techniques to modify the food. So it was less rancid or unpleasant. They came up with ways to avoid the most unsavory dishes. And there was great celebration when the young and old would unexpectedly unearth sweet wild honey. Much to their surprise. This brave tribes soon came to realize that even though they were eating from the less desirable portion of the menu, They were still able to enjoy the bounty and goodness of the regular menu as well. And the more they sought out and relished the good, the bitter items from their menu. Weren’t as unpleasant as they first tasted. From the refuge of their beautiful tent. These exclusive diners could see the others eating in the restaurant from the main menu. Well, the temp customers knew the others were getting simple food without as much complication or distress. They held onto the promise of the restaurant owner that their menu would in time deliver something the others might never receive. Enormous understanding of patients. Freedom from negative and unhealthy patterns. An abundance of empathy and compassion. Unshakable endurance and resilience. An unmatched ability to love without condition And the purest most fervent faith and trust. Eventually they came to realize they were the lucky ones. Not those eating from the standard limited menu. And so as the years passed and the restaurant owner observed her customers, she knew that even though it was a less popular section of her menu, Often getting bad reviews. She had to keep it. She knew that there would always be those who were uniquely tragically called to it. Those who would eat from it and experienced the full array of available items. Who was she to Rob these customers of the secret non-Jew. One shunned and disregarded by the majority of her customers. For issue removed it. She thought, how will these magically beautiful souls be made? The ones who care more love harder. Fight stronger and ultimately change themselves and change the world. I hope my little story spoke to you in some way. And my hope for you is that you’ll embrace the menu you’re being served from. Find a beautiful tent where you’ll meet others who are being shaped and formed into magical people. Just like you. One of those places is hope, stream community, and we love to have you there. So we can give you some extra water. And walk through this experience with you. You can always find out more about what that looks like at hope stream, You can also do some deeper learning by downloading a free ebook. I wrote. Called hindsight. Three things. I wish I knew when my son was misusing drugs. It’s filled with insight that will help you understand some of what’s going on with your child right now. And also, and importantly, how to take good care of yourself so you can stay healthier through this experience. And you can download that at Brenda’s forward slash hindsight. Thanks for being here. Thanks for listening and learning. So you’re better equipped for your child. Which in the end. Makes not just your family better. It makes your community better. And the positive impact just goes out from there. Please take exceptionally good care of yourself today. And I will meet you right back here. Next week.

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