Turning Obstacles and Suffering into Successful Recovery, with Patrick Babcock

Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Turning Obstacles and Suffering into Successful Recovery, with Patrick Babcock

After 14 treatment centers, 10 jails in six different states, and solitary confinement at Rikers Island prison, Patrick Babcock is lucky to be alive.  

His parents were barely adults themselves when he was born, dealing with their own alcoholism, physical abuse, and abandonment issues. Patrick’s own substance use began early, sneaking his father’s Heinekens at age 7 and smoking marijuana with his friend’s parents at age 10. He went from an Ivy League kindergarten to running “feral” in the streets of New York, attending the debaucherous Studio 54 at only 14 years old. Though he managed to get a degree in finance, his life was soon further destroyed by heroin.

Patrick’s sobriety required a “spiritual awakening” that finally came while sitting alone in a car after escaping the police, drinking the dregs of a wine bottle he’d found in the street. He never returned to substance use after that night. But when the horror of 9/11 changed his life forever in a very personal way, he started down a path to help young people who had suffered in the same way he had.

In this episode, you’ll hear why the program Patrick founded and runs, Foundation House, believes in failure, the unexpected power of the “inmates running the asylum,” and how parents’ own “dark inner rascals” may set their kids up to fail.


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0:01It sounded a little crazy because I wanted to teach independence. I wanted to teach trust right away because that was going to be the connection. Even the places that were coming up new still had too many rules and regulations that didn’t make sense. It sounds a bit much, but I wanted the inmate to run the asylum. I wanted the kids to know that, um, I was fighting for them, not for their parents check or to fill a bed or to be popular. I wanted to flip the industry. You’re listening to HopeStream. If you’re parenting a young person who misuses substances, Is in a treatment program or finding their way to recovery, you’re in the right place. This is your private space to learn from experts and gain encouragement and support from me. Brenda Zane, your host and fellow mom, to a child who struggled. This podcast is just one of the resources we offer for parents. So after the episode, head over to our website at hopestreamcommunity. org. I’m so glad you’re here. Take a deep breath, exhale, and know that you have found your people. And now let’s get into today’s show. Hello friend. I’m so glad you’re here today. The fact that you take time out of all you have on your multiple spinning plates to tune in here is significant. And I want to acknowledge that this is part of doing your work. If you have spent much time in this world of mental health and substance use, you have undoubtedly heard the phrase, you need to do your own work. And in case you are wondering what that entails, this is part of it. Taking time to hear new and different perspectives. Examining your own ways of being and the patterns in your life, gaining self awareness and taking care of yourself is all doing your work. So welcome. I know you are going to get a lot out of the conversation you are about to hear with Patrick Babcock, who is the founder and CEO of Foundation House in Portland, Maine. I know Patrick from meeting him at various conferences and lovely impromptu conversations that we have on the phone. And besides being a veteran of the industry, Patrick is probably one of the most passionate people I know when it comes to helping young people change their lives. I don’t want to spoil the full episode, so I am going to keep it short and sweet here. Just know that Patrick’s journey took him from Ivy league kindergarten to as a teenager running feral in the streets of New York. Then thanks to his lifestyle and heroin addiction also took him to 14 stints in treatment, garnered him two felonies and provided him 10 opportunities to experience jail, including Rikers Island. This guy who somewhere in there also managed to get a degree in finance. Then ends up doing a 180 in his career and his life as a result of the terrorist attacks on 9 11. I am not kidding you. This is a story you need to hear. Not only because it’s going to give you a lot of hope, if you have a kid who is on a similar trajectory as Patrick, But also because he’s going to share with you why it is so important to allow our kids to experience struggle and why he believes Foundation House has been so successful at helping young adult men get their lives back on track for over 20 years. Patrick holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Fordham University’s College of Business Administration and has trained under licensed alcohol and chemical dependency professionals since 2001, specializing in motivational interviewing, PTSD, cognitive behavioral therapy, and life skills mentorship. Get ready. Here’s me and Patrick Babcock from Foundation House in Portland, Maine. Enjoy. Welcome, Patrick. We made it happen. Hey, Brenda, it only took, I think a year or two, maybe, maybe, but here we are. It’s so good. It’s, it always happens when it’s supposed to happen. I’m a big believer in that. So I’m thrilled that you’re, you know, taking the time to do this. I can’t even fathom how insanely busy you are. So I’m just glad to have an hour with you. And. To bring some insight to parents around some of these issues that just have us scratching our head most of the time when our kids are, you know, either struggling or while they’re in treatment or they’re coming home from treatment. And you’ve seen that full spectrum. So thanks for being on HopeStream. I appreciate it. Thank you for the invitation. Yeah. Let’s get a quick, and I know that’s very difficult because we could do an entire episode like series on your, your coming into this and how you qualify as being somebody who can understand and run a program like Foundation House. But if you were to give us the cliff notes version of that, uh, what would that be? So you can ground everybody and sort of where you’re coming from your perspective and in your experience. It always goes back to childhood, ultimately, for all of us, and knowing that a large part of what we’re talking about, and certainly the folks that you’re reaching are parents, you know, it doesn’t just go back to my childhood, it took me a long time to realize that it actually goes back to my parents childhood, and then so on and so forth over the centuries, you know, my biological family. My childhood was what I refer to as kind of like a perfect storm. I was born in 1966 to a Irish, German and Russian, a mother and father, uh, and family that, you know, I guess over the centuries passed on what amounts to be the Holy Trinity of alcoholism and anger. And suppression and wall building at a time when there was of course tremendous civil unrest war And you know my parents, you know They were kids when they had my sister and I they were 20 when they had my sister in 63 when kennedy was shot They were 23 when they had me Uh in 66 So to understand my own childhood it took years To get through my own conditioning, which is, you know, who was I born to, where was I born, how did they raise me, how did I raise myself, how did the community around me raise me. It really starts with the fact that my parents were kids when they had me. They met under severe trauma and turmoil of their own, and that’s what I kind of mentioned. I didn’t learn that until years and years later. That I wasn’t born to my parents, I was born to two kids who were suffering. And they were never given the tools, um, to learn how to handle the suffering that they were experienced. There was physical abuse on both sides of my family to my parents. Um, my mother spent a year in a body cast from scoliosis. My father was given up for adoption. There was kind of a dear John letter from my Nana. So there was tremendous abandonment issues there for a young boy, you know, they’re both still alive So I want to kind of wink wink nudge nudge avoid the gory details the quote unquote gory details It certainly spilled over to myself and my sister I mean it was happening to them still physical abuse mental depression in the family alcoholism abandonment anger I mean on on high levels There wasn’t any space for love or safety or stability, there was only room for survival. You know, there were times where I was, you know, behind my door and I would fear the doorknob opening. I, I immediately get an emotional traumatic response right now. Sure. All that inner child work, you know, uh, that’s wonderful, but it’s not even necessary, quite frankly. It’s so Raw and permanent. It doesn’t go away just because I eventually wound up stopping doing drugs and alcohol. So there was that history for my parents and there I am growing up and, and much like I’ve tried to do with my own children, my parents honorably tried to do the same instead of, you know, allowing what happened to them happened to my, my sister. And I, you know, my dad worked very hard. I wound up getting sent to a private Ivy League kindergarten, which really, for most of us, can summarize the next 18 years of my life. Actually, it can summarize just about the rest of my life. Girl who, the girl who wrote the preppy handbook, again, I’m really dating your podcast right now. She actually went, she was in my sister’s grade. So, it was the epicenter of disco, punk rock, the New York City, Gerald Ford saying screw off, you know, you’re in a recession, it was intense. Looking back, I went to summer camps, sports camps, I um, loved playing out back with my friends. I thought maybe that On the outside, I had this great life on the outside, but when I’d go inside my house, I knew that there was no home. There was only fear, embarrassment, shame. You know, I was the kid who couldn’t bring friends over because I was afraid and ashamed. I always had to go out. So at a very young age, you know, I, I was that guy who was always going out, going out back to play. Going over to my best, best friend’s house, uh, Peter Kellerman, who will, he will make a, an appearance in a moment here as well. We simply grew up feral, as it turns out, uh, because he was going through the same type of upbringing that I was. And that, that was not the most opportunistic way for a child to grow up, uh, unless they wanted to experience Things that they should have never seen before at a very young age. I mean, I started drinking, sneaking my dad’s Heineken’s at seven, started smoking pot in, you know, sheep’s meadow with Peter, uh, in 1976, I was 10, we were 10, his parents always had a bunch of pot around, so we were smoking with them and his sisters and, you know, so I was always out there and I found the home there and people who were somehow some way. Permissive and the people in the city who had, you know, it was 76, there was a huge group of people who were, you know, the, the age of Aquarius. It was still going on. Right. Alive and well, and, you know, the Grateful Dead. I heard the music and the people and the, the, the drugs and the alcohol and yeah, it made sense. It took away all the pain and fear and the people, you know, it was the, the, the, the love generation, whatever you want. That summer of love, that was a little earlier. But it was still there in that culture, that group of people. There was that idealism of like, you know, well, we might not have a safe home in America. We might not have a safe home in our own homes, but we have a safe home with ourselves. Did that speak volumes to me? And I had access, you know, I was able to be given a couple of dollars by my dad. I was able to sneak a couple of dollars out of his wallet. My friends were able to do that. And we met in the city and we grew up. Seeing and doing things that we never should have seen. I mean, I was sneaking into studio 54 at 13, 14 years old. I was stealing my mother’s car, driving around the city at 14 years old, staying out till bar close at four o’clock and sneaking back in my house an hour before my dad would leave for work. And I was throwing up out of the 11th story bedroom to go to bed and then waking up hopefully to get the first period my freshman year, my sophomore year. I was elected captain of my high school baseball team, my senior year. It was the one thing that meant something to me. It was the only thing actually, besides my friendships, my, my, you know, my tribe. It was the one thing that I put effort into and I, I realized that I was decent at, you know, pretty decent and, and in celebration of that reflection from my teammates, which I really had never felt too much before. The next morning I decided to take seven grams of mushrooms and get naked in the lunchroom. Not that morning, but actually during lunch. Yep. Yep. That didn’t go over too well with the strictest English teacher who happened to have sauntered by. Well, that sent me out a path where, you know, okay, I’m bad. You know, I’m, I’m a bad kid. I know I’m addicted. This is only going to go South. So the only way to go is South. So I went out to Boulder, had a girlfriend out there for my senior year. There, there was going to be no more baseball. I was now a boulder, hippie selling drugs that didn’t go well. We wound up leaving, coming back to New York city. She was from New York, wind up going to Fordham, finally got my, um, degree in finance, but by that point I had a heroin addiction that blew up that five year relationship with my girlfriend. And, um, More suffering, more I am bad. And then that set out on a string of, um, 14 treatment centers, 10 jails in six different states, two New York state Supreme court felonies, the Rikers Island, I was in solitary confinement for a week, I wound up in Minneapolis. Ultimately wound up alone on welfare and on food pantry lines and getting food at church, uh, church basements. I went from that private Ivy League kindergarten. That sounds real privilege, and I don’t wanna get into talking about that topic. It’s a touchy one because on the outside there was a lot of privilege, but there wasn’t any on the inside. I, I suffered greatly. I was afraid all the time. I was embarrassed all the time. And in order to fill that up, and it was tremendous, I mean, to compare the inner feeling that I had no idea about to all of the external in New York city and disco and private school and kids whose parents had more money and better clothes and all that stuff. It got deeper and darker. And my, my inner dark rascals that Carl young talks about, Alan Watts talk about became professional. And I got in a lot of trouble. It wasn’t until 1995. I, I thankfully got sober. It’s a long story, but it was really a spiritual awakening. It happened at 4 49 in the morning. I remember it because it’s a very big page in the big book. You know, in addition back about acceptance being the answer to all of our problems, I’d been to enough treatment centers by that point, I could recite the big book. And as I was taking this last sip of about half bottle of wine that I found on the street after getting in a fight, the police chasing me. I was sitting in this car on the side of the road, kind of getting away with it again. I took that last sip and uh, as it turns out, Wild Horses, The Rolling Stones Wild Horses was playing on the radio and I just started to cry. Another one that just immediately goes to my chest right now. I broke. Uh, I don’t know why. 448, everyone could have bet on me and there’s no way I would have at 449 taken my last sip of alcohol. It took a spiritual, for me, it took a spiritual experience that led to a spiritual awakening that happened in that moment. That’s not to say though that it’s just like this one and done thing. I went to a lot of treatment. I started therapy in fourth grade. I was in the system. I knew how to be successful in the system. I didn’t know how to apply it in life. No one ever taught me how to, you know, they say yoga is and meditation on the, on the mat and on the cushion, it’s practice. Real yoga and real meditation is integrating that into your real life, your stance, your posture, your breath. No one taught me how to integrate those moments of dumping me into therapy and treatment and jail. There was no transmission into practical, survivable, sustainable living. So, I crawled into AA and I scratched and clawed for the first five years of my life and um, amazing people helped save my ass, some of which I’m still very close with. I could go back to my home group 28 years ago and there’s people still there who know me and I know them. It’s, it’s ineffable to explain again. There was the community that I was seeking in 76 in Cheaps Meadow in New York City. Right. Not just those who could fill that need to self soothe, but really they could fill love and unconditional love and understanding and, you know, objective listening again, like you and I were talking about a little earlier. Again, a Jungian principle of, of understanding your own dark rascal to then be able to sit with another not in judgment, not in subjective judgment based in feelings or opinions, but in just understanding and letting them kind of talk their way through and that’s what AA is really, really good treatment, obviously, therapy is. Allowing that person to go into that darkness and having a space where they can sit with it truly sit with it not be Distracted by it, especially these days, you know, oh my phone rang. Sorry. No, no, no, no, no no phones in here No phones in here, you know if preferably no windows, right? Like just you you start having your conversation and let’s work on less distraction each time less distraction each time and a day at a time That’s how kind of aa and hopefully therapy works for others. It certainly did for me fast forward to 2001 You I’m out in Portland, Maine. I’m married. I’m in the media world with, uh, my wife at the time, and, uh, 9 11 hits. As it turns out, Peter Kellerman, who I mentioned, my best friend from childhood, He was a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, and, um, the plane flew in his office. That’s my third, uh, choke up here for you, I didn’t So, this one was going to stick with me a while, and I did have some practice in the Four Noble Truths, and a Buddhist practice at the time. I decided to do something in Peter’s name. And it was going to be of meaning. It was going to be something that I would turn into a vocation. I kind of knew what I was able to do. And then when I thought about it more clearly, I realized that Peter and I didn’t have access to a place to integrate all of those punitive, kick the can down moments that we were sent to in detention, treatment, jail, therapy, rehab, all that stuff. So I wanted to create an environment that spoke to young kids, young men like us. That removed that scarlet letter removed that island of lost Luggage and misfit toys element of getting the opportunity to go through really good treatment centers But then going to these antiquated halfway houses and sober houses. They were Back then they were there were older men smoking palm oils watching tube tvs cnn complaining about the world on smelly couches That’s the truth Didn’t speak to a 16 or 17 or 22 year old kid who is still young enough to be being raised by mostly kids and barely parents themselves. So I created Foundation House 22 years ago with the help and guidance of tremendous amount of people beforehand, you know, to help get me sober and then help me stay sober. And then I leaned on them. These were masters who really stuck by me. I was difficult. I mean, Brenda, I was. I went back to them and I asked for their guidance and advice and I told them my idea and it sounded a little crazy because I wanted to teach independence. I wanted to teach trust right away because that was going to be the connection in order for us to have these conversations. It was kind of that AA model. Even the, even the places that were coming up new still had too many rules and regulations that didn’t make sense. You can’t have your phone. You’re in a stage where you can’t go out with these other guys. That’s just going to reinforce those guys to want to break those rules. And then it’s going to force the environment to have to kick them out or create a more punitive feel. There’s no trust, love and love and safety and stability that exists between the two people. So it sounds a bit much, but I wanted the inmate to run the asylum. I wanted the kids to know that I was fighting for them, not for their parents check or to fill a bed or to be popular, but I wanted to flip the industry back then. It was a field. Now it’s a crazy, embarrassing, oversaturated industry. That’s just my opinion. There’s a lot of people still, but very hard to find because it’s a booming, like anything in the American West industry now. Hi, I’m taking a quick break to let you know some exciting news. There are now two private online communities for supporting you through this experience with your child or children. The stream community for those who identify as moms and the woods for guys who identify as dads. Of course, this includes step parents and anyone who is caring for a young person who struggles with substance use and mental health. The stream and the woods exists completely outside of all social media. So you never have to worry about confidentiality and they’re also ad free. So when you’re there, you’ll be able to focus on learning the latest evidence based approaches to helping people change their relationship. With drugs and alcohol in both communities. We have a positive focus without triggering content or conversations and we help you learn to be an active participant in helping your child move towards healthier choices. You’ll also experience the relief of just being able to be real connect with other parents who know fully what you’re going through and have battle tested mentors alongside. You can check out both the stream and the woods for free before committing. So there’s no risk. Go to hopestreamcommunity. org to get all the details and become a member. Okay, let’s get back to the show. What I’m surprised about is that this was, this was a concept you had 23 years ago, not three years ago. Like what you’re doing is and was so incredibly unique at the time. Did people think that you were crazy? Yes. Gold in my ear. I just read this recently. Gold, cause we were doing a group on humility for the past couple of weeks, um, at foundation house. And I came across a quote from Gold to My Ear. She said, I mean, I’m really, I, is this podcast happening in the 2020s or in 1972? If, if you could, if you could send this back to 72, this is gonna, I will try. This is gonna be a really popular podcast, . Okay. So Gold Meyer said, stop being so humble. You’re not that great. Mm. There’s some truth to that. So set aside whatever type of humility I would want to achieve with this next sentence, because the truth of the matter is I’m not that great. I did steal, and this was pre Steve Jobs stealing everything to combine it into an iPhone. That was his genius move. My genius move, you know, and I’ve only had a couple of them in life, was to steal everything that came up front. And have it be accessible in the integration phase for the client, for the kid, have it be his, not according to the parent, or the therapist, or the principal, or the warden, or, or any of those, or the girlfriend, or the boyfriend. This was going to be taking all those things and giving them their own iPhone. And, and, like the iPhone, kids learned how to use it faster because it was intuitive to them somehow. And that’s what I knew was going to be available for them. They, these kids know. They know more than we as parents in particular think. They know what to do and what not to do. The missing link was not knowing how to do and what to do with it. Joy becomes too much joy. Suffering becomes too much suffering. There was a great exchange between Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper a couple of years ago about grief. And it was a time where I was going through a tremendous amount of grief from some things that were happening in my own personal life. And I saw this and they were talking about their mothers dying. And Stephen Colbert, you know, spoke to this very Jungian type Buddhist principle. Until you’re able to fully recognize, realize, and accept suffering, you really don’t understand and know joy. There, you know, it’s a non dual concept. There is not one without the other. That first noble truth really is based on craving. We suffer because we crave the end of suffering or more joy. It’s not like We’re only suffering that’s not what I think the Buddha meant as far as what I’ve learned Young kids and parents at this moment of impact this kind of ground zero of their own like oh my god It’s happening to my kid. What did I do wrong? You know, and it’s not about them, it’s about their child’s issue in that case. We all kind of need to take that deep breath, slow down, and start to do that Jungian process of objective listening, to give ourselves the opportunity to first understand and learn our own inner rascals. Parents would be wise to explore this and start to have the conversation by themselves with those parts of their childhood, and I’m not going to sit here and say it. You know, uh, go to Al Anon and do your inner child work, but I’m going to say go to Al Anon and do your inner child work, you know, whatever you got to lose. I mean, if that’s where these conversations start, and they certainly did for me long before I got sober. And then when I got sober, that’s what I fell back on, those teachings. I finally sat with them and I allowed myself to sit with them. There weren’t a lot of places when I started Foundation House that had the bandwidth of the things that we did, you know, we quickly started incorporating a bunch of athletics, that’s kind of normal, I suppose. But we didn’t just do it for the jocks. It was for everyone to play a real, I mean, this was inclusion before inclusion got popular. And we have therapists out there working with them. So it’s resetting that socialization out back where instead of a kid getting picked last, when we pick, we pick in random order, we make sure when we say names, it’s just random. Always. No one can ever know that there’s a hierarchy. We do it at our ranch bashes. We, you know, foundation has a grandmother. We have a wilderness ranch up in Bethel. And we have this ranch bash every year and it culminates in tug of war. And, you know, I tend to say the smaller guys who might not be as strong first, you’re the captain of your teams. God, you got these guys and the bigger guys are like, what do I, you know, and everyone kind of gets reset there and we have a ton of fun again, resetting, not suffering, not having too much joy, just doing something together where we’re resetting that inner rascal. We’re shedding a little bit more light on, Hey, you know what? You’re an important part of this team. You’re the smallest and weakest. But if your team won, it’s because you were maybe the strongest, weakest, weakest link ever. Must’ve been, you know, great, successful. You won, you did it. That’s it. You’re a part of it. That guy back there, the big heavy guy couldn’t have done it without you. Impossible. You’re team one. You’re part of something. So we, we um, challenge ourselves to find various areas and elements to push these guys out of their comfort zone, not in a safe bubble of rehab, but out there in the real world. You know, I put in two sensory deprivation float tanks because you want to meet your dark rascal. Jump in one of those for an hour. Oh wow. Oh yeah. You’ll, you’ll, you’ll have a quick introduction. We have the, our international trips, which has kind of become, you know, a real signature of Foundation House. We take guys, uh, to, we’re, we’re going to Australia in a couple of months. It’s our sixth. Continent and we’re shooting for all seven. Uh, antarctica will be the last next year These guys are getting scuba certified to go scuba dive the great barrier reef Their first scuba certification is going to be on the other side of the world long play ride plane ride In the Great Barrier Reef, that is far out of their comfort zone. We’ve got guys who are admittedly scared of all this, but yet they’re doing it. And they’re doing it together again in this kind of group, this gestalt of support, the foxhole, as we call it, taking them out of America and treatment where they could be on their phones and having to navigate. With us together, we don’t really tell the guys in a sense what to do. We just do things with them, showing these guys that you’re capable of without your parents, without your therapist. Although we do have that team on site and on the ground. You’re capable of doing all these things and here’s true joy and maybe along that trail in Africa We climb Mount Kilimanjaro. There would be tremendous suffering cerebral edema dehydration one of the guys made it to the last day and on the midnight summit is Lungs filled up with water and he couldn’t make it and we all suffered one of our brothers get to the top He had to stay behind He came that far. That young man’s doing exceptionally well, according to his life, because there is no one definition of success. Right. That’s North Carolina. He’s a sober professional now in real estate. I’m still friends with his family. They’re, they’re from Alabama, but complete odd. Side note, I’ve been an Alabama football fan since childhood. Uh, so Roll Tide to Ross, just in case you cross this. So it sounds like what you’re doing is you’re building in some of that struggle while they’re with you in a safer container, if you want to call it that. Um, what I hear a lot or what I talk a lot about with parents is that we are really good at rescuing our kids their whole life until they get to some point when we either can’t rescue them anymore or the law or somebody else does it for us. And I’m just wondering what you see with the guys that are there. Kind of related to that if they’ve been rescued and that’s why they’re not used to suffering or they’re not used to Having to do these things on their own or having the confidence to do that Because I think it’s I just see it It’s so common in the parents that we work with so I’d love to get your thoughts on that Anyone who’s ever succeeded on whatever terms they deem their own success Failure is not an option It’s the only option you have to pause there because it’s a great grandiose, right? You know, don’t be so humble. You’re not that great. You know, people who have succeeded at anything know that, you know, 83, 000 times before they got successful, they were failing. And a fear of mine is kind of taking these words out of the nomenclature of experiences like this. There’s no, there’s no shame in Ben Franklin. You know, how many times did he try and get that lightning to hit the key? I gotta imagine he must have been struck once or twice even you know coming back to the house in the rain It’s like a it’s a cartoon right like wily coyote, you know All shocked and burnt and like, you know, I don’t know his wife. I don’t know if he was married or not I haven’t done that much history and ben franklin. Maybe he had a partner who knows but either way he comes home And the person’s like ben what the are you doing? Exactly. I got this. I’m I’m close. They’re like no man. This isn’t you’re freaking failing dude You are failing hard. You’re gonna kill yourself. You might kill someone else. Why you attract me? Why are you trying to track lightning to the neighborhood? You know, child please. Maybe he was born in the South, I don’t know, so maybe they said that. But then, then all of a sudden it hit the key! Why take the element of necessary failure out of the equation? Why are we saying that we can’t say failed to launch anymore? I’d go so far as to say on somewhat of an esoteric level here, I think this whole globe has failed to launch, quite frankly. That’s not an embarrassment, there’s no shame to that. I think we’re far away from being these super realized selves. I mean, I, again, I also don’t want to get into the woke thing. This is temporary because it’s a, you know, it’s going to change, right? Autism’s changed to neurodiversity, you know, neurodivergence. I, I see that I’ve been around long enough to know this, so I’m not going to take a subjective shot at a word, but how about just the experience itself? For parents to not go into this oftentimes 30, 60, 90 day bubble experience with some expectation that their child is supposed to do well in treatment and then come out and do well at home. It’s not apples to apples like that. It’s not. And parents, I hear it all the time. You know, we’re, we’re mostly after primary. We can take people right after detox. A lot of times people are in primary and they want to know where to go. They come to Foundation House. And I, and I hear from parents all the time, Patrick, I just want you to know my son does really well in treatment. He’s doing really well right now at so and so, but the therapist is recommending that he needs something after. Every time we’ve done this he comes home and he fails. And I go, yeah, well, because we’re on the carousel of the, if I just do well here, I can go back to my regular life. Cause that’s all I’m familiar with. And why would I do something different? No one’s taught me how to go through different. This is a kind of twilight zone. I’m told to go to treatment, and I’m told to behave there. And I behave there, and, you know, when I come back, it’s just as bad, or it gets worse. You know, it sounds crazy, and I probably lost a lot of potential clients. When I tell them, I go, listen, I hope your son comes to Foundation House and fails a few times. At least, I hope he suffers here. I hope he gives us an opportunity to help teach him something that we are still all learning ourselves anew. Hopefully, right? I haven’t stopped suffering. I haven’t stopped trying to learn and apply. I ask that of my own staff, you know, and I don’t even like to say that because it’s just a team that I work with. I learn from them all the time. I pay attention. You know, I’ve got single moms with kids, guys in early recovery as facilitators who are asking to do that grunt work, and they’re confused and they don’t know how to do it. And You know, they’re afraid of failing the boss kind of a thing. It’s all over the place all the time. Um, so yeah, we kind of encourage it a little bit and then work on, um, ways to have conversations that allow much more clear understanding of our own individual, as well as. Apples to apples kind of group, dark rascals, that’s going to give them the opportunity to not alone in a safe, stable place, work through that transition of, Oh God, tremendous suffering or even tremendous joy. I mean, how many, you know, people in early recovery find the partner and at first it’s tremendous joy, but then it, yeah, the suffering and you wind up using again, we have to take those risks. It’s kind of exposure therapy in a sense. It’s gotta happen here. Yeah. They’ve got to have their phones. They’ve got to learn how to fail with those things in real time. There’s always been a high wire act, you know, from day one. When they come home. Um, is I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. Uh, I, I experienced it several times, you know, exactly what you’re saying does so well in treatment and then comes home and just doesn’t have the skills to apply whatever it was that was learned in treatment to. the day to day challenges. And I think for parents, it’s so scary to watch them struggle when they come home. Right. Because it’s so high risk, especially today, you know, fentanyl is like some Russian roulette. I never would have made. Yeah. How do parents navigate that when, when they say, okay, great, they’ve done great. In treatment, they’ve learned some of these things and now maybe they’re home, but maybe they’re at college or maybe they’re in an apartment on their own or with a friend or something. What are some things that we could do that could be helpful? And what are some of the things that you see parents do that are unhelpful in that situation in kind of trying to make that transition out of treatment into the world? At Foundation House, we certainly have over the years incorporated what thankfully you’re doing, you know, the idea of a podcast on this type of topic matter, taking it out of treatment, taking it out of extended care, making it, in this case, super affordable and accessible to parents, but One week, the parents will talk with the therapist directly. Another week, they’ll zoom with their son and the therapist directly. Another week, they’re going to be talking with resident parents and also alumni parents. That’s the call where the rubber hits the road. Where these other resident parents can start talking about that, you know, earlier mid brain type thought. And then getting into the panic of that limbic system where the only, you Are what are they doing? They’re letting him have his phone. What? No, my son can’t handle that. And and then going to a frontal lobe. That’s not, not even for the parents is why I’m saying they’re, you know, sorry folks, when I say this, but in this particular arena, their own frontal lobes haven’t even matured enough to stop for a second and go, wait a minute. There is a solution to my suffering here, which is I’m going through this. This isn’t about my kid. These are my own issues here. And I’m putting these expectations on my kid, which ultimately he internalizes and they become his issues that he can’t fulfill at such a young age while having a very immature, literally frontal lobe can’t stop from the panic of those expectations. I mean, talk about a self fulfilling prophecy, right? Right. That’s when the alumni parents kick in and go, Hey, Sally, John, we got news for you. These crazy bastards know exactly what they’re doing. Our son was there for eight. 13 months, you know, no guarantee, let’s face it, you know, we’ve heard stories and I’m saying that very matter of factly, you do this 22 years, you bury a couple of people, that’s the high wire act, there can be a communication, you can reach out to people when you need to go deep into your own dark rascal and find your own suffering to ultimately be able to then have the conversation in this case, in particular, or With your child and allowing him to have or her to have their own conversation first so they can know what’s going on to then have a vocabulary to talk to you in like what kind of an adult level. I don’t know the word mature, you know, again, objective where it’s fair and you’re listening objectively. That’s young’s all point. Listening objectively. Yes. Not listening with an agenda. Right. Yeah. And not listening to, I think somebody on our team said a while ago that when we are listening, we’re often actually not listening. We’re reloading. Totally. So we’re taking this in and we are just reloading and reloading and it just becomes that battle and the power struggle. Where we’re truly not hearing them. And I love what you said earlier on about how our kids really know so much and, and that we don’t usually give them the opportunity to share with us all the magic and all the brilliance that they are, because we see The substance use, or we see the cutting or the mental health or whatever it is, and we just get so laser focused on that, that we don’t see all the whole human that’s there, which is amazing. We jump and criticize the process way too quick. And we, we pay little, far too little amount of time on the actual end result. No two processes are alike for any two people. Everyone’s got their own process on how they need to navigate to whatever finish line of whatever activity they’re engaged in. We’re so quick to, you know, again, it’s like kind of the man in the arena. So quick to be critics and not keep in mind what it really takes to navigate being in the arena. It’s a different set of rules down there and judgment and criticism might be good when you’re trying to find like a review on a movie in Google. Maybe it’s, uh, that’s another, uh, Alan Watts, Parable of the Chinese Gardener. I, uh, encourage everyone to look that up. Yes. I actually have an episode on that. I’ll put a link in the show notes. Totally. Totally. You, we don’t know what’s going to happen in any one given, uh, event. It can be a great event, but maybe that might lead to something horrible. Oh my god, Peter got a job at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center. He’s making money, his life’s together. Maybe. Maybe. Then one day, a plane flew in his office. And I suffered. I suffered. That was horrible. Obviously, Peter suffered. Peter died. But I suffered. Oh my god, it went back to all the things of my childhood. We’re not good enough. You know, we’re never gonna make it. He’s not gonna make it now. I don’t know how to do this. How do I get, you know, uh, the world? Maybe, you know, maybe that was suffering in a weird way, because of the opportunity that was presented as a result of Peter’s death, I’ve wound up helping a lot of people. Yeah. So that, you know, oh, and then it’s, oh, that’s great then, great, that’s all the, you know, the Chinese for everything. And then, But maybe, maybe, I got addicted, Brenda, to my job, and I took my eye off the ball of my marriage. We wound up getting divorced, you know, my wife divorced me, uh, years into this. Super successful, internationally known, pioneering this thing, saving lives. But I was suffering from my own addiction to it. Ego, chasing, craving, more, more. It just doesn’t stop, you know, what Colbert and Anderson Cooper were talking about. I certainly have to be prepared to realize suffering at a moment’s notice as much as I would like to think that I want to crave joy. I don’t really, I live a much more kind of hopefully neutral state as often as I can. And when suffering happens, you know, not only for my own life, but for those who I am responsible for, I try and model it and, uh, and I sit in it. Quietly for a moment and I look into my own, you know, dark rascal again, and I’ve got to go back to Oftentimes the beginning like what we talked about earlier how I was raised. Who were my parents? How did they raise me? How were they raised in what environment? What were those conditions? That led to the truth of my suffering. What was the cause of it? Is there an end to it? Well, sure if I take a deep breath and and give yourself an opportunity to sit with it Maybe. Tremendous joy will follow. Right. Well. I was going to ask you what you would want parents to take away from this conversation. And you just beautifully summed it up right there. And I don’t know about you, but I always struggle a little bit because I will say that, you know, the Chinese farmer and the maybes and what I went through with my son and, Oh, it was so terrible. Maybe because just like you now, I’m able to help people, uh, because of that would have never, ever happened. So I try not to talk. About it too much only because I know when you are in the midst of it, that can sound really trite and it can sound really like, Oh, well that’s great for her, but I don’t know where my kid is tonight. And you know, but I love, love, love what you said. I love this whole conversation. And I think a lot of people are going to go back and listen to it twice because there’s so much richness in, in what you’ve shared and your experience. And then just also your ability to have it. A more, I think, global perspective of this than just what parents see is their one journey and where their kid is right now. And so it’s very helpful to hear the bigger picture to get a more holistic view of it, um, because we’re all just trying to do a little bit better. And it’s so good to scale back, get a 50, 000 foot view of what’s going on and, and just know that if we are suffering, it’s okay. And we can move through that. We can watch it. We can get to tomorrow and we get to the next day. We get to the next day. So thank you for joining us. Thank you for the time and being so vulnerable and sharing your experience, everything that kind of brought you to where you are. I truly appreciate it. Thank you, Brenda. And listen, when, when you start doing the six hour marathon podcast, please get in touch with me because. We just talked and I didn’t even get near most of the eight pages of notes that I had written up for our discussion And it lasted an hour I mean I know it’s terrible. Well, you know where to find me. So when we want to do part two, we’ll just hop on again Yeah, I I would love to I would love to come back for sure. What you’re doing is It’s so necessary for All of us who are doing what we’re doing, which is why I gravitated to, I’ve got to know this woman and I’ve got to get on her show. I’ve got to invite myself on her show. And it worked out. It’s perfect. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. We’ll talk again soon. All right. Take care of Brenda. Okay. My friend, that’s a wrap for today. Don’t forget to download the new ebook, Worried Sick. It’s totally free and will shed so much light on positive tools and strategies you can use right now to start creating conditions for change in your home and in your relationships. It’s at HopeStreamCommunity. org forward slash worried. And as always, you can find any resources mentioned during today’s show at brendazane. com forward slash podcast. That is where every episode is listed and you can search by keywords, episode number or the guest name. Plus we’ve created lay lists for you, which make it easier to find episodes grouped by topic. And those are at brendazane. com forward slash playlists. Please be extraordinarily good to yourself today. Take a deep breath. You have got this. You are not doing it alone. And I will meet you right back here next week.

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