When Your Sibling Has Substance Use Issues; Finding Sanity And Practicing Self-Care, with Tina Jayes

Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
When Your Sibling Has Substance Use Issues; Finding Sanity And Practicing Self-Care, with Tina Jayes
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ABOUT THE EPISODE: 
In this special episode, I talk with my dear college friend Tina Jayes about growing up as the sibling in a house where her brother was addicted to drugs and the dysfunction of that combined with an alcoholic mom and little supervision or money. She shares so much:

  • the heartbreak of losing her adored, older brother to an overdose 
  • how a lack of resources contributed to keeping him in an unhealthy lifestyle
  • what she wishes her mom would have done to help her understand what was going on with her brother
  • how her mom and brother's addiction has impacted her life today
  • her choices around communicating hard information when raising her own children
  • thoughts for parents wondering how to talk to their "other" children

We transition from the sibling conversation to self-care and coping strategies she recommends based on her life experience and over 16 years in the beauty industry. We talk all things from maca powder to boxing, puffy eyes, and cucumber facials. Tina gives us practical but important ways to take care of our bodies and minds when faced with incredible life challenges.

This is a great episode to listen to if you have a child with substance use disorder and there are other kids in the home, and if you're looking for ways to feel better as you endure the pain that's related to your child's addiction. 

EPISODE RESOURCES:
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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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Brenda

Hi friends. These are some strange times. The time that I’m recording this is while we are all on Stay at Home orders during the Coronavirus lockdown. And I really thought about whether I should do a podcast episode right now because I wasn’t quite sure how people are feeling if people are even listening to podcasts or what was appropriate. But I figured by now where we’re all at least two to three weeks into this that maybe people could use a little bit of a distraction. And so I decided to go ahead and record and release this really special episode and I just want to say if there’s moms out there right now or parents, anybody who is feeling the extra strain of the stay at home orders and everything that’s going on with the Coronavirus if you need some extra support.
Right now I am offering free memberships to The Stream, which is our online space where we can connect together as moms and as parents of kids who are, you know, misusing drugs and alcohol. And I just wanted to make that available because I know the strain can be extra when we are in a situation like that. So if you’re interested in that and you want to get plugged in with us, just go to BrendaZane.Com/Thestream. So again, I hope this is a little bit of a distraction for you. 
This is a really interesting conversation. So and kind of timely. So I wanted to put it out there and I wanted to do a sibling series because I know in our situation with my son and his younger brother, my youngest son those siblings take a lot. They take a a lot of the pain and the pressure when the older or younger sibling is caught up in addiction.
And so I’ve been really wanting to do a sibling series and at the same time want to weave in more self care and coping strategies for parents into this podcast. And so when I was thinking about that, my dear, dear friend from college fit the bill for both of those sort of scenarios. And so I wanted to invite her on to talk about a couple of things and we did that and this is that conversation that we had while we were both in, in lockdown, in isolation and we chatted kind of like old friends. So you’re, you’re sort of just listening in on our conversation, but I’m really glad to be able to share this conversation with you. And to introduce you to my friend and somebody who has helped me through some of the hardest times. Tina Jayes, she’s the owner of Inspired Beauty Skincare in Studio City, California.
And in addition to having her aesthetic license, she also has a degree in psychology and she is a certified massage technician. She is also certified in manual lymph drainage and is also trained in facial reflexology through the A.I.R.F.I in Milan, Italy. And our conversation ranges from everything from talking about her highly dysfunctional upbringing with an alcoholic mom and then her brother who is addicted to drugs all the way to the topic of coping and some really practical ways that we can take care of ourself and our skin. And this is all based on her intimate hands, on knowledge of working with people for over 16 years in the beauty industry. So I hope you enjoy this conversation with a beautiful soul, a beautiful person inside and out, Tina Jayes.
Tina, welcome to the show. It is so fun and nice to have a good friend on the show. How are you? 

Tina


I’m very well thank you. I’m glad to be here. 

Brenda


Yeah, and at the time that we’re recording this, I should just let people know we’re in the middle of the Coronavirus, kind of locked down. So both Tina and I are kind of self quarantined and it’s, it’s strange times, but I’m excited to have this conversation. It’s kind of a little bit of a distraction from what’s going on and I think there’s some really great information that’s going to help people out there. So I would love to start out with just a fun question and I think I already know the answer to this, but I like to start with a fun question, which is what did you have for breakfast this morning? 

Tina


This morning I had my green smoothie that I almost always have. 

Brenda


What’s in your green smoothie? 

Tina


Spinach, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, Maca powder and some almonds. 

Brenda


Wow. What does Maca powder do? 

Tina


It’s an adaptogen. It’s a Peruvian super food, but
It’s a hormone balancer. And I’ve added it to my smoothie probably the last 10 years and I didn’t have like the hormonal swings of PMs and I’m hoping it takes me gracefully into menopause.

Brenda


Awesome. That this is such a good tip. I will put this in the show notes so that people can find it. I don’t think people know about Maca powder. 

Tina


Everyone needs some locker room or every, I should say every female needs some Maca root powder in her life. 

Brenda


Yeah, sounds like it. So you’ve been having green smoothies for breakfast for over 10 years? 

Tina


Yes. Since, my daughter was in high school. 

Brenda


I did not know that. This is, this is news. 

Tina


You can always find out new things about your friends. 

Brenda


You can, you can. Well, I am so excited to have you on today because I will have been sort of thinking in my mind that I wanted to do a sibling series because I think siblings of people who are in addiction are, are kind of entirely forgotten in the conversation. It’s, there’s a lot of talk about parents.
Obviously there’s a lot of talk about the, the person who is struggling, but I think the siblings in a family are ones that sort of kind of get swept under the rug. And so I wanted to do that and at the same time I wanted to do kind of a series or continue to weave in to the podcast series, self care for moms in particular, but also dads of ways that you can stay sane while you are going through this sort of insanity with somebody in your family has an addiction. And so when I was thinking about those two things you came to mind, because I know that you kind of fit both of those descriptions. So I think it’ll be really interesting. And I’m thinking maybe we can just start out with you giving us an idea of kind of your family and, and background and sort of the story around why you kind of fit that sibling bill. 

Tina


Well, I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the 60s, and I’m the youngest of five with a single mom who’s always been a single mom, which is a lot more common now. And there’s a lot more opportunities I think for women to make a living. It was pretty difficult then. And you know, we were very low income. We were very unsupervised and she was also a raging alcoholic. So it was a lot. I had, now I have three older sisters and an older brother and none of us had any coping skills. We just dealt with each day as it came. So you know, looking back now, being a parent, knowing what I know, it’s no surprise that my brother, you know, found a way to fit in the world. You know, it’s pretty difficult for a, a boy to be raised by a mother, four sisters and not have any male input.
And so I feel like he, you know, he always played sports. He tried to do whatever he could to stay in that male energy and you know, drinking comes with that. Drugs comes with that. And you know, that was kind of his outlet. 

Brenda


Did you know that your mom, like just in thinking if when you grow up with something that’s kind of your normal, right, you don’t know, like you don’t spend time living in other people’s lives. Did you know when you were younger that your mom was alcoholic or how did you think about that as you started to sort of maybe get into your middle school years and things? 

Tina


I didn’t know she was an alcoholic. I just knew it was really scary to come home and you never knew what you were coming home to and, and I thought everyone kind of had, I, you know, like you said, you only know what you are experiencing. So I just thought that everyone was like afraid to walk in.
And then it was like in middle school when I started smoking comment myself that I realized, Oh, this is what people will do to escape. And then it all, you know, then you sneak or vodka because Hey look, there’s free vodka. Right. That’s when I realized. 

Brenda


And what was the age difference between you and your brother? 

Tina


My brother was three years older than I am. 

Brenda


Okay. So pretty close. It’s not like you guys were 10 years apart? 

Tina


No, there’s 10 years between the oldest sister and myself. 

Brenda


Right. When did you notice that he was starting to use substances? Was it something that was sort of low key or were you pretty aware right away like wow, something’s going on now?

Tina


It was pretty obvious. I mean he always had a pot filled room, you know, always had beer in his room and he was in high school, so I was in middle school, but he was also really good looking, really popular, really charismatic. So it just kind of went with his image. So it wasn’t anything that we frowned upon. If anything it was kind of, we looked up to him because he was so cool. So he was the, he was the guy, like he was the cool guy, the fun guy. 

Brenda


Right. Wow. When did you start to notice that maybe it was, it was impacting him in negative ways versus being kind of the fun, cool guy.

Tina


There were definitely visits from the police, which is really scary when you’re, you know, also it wasn’t a family that talked about anything. So maybe you come home, the police are in the living room. My mom’s crying, my brother has a black guy and we’re just like told to go to your room and then no one ever talks about it again. So there were definitely red flags, but no one is explaining it to you and you don’t go just to school and tell your friends cause it’s all just, you know that it’s a secret that you don’t know what the secret is.

Brenda


Yeah. That has to be kind of mind-bending. If you’re living that day to day, you’ve got your mom on the one hand who’s not fully present maybe. And then you’ve got your, your cool older brother who you’re starting to get really worried about and you, and no one’s talking.

Tina


Right. Yeah. I think one of the, you know, most important things, and I know you’ve covered this in some other podcasts, is you have to talk about these things as much as you can, whether it’s to a therapist, whether it’s to each other. I mean, I think when you carry this stuff around, it just is a big heavy burden and you don’t even know what it is. But I would, you know, if it was happening to my family now, I think I would hope to talk to my younger, you know, the siblings and give them some information and give them some coping tools because I think that would have been really helpful instead of acting like nothing was happening.

Brenda


Right. I wonder if your mom was, would have been able to do that given her own kind of struggle at the time. Do you think that she was intentionally not sharing with you and your sisters or was it just sort of a jumble? 

Tina


No, I think she just didn’t have the skills and she was probably wasted half the time anyway. So, which was, you know, it’s all becomes a vicious circle.
So things would be terrible. She would drink more. It would be worse. 

Brenda


It’s that cycle. 

Tina


Yes. Yeah. And therapy wasn’t at that time it wasn’t as sort of, I won’t say commonplace, but I think people today have a less of a problem saying, yeah, I’m seeing a therapist or my child is going to get some help and some counseling because, you know, when we’re talking about the let’s see, what years would this have been? Kind of early seventies, early seventies. It’s not now. I mean, now there’s a lot more research sources and people are still hesitant to call on them. 

Brenda


Right. There’s still a certain amount of stigma around, well, why do you need that? 
Right, what do you think now sort of looking back on so many years, how do you think your, your mom and your brother’s use shaped you and, and where you are today?

Tina


I think it made me afraid of a lot of things. I mean, I definitely tried things, but I think by the time I was 17, I was like done. You know, like I didn’t have a big drinking problem in college. I didn’t have, you know, I, I don’t I think we like ramped up the acceleration cause there were so many things available to me and it was kind of a wild time in the 80s, I think for, you know, most kids who weren’t supervised. And now I think that, I mean it definitely impacted how I parented. You know, I talked with my kids a lot about drinking and alcohol. I told them about my, you know, family history, how, what I believe it’s genetic. You know, that if you have the addiction gene in your family, you need to be really careful. Not that, that’s always helpful, but if you know that, that, you know, I think more information is helpful, then you find yourself drinking and drinking and drinking and knowing that you’re susceptible to alcoholism, it could deter you.

Tina


Yeah. And did your, so you told your kids, I know you have two grown kids now, but you, when did you start talking to them? I think that’s one thing that parents have a hard time with is at what age? You know, like what age is it appropriate to start talking to my kids because there’s a fear of, well, if I talk about it then they’re going to go do it because it’s going to make them curious. What are your thoughts on that? 

Tina


Well, my brother OD’d and died in 2000 and my kids were still, you know, pretty young at the time, five and three. But my daughter was definitely aware, you know, because then all of a sudden the house is filled with sadness and her uncle’s gone. And I have to say, I mean, to this day my mom still has a drinking problem. So I’ve kept my kids away from her. And, but even before I could tell them why they’ve were always really uncomfortable around her cause it makes, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s not always it, it feels very unsafe. She feels like a very unsafe person and they’re blessed to have good instincts.

Brenda


Yeah I think, you know, we’ve been friends for a long time and so I’ve sort of watched as you’ve interacted with your kids and talk to them. And I do think for parents who might be out there thinking, Oh, you know, when, when do I have this conversation? Should I even have the conversation? Is it going to sound like I’m, you know, endorsing them, drinking. I think you have done such a really good job of navigating that in a really just a really realistic way. And, and sometimes parents I think might over-engineer the conversation where it can be pretty casual and if you just work that into the, you know, to the dialogue so that it isn’t this like once a year we’re going to have this talk about alcohol, drugs. It’s, it can normalize it in a good way, not normalize it in a way like, Oh this is what we do, but normalize it in a way that, Oh, this is a conversation I can have. Cause I know your kids day talk to you and ask you questions. I mean, now so much is available to them

Tina


On their phones, you know, in their social groups. They don’t even need to ask. They can find out everything now. And you know, it’s definitely got, it’s a, it’s a blessing and yeah.

Brenda


Yes, yes. And, and that’s the other thing for parents to remember is that they have no control over, you know, what’s out there, what’s being said on social media. They don’t have control over what they’re seeing, you know, on YouTube. But they do have control of what they’re saying in their own home. Right. And they have control of that conversation. I’m wondering if your mom had been able to be there for you at that time when you’re, when you started noticing that your, your brother was getting in trouble with his use, what do you think would have been useful for her to say to you? 

Tina


I think it would have been useful just to acknowledge what was happening. You know, I think this secrecy, it gives everyone this big burden they have to carry besides what’s going on in front of them, which is you need to be open. You need to, you know, she’s a, she’s a very unskilled parent and that’s a completely different topic. So, you know, I think we can all go back and re-imagine things how they would be and you know that none of that’s ever going to happen. But I think that you just, you don’t want a guarded, you don’t want to make people guard the secrets because chances are everyone has something like it. You know, it’s, it’s an epidemic. So being open to it and allowing conversation and explaining things, you know, cause little kids, you think it’s your fault. You think it’s something you said, you feel like you’re responsible for so much more than you obviously are, especially when you’re young, that it’s just really important to talk to, you know, obviously if there’s a, there’s so many things that lead up to the problem that, you know, if everyone was having this open dialogue, you know, probably wouldn’t be in this situation.

Brenda


And I think that’s for parents to realize that kids regardless, you know, maybe they’re in, you know, late elementary school, middle school is such a hard time for, for you know, those tweens and teens. And then if you add an extra burden of this big secret that we’re not going to talk about to their backs, it’s, it’s just a double blow because life is so hard at that age anyway with hormones and you know, starting different schools and friends that, that just having a conversation and not, not having to solve it, you know, not having to say this is what’s going on and this is how I’m solving it. 

Tina


Because as we both know it, it can be a very long road with lots of starts and stops and successes and setbacks. 

Brenda


And for a parent to be able to say to the sibling, this is what’s going on, here are some things that we’re thinking about, not necessarily this is what we’re going to do to solve. It can just be a way to acknowledge the issue and, and give you, give that other child a chance to ask questions. 

Tina


Right. 

Brenda


Just to open that door for questions because there gotta be so many questions when you’re young and you see, especially for you and your older brother who’s, you know, super cool and super fun. I bet you had a lot of questions about like what’s going on.

Tina


Right. And you know, I think it’s pretty natural for kids to take aside. So it’s like the kids versus the parents where it was, you know, the kids versus the mom in our situation. And my others, you know, there was only one other sister living at home with us at the time and you know, the three of us would definitely hole up in a room and try to figure out what is going on and he would have a really, like, it’s fine, don’t worry about it, you know? And then we would play sides and it would be about, you know, keeping my mom out and it just become, you know, there’s, it’s just such a puzzle.

Brenda


It just, yeah, it creates such a divide. And if no one’s the grownup and no one’s acting rationally and no supervision, it’s not ideal.

Tina


No, no. 

Brenda


And you did, obviously ended up very well and, and you’re healthy, but I know you also went through a little period of like, huh, you know, trying some of these things. And do you think your mom recognized that or what do you think was going on when, when you started sort of experimenting?

Tina


I think she may have noticed. I mean, if it was so typical eighties, like I cut my hair and I dyed it and you know, just like those outward signs that show that you’ve, like, I’ve gone from like a square, straight a student to, I’m doing some other things now. But I was never I’m still not to this day, I’m pretty measured. I’m, I was never drastic, you know, I never I mean definitely did some things I shouldn’t have done, wished I hadn’t done, put myself in some dangerous situations. But I know that, you know, I always feel super protected and I, I’m still here.

Brenda


You are. And you said, you know that your brother did not make it. Which is so tragic. What what was his path? Did he go to rehab or what, what happened with him?

Tina


No, that was never available. I mean, you know, we grew up just so poor that there was, you know, sometimes food on the table. So rehab was out of the question and I don’t even know that there was a path to rehab unless you were like a celebrity then where you would have been like a famous baseball player or something like it is now where everybody knows everything. And but he, you know, he started getting in trouble at school. He you know, the one thing that I think has always been a great deterrent is having your kids involved in things in sports and piano lessons and whatever it is that makes their heart sing. Now the thing that makes your heart sing, like you want them to be a hockey player, you want them to be a baseball player. They have to find their interests.
But if they’re busy in that and consumed in that, they don’t have a lot of free time for other things. But it can’t be the only thing that they do, you know, because then if that is not successful, then they don’t have any place else to go. So my brother was an amazing baseball player and he crashed his motorcycle, broke his arm, was in a cast for three months, and in that three months it was like a hundred to zero, just a crash because they gave him so many painkillers. He was 17 totally unsupervised, started selling them. He saw how quick that cash came in and it took them on a completely different journey. And again, this is my viewpoint as a 14 year old. So that’s how I remember it. But I’m pretty sure that’s how it started.

Brenda


Well that’s a recipe for disaster, right? To have a 17-year-old with very powerful drugs, with no supervision, with actual pain. I’m sure you know, at some level from his accident. And that’s something that I think parents now are more aware of. You know, with, with the opioid crisis, there’s, you know, you’d have to kind of be living under a rock, not to have been, not have caught the message that maybe it’s not a good idea for, for teenagers to have bottles of oxycodone in the cupboard. 

Tina


But at that time there was no messaging around that. It took away his ability to play baseball and then his arm never recovered because, you know, I guess then it would have been like medical or whatever insurance that you have when you don’t make any money. And you know, maybe they put the cast, but there was no like, not like now where you have physical therapy and you have like followup x-rays and you know, they gave him his, cast his prescription and sent him on his way and then he didn’t have anything to do. So he lost his love of baseball and then he just, you know, it really went crazy from there. And then he got into trouble with all kinds of different drugs and then he fell in with the wrong people. And then he started stealing and then he went to jail. 

Brenda


And then, I mean, it was just one day after this, that downward slide that can go so fast that people I think don’t realize sometimes that you’re not talking about, this doesn’t take years to happen. This can happen over the course of months so fast. And the, the collateral damage that goes along with the, the person who is in this, you know, in this downward slide, it’s the ripple effect of all the other people that it impacts. You know, like you and your sisters and your mom that, that people forget. They just kind of see that person and they don’t realize that there’s a whole tidal wave that kind of goes out from what that person’s doing. Right. Well, I am, I am so sorry about your brother. And well I guess I’d love to just know what’s kind of one of your very favorite memories of him.

Tina


I think I’ll always see him. He had this like a, you know, it’s so funny. It’s so eighties, he had like a mauve polo shirt on with like, it was like a little blue polo character and he had his gold chains and his hair was like, I mean, he was, he was such a handsome guy and all of my friends were so crazy about him and he was, you know, like the bad boy. And I’ll just always, you know, have this really sly little smile. And, you know, that’s just the way I like to remember him.

Brenda


Oh, well thank you for, for giving us that perspective. It’s, it’s so needed and it’s, I think one that gets forgotten about, like I said, that there are other little human beings around when there’s a kid in the household with a problem and it is a heavy burden to bear. And so for parents who think it’s good for them to hear that that is real and that, you know, just having a conversation could really help lighten the load a bit.

Tina


Yeah, I think that, I mean, especially now, there’s so much going on. We have, we’re so busy or so overwhelmed and then you have this big gigantic problem to solve as well. So it’s understandable that you forget that the three year young, you know, younger sisters might have had a really shitty day at school and you know, but you still need to give them that space to come to you and say, you know, my best friend is not talking to me anymore or whatever. If you know, you guys want to make it through the other side.

Brenda


And I know having, you know, been the parent in a situation like this that is really hard to do sometimes because on the one hand you’re wondering, you know, is my, I like to call him my special problem is my special problem child. You know, are they even going to come home today? Are they even alive? You know, are the police gonna show up? So you’ve got this like kind of weird crisis mode going on in your head and then you do forget that that other child might be coming home. Like, yeah, you know, my, my best friend’s not talking to me or my math teacher said something that kind of hurt my feelings. Like in perspective, they seem so small compared to the other problems. 

Tina


Absolutely. But they aren’t right. 

Brenda


They’re not for that, for that child. So I think for any parent that that is listening, you know, and I was guilty of this many times, but I really, really tried to still make it to all the base or the basketball games and still, you know, ask those little questions.
And not only did it help my other son, but it also, at times you just need a break from mentally. You just need a break from that problem, you know, special problem child. So it does give you as a parent like, Oh, let’s just deal with a normal problem like a math teacher or you know best friends squabble and there is something really nice about that as well. But yeah, the, this perspective can seem very odd when you’re on the one hand. Is my kid gonna come home? Is he alive versus these other things.

Tina


Absolutely. I don’t want, you know, to pile any more on parents going through this cause I know it’s already so much. But it’s just something else to remember.

Brenda


It is and it’s, it’s reality. I mean it really is something that in the long run we’ll be better off for if we can remember those other kids. And you know, maybe it’s just a matter of can we create a teeny tiny routine, you know, that once a week we go and we grab a hamburger restaurant together so that we can be away and talk about stuff other than, you know, your sibling who’s in trouble. Just those little things that can give a break and some attention to that other child. So thank you for, for that perspective. 
And now, you know, you’re married, you’re the mom of two grown kids who are both awesome cause I know them. And you know, you’ve done an amazing job with them, especially given where you came from. They’re living fantastic lives and you know, you got your degree in psychology, I believe. Do I have that right? 

Tina


Yes.

Brenda 


Okay. I thought so. And then, and you have been an aesthetician, a Hollywood esthetician for many years. Tell me, tell me how that transpired.

Tina


Well, I, it’s funny, I, I’m thinking about what I said before about I didn’t have a drinking problem in college, but I probably did feel like the first two years, like regular college drinking and then part of my psychology courses, you had to start seeing a therapist as part of the degree. And that was so life changing for me that you could tell somebody something and they just listened to you and they didn’t come down on you. They didn’t compare it to someone else’s pain. Like what you said was valid. That was huge for me. I, you know, and that was in the 90s. That was a long time ago. So obviously things have changed so much and progressed.

Brenda


But because you had never experienced that, like with your mom, if you came to her, the problem, you didn’t, you didn’t have that type of-

Tina


I didn’t know you could tell somebody something and they would listen to and you know, I mean, I went to public school. It was, it was a different time. I mean, it was just like, do your homework. Like no one was talking. No one was asking how you were feeling or, and you know, I have to say, I recognize in myself, I’m a very sensitive person. I always have been like when I would walk in the house, I knew what kind of mood my mom was in before I even saw her because I could feel it. And that kind of has led me on the path to where I am now. And I’m so grateful for all the things that path I’ve taken because it’s made me so much more aware of other people. It makes me a better practitioner. And I love to help people. I love to help people make, I love to help people feel better. I can give them tools or suggestions in my own treatments. I know someone always leaves feeling better than they came in. So, you know, as much as it was like, yeah, it wasn’t the best growing up that way, I don’t think I would be. I know I wouldn’t be who I was now. So I’m grateful for that. Yeah.

Brenda


And your practice is in Studio City. So Tina is a, I wasn’t kidding when I said she’s a Hollywood esthetician. She would never tell you that. And she would never tell you all of the very famous people that she works with. But you are right in the middle of, you know what I think a lot of people consider LA LA land, right? Just like everything is so fake and everything is, you know, Hollywood. What is it like to be you? Who is somebody who’s very grounded, very soulful, you know, living this, this really real life? Working with actors and actresses and all of these people kind of in the midst of what can be considered like very, very fake.

Tina


I think when I first started out, I didn’t have a clear intention or idea of what I wanted my business to be. And as I’ve grown and with more experience, you can really, you really curate the right people coming to you. So, you know, there’s definitely like the celebrity estheticians who they’re as famous as their clients. That is not the case with me. At all. So I mean, I don’t have that. I have such real grounded clients who are here, you know, for the same reasons I am to make, to make everyone a little bit better, you know, feel a little bit better when after you’ve spent time with them. And you know, I mean it can be funny living here, but I think it’s like anywhere you just have to, you know, you have to decide what kind of life you’re going to live and then live that.

Brenda


And do you, I know that you do get very close with some of your clients. Do you have clients that you know are, you know, have a child or somebody that they love close by in this battle with addiction? 

Tina


Oh, definitely. I don’t think anyone could say they don’t know someone or have someone in their circle who’s battling some form something.

Brenda


And, and so you’re, you know, you are literally hands on with people all day. You know, making them feel better and does that energy is that hard sometimes. Just because you, you are such an energetically aware person. I was trying to think of how to say that is transferred to you or-

Tina


No, and again, and again, when I first started out, definitely cause you’re just kind of open. But I think for me the key to just maintaining a very even balance, like you have to have your rituals. You know, I wake up, I do my meditation, I do my journaling, I light my candles. I mean, whatever it is that ritual means to you. You know, some people go for a walk, some people pray, some people you know, listen to a podcast, whatever it is. But you have to set up your day. And it could take five minutes, it could take an hour. But you know, you create your day and you protect yourself and you see what kind of day you’re going to have. And you know, people come in for all kinds of reasons. But I think, you know, it’s really important for me to protect myself. They protect themselves. So then you don’t get that mashed up energy because that’s really easy. You know, that negativity or sadness is really easy to absorb if you’re a sensitive, empathic person. But you have to be very intentional about it.

Tina


That’s that’s so interesting. Just as you were saying that, I was thinking that obviously in your role when you’re working with people, you know, you’re, you’re very hands on and close and so I love that idea of having a ritual to sort of start your day and, and set some of that protection. And it just occurred to me that parents could do the same thing because if you’ve got a child living in the house who is wrecking havoc and causing all kinds of problems and anxiety and trouble, you know, actual literal trouble that might be a way to, for a parent to at least put up a little bit of a, I don’t want to say a wall cause we don’t want to have a wall. But some of those guardrails and boundaries around that energy between the child and themselves.

Tina


I, and everyone calls it different things. You know, for me, I always say, I’m going to encircle you in a bright white light, you know, and people that I encounter in the day, the lady like hunks at me in the parking lot, I send her blessings and I know this can sound really woo woo for people, but it works for me. So like I’m living my life and this is what I’m choosing to do. And I, you know, even with my kids, when my daughter calls and she’s having a hard day or you know, something bad’s happened at work or something’s happened with my son and his safety situation or, you know, all I can do is like lesson, send them protection, send them angels, whatever it is that works, whatever that language is for any of you. Because they came here to live their life, I came here to live my life. My clients came here to live their life and you know, you just have to accompany them. You can’t like, as you know, you can’t change anyone. You can wish it would change. You could pray, it would change, but you can only like accompany, people.

Brenda


Yeah. That is, that is so, so true. And I mean, you saw me through the years of our really, really bad times with my son and you saw me sort of wither away and get very, very unhealthy. And I think that happens to a lot of moms that, you know, you just put yourself last and you, you try to control all the things until you realize that you can’t control all of those things. And the one thing that we can control is ourselves and our bodies and our self care, which I really hate that term. Self-care. I wish there was a better, was a better term because it just bugs me. But you know, to, to really stop putting yourself last and, and to do some of these things that you are in control of because in the end, your, your kid’s gonna benefit from it, right? Whether it’s a kid in addiction or even if it’s just a kid who’s got a lot of needs and, and you need to get some separation from.

Tina


Right. Right. And I, I mean, I get it. Self care, it sounds so ridiculous, but it’s like they had to create a whole column because people think taking care of yourself is such a privilege or I don’t have time to do that. Taking care of yourself. Yeah. You need to take care of yourself so you function the best you so you can help all the people around you. I mean, it’s so cheesy, but it’s like you can’t pour from an empty pitcher. 

Brenda


And what would you just and I guess I should explain, so Tina works as an esthetician, so she’s doing lots of hands on work on facials and muscles and all of those things. But you also have just a huge amount of knowledge around kind of natural ways of, you know, taking care of your hair and your skin and your body and your mind and all of those things. And what are some of those things? Like, if we were to talk about that kind of picture, so, right. You can’t pour from empty cup, you need to have a picture close by that you can, you know, refill your cup from. What are some of the things that you think are simple, especially for a mom to do, knowing that she’s sort of living in the state of panic and, and just some really simple basic things that she could reach to sort of refill her cup?

Tina


Well, I think if anything, I mean now is the best time to be alive because they talk about so many things. We all know about meditation. We know that exercise is good for you. You know, drink lots of water, eat a balanced diet where those things before seem like things that they did. You know, it’s available to all of us and it doesn’t have to take our, it isn’t about quieting your mind or it’s just like taking that, when I say ritual, I mean it can be five minutes in the morning and the afternoon before you go to bed. Just taking those few minutes in the day to gather yourself. So you can go into the day, but I think, you know, you do need to eat right? You do need to drink water, you do need to get some endorphins exercising and there’s a million ways you can, you know, people are like, Oh, I don’t like to run. I don’t like, well there’s so many ways you can move your body. Do you like to clean? Do you like to dance? You know, do jumping jacks, whatever it is. Just give yourself, give yourself a fraction of the time that you’re giving to everybody else, to your job, to your family, to whatever it is. Because you know, that’s why you’re here.

Brenda


Right? And kids, I think at least I know in, in my situation, once I started taking care of myself and I started saying, actually, I’m not going to engage with you in this argument right now because I’m going to go walk the dog. It was kind of startling to my son like, Oh, what you’re doing something for you. And, you know, he has told me now kind of after, you know, now that we’re through the worst of things, you know, he has told me, Hey that was, it was actually good. Like I liked seeing you do that. And I will also say that for my other son, my younger son who is two years younger, he benefited tremendously from seeing me do things for myself. And he would actually say, mama, you know, why don’t you go see your friend’s mama? Why don’t you take a bath? You know, all of these things. Because he recognized that when my mom does these things, she’s actually a lot better. And she absolutely is not as frantic and she’s not as frazzled and, and all of those things. So when you, if you’re thinking about, Oh, I can’t really take the time to do that, you’re actually doing a disservice to not only yourself but to your other kids, to your spouse, to your partner, whoever it is, because you’re just, you’re robbing them of the best you.

Tina


Right. And there’s that, that famous Dalai Lama quote that he says, people say, you know, they don’t have time to for an hour, well those people need to meditate for two. Right. Something like that. You know, like you don’t think you need that. I promised you you need twice as much as that. 

Brenda


Yes. What are some things is because you, you are such an expert in, in the skin and face. And I know in talking with moms, one of the things that I hear all the time and I said frequently is I look in the mirror and I don’t even recognize myself. You know, I, I’ve lost whoever I was, I used to look pretty, I used to, you know, do this or that and, and you just get to a point where you’re so exhausted and so frazzled and scared that you just let yourself go. And what do you think? If there’s a mom listening who’s like, you know, I am going to like, I’m done. I’m not going to do this anymore. I’m taking care of myself. I’m gonna do you know, something every day to take care of myself. Just because it’s rare to get to speak with an expert in, in skin. And what would you say to somebody like that who’s looking at themselves and just being like, who is that person in the mirror? What are, what are some things that we could do that are easy and we don’t have to spend $4,000 on products? 

Tina


Right. Well I can say for one, I mean watching you live through it and you know, we had kept in contact by phone, but then to see you in person, I was so shocked you, you’re already such a tiny, petite person and you were an eighth of your size and that was so traumatic and that’s so hard on the body. So I know it’s really hard to eat when you’re upset or maybe you go the other way and you eat too much, but you’re depriving your brain, your skin, your nails, your hair when you’re changing that diet that way.
I mean, I think those basic things, your basic needs of food and water and you know, that’s not the time to drink all the wine or eat all the sugar. And I know those are the coping mechanisms that we’ve found in our little life here. But I think, you know, I think nutrition and you, you as a nutritionist know more than anyone how important that is, how it feeds your skin and you need live cells in your, in your blood and your skin. So that will help when you walk into the mirror that you don’t recognize yourself because you don’t look like yourself. Right? 

Brenda


And that’s something that I think we forget sometimes is, you know, what you put into your body is affecting how your body looks on the outside. So if you’re only putting in the wine and the popcorn and the chips and the candy and the, you know, all of those things, that’s not going to bode well on the outside. And you know, I’m the first to say that I, you know, do not eat a perfect diet. But when I did improve my diet, like you said, I was just a wreck. I was just a walking wreck. And when I did start to think more about what I was eating and be better about it, it really, really did make a difference. 

Tina


Yeah. Your body just shuts down and the sparkle goes out of your eye and you’re not thinking clearly so you’re not taking care of yourself cause you really kind of don’t care cause everything’s disappearing in front of you. So I think whatever it is, whether, I mean exercise for me that’s my coping that I, I have to exercise every single day, whether it’s a hike or a boxing class or spinning or, or like I love to rage clean. Like if I don’t, like right now with this lockdown you could eat off my wall. Like I am rage cleaning and it is so therapeutic and it’s also just like better that your house is clean so it doesn’t have to cost anything you don’t like.
I get it too. You know, every, every solution is not something you pay for or a class or a cream or you know, there has to be things that you can create with the resources in front of you. 

Brenda


Yeah. And that is important. You know, exercise doesn’t mean a treadmill. It can be an, I wish we were doing a video podcast so people could see you. If you could see Tina just knowing that she’s strapping on these boxing gloves, going down and hitting people, it’s awesome. But it doesn’t have to be anything that’s treacherous or dreadful. And you know, if cleaning makes you happy and makes you feel good and gets the sweat going, like go for it. Right? 

Tina


Yeah. And I always, you know, I joke about it, but I, I really think the university of YouTube, there is so much streaming now.
There are so many exercise classes. There’s yoga, there’s tango, there’s Zoomba. There’s, you know, there’s so many free videos available to everyone. And you know, there aren’t many people who don’t have access to a computer. Yes. There’s very little excuse anymore. Not something, some way to move your body. And I think that, that, you know, it does, it feed the healthy endorphins. Sweat is amazing for your skin. You know, it’s detoxifying. It’s you remove that surface fluid that keeps you looking puffy, especially when you’re sad and crying all the time. You look so puffy, your eyes are, you know, so swollen. Like you gotta sweat some of that out sister. 

Brenda


Right. I was going to ask about that because I know that we do cry a lot, right? You, you spend a lot of nights, a lot of time in the car, you know, just sobbing because it’s so hard and then you do, you end up, I mean this sounds super superficial and you know, I, I hope that people recognize that for especially, and I’m talking to you moms, I know we cry a lot and then you look terrible and then you look bad and then you feel worse. And so it becomes kind of this cycle where you’re, you just want to give up cause you’re like, I can’t, I can’t do this anymore. I just cry all the time. I look like crap. My eyes are puffy, my nose is red. You know, I just looked horrible and you know, are there any sort of, besides, you know, the sweat and, and that, is there any kind of magic that you have to give us that might help in that situation?

Tina


Well, I think, you know, again, it depends on what your resources are. There’s still many amazing, there are so many amazing products out there, which is, you know, one of the reasons I went into the beauty industry, because as a, you know, the youngest of four sisters, like we talked about beauty a lot. You get magazines and you dream and look at that amazing lipstick and how do you make that? But again, because of the resources, you know, on your computer, there’s so many things you can make at home. You can make an amazing de puffing cucumber mask. You know, you just shred up the cucumber and it’s so, I mean, it just whisks it away and it’s so lively. It’s so fresh and hydrating. You know, you could do a brown sugar and honey scrub all over your face and lips. And I mean, you know, or you could buy really expensive amazing products, right? 

Brenda


Yeah. Oh, it’s overwhelming. And I know one wait, I want to go back to the cucumber mask. Do you just use cucumber? 

Tina


Yeah, you can just like, there’s a spa that we go to and they do this amazing body care massage. So like, you know, wanting to get this amazing massage, but then she slathers you in honey and there’s so many, you know, different types of honey. So many prices available. Even get some at Trader Joe’s for really cheap, but really, really high quality. You could do honey and then she shreds up the cucumber and squeezes out most of the water. So then you know it, it lays on your face and then she warms up milk and slathers it off. And it is the thing that, one of the best thing that’s ever I’ve ever experienced.
But there’s just so many things you can make up, you know, in your kitchen. And if you just type in like homemade mask, homemade body scrub, I promise you, you have the ingredients in your cupboard. 

Brenda


Right. Is there anything that you see maybe that people are talking about in social media or that you might Google that you would recommend against? Cause I know I, I have the luxury of being able to just text you and say, should I be putting this on my face? And most of the time you’re like, Oh, don’t do it. Is there anything in particular that you see that people like tend to do that you would advise against?

Tina


Well, I think for, I think for the most part, and it’s definitely this generation thinks more is, and with the skin on your face, that is not the case. So they’re over-exfoliating and over scrubbing and over, you know, it’s just, it can be too much, especially, you know, with the young skin. But also like if any product, the claims are too good to be true, it’s too good to be true. So save your money.

Brenda


Yeah, definitely. And I know one trick that you gave me is baking soda.

Tina


Yes. It’s the best. And again, it’s not for everybody. Some people think it’s too alkaline for the skin, but like anything you need to rinse it really well, but it’s so affordable. I mean, I think you’ll have one box for your entire life. You add a little bit to your cleanser. It’s an amazing exfoliant. It’s antibacterial, it’s pH balanced, it’s antimicrobial, and it’s just a very gentle polish. And it’s really good for your you know, the, the lines around your eyes to buff around your mouth. And as we age, you know, in the over 50 category, that’s where you start to lose your fat. So that’s where it kind of starts to sink in and you want to stimulate the collagen, elastin. So then you get that pumping effect and then you feel better. 

Brenda


Right. And not the plumping from tears. 

Tina


Exactly. You don’t want the plumpy eye from puffy crying.

Brenda


Yeah. Well that’s, that’s all amazing. Is there a resource that you go to online maybe? Is there a website that you trust the information from that you would recommend?

Tina


I’ll think about that and get back to you. I think that, I think that it’s also, you know, I have clients that swear by Oil of Olay, I have some clients that will only use my products. I have some clients who swear by, you know, Le Mer or whatever. The most expensive thing on the market is. It’s really what you believe and what works for you, right? 

Brenda


Yep. And you do have to try some different things sometimes and, and just adjust. But I think the, the overall messages take care of yourself, right. Whether that’s exactly, take the extra $100 cream. Yeah. Yeah. It is. It is that time to take care of yourself to recognize that yes, you might be going through the worst imaginable thing. And, and a lot of parents are right now, but taking five or 10 minutes to clean your face, to put on a mask that’s not gonna make things worse. 

Tina


Right. It’s just going to make you feel better for a minute and that is worth it. All those minutes add up.

Brenda


Absolutely. Yeah. And I’ll put all these sort of interesting tidbits and suggestions, the show notes so that everybody can find them. I would love to ask you, in closing, is there anything that you would say is sort of words of wisdom to, you know, the moms like me who have either been through it, or are in the middle of it that, that you think is important to share? 

Tina


I have to say, just don’t be so hard on yourself. I mean, you know, even now my relationship with my mom, it’s definitely better. It’s not normal, but it’s fine. But the minute I walk in a room, she starts crying because she feels so bad because she wishes she had done something different and she wishes she had done more. You’re only doing what you know how to do. All of us are only knowing what we know how to do in that moment. So yeah, we don’t always make the right decision. Sometimes we get it really right, but sometimes you just get it wrong, but you just have to forgive yourself and do the best thing you can do now.

Brenda


What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your life so far?

Tina


I think have to say right now with this pandemic is that it’s only for now. I know it seems really big and I don’t know what is around the corner, but it’s just for right now, you know, it’ll pass it all things pass.

Brenda


And it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to pass in the way that you want them to or that you expect them to, but things do change. 

Tina


Yeah, and we only have today, we only have right this minute.

Brenda


Yes we do. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. I’m so blessed to call you my friend.

Tina


Thank you Brenda.

Brenda


I hope that that was helpful in some way. Informative. Maybe just got your mind off of what’s going on at the current moment and thinking a little bit more about yourself and how you can take care of your body and take care of you when things are stressful. And I will again put all of the goodies that Tina referenced in the show notes and I wish you to be safe and well in this very crazy and uncertain time.

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