My mother, Norma LaFonte joins us to share insights on managing the waters of having a loved one that suffers in addiction, some personal stories, and of course some tears.
Hey everyone, it's Chris Horder here, but you might know me as Chuck LaFlange from the Ashes to Awesome podcast. We dive deep into the realities of addiction and trauma, something I know all too well. I'm celebrating a huge personal victory – a year of sobriety as of October 21, 2023!
I've got some exciting news to share: I've been given an incredible opportunity for healing therapy at the Yatra Center in beautiful Phuket, Thailand. This isn't just a chance for personal growth; it's also a strategic move to keep the podcast thriving in a more cost-effective location. My family has been amazing, covering my travel expenses, but I'm still facing a financial shortfall.
The podcast does bring in some sponsorship funds, but it's not quite enough to cover everything. The Yatra Center is kindly covering my first month's stay in Thailand, but beyond that, my financial future is a bit up in the air.
This is where I need your help. I'm reaching out to our incredible community for support. Any contribution you can make will go a long way. As a token of my gratitude, I'll give a special shoutout to you on my podcast. If addiction has touched your life, we can also share a story in honor of your loved one.
Whether it's a modest $5, a generous $25, or if you're able to contribute $100, your donation can make a significant difference in my journey.
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Chuck LaFLange (00:03.275)
Hello watchers, listeners, supporters of all kinds. Welcome to another episode of The Weekend Rattle on the Ash to Austin podcast. I'm your host, Chuck LaFlandre, and with me in virtual studio halfway around the world in Canada, my beautiful co-host, Lisa. How you doing today, Dr. Lisa?
good. I'm, I always feel like I have to think hard about this because of Ryan, Ryan watches and Ryan doesn't want bullshit. It's been a it's been a week. But I am, you know, trying to focus on things to be grateful for. There's blue sky. I have a little girl who slept with me last night was like a little, you know, attached to me and woke up telling me she loves me and so I'm grateful for
I'm grateful for stuff today, I'm good.
Chuck LaFLange (00:50.523)
Good, well nobody did the gratitude at the beginning of the episode. You messed up the whole thing. You had one job, Lisa, one job, right? I'm sure you will, I'm sure you will. And a very special guest today. She is the inspiration for the podcast period in the first place. She is responsible for the URL of message. She is responsible for so much. She's my mom. Welcome, Norma. Mom, I can't call you Norma. My mom Norma, welcome mom to the show. How you doing today, mom?
Yeah, I'll come up with another one. I'll come up with another
Thank you. You can call me whatever you like. I'm good. Rough week. Really happy to be here and to officially meet Lisa kind of in person and to see you looking so good and so healthy. That's a good thing for me. I've noticed.
Chuck LaFLange (01:26.891)
Right, yeah. Oh, thank you, thank you, yeah. I gotta tell you, and for those that might not be aware, if you're just tuning in for the first time or something, I'm in Thailand, where apparently I live now, it's crazy. Um, at the Yachter Treatment Center for trauma treatment, for, you know, I took advantage of a scholarship here. And yeah, things are nuts. I'm slaying yoga, like all of a sudden, right? Like, I am, and it's like,
I love it!
Chuck LaFLange (01:56.767)
At first it was excruciating and I was like, nope, not doing it. I found reasons not to go because it was just like, it was just too damn hard, right? I haven't done anything physical in 10 years, you know? So I started doing it in the water, but more than that, every morning, I don't care what's going on in the world, 7 a.m. I'm in that pool and I'm doing laps and I'm stretching myself beyond what I thought possible. So just this last week I went back, I started doing land yoga again at the beginning of this last week.
And what a difference, right? So what a difference it is. And I'm like, I'm killing it now. I'm killing it. I'm enjoying it and I'm hating it and I'm enjoying it and I'm hating it. You know, right? Yeah.
I feel like a general good piece of advice in life is that if something feels challenging, you probably should lean into it instead of away from it.
Chuck LaFLange (02:46.771)
And that's it, right? That's it. And that's, my whole life has been short-cutting, right? So I remind myself of that and I just like, no man, you're gonna do this. And you know, the reality is after 30 days of being here, 37 days, he's letting me stay for an extra week, he invited me to, but I'm on my own here. And you know, I wanna have as much of this stuff ingrained in me and you know, and ready to take with me and then continue to use. So meditation, yoga.
Chuck LaFLange (03:15.231)
common misconception about yoga is that it's relaxing. It's not relaxing. Both teachers, and I don't mean that like in my comedic rant way, I mean like both teachers said, no, there's nothing relaxing about yoga. It's meant to push you to your absolute limit forever. Like it never gets relaxing, right? It's like, you know, so. It's meant to help you center yourself, but nothing in there says anything about relaxing. That's a common misconception, so. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, I agree with that.
Well, you just took 100 potential yoga people out of the game.
Chuck LaFLange (03:45.363)
Yeah, well, you know, jeez, right? Do water yoga. It's not even a thing, but I feel like it could be a thing. I didn't know I was aqua size old. I'm aqua size old. That happened. Yeah, that happened. But I...
Oh yeah, you are.
been your, what of all the things you've been doing, what's the thing that's maybe like surprised you the most or what's the thing, what's this, okay, yeah.
Chuck LaFLange (04:07.867)
EMDR. EMDR, hands down. Thinking about it now, I get emotional because of the fucking freedom that heads like. When mom, you remember that mom, when you picked me up that first time? How broken I was, right?
All too well.
Chuck LaFLange (04:26.631)
And it got worse when I got to Calgary. It was so bad. Like getting on a bus was almost impossible some days. And then I sit down with Mike. He takes my, he says, all I gotta do is name that big T-trauma so that he could have something to reference. Like I could have named it purple, whatever. So he's got something to reference. He asked me to picture, like what's the image that comes to mind, and then I'm not gonna try and.
explain the process in detail. Like I've said in every reel I've made about it, I would be bastardizing, you know, a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, right? So, and then he takes me through the process. And then 20 minutes, and I, not even kidding when I said that in the reel, like I looked at him and said, fuck you, Mike. Just not gone, and there's no promise of it being gone. There's a promise of it being a manageable memory instead of this horribly traumatic thing, right? And it was just like freedom.
you know, absolute freedom from it, you know. So it's amazing, I cannot believe. What sounds to me when you first hear about the eye movement and the, it sounds almost gimmicky, right, when you first hear about it. But then as I'm doing it with him, I can see like this is why I get why it works now, right? Because it is, it's just reprogramming your brain to, you know, it's a weird thing. And how it was discovered is really weird too. This lady was like walking her dog and looking back and forth. Lisa, correct me if I'm wrong, if you know the history better than I do.
I think that's what it was. So she was like walking her dog and looking back and forth and noticed that process had changed in her brains. And now you've got this thing that's offering freedom to people at such a pace that it's just unbelievable, right? And freedom is the word. Because there's nothing like being held hostage in your home, in your mind, in your actions, in your, like the shit that comes up, it's just like trauma is, it really is the fire, right? If addiction is a smoke, trauma really is the fire.
Chuck LaFLange (06:25.059)
There's so many maladaptive behaviors.
Mm hmm. And what about what about like, what, what are you learning there that you think you'll take with you? Because obviously, you're not going to go home, you know, a month from now be sitting by yourself doing EMDR on yourself. But what's something that you're learning there that you think you'll continue to use and practice?
Chuck LaFLange (06:38.006)
Chuck LaFLange (06:42.635)
Breath work, meditation, right? So that's another one. And I referenced the reals. My life used to be in like, everything was about, okay, I was dating this girl. So when I was with this girl, this happened. Now it's like, when I made this real, right? So, like, it's just, right? This is like, my whole life is like divided up into reals now, right? But just cause it's what I do all the time. But I made a real about that too, where have you tried breath work, people? Have you tried meditation? And I've been hearing this shit for years.
HAHAHAHA! New reference!
Chuck LaFLange (07:11.559)
And it's like, meh, meh. Right, as urban voodoo, my mom's heard me say about a few things over the years, right? I like to call things. Now that's real, that's the real deal. 100% it is, right? The meditation, the mindfulness, you know, I know that's your big fan of mindfulness, Lisa, right? These are all the tools that I'll take with me and that's the great thing about Yatra. And it's important to say, Mike was very clear when he invited me here, that it was a scholarship. This was not to...
Yes you have.
Yeah, I love it.
Chuck LaFLange (07:41.059)
promote Yatra, this was not in any way, shape or form. He wants nothing in return for what he has offered me. And I think maybe because I talk about it so much that might seem like it's the case sometimes, but absolutely not. As a matter of fact, he's been very careful not to even like, or get involved or share my posts about Yatra to his Yatra audience, or, you know, because he wants to be very clear that this is, this was about me and that's it.
Chuck LaFLange (08:10.875)
And he wants me to know that more than anything. So when I talk, but it's the whole thing here isn't just about coming for 30 days and kicking you back out like so much of the treatment industry is, right? Like, here, we'll give you some tools. Maybe not all the tools, because maybe if you screw up again, you'll come back, right? It's not like that. They're trying to give you so much so that you can take this with you and on into the rest of your life, right? And it stick with you and it's just, it's remarkable.
Yeah, it's funny for some reason I was thinking about Mike this morning when I was like, you know, getting up getting ready to come on here and probably just, you know, thinking about you thinking about you being at Yatra and I was thinking about when you and I drove out and visited with him. And it's interesting because I feel like in my experience that people that I've met.
Chuck LaFLange (08:53.468)
And I can't help but see personality, right? Like it's part of my job. It's like somebody, I remember one time when I was a medical student asking a staff psychiatrist, I was like, do you analyze, like are you analyzing people when you meet them? And his response to me was, when a weatherman goes outside, does he notice the clouds? It's like, you kind of can't help but do it. But Mike, yeah. Yeah. But Mike is like...
Chuck LaFLange (09:05.932)
Yeah, of course.
Chuck LaFLange (09:20.451)
Yeah. Fair enough, right? Poor Alex, your husband. Jeez, just thought about that. Just kidding.
He's just like, he's so incredibly humble.
Chuck LaFLange (09:34.568)
and so kind and it's so sincere. That was my takeaway from him, that there's no agenda. He's just this good person who sincerely has a skill and a gift to help people and wants to use it and wants to do good. So I'm not surprised to hear you describe that he's like, you know, this is not about promoting me.
Chuck LaFLange (09:54.229)
Chuck LaFLange (09:58.375)
Here's an example of Mike. I'm here on scholarship. He's sick. He messages in, so him and I do not talk outside of the group chat when I'm here because I'm here as a client, period, right? So he messages in and says, can you ask Chris if it's okay if we reschedule, if we make up today's appointment later in the week on a day when we're not booked together because I'm not feeling good today. It's like, are you serious, man?
Chuck LaFLange (10:26.899)
You don't have to ask me anything, right? Like of course it's okay, but it's so important to him that I don't feel any different than anybody else here and that he's keeping his word, right? And that's one of the things that I picked up on Mike very, very early on. He is all about integrity and if he says this is the way something is gonna be, then that's the way something's going to be. And I think he's an example of what recovery should look like, right? That sobriety is not the goal, recovery is, and Mike is a...
Chuck LaFLange (10:55.972)
example of that, of both really, but you know, yeah. Sorry mom, you were, you were you were going to say something?
So no, I was gonna say, so Chris, if it makes you feel any better, I regularly watch, I don't always get to see everything you put out, because you're a machine of content and I have a life. But it's just the way it is. But I'll say this, I don't feel that in any way are you patronizing or promoting Yatra in anything you say. What you are saying in your reels, your posts, whatever, that's raw, real emotion that's coming from your heart.
Chuck LaFLange (11:10.051)
I'm going to go ahead and close the video.
Chuck LaFLange (11:13.879)
Chuck LaFLange (11:22.568)
Chuck LaFLange (11:29.224)
And without a doubt, that's the way it appears to me. And I know you well enough to know when you're bullshitting that in it.
Chuck LaFLange (11:36.15)
Yeah, you do. Yeah, you do, right? Yeah, yeah, so.
Yes. Yeah. And I know my mom also, you know, watches a lot of Chris's posts and she'll sometimes text and be like, did you see Chris's post today? And I'm like, I'm still trying to like drop my kid off at school and, you know, survive the first hour and a half of my morning. But she, you know, maybe hasn't said it in the same way as Norma and she obviously doesn't know Chris the way that Norma does. But she
Chuck LaFLange (11:44.002)
Yeah, she does.
That's always what I hear from her is that like she finds like she gets emotional watching them. She feels your sincerity. She feels your heart. And it's literally like you sharing with the world this your journey, you know, working through your trauma, which is incredibly vulnerable. And I think the whole world should feel very privileged that you're sharing that with everybody.
Chuck LaFLange (12:30.623)
Wow, that's a lot, thank you. Thank you, yeah. Even that, six months ago, there's no way I take a compliment like that. There's no way, right? But he's like, through the CBT specifically, like, and you see, actually, there's a good one. You can take that with you, right? CBT, 100%, you can take it with you. I've got a bunch of unfinished homework sitting on the counter over here, actually, that I gotta do, right? All right, my CBT homework, I'm supposed to be doing one a day.
Hmm. You're welcome.
Chuck LaFLange (13:00.851)
I do them mentally. Apparently that's not good, but no. Yeah. I'm not doing my homework, let's be honest. But here's the thing, Lisa. I have literally never done homework in my life. Ever, like ever. I know, and I mean to, like I mean to ADHD, the thing about it, and I say it all the time, it's just like an excuse for a bunch of words, but it's not, it's a real thing.
Thought records or what are you doing once a day?
Now is a good time to start.
Chuck LaFLange (13:29.831)
ADHD is being pissed off at yourself all the time. Right, like 24 hours a day. So I said to Ryan yesterday, if you stubbed your toe at a level six, meh, not a big deal. If you stubbed your toe at a level six 25 fucking times a day, it's a big deal. Right, and that's what it is. It's like, so I didn't just forget my keys, I didn't just not do my homework, I didn't just, where the hell is my pen? I didn't just.
It's all day calling yourself stupid and being angry with yourself. That's the reality of that. So I laugh with everybody else at the videos on the TikToks. I'm right there, but then afterwards, I wonder what it'd be like not to be pissed off at myself all the time. Meditation's helping with that.
And that's why I mean, you know, ADHD has come up a number of times, you know, since I've been on the podcast, but like I'm a huge supporter of treating ADHD. And that's exactly why, you know, I remember doing child and adolescent rotations where, you know, we were being asked to consult on, you know, young teenage kids and
Chuck LaFLange (14:16.852)
Chuck LaFLange (14:25.383)
and everybody in the outside world was like, oh, well, they've got anxiety, they've got anxiety, and we would assess them and they'd have like severe ADHD. And why did they have anxiety? Because 10 times a day in school, they're sitting there and the teacher's going, hey, Chris, can you answer my question? And they're going, what question? And so then in front of their whole class on a regular basis, they're being embarrassed, they feel stupid.
Chuck LaFLange (14:59.043)
I don't even know what the question was right now.
Chuck LaFLange (15:10.855)
moved to the front of the class. That's, you know, like when I was a kid, that was the thing they did. I was like, first date. I remember quite clearly, you to the front of the class. It wasn't even a question, right? And because I was, and you remember my report cards, mom, because I was disruptive, because I'm sure, you remember those, right? You know, Chris can be distracting, right? You know? And yeah, yeah.
they feel inadequate.
And don't get me wrong, I think.
Oh, I have them all.
Yeah. And the thing is like behavior, what you're describing would be like a behavioral strategy. And I don't disagree with those, but I think people underestimate, because a lot of times parents will say, well, I don't want to put my kid on medication. And it's like, but if your kid had diabetes, would you give them medication? Because we can take your ADHD child and show you their brain when they are faced with a task and their brain's not doing what we want it to do. We give them a medication.
Chuck LaFLange (15:46.243)
their brain is going to function the way a non ADHD kid's brain is going to function. Why would you deny them that? Like life's bloody hard enough. Life is hard enough. Why do we make it harder, you know? But again, I do agree with behavioral strategies, whether it's fidget toys, whether it's, you know, noise blocking headphones for a kid, whether it's moving them to the front of the class. But again, I feel like things should be done in a way that is non-shaming.
Chuck LaFLange (16:02.515)
Yeah, right, right.
Chuck LaFLange (16:21.398)
you know, and should be done in a subtle fashion so that they're not feeling embarrassed and they're, you know, because I, yeah. Yeah.
Chuck LaFLange (16:28.127)
Centered out. Yeah. Yeah, right. I don't know if mom if you've ever you must have I'm sure by now But the day that became obvious to me about me being ADHD and that was pointed out to me was probably I wish It never happened Because it is by far the closest to relapse I've come in the last year 40 bucks in a phone call the chaos goes away 40 bucks in a phone call and this all goes look at that Lisa you and I talked One of my closest friends in the world is a psychiatrist here. You are
So interesting to me.
Chuck LaFLange (16:58.043)
medication figured out, you know what I mean? In a timely way, that's on me, whatever, right? But whatever, all the challenges that I was facing at the time, but 40 bucks in a phone call, it's a hell of a lot less steps than what you and I were gonna have to go through to get me medicated, right? And the chaos goes away, until it doesn't, right? And fast forward the tape and all of that, yeah, right? But I'm telling, like, it's hard to think that way when you're just like, I'm so fucking tired of being mad at myself all the time.
until it's replaced by worst chaos. Yeah.
Chuck LaFLange (17:27.371)
So not only will this help me like smooth out, but it'll help me deal with the fact that I'm mad at myself. Ooh, we got a double whammy, right? And here's the demons of addiction knocking on your door. Right? Like it's that fast.
normal like when he was a kid, like was that ever raised by the school? Because I feel like when because we're a similar age, I feel like when we were kids, like it was not, it just wasn't, I mean, it existed. I remember being a kid and my mom's best friend's son got diagnosed with ADD, but I remember he had to like fly out of Labrador to have assessments done in St. John's to get the diagnosis and it was this big thing like oh he's got ADD.
But was that ever like brought up?
It wasn't when Chris and his brothers, twin brothers at that age group. No, it was really not a thing at all. There was behavior certainly looking back, right? You can see things looking back, hindsight's always 20-20. But it really wasn't talked about. Chris has a younger brother named Levi and the first time it really came up in a school setting, Levi would have been about eight. So
23, 25 years ago. And I had a teacher that said, he's never gonna make it through grade two, we should just put him back in grade one. He can't focus. He's, you know, he's, they didn't even know what the problem was. He just can't focus, he's not ready. And it's like, this is a kid who can sit and spend hours playing Lego.
and be fine, but you're telling me he can't focus in school. So clearly there's something not working, but the answer is just to shove him back into another grade, right? But that's the first time anything was ever talked about. And it wasn't until he got to grade four and he had a teacher, Ms. Heather, who really took the time to figure out how to manage Levi in a school setting so that he felt successful and not shamed. And then Levi thrived. But the words ADHD or ADD, it was just like,
he's not mature enough, he needs to go back. It's like, no, that's not the issue. The issue is in the school setting, he's not doing well, why not, right? And it was because there was too much put on him and he couldn't focus.
Chuck LaFLange (19:29.335)
Chuck LaFLange (19:34.167)
And again, yeah, and I think that when parent or when teachers are saying that, and I mean, I hope today it doesn't happen as much, but when teachers are saying that to a parent, you can imagine what their beliefs are about the child and how they interact with the child. And then the kid ends up also taking on this identity that because they get treated like the bad kid. So then they start to believe I'm a bad kid. And then there are plenty of kids out there who go, you know what, I'm just gonna own it.
Chuck LaFLange (20:01.55)
If I'm the bad kid, I'll just be the bad kid. You know? Yeah.
Chuck LaFLange (20:07.971)
And so be it, right? Yeah, yeah. No kidding, no kidding.
I remember his teacher saying, well, we can drag him through grade two then.
Chuck LaFLange (20:15.319)
What the hell, right?
As I said, as I said earlier in the pre-conversation, when I get a B in my bonnet, you don't wanna be the reciprocating person I'm boasting. And well, I'll stand up for the little guy I always have. And as it turned out, we were able to compromise on how, it's like, you're not gonna drag him through, he will make it through your grade, you're gonna change how you deal with him. And we found compromise. So even little things like a spelling test.
So rather than put the pressure on, he has to know every word because he can't keep, like Chris said, you hear the word then you can't remember what the word was and you're still writing this one, she's got another one. Like, it's not that he was stupid, far from it. So far from it, Levi is an extremely intelligent man but we came to a compromise where instead of putting him at the front of the class and making him feel stupid, it was silent assistance. So she would, during a spelling test, put her hand on her shoulder when it was his word.
Chuck LaFLange (20:55.991)
Far from it.
and only give every second or third word. So he could feel like he was participating like everyone else, he wasn't being picked out separately. But it took some poking at the teacher and with the school to get her to see making a kid feel like they have to be drugged through something isn't the way to go. Figure out how to teach them that's gonna work for them. So the whole ADD thing when Chris, like nobody really even talked about or acknowledged it. Back then there was special classes.
Chuck LaFLange (21:36.507)
No, right. I remember mom. And I wasn't going to no short bus. No, no, that wasn't happening. Oh, yeah, yeah. That's that's universal. That one is. Yeah, I won't go into any more of the derogatory terms that come along with that. I remember, mom, when I was, I don't know, late teens anyway. I remember a conversation with you and I think I've talked about you once before since this has all come up in my life in the last months. But
Like where they would take those kids out, right? Like, yeah.
short bus. Say where I live. The short bus. Yeah.
That's so good.
Chuck LaFLange (22:07.455)
You saying to me, because it's that list of 15 symptoms that come out, if you remember any of this, there was a list of 15 symptoms, and if your kids have more than seven, seven or more of these, or eight, or whatever it was, maybe you should get them checked and, you know, assessed. And I remember you saying that to me, I was like, nah, I don't have those, because I looked at the symptoms hard, and I went, no, that's not me, right? And then, boom, yeah, 30 years of self-medicating later, right, it's like, fuck, mom was right, right? Ooh, never said that before.
Chuck LaFLange (22:35.191)
All right, all right. It's all right. No.
And there's this misconception just because something that Norma just said about Levi, there's this misconception that because a kid can hyper focus on their Lego or their video game that they mustn't have ADHD. But it's actually a common feature in ADHD is that when faced with something they love, they hyper focus like it's hard to actually pull them away from it. Right. And then the intellectual thing is something I've always been interested in and I've sworn I was going to look this up and I've never done it.
Chuck LaFLange (22:50.448)
Chuck LaFLange (22:57.095)
Here we are on the podcast.
Chuck LaFLange (23:08.42)
Now, I'll interrupt you Lisa, that's exactly how I feel 25 times a day. Go ahead, continue.
But I almost have this, yeah. But I almost, I'm not gonna say that I have this theory, but I wanna look up and see if there have been studies done looking at IQ and ADHD. Because I know for one, I know a lot of physician colleagues of mine who have confirmed ADHD. And some of the most intelligent people I know
Chuck LaFLange (23:33.547)
not physicians, but just outside of my work. Incredibly intelligent have ADHD. Almost makes me wonder if they're like have they ever done studies to see like are people with ADHD
Chuck LaFLange (23:49.367)
There's a common misconception that a person with ADHD automatically has a low IQ. Other people may believe that the ADHD is always associated with high IQ, but neither of these assumptions is true. Depending on the severity of substance, ADHD can affect a person's ability to function at school and work. That's it, no correlation, right? Because there's a lot of people with ADHD that are not in academic positions or would be considered high IQ. That's why I was qualifying it there, right? Yeah, yeah, right.
mean you're not smart. That's the thing, right? And especially if your ADHD is untreated, of course you're not going to perform in a way that would look to an outsider like you're intelligent. But it's like, has anyone done studies and looked at IQ?
Chuck LaFLange (24:23.539)
Yes, yeah, but hey, come into the, let's come into the addiction world for a second, right? And you'll see all sorts of crazy levels of intelligence happening with people that you would assume weren't, right? Like, you wanna, yeah, that thing I talk about, like if all the addicts in the world got sober at the same time, the rest of you'd be screwed because you'd be working for us, right? It's like, you know, yeah.
But then in here, add to that, that what percentage of people in addiction or who've struggled with addiction have ADHD, it's also high. So again, is there a correlation between ADHD and IQ? I don't know. Yeah.
Chuck LaFLange (24:50.927)
That's really high, yeah, yeah. Self-medicating, right? Yeah. According to the first Google result, there isn't, and you could do a much deeper dive into that than I could, Lisa, so I was just quoting the very first Google result that came up, right? So that's very service level. Okay, so we have mom on the show. We'd be remiss not to talk about some of the things, right?
So I have a question for Norma.
Chuck LaFLange (25:16.599)
No, Chris should be afraid.
Chuck LaFLange (25:22.773)
us all the dirt. No, I'm just curious, you know, as we said, right, this is our first time actually sort of meeting and I've I'm super excited that you're here.
Chuck LaFLange (25:33.443)
On short notice, by the way, sidebar behind the curtain, mom came on 15 minutes notice, I shit you not, and she's here to show up on the show, because that's what mom does, she shows up. So thank you mom for that, yeah.
That's yeah, that's a mom for you. But I'm just curious if you would share with like the watchers like what this year has been like for you as Chris has been on this recovery journey. And just to share like all the emotions that come along with that and yeah, just what it's been like.
Chuck LaFLange (26:02.979)
If I can add to that though, Mum, give a synopsis from the year previous as well, because I think that is very, that offers a lot of context to this last year. I think this last year is the focus, but the year leading up to that as well, I think, if you can talk about that.
So I will do my best. I think sometimes as a parent, you purposely don't think about some shit that's hard because you've got enough stuff to think about at the best of times. But I'll go back to almost two years ago, I think it was right around, right before Christmas time. And yeah, right before Christmas. And I got, I don't, can't remember if it was a call or a text from you, Chris. Yeah, it was right around that time.
Chuck LaFLange (26:33.799)
It was it was yeah.
Chuck LaFLange (26:38.035)
No, it was in between Christmas and New Year's actually, Mom. It was, yeah. It was in that week in between. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
And I don't know if it was a call or a text from you. I can't really recall, but it was the, mom, I'm kind of at the pit of my existence and I'm ready to pull my shit together and can I come home? Can you help me? What can I do? Like I'd have to actually go back in the text and read it, but it was that he's finally ready to call out and say, I need a little support here. And I had two emotions on when I got that. One is better not fuck me over.
Chuck LaFLange (26:46.976)
because I've already been through this circus before and I don't think I can do it again. And the second was, thank God, I hope he's ready, positive, hope, all of that goes with it. Chris was in Regina in North Central, which is not a very favorable neighborhood. A lot of, it's the hood, it's the hood times 10, I guess is the best way to put it.
Chuck LaFLange (27:34.151)
It is the hood. Yeah.
And so, and the call came in the evening and I'm like, oh, frick, I don't wanna drive into Regina at the best of times. And I certainly don't wanna drive into the hood where I don't know where I'm going. And so I reached out to friends of mine that have been through this circle before and very familiar with people who are struggling with different causes and said, Chris has reached out, would you come with me to help pick him up? Because I don't wanna go alone. And it wasn't because I was afraid of Chris, I wasn't. I just did not wanna go into the neighborhood. Gratefully, they both jumped in the car and said, let's go.
When I picked Chris up or when we picked up Chris, two things. One is immense relief and gratitude that he felt he could call and relief that he was alive, which sounds really awful, but man, I knew he was into some bad shit for a long time. So he managed to get in the car and he was like, mom, do you think we could get some food? I'm really hungry. I was like, wherever you can find fast food, let's go.
And I watched him, I think for poor choice of words, snort a burger and fries and a drink. He was just starving. He was so hungry. And I just felt like, oh my God, you poor soul. Like, thank God you called. I'm so grateful. I had also talked, and I'll use the first names, Kim and I were the people that came with me. And I knew I couldn't bring Chris into my home for two reasons. One is I have a guest house. I run an Airbnb.
I had been burned before. I'd been through the circus once before with my niece, Jessie, and there's reference to her in the show earlier. But I also knew he needed warm, safe, and somewhere I could trust. And they had an apartment building they managed that was very rough, but safe. And the only spot they had in it was a pretty rough apartment. But they were like, yep, he can go in. So I paid for the first month of rent. I didn't expect anyone to do anything for free. And they have, they don't own the building. They have...
people to be accountable to. And I had great hope, I had great hope. Chris didn't make it through all the way and that's his own story to tell. He fell back into the lifestyle. And for the next year I had the range of emotions that goes like a roller coaster. It's like, I'm grateful you're reaching out. Are you okay? Are you gonna come back? Are you not gonna come back? It's just, without hope there is nothing. So I always had hope.
but I always had deep-seated fear because I knew what he'd gone back to. So it was pretty awful. Fast forward a year, much better outcome. Chris, unfortunately, he reached out because his dad, my first husband, Peter, was dying and he wanted to go and see Peter. And he had a plan that I thought wasn't a great plan, but it was a plan to get there.
And so I said, well, we'll figure it out. Well, you know, whether it's me giving you some cash for a ride or we'll figure it out, I'll get back to you. We were able to help Chris get home back to Calgary in time. And that's when Chris really made the deep dive into, I'm gonna honor my dad and I'm gonna be the man that he always knew I was and I'm gonna be sober. And so again, great emotion of hope and great fear deep down going.
please don't lose this because if you fall back now, I'm not sure you'll come back to the surface again of hope for himself. And so it was that roller coaster of everything. I was pretty proud of you, Chris, even through some of those shitty times with the people and places that you ended up in, because you had to stand on your own feet and with some help, I mean, there was a bit of help there, but really it was about, you need to find a safe place to live. I can't keep doing that for you.
You want this, you got to do some stuff. I'll support it, but you can't hand it on a platter. Because in my past experience, platters just fall and get broken. And then they're mad that the platter wasn't strong. But I'm really proud. Chris went through some pretty crazy places. And he would reach out and go, oh my God, I think I'm gonna have to like, crawl out a window. This place is so awful. They got some trauma stuff going on, which literally did. So you go through that.
Chuck LaFLange (31:23.775)
No, you can't.
Chuck LaFLange (31:41.948)
I literally did. January.
you go through that hope and fall and hope and fall. But with each passing weekday month, the hope gets stronger. And the reality that is doing well gets cemented in your heart. There's always going to be, I think always going to be that little glimmer of, for God's sake, don't fuck this up, right? Like you deserve better. But I know that lifelong
Chuck LaFLange (32:13.091)
Lifelong addiction, right?
I have no control. I keep telling people, you can't change the past and you can't force the future. So you can only hope that the roadmap goes where they wanna go. And so extremely proud. Was really excited for Chris when the opportunity for Yatra came up and it came up several weeks before, months before he finally ended up going. And again, it was a living situation that wasn't ideal when he reached out and said,
Chuck LaFLange (32:35.892)
months before, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Like I got to get away from these people. And I understood the players. Unfortunately, my niece and her boyfriend were part of the problem that were there. And his dad and I, stepdad, dad, said, well, we can help with an apartment and rent, or we can help with an airplane ticket to Yatra. And so we offered Chris the opportunity. And Chris is all on his own since then. He's been kicking ass and taking names, and we're extremely proud of him.
One of the best emotions I can tell you is that when I see Chris in his reels and his videos and his V logs or whatever you want to call the terminology between the first day at Yatra and today, we see a stronger, healthier, happier human. And that just makes my heart sing. It's so cool. It's not the tan. No, it's the smile. It's the twinkle. It's the
Chuck LaFLange (33:32.023)
You're losing weight, you're doing yoga, even though it's painful. You're living your best life so far and it just brings me immense joy. Because you're doing the work and it's your choice to do it.
Chuck LaFLange (33:47.724)
And I feel like I see like a decrease in anxiety. That's one of the things I notice.
Chuck LaFLange (33:50.887)
Oh, oh, everything about this place is about de-stressing. From the moment you walk in. I've talked about this a bunch of times, but the food. I don't like spicy food. My whole family, including mom, laughs at me for this quite a bit. It's pretty obscene how much I don't like spicy food. I get people, it's not spicy, but it is, it is. Medium is a scam, right? And if you have to write mild on the jar, I'm wondering why. I don't trust it. Right, so I know.
So for perspective, for people that are listening, barbecue chips are way outside his comfort zone of spicy.
Chuck LaFLange (34:22.739)
Yeah, yeah, right? Like I do not enjoy, I know, right? So here I am in Thailand, where things are measured by how many, not whether or not you have chilies. Like literally, it's like, it's one or five chilies in every dish, right? Like you pick, that's what the scale is, right? So it's like, I get here, the first words I learned, my pet, means not spicy, right? It literally, the first words taught to me, Mike was like, you need to know this, my pet.
Chuck LaFLange (34:52.351)
Right? So, just the other day, he's like, you remember not spicy, right? Like he's making sure. But when I get here, I'm sitting in the administration's office and I'm doing my intake stuff with Stacey. And I mentioned this thing about, well, now I'm in Thailand, I better get used to spicy food. She's like, you're at a trauma treatment center, you can deal with that shit another time. Lunch is not gonna be stressful. Don't you worry about that. And every day I sit down, there's a special, there's a Chris on one of the plates. Right? And they make me.
Chuck LaFLange (35:20.811)
whatever they're making, not spicy version of it. Right? Like that's just, well, now I'm the only person here. Like there's a whole staff dedicated to this right now. I shit you not. They're all dedicated to me. It's like, I'm like in opulence, right? You know? It's amazing. It's absolutely amazing. Yeah. Right? Yeah. Oh yeah. Like today, tomorrow, whatever it is, you guys, it's Saturday morning there. So tomorrow morning, I'm going to Yacht Retreatment, or going across the road, there's on an excursion here.
Chuck LaFLange (35:50.667)
going to Yachtra, I'm at Yachtra, to do ATVing. And I'm all by myself and I've got like, somebody's gonna take me over there and we're gonna go ATVing together and like, yay. Right? You know, tonight after supper I was like, hey, I bought that hat, I need to go take it back. Can we go to the night market? Yep, sure. Gets in the car, drives me fuckin' 40 minutes to the night market so I can go change a $10 hat out. Right? You know? Yeah. Right? Right. So, yeah. And he talked me into buying this too, son of a bitch. Right, but.
Chuck LaFLange (36:20.228)
Yeah, it was bright pink. I couldn't resist right? Yeah, yeah, right.
It's a good color. Yep, yep, it's good.
Can I ask you another question, Norma? When Chris was not doing well, can you share what boundaries you had and whether you found it hard to hold your boundaries?
Yes, and difficult. How's that sound? I've always been kind of a boundary person. Particularly since I left my first marriage, I learned that boundaries were what were going to keep me safe and necessary to put into place just for everyone. For the kids when they're little, for myself, for my current relationship, which is like 40 years strong. I had boundaries and I just set them out flat out. Here's what they are. Live them or like them or get out. And so my boundaries with Chris really weren't...
expressed to Chris because Chris was gone pretty much from the time he was 15. We let him come home once and said, here's the boundaries you need to live with if you're going to stay home. He went, if I'm out, I don't want to live with any boundaries. I know everything, I'm 15, I'll do it on my own. Well, thankfully he did. They were never really set in stone. It's not like I ever went to Chris and said, you can't call me unless.
Chuck LaFLange (37:35.991)
or don't you show up if. They just sort of evolved. And Chris knew, I think, that'd be a question for you intuitively, about what was gonna be acceptable around me and what was not. Chris would reach out on occasion and would be polite. Typically the text would be like, hey mama, how you doing? Blah, blah, blah. And I'd respond. And then he'd go into a rant during addiction time of inappropriate recall of how things worked.
Chuck LaFLange (37:49.203)
Oh yeah. Yeah.
and how I needed to apologize for things in his life. Be like, I'll apologize all day long, every day long, if I've done something on purpose, 100%. If I've done something without meaning to, and I recognize that was inappropriate, I'll apologize for that. But I will not apologize to someone for how they feel I did something if I didn't do it. And so I would respond with very careful measured words, and that's.
probably one of my gifts is writing. And there'd be times I wouldn't respond right away because I'd think if I respond right away, it's gonna be with emotion. And when emotions are up, intelligence is down 100% of the time. And so then I would respond back with, this is how I see things. I'm happy to have you back. You are loved. And then there'd be periods of silence again. So it was sort of up and down, back and forth, but I never said you can't reach out or you can't call me.
as long as there was basic respect, we don't even have to agree on things, we just can't be jerks to one another. He was always welcome to be a part of our life. And so not hard boundaries, as in well-defined, but well-understood. I don't know if that makes sense to you, Chris, if you.
Chuck LaFLange (39:27.259)
Yeah, of course it does. It's very accurate. So, and for me, it was always the guilt and the shame and the shit that kept me away, right? So, in some ways, and I don't know, and at least I can almost hear your next question now that I'm about to say this, is that harder or is that easier for someone in mom's position? If I'm there causing chaos day in and day out, or is it easier that I'm just disappeared and you have no idea what's going on? Because like, let's face it, that was the case for...
Chuck LaFLange (39:56.147)
long periods of time, right? So what's the easier way, right? Very, very rarely, very, very rarely. I can't, yeah, like, yeah, go ahead, yeah, yeah.
And would you call your mom asking for money? Like would you call, I mean, because.
Yeah, I'll answer that. Chris never called to ask me for money during his active addiction time. Never. He
Chuck LaFLange (40:13.543)
Yeah, yeah. Okay, thank you. And I said very rarely because I'm like, there must have been a time, but I don't remember. No, no, yeah.
Yeah, no, you never ever asked for money, or food even, for that matter. Chris would reach out during his times where he was trying to pull his recovery together, and most of the time I was able to say yes and make things happen, but.
Chuck LaFLange (40:32.191)
Mom, I don't know that there's ever a no.
Chuck LaFLange (40:36.999)
Right, right, yeah.
I guess I haven't then. Like I guess I've always come through. But I know a lot of parents struggle because the only time their children reach out is when they need or want something. And that's tough for them.
money, a hotel, food, that kind of thing.
Yeah, exactly. And so I never really went through that with Chris, gratefully. And would it be harder or easier not knowing where he was at and what was on? There's always a deep worry, concern. There's always deep down, is he okay? What's going on? Always, but in order to survive in my life and in anyone's life that has someone that's struggling.
Chuck LaFLange (41:03.008)
you can't let that eat away at you because then you miss out on the joys that are there. And so it would, it was always in the back of my head and in my heart, I hope it's okay, but I didn't dwell on it because I knew I couldn't force it. I couldn't, I couldn't change what was going on. On the reverse side of that, my niece Jessie, who's, who was like a daughter to me, for four years I would reach, I reached out to Jessie. She was in Calgary, we were here in Saskatchewan.
and I would text her and we would talk by text. And when we went to Calgary, we would meet for coffee. And so I worried more, I think, about Jessie than I did about Chris. And not that there was a love difference, just a lifestyle difference. Chris is a big guy. He was more capable of looking after himself. Jessie literally was living in a dog house, playhouse, in her dad's yard.
Chuck LaFLange (42:04.224)
like where there was no heat, like it was crazy. And so I felt more concerned when I didn't hear from her. And being a woman, flat out, if you're a woman who is struggling in addiction, your life is 10 times harder than any humans on earth because you're subject to abuse of all kinds. And so I worried more about her when I didn't hear from her. And so I often say to moms that are on Facebook groups with children with addiction,
Chuck LaFLange (42:22.563)
Chuck LaFLange (42:30.978)
At minimum, if you can get your child to have a Facebook account where they can at least messenger and you can see that little green dot that says they're active, even if they're not talking to you, you need to take solace in knowing they're alive. And that's the best that you can do and that's okay. And I would look at Chris's at times too and see, oh yeah, he's okay. And he'd go in, he'd create different Facebook groups, pages every once in a while, but he's not that sneaky. And I'm kind of, I'm...
Chuck LaFLange (43:08.615)
Yeah. Well, you know what? Still, the Facebook account I have now is the one that I started in 2009 when I joined Facebook. So I have two, Chuck LaFlandre and this one. They're the only two that I've ever had. Yeah, yeah. The names changed from LaFont to Hoarder, because whatever. When I was arrested, I changed my Facebook name to Hoarder. Because.
I'm kind of a super sleuth.
Haha, Mom was watching.
Chuck LaFLange (43:32.875)
you could Google me and find out all sorts of nasty shit all of a sudden, right? But it's like some really bad things there, right? But yeah, I still, it's been the same Facebook accounts, right, yeah, yeah.
Your past is past.
So that's how I dealt with, it wasn't better or worse, just different, just different. And you have to buy yourself some peace in whatever way, whether that means you have to tune something out or whether you mean to tune in every day. But for those that tune in every day, are you really buying yourself peace? That's up to them, right?
Chuck LaFLange (43:53.27)
Chuck LaFLange (44:02.315)
No, no, I would suggest not in most cases anyway, right? Something that I wanna speak to, and I did one of my reels, because that's how my life is measured right now, but, and I know, because this is gonna be an episode a lot of moms are gonna listen to, a lot of parents are gonna listen to, loved ones in general. So, the biggest misconception, I think, that the loved ones of people who are suffering make is assuming that person knows they're loved.
Chuck LaFLange (44:32.331)
because I hear it all the time when I say it. Tell them they're loved, oh, they know. Tell them they're loved. Use the words as we know, you are loved, right? Right? And do it like now and do it today and do it tomorrow and do it the next day because they don't know. You're assuming they know because you do, but that's not the case. Perceived lack of connection was the boot on my neck for the last two years of active addiction.
You are loved.
Chuck LaFLange (44:56.971)
Right? And I think I can't think, I've said that a thousand times and I don't think I can think of a better way to make people understand the perceived lack of connection was the thing that kept me down. Right? Believing that I wasn't loved, worst believing I wasn't lovable kept me down. Right?
Can I share a story with you that happened between when I was in San Diego, and it relates to probably a similar person. I don't know if he was in a ditch or not. My husband and I had gone down to San Diego to do a personal development course. And we were very thrifty in our living style because that's how we could afford to do things. And so we would always buy a bunch of lunch meat and sandwich meat.
Chuck LaFLange (45:32.533)
She still steals yogurt from continental breakfast, I'm just saying. Like just less than a year ago. I witnessed it. Yes.
Great, now I can't stay in a comfort inn ever again. But we're very thrifty in how we live because we couldn't afford to go to these if we weren't. And so at the end of the week, in our hotel, we're gonna fly out at one o'clock that afternoon, I still have a bunch of food left over. And I've been poor, I've been so poor I couldn't pay attention. And I know what it's like to throw out food. It's like, that just makes no sense to me.
And so I tell my husband, Jeff, we're going to pack up a few lunch bags. We're going to go out and find people to give them to you on the street. And he's a very tolerant man. He's like, OK, off we go. So we did we packed up five little care packages of sandwiches and some shampoos and soaps. And off we went into the streets of San Diego about six thirty seven in the morning. And we came across several people. But the one that I want to talk about is this young man.
As we approached him, he was sitting against a concrete wall. He had a jacket on, a few belongings around him, and he was playing with something, and I didn't really pay a lot of attention. And so I've also learned that when I approach people I don't know, I have to ask them if it's okay to approach, because I don't want to A, get beat up, and B, interfere in their space, even if it's public space. And so I said, excuse me, is it okay if I come over and talk to you? And he looked shocked, for one.
And he said, sure. So as I got closer, I realized he was a boy of about 14 or 15. And what he was playing with is he had a rat. And the rat was his pet. We had a long conversation. The rat was his pet. It's the only thing he had in his life that he felt he had in his life that loved him. And so we shared the bag and shared a story. And I said, so how long you been on your own? I don't know, a while. I ran away. I said, have you ever called home? No, I'm not wanted.
And I said, well, maybe, but maybe not. Maybe they realize that thing, you know, they really miss you. Can you, would you call home? Even just call collect and just say, I just want to let you know I'm okay. And he started to cry because he had never had the, the confidence or the anyone, A, probably two things. One, someone that was kind to him in the moment. And B, the thought about calling home was just almost overwhelming to him. But I said,
they can't reach out to you, you have to reach out to them. And so I'd say the same thing to parents. Your person that's struggling out on the streets or in their world may not feel that they can call you, but it doesn't mean you can't reach out to them. And so whether you phone them or text them or message them or put a Facebook post or whatever you do, just reaching out saying, I'm thinking about you, I hope you're okay, you are love.
can make a ton of difference. And I use those words, you are loved at the end of almost every conversation I had with Jessie and often with Chris, and just open up the dialogue with your kids. Like they need to know that you care. It's okay to say you cannot come into my home when you're not sober, if you're drinking or actively using, that's my boundary. I can meet you at Tim Hortons or McDonald's or Burger King or wherever.
I can buy you lunch, I can drop things off for you. It's okay to have boundaries, but you need to give boundaries with love.
Chuck LaFLange (48:55.603)
You can't just assume your kids know. And they don't know if they are loved or not. Deep down in their soul, they hope so, but that's all they have is hope.
Chuck LaFLange (49:07.187)
And I can tell you firsthand, the demons, the demons of addiction, and I'm not a religious person, so when I say demons, I don't mean them literally. The dark, what addiction does to your brain is it wants you to believe you're not loved because it gets to stay if you're not. It wants you to believe that shit, right? So it's just, it's so easy to believe it, the shame and the bullshit that comes along and constantly trying to keep you down.
the dark side.
Chuck LaFLange (49:35.771)
Like I said, perceived lack was the boot, right? So.
And I think it's, you know, what you just said there is that I don't think there's self-love in active addiction. I think that's lost, you know, I think there's so much shame and whether it's disgust or, you know, I just think that you don't love yourself and you don't feel lovable that it extends to, right? That...
Chuck LaFLange (50:01.023)
That is the thing, right? Yeah.
Well, I don't think my family would love me. Why would they love me? I don't love me. I don't think that I'm worthy of love right now.
Chuck LaFLange (50:09.787)
Well, and here's the thing. So your family doesn't check up on you. What's that doing? It's reinforcing the thing that is stopping you from checking up on them. And all of a sudden, four fucking years has gone by. That's how that happens, right? So people are, and it just, I can't express to people enough, they don't know, right? You're making that assumption from a place where you are loved, where you feel lovable, and you're in your warm home, and you're not battling to survive.
They are out there battling to survive and that's what they know. They don't know they're loved. And I can tell you, they don't even feel lovable, right? Like in so many cases. And that of, you know, to be seen, to be heard, to be loved, to feel lovable, the feeling lovable is the hardest part. You know, it really is. So I can't stress to parents enough, you know? Go ahead, mom.
I'm going to turn that around as well. So for many parents or loved ones, they're afraid to reach out because when they get, they reach out, they get one of two, one of three things going to happen. The person is going to be happy, grateful, joyful, whatever to hear from them, or it opens up the can of.
the opens up the door again, where all of a sudden they're back to going, I need money, I need a ride, I need a place, you're a terrible parent, you can't do this, you can't do that. And quite frankly, many of those parents just can't absorb any more of that, that frustration. And so they're reluctant to open that door. But what I say to them is you can, you can open the door because you can close it again. So you can send out the message. And if the response you get back is negative, you can simply put your phone on silent for a while or
Whatever, like you don't have to continue a dialogue that's not healthy for both of you, but you can put it out there. It doesn't hurt them. And it's a.
Chuck LaFLange (51:56.599)
Very well said.
I remember going through that. I remember, you know, my brother, my brother would reach out mostly to, you know, the mother of his children first, my mother second. He would reach out to me and like, we've never had like a confrontational relationship. And I, you know, and I've always regularly reached out and told him he's loved and that I would always help him if he needed help. But.
there was definitely, you know, if I did get a text or saw a missed call, because I never have my ringer on.
The thought would always be, you know, A, I hope he's calling because he wants help, and fear that he was calling asking for money. And for me, it was because it hurt me so much to say no that I hesitated to engage if I thought he was looking for money.
And for me, it was, you know, there were occasions where I paid for hotel. There were occasions where I would go pick them up and I would, I'd always take them for food. I would take them to the grocery store and buy him, you know, groceries when he was living in storage units with no fridge, you know, it's like, what can we buy that, you know, granola bars, whatever. Um, but for me, money was in ways of boundary because I
always felt if I gave him money, he would either use it to buy drugs. Or I was freeing him up to, you know, like if I paid for a hotel, it's like, well, then the money in his pocket goes to drugs. And so for me, money in any capacity always led to I'm buying you drugs. That's how I felt about it. And I was like, Hey, I'll take it to a treatment center. But I'm not going to give you money. And but to say no to him.
hurt so bad. Oh, big time. And so then you kind of avoid it. Yeah.
hurt your heart.
Chuck LaFLange (54:04.567)
Hmm. Can we imagine
Yeah, yeah. And I think a lot of loved ones struggle. Yeah, and so it goes back to that. I also wanna address a little bit, the words you are loved versus I love you, and why I chose them. When you say I love you, it is typically from the heart and meant from one on one, but most people in addiction have more than one person in their life.
that care about them and love them. And so the words you are loved, I think is more encompassing. I know when I said it to Jesse and to Chris and to Barrett even too, I meant the universe loves you. You are loved, you can do better. Like you need to feel that. And so I use those words because I think more inclusivity and less judgmental. You don't love me if I use the words I love you because I said no to the money, right? Like that's that.
Chuck LaFLange (54:57.479)
Yeah, yeah. That's.
But the words you are loved, it's different. It's a different context or different feeling.
Chuck LaFLange (55:04.235)
That's a subtle nuance and what I've never considered before, mom, that's genius. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. On that note, the GoFundMe page is still, yeah, I'm the only one who gets to ask for money on this show, so. Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hey listen, we're getting to the hour mark here. Mom, I could talk for hours, but it's 2.30 in the morning where I'm at. I still have to.
send money to 1-800-GO-MOM. No. Maybe I'll get to Thailand.
Chuck LaFLange (55:34.035)
I still have to edit, produce, release this episode before I go to sleep is the idea. I was setting up the end, not getting to the end. We can talk about five more things if we want, okay? Right? Mm-hmm.
Suck it up, princess.
You wanna sleep?
Can we touch on one other thing before we go?
There's just one that I can think of. But, and again, this was actually Norman's idea even before we started, but I think it is a good one to talk about is the fact that, you know, A, it's Thanksgiving, I believe this weekend in the US, Christmas is coming, you know, or a multitude of other holidays, right? But we had talked about how families really struggle during these times of year. One, I think it's a more emotional time. It's a harder time because
when you have a family together celebrating and there's that one person not there, it's more sort of highlighted, but then also that families really struggle knowing what to do. Do you invite your loved one to come for Christmas dinner? Do you not? So I thought that might be something we could just touch on before we give some gratitudes and...
Chuck LaFLange (56:36.739)
Of course, of course. If I could speak to that, just, you know, I'm not having been the loved one so much as being the person on the other side, but we all know how much exposure I've had to the loved ones over the course of the last months that we've been doing this. Every situation is so individual. Every individual is unique.
Combine those things, your factors of individualization, you know, to the factor of million all of a sudden. And it's just, you gotta do what's right for you. And what's, you know, and Lisa, you said it before, mom, you would agree to it. And it said very similarly tonight, whatever your decisions are, if they're made out of love, that's all you got, right? You know, that's, because you can't just, I can't tell a family they should invite somebody into their home, that's gonna be chaotic.
I can't, I can't, right? So I don't know if you want to add to that most certainly, but you know.
I think like, yeah, from my perspective, I agree. I think there's no, you know, maybe this is just life in general, but certainly addiction is there's no one answer. There's no one way to do it. For me, I think a big deciding factor to which way I would sway on this is with, for any given family, you know, you know your loved one and you know whether.
they're going to come into your home, they're going to be abusive towards you, they're going to wreak havoc in your home, they're going to cause fights, they're going to steal. Like, that is, for some people, a reality. If it was me, and that's how things were going to go, I personally would not. I think that one of the ways in which we were lucky is that was not the case for us. You know, my
I think my brother stole from my parents once in the first year or two back 20 something years ago. Subsequent to that, you know, he never stole. He didn't come into the house and scream and fight and blame and do that kind of thing with us. And I'll always think about last Christmas when for the first time in quite a few years, not from our perspective or not because of us, you know, it was just the situation.
Chuck LaFLange (58:39.102)
But last year, my brother was heavy in active addiction, and he was invited to come. And it wasn't Christmas morning, I don't think, but between Christmas and New Year, he came here. He spent two nights, I think. And it was an awesome time. And I think it gave him a chance to be reminded of how life could be. It gave him a chance to see that he was loved.
Um, and it ended up being a good time for us. But so I think it, it kind of depends on what inviting somebody into Christmas dinner or whatever, what that's going to look like for you as to whether you do it or not. But I think if it's, if it's like what we had last Christmas where we were able to invite him in and just love on him and be with him and not judge him, um, I think that had been a good thing.
Chuck LaFLange (01:00:00.191)
Yeah, sort of doubt. Mom, what are your thoughts on it?
I have, I've, I've always believed as a parent that you have to say what you mean and mean what you say. So there's no point in saying, and this is outside of Christmas, but there's no point in saying if you don't eat your dinner, you're not getting dessert and then giving dessert. Like that's just, you're setting yourself up and the person up for failure. But I think if you can set the
Chuck LaFLange (01:00:23.388)
She meant it when she said, I'll make you go sit in the car. Like she actually did it. Like, so trust me. At a time when you could still send your kids to the car. Oh yeah, Earl's, four slung. Yeah, you did it. Yeah, I remember. I was, yeah. I remember. Yeah.
Yeah, I did. I would haul their ass up and haul them out at grocery stores, whatever. So this whole Christmas season is kind of the same belief system is say what you mean and mean what you say. I believe if you feel like you can invite your person who's struggling into your home, your life, your whatever it is with
rules or with boundaries, with boundaries that make sense. So, yes, you can come for dinner, you have to be sober while you're here and you can't use here. If you start, if we believe you're using, we just have to say no and you have to get in the car and you have to go. Like whatever those boundaries might be. If you're going to use
then you can't use inside the house. And I need you to dispose of your needles in this tin can. Or whatever that boundary is, if you're really clear on your boundaries and you can follow them through, then maybe give it a shot. Because they want to be a part of your life and you want them to be a part as well. And I don't mean to...
to put them down in any way, but it's no different than a toddler knowing what the rules are. If you yell and scream at the store, you're going out to the car, right? And so people can, you know, they get out to the car the first time, the next time they think twice about it. So set boundaries that make sense. No matter what you do, whether you allow them in, whether you meet them somewhere, give the message with love. Just give them the love. I can't imagine what it's like to be in the brain or in the body of a person who's struggling.
I just can't. Thank God I don't know, but I can't imagine it, even though I've been told multiple times by multiple people that I connect with. I just can't imagine it. So whatever you do, do it with love.
Chuck LaFLange (01:02:19.943)
some solid advice. Yes it is. Before we get into gratitudes, is there anything else either one of you wonderful women would like to discuss or bring up? No? Okay. Well that brings us to my favorite part of the show and that is the daily gratitudes. Do the thing. Lisa what you got for us?
No, I think I'm good.
I'm grateful for you.
Chuck LaFLange (01:02:45.963)
I've said that before. I feel it this weekend more than ever.
This started as co-hosting.
but you've become such a true friend to me.
And I appreciate you. You know your jokes, your conversations. You know, sometimes you need a good distraction joke. I got a few of those this week just out of the blue. You know, but then I know if I need to talk, I mean it. You've shown me this week. It doesn't matter what time it is. You're there. If I
Chuck LaFLange (01:03:41.847)
want your opinion, you give it. If I just need to vent, you listen. You're just a really good person and a really good friend. So I'm thankful for you.
Chuck LaFLange (01:04:03.523)
Jesus. Wow. Thank you. That's, oh. Fuck. Jerk. I'm not crying, you're crying. Ha ha ha.
Chuck LaFLange (01:04:19.332)
Mmm. Mama, what you got for gratitude?
So, so I'm gonna do my gratitude but one but one second, sir, you buddy, come here real quick. Come, come, come. You don't get to say no. If I have to chase you down, it's gonna be embarrassing. It's gonna happen anyway. So come here really quick. Please. Please just come stand behind me. Just come stand behind me. Get down low so you get the picture. Get in here.
Chuck LaFLange (01:04:29.524)
I'm so curious to know who this is.
Chuck LaFLange (01:04:40.417)
This was his dad.
So this is Chris's dad and my husband, Jeff, and I won't make you stand there anymore if you don't want to. So, gratitudes. I am so grateful to have this man in my life. He has put up with some pretty crazy things, including the boys and Chris and the chaos of things and the beauty and joy of things. So I'm eternally grateful to my husband and I tell him that often. And I'm grateful.
for video, which sounds kind of hunky weird, but I can see every day, not necessarily right now, because this was a 15 minute, get out of my pajamas in the shower thing, but I'm grateful for video and technology, because it lets get the word out. And this is something we need to keep talking about, is how to get through the craziness of addiction and mental health. And I'm really grateful, because I can physically see Chris as often as I need to.
and I can see that he's healthy and doing well and laughter. And I get to meet people like Lisa and the technology of the world is something to be truly grateful for, even though sometimes my tin hat says it's scary as shit. But so that's my gratitude for now.
Chuck LaFLange (01:06:00.055)
Well said, mama. Well said. For myself, I mean, come on, right? I am so thankful to you, mom. So, so thankful. I'm so thankful to you, Lisa. I think if I start going off, this will be another half hour, because there's just so much right now, like every single day. There is so much I am so unbelievably grateful for. Whether it's...
That's my gratitude.
Chuck LaFLange (01:06:25.783)
custom smoothie or a bougie water bottle or, you know, like it's just like, support from people, like kind words from people that I haven't talked to in 25 years, they're coming out of the woodwork, right? There's complete strangers, families, there's so much. All of those things. I'm also very, very grateful to every single person who continues to like, share, comment, subscribe, do all the things that we need you to do in order to keep spreading the message.
and the message is this. If you're an active addiction right now, today could be the day, day could be the day that you start a lifelong journey. Reach out to a friend, reach out to a family member, call in to detox, go to a meeting, do whatever you gotta do to get that journey started because it is so much better than the alternative. And if you have a loved one who's suffering an addiction right now, you're just taking the time to listen to a conversation for the ages. If you could just take one more minute out of your day and text that person.
Let them know they are loved. Use the words.
You are loved.
You are loved.
Chuck LaFLange (01:07:29.579)
that little glimmer of hope just might be the thing that brings them back.
Chuck LaFLange (01:07:36.064)
195 and I still get