071 - April Barnes
Updated: Aug 26, 2021
“She’s sick and she can’t get the help she needs. Jail is not the answer.” April Barnes, RN joins us from The Next Door to talk about being recruited into the detox industry. She talks about sharing the pain, the intimate space, and emotional transition from intoxication. She talks about getting a place of recovery and of forgiveness to be able to use humor for connection. Enjoy.
The Illuminate Recovery Podcast is about Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Addiction Recovery. Shining light on ways to cope, manage, and inspire. Beyond the self care we discuss, you may need the help of a licensed professional. Curt Neider and Shelley Mangum are a part of Illuminate Billing Advocates (illuminatebilling.com). They are committed to helping better the industry and adding value to the lives of listeners by sharing tools, insights, and success stories of those who are working on their mental health.
Transcript (no grammar):
she's sick and she can't get the help she needs jail is not the answer april barnes rn joins us from the next door to talk about being recruited into the detox industry she talks about sharing the pain the intimate space and emotional transition from intoxication she talks about getting to a place of recovery and of forgiveness to be able to use humor for connection enjoy welcome to the illuminate recovery podcast we shed light on mental health issues mental illness and addiction recovery ways to cope manage and inspire beyond the self-care we will discuss you may need the help of a licensed professional my name is kurt neider i'm a husband father entrepreneur a handyman and a student of life i avoid conflict i deflect with humor and i'm fascinated by the human experience and i'm shelley mangum i am a clinical mental health counselor and my favorite role of all times is grandma i am a seeker of truth and i feel like life should be approached with tremendous curiosity i ask the dumb questions i fill in the gaps the illuminate recovery podcast is brought to you by illuminate billing advocates make billing in collection simple with leader in substance abuse and mental health billing services verification and analysis of benefits pre-authorizations utilization management accurate claim submission and management denial and appeal management and industry-leading reporting improve your practice's cash flow and your ability to help your clients with eliminate billing advocates kurt and i have the privilege and honor of talking with april barnes today april is the director of outreach and business development at the next door inc she is a registered nurse with 13 years of patient centered and compassionate medical and behavioral health experience april started as a detox nurse at the next door inc in june of 2016. has since transitioned to her current role of cultivating relationships in the community to help women access a full continuum of treatment services april has a heart for women's health and a passion for working with clients battling the disease of addiction april thank you for being on with us today super excited to have a conversation with you hi shelly hi kurt thank you for having me today thank you it's so good to be here well i i know this is going to be a fun conversation because we've been you know we've been chit-chatting a little bit prior to recording and um and you've got you know you've got quite a story maybe just start with that a little bit of you know maybe a little more history of how you ended up in nursing and where you come from and then how you end up in substance abuse because i know i tried to avoid it but it like called out my name and i'm suspecting there's some similarities for you right right it calls you and it doesn't let go sometimes for sure um yeah so my professional history i had always worked as a nurse and different various medical facilities um you know vanderbolt and just different hurdles and store i had already accepted a position at a local hospital close to where i live just a few minutes down the road in the icu and i had seen this job posting um for a detox nurse prn and i thought you know that's pretty appealing right like i um i wanted something very non-committal and um so i decided i'm just gonna go in for the interview to see what happens again had already accepted another offer at a closer facility you know just a few minutes down the road and as soon as i walked in um i met the director of nursing who's still here she's still our director of nursing um and i ended up like saying yes like right then i was like okay yes this is where i need to be this is where i belong um and started just doing like bedside care um taking care of females that were acutely um going through the detox process just fell in love with that um it's just such an intimate space to be beside someone when they are experiencing not just the physical pain of withdrawal but all everything that comes with it emotionally and just being able to sit with them like it's just so fragile so um i continued my time um as a detox nurse and recognized um having worked in some other um facilities that we didn't have an admissions nurse so i thought you know like i'm just gonna kind of throw that idea out there um and they said well that's great why don't you do it and i was like oh i didn't mean like for me i mean like somebody else can do it um but so i then said okay i'll do it for like 90 days and get somebody trained and well you know and i ended up just staying in that role and loving it and loving the ability to do an assessment on like every client that was coming through the doors at that time i mean it was just such an opportunity you you talk about a fragile space is when someone's like made the decision of like i'm gonna come into treatment um and half the battle that we see is just getting someone to the door and so um in my time as admissions nurse um i recognized that we had a lot of females coming in were reporting you know i went to you know two ers this week or three yards this last week trying to get help um sometimes even pregnant you know just different things that um all i heard was barrier after berry after barrier for for people in the community women in the community trying to get treatment um and so um we you know we needed someone in this role time um and haven't with women in that setting and hearing some of those barriers when i moved into this role that was really my focus was ov offices like educating people about um you know the resources that we were able to provide and it turns out because of our history and just being known for um what we um we were founded and we started as a re-entry program for women leaving incarceration we just weren't known yet for the more acute services like the detox level of care the residential level of care um so it just took some time and some education in the community for for those outlying hospitals and facilities to learn about these new resources that we had in this new way that we could be of service to the community and um you know i think i'd been working here maybe six months i can't remember the timeline i just remember i was working here and driving home one day and i was talking to my mom and i was like she said yeah how was your day at work and i told her where i was working and talked a little bit more in detail about work and she asked me um how do you um or is linda and cindy still there and at the time linda was our ceo who is also founding you know one of our founding executive leadership and then cindy was my boss our chief clinical officer and i was like how do you know linda and cindy like it was just so odd to me that my mom like you know i said how do you know them and she said oh april dawn that's the that's the same program i went to when i got sober um you know back in 2006 and it was just such a god moment for me in that time sitting there and that like i remember thinking oh my goodness and even i didn't recognize that i was working for the same program because we'd evolved because we're in a different building the very same program that restored the relationship that me and my mom have today it was exactly what um you know the therapy that she got um the life skills her being able to get a job out of you know after several years of being in the women's prison it was her second chance at life it was her next door you know like that's what it was founded to do and so i just i just knew in that moment oh my goodness this is why i was led here like this is such a god wink for me and um and i've been here ever since i've been here now five years you know it's like dna it's like my blood you know so um so that's that's a little history on um how i got here and why it's just so important to me and why i love it at the next door that story is crazy they know they can take advantage of you all they want you're never going anywhere are you they know it's in my blood you know it's dna oh man there goes your next few pay raises they got you no that's an awesome that's an awesome story and i think it's it's interesting too because um so one of the things that we've talked about with a few other people is and in recovery and in this process of of kind of getting through you know substance abuse and working through addictions and all that kind of stuff there's obviously all of these stigmas right and so we've talked to a few people recently about how it'll be interesting to see if there's this kind of generational shift around that a little bit as people get the help that they need as our kind of cultural emotional intelligence grows right if it'll be interesting to see if the younger generation kind of has a little bit greater acceptance for rehab right or for recovery and then there's this combination of of you know people tend to be more successful if the family can get involved right and the family gets educated and they learn some of those same tools and so it's amazing to hear um and i don't know maybe you have a recovery story too but it's amazing to hear you know that you come in and you've had a parent who went through this process and and i'm sure it's just the connection that you know like you said it's a different building and not necessarily disconnecting her recovery from where you're working but just not necessarily connecting the dots but but interesting to then to then think like okay i i would love to know how you were how involved you were in that process you know you mentioned she had been to women's prison right so maybe you know i don't i don't know what that relationship was like maybe you guys were completely separated and you didn't know her at all or you know i don't know what that was like but it would be curious when she went through her kind of recovery steps right what was your involvement there did you see that very often you know was that kind of before you two were reconnected and you know obviously i think now it's easy to see the the fruits of what came through this facility that you work for but what was that process for like for you as a child you know yeah so um when she went through the next door i was very involved um she you know the way that it was structured at the time was um you know she was once she went through a certain like phase or level of um treatment and she could then start having um like home visits and weekend visits and um you know the relationship really started to heal um but then i also became extremely codepen so very very um and this is after she had left the next door um and that's where the start of like my recovery journey began of looking at what was healthy and what wasn't but in terms of watching her grow while she was in the program i remember you know so one of the great things and what's beautiful about the re-entry program not just at the next door but the re-entry model in itself is that it is structured and designed um to really give women support that they need for recovery instead of let's incarcerate things this without any support survival and where do you end up you're right back in jail so it's the goal is to reduce recidivism rates which it does i mean the evidence is there it absolutely does um because it gives women support um and and really um goes against this idea that we're gonna just arrest our way out of you know addiction crisis right um and so but growing up um you know i knew that i had a mom that struggled with addiction and then revere um you know if she like she was in and out of jail so it just would depend on if she were incarcerated or not if i could see her but even like when she was in jail um you know depending on if i could receive a letter or not i just knew i have a mother that's really struggling with something that seems to have complete control over her life and because of that right so like if i knew as a kid like like oh my goodness like she's just gonna be in jail the rest of her life so when she went into the re-entry program and she for the first time ever was offered a different alternative um that that's when she began to heal and that's when recover i remember going and picking everyone up everyone up and i saw having like a cookout and it was like the start of this like establishing a relationship with our mom that none of us were able to have and with a mother that was able to be present and to um you know not have to live in the shame of her past right and that's what's really to this day i mean me and my mom you know we joke about like she's really involved in my life now and we're at this place of like where we've worked through so many things that like i can say to her i can joke about the fact that like we didn't grow up like she didn't raise me and that's okay right like we i love her and we're involved now and our relationship just looks very different than a lot of my friends and their moms and that's okay but she'll say stuff like you know you know apron you got to get those spider webs off those bushes it's going to kill him or something and she'll like you know say something to me as an adult and i'll be like mama you act like you raised me better you know you didn't raise me you know we'll joke like that you know and just have this like light because i think that's what i i just wanted things when i became really codependent i wanted things to be normal i wanted things to just be like like all put together and i still struggle with that today of like my life just needs to appear put together and i just i don't want people to know and i'm really trying to work on that in my own recovery journey of like it's okay that like my you know relationship with this person or with you know with my family or that my history looks totally different than yours or yours that's okay like we're all human and we have flaws and we're imperfect and that that comparison of like well we're just gonna we gotta get it together we gotta all be you know this happy family that actually created more dysfunction for all of us um not talking about it and trying to sweep everything under the rug was not helpful so a lot of lessons learned throughout the years about like just speaking truth and calling it for what it is and having some hard conversations that lead to healing and and that's that's where we're at today so and it feels it's a much healthier space for sure so i think that's like one of the base base misunderstandings of a lot of people that end up in addiction though right because i think it's a base misunderstanding for any human because there's no such thing as normal like nobody's got an easy shot right like nobody just nobody gets together with their family every night for dinner you know six nights a week because that's just what happens in their family right like everybody has their failures everybody has their things they're working on and i think it's this kind of it's great that you guys laugh about the the lack of parenting thing right because to me i think that's evidence of the level of healing right the level of understanding of like this isn't backhanded you know we're it's not we're not cutting each other with these remarks it's our story we own it right we don't necessarily need to broadcast it to the world but we're going to own our story we can't change the past let's have a good time moving forward you know and accept each other for who we are and i think that i doubt that's probably i don't know maybe it is i don't know i'm not the clinician here on the call i'm i'm just i'm the guy who asked the stupid questions but you know i don't know if there's in the stages of you know trauma recovery if there's a humor stage at some point if we're like once you hit that you know you've accomplished you know stages one through nine but there should be right because to me i think that's evidence of so much healing yeah and and that's part of like and i'd love to hear shelley's feedback on that because that i mean that's part of what like a lot of 12-step recovery is like don't take yourself too seriously you know have fun and and so um yeah but yeah i don't know if shelley is that healthy i you know well you know as we know people can use humor as deflection which many of us do i think kurtz uh suggested that that might be one of his um you know go-to's for for deflection is to use humor but i think it goes both ways when you can feel you know when you're not emotionally charged about your history and your stories and the stuff that goes on in your relationships that to me says healing and i'll tell you what i'm the first one when my kids are when they were little and they were fighting i'm the first one to go how can we find some humor in this like how do we distract them with some humor so that we can all be light and stop doing whatever they're doing right um so i think humor's super healthy and i think we do not laugh enough we're way too serious right way too serious but i love that and i and i would totally concur with what kurt has said is i'm listening to you tell your story and i'm like now there's a woman who has done her work and someone who has done some recovery with her mom and with her family because i'm looking at you and thinking about you as a teenager going man i'd have some anger now i was an angry angry teenager and i would have been angry and i would have been you know done some things that i probably shouldn't have done out of frustration and and and most kids don't even know that there's another life out there right because that's all they've known so i'm curious what that was like as a young person trying to manage um you know your relationships with your mom yeah well i mean there were times um you know i look back at as an adult i see it very differently right the story i told myself then is very different than what i can recognize as truth now and again that's that's just recovery um and and doing work with a therapist and doing i'm working my own you know 12-step recovery there's just a lot of um and and i'm still working on it i look that i had that that were just fundamental beliefs within me um and what's truth and what's not and i know that um one of the things i could look back on is i lived in a home that now i recognize they were so good to me and they just wanted to love me and protect me um but at the time i thought that the boundary that they put up with my mother um wasn't fair and that they just were trying to keep me from her and i just couldn't see that and so there was anger um because i've always had this um like just compassion for my mom of like of just recognizing like and i didn't really understand maybe that it was addiction that was enslaving her and that i just was like she's sick and she can't get the help she needs like jail's not the answer um and so there what there was definitely anger um and i and i definitely went through um you know periods of um you know depending on one of the things that's interesting is depending on the foster home that i was in and its structure and stability um i'll look back and and i'm like okay you lived in this home and you really acted out in this way right so experimenting with drugs and alcohol and um just really really um like dangerously rebellion like rebellious spirit right skipping school and but then like go to this home and where there was structure and um and then i didn't you know i did there would be periods where i didn't do drugs or drink alcohol but then now i moved here and i'm taking you know vodka and orange juice and a cup to the library i mean just i look back i've you know i've obviously looked at my patterns as well and even a progression of drinking for myself and and recognized like there are so many patterns and so many periods where um you know there was a lot of pain going on and and there was anger um but i i i would deal with it differently and what was interesting is that different places in different environments um and i think it goes back to exposure right like what i was exposed to what was normal in the home because if every kid in the home was you know drinking and smoking weed and all that then i was doing it but then if i went to a home where that wasn't normal and we were going to church i was going to church so it's just it's interesting that um that's one of the patterns i've been able to identify as well is that um it's almost exposure nature versus nurture like all of those types of things as well that i've seen in my life yeah well interesting that that you can look back on that and and look at these different environments that were provided for you and that you took part in um and look at those and go you know i can take the good from this one and you know see where this one might have not been healthy um i'm curious how many different homes were you in because to me there's trauma all over the places you're talking about this but you stan you sit here as a pretty pretty put together person but i'm hearing trauma screaming all over the place yeah yeah well you know i have a great therapist to work you know to thank uh to thank her for that who i work with weekly um yeah i you know i can't recall um the exact amount i i did go to three different high schools so just in high school alone i moved to several different counties um and oh goodness it i mean it's really hard to to even try to um because in in foster care at least at the time um you could go to one home and it could be what was called then a temporary setting like a temporary home so you you go live at this home and you know okay i'm going to be here maybe a few days maybe a month maybe a couple months until they find me a permanent placement and in the way that that worked often times when i have so many memories of this is how i would know that is i'm getting picked up by my social worker with all of my things i'm still really triggered by black trash bags okay i'll be honest i'm gonna share a little transparency here okay we don't get black trash bags in my house um because that to me was a sign like all of my belongings were brought in everything i owned in a black trash bag and then i would know okay i'm gonna be at a different home tonight a different school tomorrow i don't get a chance to say bye to my friends or my teacher and i just like that was so out of my control and that happened so much that um you know i just i just adapted i just showed up wherever and you know i would i remember sitting in the dcs office sometimes for hours waiting to be able to go to my next home and all of my things and just wondering like i wonder what county i'm going to go to i wonder what school i'm going to go to and you know there was definitely pain um and you know that but it was just so out of my control that um you know i think i look back and i'm like i remember a pretty happy child you know because i loved school for school for me was an escape it was a safe place it was a constant it was like okay even though it's different like there's structurehere and i love to learn i always love to learn um i love to read and so for me like as long as i'm going to school like that's okay and so um but there were definitely there's definitely you know trauma only be in various forms and homes that were closed down because of different types of abuse and so i mean that's definitely all in my childhood as well and again i have a great great therapist who works um with me on all of that and because for a long time it's something i didn't want to look at and i tucked it away and i tell you um when i started doing work and i wasn't in a healthy place that is when it's like pandora's box opened and everything came pouring out and my life became so unmanageable um and so that's when i started you know what i used to be like a social drinker or just like could take it or leave it um i didn't realize you don't go doing you know work um trauma work and codependency and aca and all of that work if you're don't really have healthy coping because for me that led to a progression of alcoholism and that's why to this day i don't drink i went to treatment five years ago and um and it was all what led up to that was trying to do um you know extremely co-dependent around you know some relationships with my mom and some other family members and a sister and trauma work but i was not i mean it was just pandora's box opened and so yeah to answer your question or that you know thought about his trauma in there for sure yeah oh oh yeah like all over the place all over the place which it just makes the story more incredible and i love that you're willing to share it with us because i know this is i mean it can be really personal and you know there's gonna still brings up stuff right we still i'm sure you still got stuff i still got plenty of my own stuff right and i didn't i didn't experience some of that but my head goes to attachment certainly your therapist is working with you on attachment pieces because i mean you were you were put in so many different places without a permanent caregiver for so long right right we're we're definitely working on attachment healthy attachment um even parts therapy like even some of that um and recognizing you know like deep deep compartmentalization skills that i you know established as a child that i was like oh it's fine it's fine you know and that's that's what i was saying earlier about like i still have to work on um being okay with like being human and with being like that not everything is put together and that that's okay and that i'll never be perfect and this is just this process this beautiful mess of a process of healing and i think what's that's helped me in in this role with women recovery with my mom um because it's shown me for for years i look back and that was not healthy trying to just keep all this right here like everything's okay everything's put together it just was not healthy it was killing me inside so yeah and i bet as you work with these women that that you can see that pretty clearly when someone is putting on that front yeah i'm good or i'm tough and i don't need your help and whatever and and i would think that you could cut through that pretty well just because of your experiences and your relatability is would be incredible so i was going to ask you you know how you transition from being an rn to outreach and business development but you kind of answered that question it's just because you you know you love them and you've got so much relatability it's incredible yeah and and i'm working for an organization and a mission and a program that to me i i mean it gave me a relationship with my mom you know it gave me a second chance at life with her and has given me so much and being here um it is it's a it's a mission really it's bigger than you know um because to be honest if i'd you know if i did not do like business development or outreach um here at the next door i i wouldn't just go do it for another company or another another organization i do this role because i love the next door um because i thought about that like if something were to happen you know um i would go back into nursing because i love nursing i love you know caregiving and that bedside care but i just feel like i'm right where i need to be and this place is very special to me for a lot of reasons and um specifically being able to help women that are choosing like making that choice and stepping into recovery because again like i said earlier just half the battle we see is just getting someone to the door just getting them here so definitely is um you talked about god moments you know this this god moment that you ended up at the next door and then find out later that this is where your mom got her recovery um how i guess it makes me want to ask the question of spirituality what role does spirituality play for you and for the women that you work with oh yeah that's huge so um the next store in itself is um was founded on faith like in in its mission of christ-centered compassionate care meaning and what i love about this because i personally am a woman of christian faith and i um i love the approach that it is about relationship and not religion it's about relationship with your higher power with with the god that that you um that you cannot feel um safe with and because what we see are women's from all different walks of life that maybe they have had some some abuse in in a religious setting or um you know they have seen there's just so many there are so many different stories and and everyone arrives at this point of i feel like a spiritual surrender in a different way and for me um one of the things that led me to treatment like i said over five years ago was the the fact it wasn't that i mean on the outside looking in my life didn't look unmanageable it was that i felt so spiritually cut off i i could not connect with god i felt so empty and so dark and hopeless inside to the point um for the first time ever i was at a point of like suicidal thoughts and that level of hopelessness and that is such a scary dark place to be um and the one thing that i always had that i can't you know i can't pinpoint because people have asked me where where were you where did that like come from this like faith or you know um and i don't even remember where i got this little bible but one of the things that i had as a child growing up was this little bitty like pocket-sized new testament bible and i um remember after one specific like trauma event that happened running to my room finding my little bitty bible um that was just new testament and looking for red letters because i knew the letters that are in red are the letters of jesus right so didn't know what i was reading i just was always comforted by that and to this day like right now on my desk i have this little rock that's that's um that's in mark 5 34 and as jesus saying um to this woman daughter your faith has healed you go in peace and be freed from your suffering so for me the the compassion of jesus which is what we get to show here just the the the fact that we love them with that that type of compassion and welcome them no matter where they're at that's that is the mission of the next door that's the ministry of the next door and that's how it was founded which is just another reason of why i love working here because it's not again it's not about like we're gonna you know throw a bible at you and tell you you're a center and all of those things or try to you know pray you know the addiction away we're going to give you some clinical support um to help you know give you some coping skills and unpack some of this trauma and help you understand the way that it's affected your your you know um behaviors and and all of this but we're also going to just love you just love you with the compassion that jesus showed every person that is the mission and so that is what it means to be like faith-based for the next out that love but for me personally that is what led me that was not like bottom was i can't connect i feel so spiritually broken that um i just and i remember like laying in treatment one night and i felt light again i was like oh my god there's light inside of me like which for me is hope like okay things are gonna get better i can pray i can connect i can like tap into that again and because for that was such a scary place when that was gone so does that answer yeah that answers my question um it answers my question very nicely i i'm wondering though because it sounds like your your dad your biological father really wasn't in the picture much for for your growing up i'm making that assumption and a lot of times when women have experienced abuse by men or their father figures that looking at god and trying to have a relationship with god is really really difficult because those two kind of go in the same place and if you know if this man that was supposed to protect me and take care of me couldn't do it and hurt me how am i supposed to trust another man do you see that kind of dynamic going on um well and you're right so i didn't i did not know my father my father actually died of a drug overdose when i was two and so i grew up um you know not knowing him but but knowing that you know that was the truth right he dried he died of a drug overdose and so um you know i know that i really did cling to my grandfather when i was finally able to have relationship with him i loved i mean to me he hung the moon and what's interesting is that that was not the experience that my mom had so my my grandfather had was sober by the time i was an adult um and by the time or even by the time i was a child but when my mother was a child he was an abusive alcoholic that was the truth and so she did not know him um and didn't see him in the same light and so it's interesting because um in my eyes though like that was the only you know kind of consistent father figure and even that was not very consistent um i don't know where i mean i don't know where the um i just found comfort in the idea of belonging to something divine that that had me that could hold me and um and i still do to this day of like now i struggle with surrender and will and wanting to do things my own way still to this day but i would imag i mean i would imagine that's what like a daughter in a father's relation you know it's like i know what's best for you and i'm doubt i just like let me [Music] um so i had that because i i definitely you know i try to pray god like lead god and direct my life like you know what's best for me when i can't see it but then i'm like but let me do all this over here like i'm not going to give you complete control so well i think that's true of most of us but it's like don't tell me what to do just just don't tell me what to do like i got to figure this out and do it the hard way first right right i got this i know what i'm doing oh so i'm i'm also going to make an assumption that you have a family of your own now um so your recovery how has that impacted your family now and the relationship that you have now and the focus and what you pay attention to when you're you know as a mom and a wife yeah oh my goodness it's so different i tell you when i a lot of i didn't know i didn't really know that i had anger really that was not work through or that hadn't been resolved with my parents until i had my first child like almost 11 years ago and i remember holding him and just thinking like how could anyone ever choose like to not like for this not to be priority and and so i had a lot of anger come up and i'm like that i just had not felt and it was around you know my mom and my dad and just not understanding because i had such an immediate love for my son and i was like i would die for him i can't imagine like putting him in certain situations or this or that and him not being priority um but then what helped me the most was getting getting to understand and listen to my mom her upbringing her history her experiences her trauma what she was going through around the time that she conceived me she and my father where they were at in their addiction it was just like like it restored that compassion that for a little while i i just lost i just was so angry and and then i tell you nothing makes at least for my experiences when you need to be extended grace in a way that i mean you're so more like for me i can more freely give it today because i've now needed it because i i really really hurt my family um when i went through my struggles as well so it's um i think those two things um are what immediately come to mind is that that initial feeling of recognizing i've got some anger that i need to talk through i need to work through i need to talk to my mom about it just need to have a conversation again not shaming or but it was i need to understand what was happening like what was going on and and learning a lot of her and and not justify some of the things but to come to an understanding where i could like meet with compassion and the other piece too of again just going through my own struggle and seeing that's how that happens right you're you're not in control anymore and you're in so much pain and if you don't do the work to heal that you can't be the mom who's present at home at night cooking the dinners and reading the books and doing the bath time and the bedtime and so now it i'm very um i'm in a new season of life and my kids are very much a priority um outside of work what i try to do in establishing boundaries like i'm kind of an all or nothing person and i tried to like regulate like even social media like instagram and facebook i had to delete it so i was like i can't regulate it it's just a distraction i can't be present with my kids so i kind of evaluated those types of things of like how can i show up and be more attuned to what they need when they're trying to connect with me um because yeah i don't i don't want there to be like you know and again this is where i have to do the work of like trying not to control but i always and like i don't want to i don't want them to be in therapy because of me well they might be and they still might be and that's okay but um i'm trying and what i what i think that i i can see now is that um my mom was trying and she was doing the best she was just in a really really hard place she and my dad both were and weren't weren't able to give what i was what i needed so what an incredible story april i heard you i heard you say something that i think is super powerful and i just want to reflect on it for a second and i think for me it was a pivotal moment too when i recognized that i was hurting people and that i had messed up and sometimes i didn't even know that i'd hurt somebody and i'm like well if that's the case and and i want to get forgiven i better get really good at forgiving other people because that's the only thing i control i can't always control some of the stuff that that i do and don't even realize that i've hurt somebody right and so but you talked about that piece of recognizing you know none of us are perfect we all make mistakes relationships are hard and they take a lot of work but boy i'm going to give you kudos you you are doing your work and and your therapist has got to be incredible because she you know you guys have you guys are making some good progress i'm just like i'm kind of i'm in awe of just listening to you and going oh my heck look at what she's done it's incredible like you're doing your work and it's gonna change people for generations right it's generational and and how cool is that like you have a lot to be grateful for for sure yeah yeah she she is great she's amazing shout out to my therapist however you don't have one one get one agreed right agreed i think i think the shout out to your therapist is is also the shout out to therapy in general because you said you know as a mom your goal is for them to not need therapy right and it's one of the analogies that we use a lot on this podcast is that that therapist is like your personal trainer at the gym right there's no stigma for having a personal trainer at the gym and it's kind of like saying well i'm gonna i'm gonna exercise so well that when my kids are older they don't need to exercise i love that like it's just it's just it's a healthy place to be and it's money well spent so that's that's they're going to have their own issues and they're just going to pick different ones than the ones you had growing up and that's part of the way it goes yeah i told my kids i said look i'm probably not going to pay for your education but i will pay for your therapy because i know i screwed you up so you know just know i'm here to support you it might be more expensive i know but but at least you know it'll get them on the right path and i'll feel better about it right yeah it's definitely the best investment for my like financially and just for my own like self-care and healing um that it's just very important to me that is a non-negotiable now it's just like that is you know this is the the foundation of like of my healing is it's not just you know my therapist but you know all of the other the coping skills she gives me and the suggestions she gives me and you know the work that i continue to do um you know with my own spirituality with my 12-step recovery like all of that together those are just non-negotiables that um helped me be a better mom that helped me be more present so yeah very cool very very incredible story i love i love it we could talk for hours and hours and we might have to offline you know because because i just i i'm just my whole heart feels warm just listening to all the work that you've done and how incredible it is and how it's changed your life and the life of your family so pretty cool um i imagine that there is going to be a lot of people that are going to want to talk to you and call you and maybe get into treatment but definitely learn more about your story and what's going on what's the best way for them to get a hold of you yeah um so i have my cell phone which a lot of people just contact me on um it's 615-414-0741 or email me um you can email me april.barnes at the nextdoor.org and then if anybody's interested just in general information about like the program um they can go to our website which is um the nextdoor.org so it's got information about the services we provide and continue um here some stories of hope on there as well we have social media like linkedin facebook twitter instagram we have all those socials as well so yeah and and maybe we'll just leave by by you know i worked in a halfway house with the women coming out of prison and if there's a place there and i would say homelessness which kind of you know they parallel a little bit there's such a need for um to support women and so i i love that next door is doing that and that you've got a program that's working because there are so many barriers to coming from you know this kind of being institutionalized some of them for almost their entire lives to trying to figure out how to make it you know in in this culture that we have outside of that and so um lots of work to be done there so i love i love the work that you guys are doing it's super needed so thank you thanks for being on today yeah i think shelly thanks kurt for having me it's been a fun hour with you guys it has it's been fantastic i i would say i've been filled thank you this is our therapist's hour for therapists you gotta you gotta have a place where you unload you you get your time in but a lot of people that we have on i don't think get that time so i think a lot of them feel feel the roles reversed a little bit it's the chance for them to sit in the chair and lighten the load so thanks for coming on