The Courage to Change: A Recovery Podcast

Bambi Brown: Getting Sober at 26, Then Being Brought to Her Knees in Sobriety by Motherhood

Episode Summary

Bambi never imagined herself as an alcoholic or drug addict. It wasn’t until she was deep into an abusive relationship that she realized she could not stop.  Although she was introduced to sobriety at age 18, it took 8 years of relapse to finally become sober at 26 years old. She is a nurse and a mother of two, but it wasn’t until the birth of her first child, she experienced a true emotional bottom in sobriety . Her journey in motherhood changed not only her life, but her views on sobriety as well.  She is in a devoted relationship with her, also sober, high school sweetheart and lives in Hawaii.

Episode Notes

Bambi never imagined herself as an alcoholic or drug addict. It wasn’t until she was deep into an abusive relationship that she realized she could not stop.  Although she was introduced to sobriety at age 18, it took 8 years of relapse to finally become sober at 26 years old. 

She is a nurse and a mother of two, but it wasn’t until the birth of her first child, she experienced a true emotional bottom in sobriety . Her journey in motherhood changed not only her life, but her views on sobriety as well.  She is in a devoted relationship with her, also sober, high school sweetheart and lives in Hawaii. 

 

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Episode Transcription

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Hello, beautiful people. Welcome to the Courage to Change a recovery podcast. My name is Ashley Loeb Blassingame I am your host. Today we have my friend Bambi Brown. Bambi never imagined herself as an alcoholic or drug addict. It wasn't until she was deep into an abusive relationship that she realized that she could not stop. Although she was introduced to sobriety at age 18 it took eight years of relapse to finally become sober at 26 years old. She is a nurse and a mother of two, but it wasn't until the birth of her first child she experienced a true emotional bottom in sobriety. Her journey in motherhood changed not only her life but her views on sobriety as well. She's in a devoted relationship with her also sober high school sweetheart and lives in Hawaii. Friends, family, listeners this one's awesome. Please take a listen and enjoy my friend Bambi Brown. Episode 41. Let's do this.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Bambi, welcome to the program. Thank you so much for being here.

Bambie Brown:

Thank you for having me.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

This is so fun. Okay, so you are currently in Hawaii.

Bambie Brown:

Yes and it's a beautiful day, I'm sorry to say.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Oh, the jealousy is so strong.

Bambie Brown:

It's really something else.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah and did you grow up in Hawaii?

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, born and raised. And you know, my family's from here. My mom's from Pittsburgh. My dad's born and raised here as well. So my mom's a transplant.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Are you from the city or where in Hawaii?

Bambie Brown:

I am from a very tiny town. When I was growing up there wasn't even a stop light.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Wow.

Bambie Brown:

People rode horses to get around.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Well you're not that old, so that's pretty intense.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, '82.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Literally like they rode horses to get around?

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. So it's a cowboy town, and you know a lot of ranches, and a lot of cattle, and a lot of just horses, and cows, and dogs, goats, that kind of stuff.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I don't picture like cattle is not what comes to mind when I think of Hawaii.

Bambie Brown:

No, you think beaches, like blue lagoon.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, I don't think like cattle and horses and goats. So mom is from Pittsburgh. You grew up there. What was it like growing up in rural Hawaii?

Bambie Brown:

I mean when it's all you know, it's all you know, right?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah.

Bambie Brown:

But as I got older, you know I'm part Hawaiian, but I look like my mom, I looked German, and my dad is part Hawaiian, and here when you don't look what you are, you know in the early '80s it was sometimes a struggle if people didn't know who you were because in Hawaii white people are a little bit, you know because of the history, it's a tough place to kind of grow up, especially when you're in a tiny town with not a lot of outside influence and it's what you know, right? So, that was a struggle. I automatically felt like I was an outsider when I shouldn't have felt like that, right, because I didn't match what I was on the outside.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Like you didn't look Hawaiian?

Bambie Brown:

No. I mean look at me.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. But yeah, no, no you definitely don't like Hawaiian.

Bambie Brown:

Right,. No.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

The blonde hair makes it a real struggle there.

Bambie Brown:

Right, right.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You actually look like a Hawaiian vacation ad.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. Hi.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, exactly, so that works.

Bambie Brown:

Come.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Did you grow up like milking cows or like did you have a ranch in your family?

Bambie Brown:

We lived way outside of town, so I grew up about 20 minutes out of the tiny town that had like the grocery store and stuff. So we had animals, dogs, all that kind of stuff. You know my parents worked really hard. My dad owned and worked at a gas station, my mom did the books, I helped my mom do all of her work. You know it was just kind of like middle-class living.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

And were you a happy kid? Like did you?

Bambie Brown:

No. My mom said I came out with a grimace and I don't think it ever really left. You know I have always been from the get go skeptical, untrustworthy of others. You know, I just have to assess to a fault, I have to like assess the situation and that's what I was doing out the gate.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You're a Taurus.

Bambie Brown:

Oh yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So everything about that fits really well. I can say that because my sister's a Taurus.

Bambie Brown:

Right.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

And I see the similarity, just that like untrustworthy of the world.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah just like, "I'm going to rethink this one."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. So you're living rurally, you're not Hawaiian, but did you go to the local public school?

Bambie Brown:

No, so our public school system is rough. I was fortunate enough to have a grandmother that paid for me to go to a private school. Both my sister and I attended private school, which thank God saved me from a lot of others stuff.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Bullying and stuff, right?

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. So despite that, I still had a hard time. I was still an outsider. I still got, you know that girl bullying stuff that's really just, ooh.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Oh yeah.

Bambie Brown:

By the third grade I was experiencing that big time, by seventh grade it was unbearable.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. What did you do to cope with that as a young kid?

Bambie Brown:

Oh I just learned to rely on myself. No one was going to save me from that. You know, nobody cares when you're a kid and you know my mom did the best she could, but she was busy, she was working into the night every night. So what do you do? You just put your head down.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So you just grit your teeth and bear it, or did you fight? It seems to me there was a lot of bullying?

Bambie Brown:

A lot of bullying and you know we're in a tiny town, so there's no getting away from it. It's like they're on your soccer team, they're everywhere. You don't get away from them. So it was like, I am going to go inward and I am going to just bite down and didn't get through it. But that turns into other things as we know.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. So what did that turn into for you?

Bambie Brown:

So by the time, you know seventh grade was really horrible.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Seventh grade is just awful in general.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. I think it's like period, 12 like the whole thing, and like if you're anything out of like the box you're done.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Oh yeah, oh forget it. I mean even it was interesting because I've talked to people I went to middle school with who were like the popular, like the right size, the right shape, the right color, you know said the right things, and they still didn't feel, you know there were things they were going on, and I thought, "No one comes out of middle school unscathed." Like that is just traumatic.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. So by the time I was a freshman, I was toast. I was like, "This sucks. I hate school. I hate all of this. I don't know what I need to do, but I need out of here."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right.

Bambie Brown:

Like there's nowhere to go, I'm on an Island. There's no where to go.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Literally.

Bambie Brown:

Like literally, you can't like run away. I mean you could, but like where are you going to go?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right.

Bambie Brown:

So by freshman year I am pretty much totally shut down, and I'm like into this sad songs. I'm dressing the part, I'm doing my schoolwork, but like inside I am dying. And by sophomore year I ended up, I think it traumatized me to the point where I made myself sick, I got mono and I miss school for about two or three months. I literally was in bed for two or three months in my sophomore year.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I had it.

Bambie Brown:

When I came out of that, I was like, "Okay, I really hate this and I don't know what to do." So I kind of transitioned into the, "It's okay to drink." You know I knew it was bad. I had family members with serious alcohol problems.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You needed something.

Bambie Brown:

And the first time I actually was like, you know I had taken sips as a kid, like little kid, right, like six.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

By yourself or like someone gave it to you?

Bambie Brown:

Yes. No, no, no by myself. I had taken sips, my mom used to make rum cake and I would go and sneak the rum. But the first time I really, really drank, I drank a bottle of Chardonnay that was at somebody's house. Yeah really gross. It was a sleepover, I drank the whole bottle.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

How old were you?

Bambie Brown:

15, I drink the whole bottle in one thing.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah.

Bambie Brown:

I don't know why.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Oh I do.

Bambie Brown:

But that's what happened, I went, "I'm doing this," And I did it and then I vomited profusely.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, because you also, we should say this, you are a very small human being.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, the bottle was probably heavier than me at that point.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, like you're very small. You're a petite, small human being. So a bottle of wine for you and a bottle of wine for me, very different.

Bambie Brown:

So it was profuse red vine, vomiting all over this poor girl's white carpet and you know, all the girls are like, "Oh, what do we do? But we're drunk too". And from then I didn't think.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Always a white carpet. Like the one friend, the one family who's like, "Yeah, we're going to have a white carpet,"" because that's a good idea.

Bambie Brown:

And bar in your house.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, also a good idea, right?

Bambie Brown:

Yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So I actually liked the bar idea better than the white carpet, but it's always the friend with the white carpet who you basically lose an entire bottle of some colored alcohol to.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. And I remember the next day the girls being like, "Whoa, that was really rough," and "Are you okay?" And I was like, "What's the problem?" You know like why are we still talking about this? Like next. I didn't think it was so serious, you know what I mean? I was sick, it was the problem.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Not a problem.

Bambie Brown:

But they were normal-ish, you know?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right.

Bambie Brown:

I was not.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. You probably were like, "Oh, this is the thing I've been looking for," right?

Bambie Brown:

Not that.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Not yet?

Bambie Brown:

Not yet, no. It wasn't until I was 18 when that clicked heavy.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Okay. Okay. So this was just like early, early. Then in your high school years you actually met, I'm a call him your life partner, your husband, you met your husband.

Bambie Brown:

I met him at 13.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Okay, at 13, so he went to the same school?

Bambie Brown:

Yes, and he had a couple brief exits and returns, he's one of us. But yes we met at 13.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

And did he grow up rurally?

Bambie Brown:

So he grew up on the mainland and then his family came here to Maui, to this Island, but where he lived both places are pretty rural, I mean rural New Mexico and rural. So we kind of come from similar.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Similar, okay yeah. His family they moved around a lot.

Bambie Brown:

Yes.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

They had a lot of resources.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, they were able to pick and choose where they wanted to live with, I wouldn't say ease, but I would say, you know if you wanted to go somewhere you could.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. So how did your drinking escalate and you met at 13, like walk us through kind of the parallel of meeting your husband and also like how the drinking escalated.

Bambie Brown:

So he had been primed way earlier than I had. I mean I was introduced, like in Hawaii everyone smokes pot, that's just what happens. People grow it, despite if it's legal or not in the early '90s like it didn't matter, that's just the culture, right? So, that was kind of already around, always.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right like it didn't feel like it was a thing.

Bambie Brown:

I mean it was naughty.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

It was naughty. Okay.

Bambie Brown:

But it wasn't like, "Oh, this is really bad." But my husband had been primed quite a lot earlier than I had, so he was already accelerating in his disease much quicker than I was. So when we when we really got together in high school, I was like, "Holy moly, this guy is on fire." You know, I kind of had to keep up and I was like anxious about it, and there would be parties and I would feel uncomfortable because it was way out of way out of my, I don't know, comfort zone of what I thought a party should be. You know, he and his brother were really experts at this point and I was just trying to keep along, you know I was still anxious about losing control, you know I never wanted to lose control. I never wanted to be not within a good sense of my brain, like this is what's happening. And slowly and slowly I started to care less.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah and full disclosure, I went to rehab with your husband when we were teenagers. I think he's a bit older than I am.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, he was I think 21 when he went.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, and I was 17.

Bambie Brown:

Right.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. So we went to treatment together. So I definitely on fires, he's definitely an advanced case.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. He's like a Roman candle. Like you light him up and he's in the next day, and that's just his story. I have such a different story, you know we are so different.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

What's amazing, he and you know it speaks to Dac and I are very different that way too. It speaks to the different, how addiction and alcoholism present themselves. Right?

Bambie Brown:

Right.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

And you were about control and you know trying to keep things together, and I know your husband and it's funny because he's like this in sobriety. I mean, I remember when we were in our early 20 or I was in my early 20s and we were sober in Los Angeles and you know, I would say like, "I have this crazy idea, let's go to Vegas for the weekend and blah, blah, blah." And next thing I know he's at my house, the car's ready to go. I'm like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa I don't have a hotel, like I don't have a plan put together."

Bambie Brown:

No, plans don't matter.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Oh my God, he's just ready to go. I remember being like, "I'm not ready, I'm so uncomfortable." He's like, "All right Loeb, I'm coming over, we're going." So I could see as a teenager just being like this guy is like.

Bambie Brown:

He's the guy that jumps off the 80 foot cliff. He's the guy. And it's not even like, there's no thought.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

No thought.

Bambie Brown:

It's just, "We're going."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Going.

Bambie Brown:

And I'm the one, you know, dying inside.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Pumping he brakes.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Having a panic attack.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, totally.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Totally, that too when we were just sober. I'm like, "Oh my God, this is all moving so fast. I don't even know what's happening."

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. So we ended up actually splitting up. I went through this time where I kind of became mentally ill in high school. So I had severe depression, severe anxiety. I was put on medication, but I was using within the medication, right? So like my mom would take me to the psychiatrist, I would take the pills, and then she would let me go and I was out mixing, you know that's what happened. And I needed an answer for my behavior. I didn't know how to explain how I was feeling because I was so out of sorts.

Bambie Brown:

And so my senior year was a disaster. I was smoking a lot of marijuana and I think that really did something to my brain with what was going on emotionally. Like I know people say it's not a big deal and it's just marijuana and all this stuff, but what I was ingesting I don't think was good for my brain along with the alcohol, along with whatever else I was doing. It really did something catastrophic in there. And I don't think I got through that until I got sober, sober. But that was the beginning of some real issues for me. So I started lying about all kinds of stuff and eventually those lies like made me and my now husband break up, and it was big, and I had to work through that later. But anyway.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I think a lot of people struggle with depression and anxiety. You know, I think a lot of people who are "normies" or people without addiction struggle with depression and anxiety. I also believe that your depression and anxiety from what I understand looked much more severe. I just want to highlight that it wasn't, I'm feeling sad and life is bad, or anxious.

Bambie Brown:

Like no, no.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Like from your level of anxiety is completely crippling, like you can't leave the house.

Bambie Brown:

I could not, like I don't know how I managed to finish that year of high school. I felt like I was constantly on pins, like my body was on fire. Like I can't explain it and when I used it would go away a little bit and then it would get worse. It was like two steps back, it would relieve it for a second and then it would be like even worse when I got like a little bit clear minded. And so I went off, I ended up getting a scholarship and I got to art school in San Francisco, and that's when things went kaboom.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

What happened at art school?

Bambie Brown:

So I'm from a tiny, I'm like I said, I'm from a tiny town. I'd go off to school on my own. I'm not living like in a dorm or anything, I'm living with family friends out in Marin, and the anxiety is so much that I am fearful. Like I turned my head, I'm fearful. I'm constantly, just severe anxiety. So I started to take whatever these kids that were in my class were doing, which was a lot, and it helped. You know you take the Vicodin, and you're dying your hair, and you pass out and then half your hair is gone, it's like whatever. You know you wake up and half your hair's gone, it's cool, no big deal. Like that's where it got to because it was just I needed relief from what was going on chemically, I guess, inside of me.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah and luckily you were art school, so having half your hair, you could just blame it on.

Bambie Brown:

Well it was legit dude.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, yeah. It's just like, "I'm in art school, this is what I do."

Bambie Brown:

I couldn't cope and I had all these other emotional things going on. So my mom came to visit me, took one look at me and was like, "Ah we're going home." Yeah, five months, "You need to leave."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Five months in.

Bambie Brown:

Five months in, yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So had you told her or talked?

Bambie Brown:

I'm kind of like an open book. You know I was like, "Look at me, look what I'm doing. I'm a mess. I have eyeliner all over my eyes."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You just looked like a psych ward official.

Bambie Brown:

I looked like, you know that movie The Craft? Yeah, I was one of the witches, you know.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, right.

Bambie Brown:

Not as hot, not as hot.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Light as a feather, stiff as a board.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, dead inside.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Dead inside.

Bambie Brown:

Yes.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So she comes, she takes you home.

Bambie Brown:

You know, it's hard to look back and say, am I thinking about this correctly? I think she did offer some kind of help, "Like maybe we should do something about this," which had been discussed before, but you know, my parents don't know anything about this kind of world.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right.

Bambie Brown:

You know, they both had alcoholic parents but it wasn't like you didn't do anything about it. And they had gone through stuff with my sister.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Is she older or younger?

Bambie Brown:

Older. So they had kind of been through this rodeo and you know hopefully I grew out of it kind of thing. So we get back to Hawaii and within a couple of days I'm out with a girlfriend and I meet this guy. Of course, right?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Of course.

Bambie Brown:

And I'm 18 and he tells me he's 24 and I'm like, "Sick, he's hot." This is what I'm looking for, and I literally move in within, I don't know, a week.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Naturally.

Bambie Brown:

I'm not kidding. Naturally, I'm home.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Home.

Bambie Brown:

In a week and I find out he's actually 31, and I'm like, "Whatever. And your divorced, cool, whatever. Cool." Like I'm that girl now, I can do it, I am in and off to the races.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

What did it look like living with that with him?

Bambie Brown:

A mess. He was a full blown alcoholic. I mean, he could function, he could go to work usually. But that's when I found alcohol to be my best friend. Alcohol was all of a sudden, it was so easy, I mean the relief was instant and so I didn't really stop.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, because you talked about how when you did stop it came back worse.

Bambie Brown:

Yes.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

And this proved that.

Bambie Brown:

And this was my answer. I mean I prefer beer, I mean like a beer drinker.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Really?

Bambie Brown:

Yes.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You don't like?

Bambie Brown:

No. But it showed in a couple of years, let me tell you. So it was like hard alcohol and and beer. I loved being able to just get it in me, feel it. It was like, "Oh my God, this is, why didn't I do this more? This works, this works." But what happened when I would get to that point where we get, you know, I'm a fighter, apparently. I'm a runner. I'm a fighter. I'm a screamer. I'm a yeller. I'm a thrower. I'm an out of controller, big time.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You're a tiny bomb, is what you are.

Bambie Brown:

Yes. Yes, and oh, so annoying. Yeah. The bombs went off.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Oh yeah, I would believe that. I believe that. So then you start drinking. So you're drinking every day and then it gets to that point, right, where it's not working?

Bambie Brown:

So what happens is I am drinking, drinking, drinking, partying, partying, party. There's all kinds of substances in there. This is party time. This is free for all. This is older crap.

PART 1 OF 4 ENDS [00:25:04]

Bambie Brown:

This is party time, this is free for all, this is older crowd, this is motorcycles and bad guys. This is everything I've always thought-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Dreamt of.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. This is like Sons of Anarchy, this is great. I'm 18. And this is-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, amazing.

Bambie Brown:

And this big time. This is cool. It's actually tragic because we're living in a house behind his parents. This isn't cool. This isn't cool.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

But the thing is, and the thing that I want to say is I've been there. I've been with the boyfriend that's older, where it's chaotic, it's a mess. And it feels so cool and it feels like you're in this Romeo and Juliet movie where it's like we're going to die together and it's tragically romantic. That feeling is so intoxicating in and of itself.

Bambie Brown:

I was addicted to that too. I was addicted to what was happening there. Looking back and now that I'm an adult and all this stuff, when I turned his age when we first met, when I turned 31 and I looked at what was going on in comparison, I was like, "Holy moly." I can't imagine doing that at 31.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yep, I remember that.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

For me, the guy that I was with, same age difference but we started dating when I was 15. He was in his late 20s and I had braces, I had clear braces that turned yellow. And I remember him talking about liking my braces. Yeah and thinking like, "Oh thank god." Because I had them for a short period of time and it was heinous. But I remember looking back at 15 year olds and thinking even the most mature 15 year old, which whatever, but it just... I mean-

Bambie Brown:

Like this is wrong.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, right. Like dude, that's brutal. That is brutal.

Bambie Brown:

It is. It just shows you the disease state of the other person, right?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Absolutely. But also the disease state of the other person and then like my disease state perfectly fit into that because I felt like in my addiction with that, and this is a common thing so I think it's good to touch on, common thing that young girl meets older guy to take care of them like deep in their addiction. And then they get addiction to him and that relationship. And I think also what was so comforting about that despite it being just awful was I felt like in order to use a lot of drugs and drink a lot of alcohol, you find yourself in really gnarly situations. And I felt like I had a protector in that, right? You almost had to hire a body guard in order to be a young female alcoholic, you have to be in a relationship in order to survive that world.

Bambie Brown:

So we obviously had a very volatile relationship. There was yelling, screaming, hitting, throwing surfboards through windows, holes in walls, that kind of thing. But we would separate and get back together. So it was like I had to leave and then he'd come get me and when I was out there on my own it would be so hard and then he would come in with the motorcycle and save me and we'd get back together. It's exactly what you're talking about, that was what was happening for six years.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, right, for six years. Right. And it's so complicated, at least it feels, so complicated to get out. Getting out of those situations, you're not just grappling with the relationship how they're treating you. You're grappling with the addiction to the way the relationship makes you feel and you're grappling with your literal addiction to chemical substances.

Bambie Brown:

Yes. So I needed him not only for safety, shelter, food, drugs, alcohol, love. He was everything. He was the supreme burrito.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. Right. Right. And you find yourself in this situation like, "I can't leave. What do I do now?"

Bambie Brown:

No. So my dad got sick in my early 20s and it kind of like woke me up briefly where I had to kind of like get places and show up because it was serious. And in that time, I spent some time in the hospital and stuff like that. And I realized I had no goals, okay? I didn't have a job, I didn't have a... there was no plan for the future. And kind of like almost a lightning bolt through my head I decided that I was going to be a nurse. It was just kind of like, "This is what I'm going to do," when I went through the experience with my dad. And it was weird because I was like a loser. I was the girl at the beach that laid out all day and went home.

Bambie Brown:

I didn't do anything, you know what I mean? So I decided to start classes. And I just started at the community college and I was still partying but until I got until into nursing school did I have to slow down because you really couldn't do what I was doing. And when I finally got into nursing school I did slow down. And I only would drink on the weekends but it was so hard to do that that when I finished, when I graduated, and I did graduate second in my class. I kind of exploded because I had held it together for so long. I had to get through this because this was my way out of him. And I knew that. Without a skill I was dead in the water. All though I had this crippling depression, I still kind of, at times, wanted to live. And this was my little hope out, right?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. So-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

What did it look like when you exploded out of nursing school?

Bambie Brown:

So when I passed my state exam and the next weekend I broke up with him. I was terrified, I couldn't continue this anymore. The relationship was just catastrophic and I took off my engagement ring, I gave it to his mother, I think. And I left.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

How old were you when you did that?

Bambie Brown:

25.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Okay, 25.

Bambie Brown:

So I got sober at 26. So it was a big year, okay? So in this relationship, when we would break up and stuff, I would run to AA because I had been introduced to AA at 18.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Okay. Who introduced you to AA?

Bambie Brown:

So I had been introduced to AA at 18 when my husband got into a car accident and there was some injuries and his mother said, "You had to go to AA." And I went with him and I was like, "Whoa, this really isn't for me." But I can't even hear what they're saying. You're 18 so whatever. Yeah, so when we would breakup and have these huge things, I would run to NA or AA and word vomit at everybody and-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

And run away?

Bambie Brown:

And run away. I was the girl in the parking lot, they were like kind of trying to help and I was like, "No, no, no, no, no. I just came to vomit on you."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, right, right, right. So you're 25, you graduate, you explode. And so you did go to AA or what happened when you... ?

Bambie Brown:

Os I reconnected with my husband randomly. And I knew that he had been this whole time. And I couldn't really tell him what was going on because I was just too embarrassed. But he kind of like... another seed was planted. And I wanted help, I wanted help desperately. I didn't know what to do. I had been involved with another abusive relationship right out the gate of this last one. I was accelerating out of control, trying to keep a job, trying to manage the feelings that were just... it was just bubbling over. And I was in trouble. I didn't want to be in my body at all, couldn't handle it, every moment was excruciating. Every moment was lying, every moment was just visceral pain, pain.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Being sentenced to another day of life?

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to do it.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So you run into your now husband, you reconnect?

Bambie Brown:

On the internet.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You run into him on the inter web.

Bambie Brown:

Because I am in Hawaii and he's in California.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Okay. And he had been sober, what? Like four, five, six years?

Bambie Brown:

Four or five years maybe and I was like, "Whoa."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Whoa.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So what happened once you-

Bambie Brown:

So I just said, "I think I'm going to go to a meeting." And he was like, "Be careful." Young girl goes to AA story. And I just was ready at that point-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

At 26?

Bambie Brown:

At 26. I actually had been at a New Year's Eve party and I got annihilated and this girl that was at the party with me was sober and I knew her, I grew up with her, and she told me she had like nine years. And all of a sudden it was attractive. All of a sudden it was like, "Oh, maybe I could have a life that didn't look like this," because she looked well. She looked well. She looked like she had things that she liked. That's all I really wanted. I just wanted to be okay with the day. I just wanted to be okay with the day and I hadn't been since I think I was like nine.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

And so you go to a meeting in Hawaii?

Bambie Brown:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). So I go to a young people's meeting and I raised my hand and for the first time in my whole life I found friends, like real... I mean, these people that surrounded me literally lifted me up off the ground because I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't function. I was so dead and broken and they just picked me up.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, that's a beautiful thing especially after we're joking about middle school and how... what the environment... it's like the opposite. You walk in in a group of people and you're sure they're going to judge you and you're terrified of everyone in the room and you raise your hand and you're like, "I need help." And every young girl, every older woman, every person in the room turns and wants to help you. And it's the craziest thing I've ever... all the cool kids that normally would be mean to you, they run to help you.

Bambie Brown:

Well they were saying everything that I had been keeping inside my body for so long. They were saying it freely. And I was like, "Oh my god. I am not the only one here." For so long, I was just... even within my family I felt like there was something wrong. There was something wrong with me and people were laughing about these horrible stories and I was like, "Wait a second, I've frickin' done that. And it's funny now?" I'm full of (beep) jokes now. You know what I mean? These are my people. these are my people.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Where have they been?

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. And they were out there. They were all at the parties that I was at. I just didn't know we were on the same team.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, right, right. Because you weren't, right?

Bambie Brown:

Right.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Because you weren't. You hadn't gotten to that place of like the gift of desperation like we talked about. You can't make... we talk about recovery is not for people who need, it's for people who want it, it's for people who [crosstalk 00:38:12] it. And the reason being that you have to... I have wanted different types of recovery in my life for long periods of time before I was ever willing to do it.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. I was never willing to do it. I was never willing to stay.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Just wanting it is not enough.

Bambie Brown:

No, the power of the whatever happens in your brain when you put the substance is, it's too much.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

It's too much, right. And so that gift of desperation, that bottom out... and bottom out does not... it looks different for different people [crosstalk 00:38:49]-

Bambie Brown:

Totally. My bottom and my husband's bottom are way different.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, right. Bottom out can be an emotional experience, feeling. I have bottomed out in sobriety many times. And-

Bambie Brown:

Oh, that's coming up.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, yeah, exactly. Talking about bottoms, right? I have bottomed out and on the outside things were going fine but you could see and I'm bottoming out on the inside. So when we talk about bottoms, like that person needs to hit a bottom, that doesn't mean that they need to overdose and be in a coma. It means that they have to have that gift of desperation. They have to be so desperate that they're willing to do something that's in direct contrast to their addiction and their alcoholism which is-

Bambie Brown:

Which is like jumping off a cliff.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

100% like jumping. I mean, it is with your eyes closed and having fire at the bottom and them telling you you'll be fine. It's like-

Bambie Brown:

And you're like, "Nope."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. And every few months you peek over the cliff like, "Yeah, no. I'm going to say no." But then you finally take that leap and-

Bambie Brown:

Well it's that or you die, right? You either die emotionally, you die physically. It's some sort of death.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

If you're lucky, right? Because in some ways I felt like... people are like, "I was afraid I was going to die." And for me personally I was not dying. That was definitely coming but on the way there it was like not dying. It was I'm being maimed along the way. It's one thing to be taken out, it's another thing to be maimed for 10 years. I was just over it.

Bambie Brown:

I was in the washing machine that never stopped. It never stopped. If it wasn't my brain, it was the party. If it wasn't the party it was the... there was always a catastrophe, one big-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Giant-

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. Oof.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Oof. So you get sober. When did you move to Los Angeles?

Bambie Brown:

So I get sober and they say wait a year. So I waited a year or maybe just shy of a year and I moved to-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Waited a year to get into a relationship?

Bambie Brown:

We were ina relationship but it wasn't like-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You didn't move [crosstalk 00:41:13]-

Bambie Brown:

I didn't move right away. I knew I had to get a year-ish under my belt because that was... I was following directions at this point. I was willing to listen, I was willing to do the steps to my best ability. That kind of thing. So I was listening. And so when I was around a year, I moved to L.A. Never been there. I'd been there once, I went to visit once and I was like, "Eh." And so I moved. It didn't go great, let's just put it that way.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So you moved in with your now husband?

Bambie Brown:

Yes. And I'm newly sober. I'm in a big city. He's working all the time, he's not always around. And I'm kind of like fish out of water. And meetings were so different. Oh my god, meetings were so different for me that I was like, "I don't have a Louis purse. I don't know what's going on here." I hadn't been around so much materialism so I was kind of like, "Are you kidding? Is this real? Do people really care about this stuff?" They do. And I felt, once again, like an outsider. And I wasn't able to put that aside and see where [crosstalk 00:42:34]. Yeah. I was like, "Holy (beep). This is weird."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, right because you're from that small town. That's just not...

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, so it was automatically a disconnect so I wasn't plugged in. I wasn't plugged in and so things started to fall apart and we ended up breaking up and I moved home.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

And [crosstalk 00:42:54] what happened when you moved back?

Bambie Brown:

So I spent about a year single and I went to maybe sometimes 10 meetings a week. I knew at two years sober and hitting a bottom within this relationship I was like, "I have to get back on it. I'm dying inside. I've got to do something." So I was doing seven to 10 meetings a week. And I got better. Shocker. And so of course, what do we do? We get back together. And I move back to L.A. And this time I'm like, "I am plugged in. I know how to do this. I can handle the materialism, I can handle... I can do this. I'm a big girl, I've got my big girl panties on."

Bambie Brown:

And so we're together, I turn five years sober, and I'm pregnant. Gladly, like excited. Find out it's a boy, that's very exciting, for whatever reason I'm like, "Yay, a boy." But I'm sick. I am very, very, very, very, very, very sick. I am throwing up, I am kidney stones, I am throwing up the whole pregnancy. I don't have any family around me. My husbands works very long hours. No one around me is really pregnant. Maybe one other person's pregnant. But that's not a reliable source. And I'm on my own. And in my culture, pregnant women are not alone. Where I grew up your whole family is surrounding you. You're taken care of and when I'm in L.A. and I'm pregnant, it's like no man's land.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. So your husband was working in the film industry at the time? Like 12, 15-

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, yeah. So he was still working in film and he was 14 hours a day. But I'm pregnant so I can handle it. But I don't really think what's going to happen when the baby comes and I'm solo, right? I'm kind of fearful but I'm like, "I can handle this. It's a baby. I can handle it."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You moved back and you were like, "I'm going to get plugged in." What happened? Why weren't you plugged in?

Bambie Brown:

It was like big differences that I thought I could get over and I really couldn't. I felt like a lot of mean girl stuff happening in the clique that I was plugged into and with girls, a lot of sobriety, that I felt would have taken me in and maybe they did and they tried but I was like, "This is bullshit." There was a lot of, on my part, a lot of just-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Resistance?

Bambie Brown:

Yes. I couldn't do what they were doing. It just didn't fit with what I was about. I couldn't do it.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So your baby is born.

Bambie Brown:

Yes, in Los Angeles.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

In Los Angeles. And your mom is there for a week.

Bambie Brown:

My mom is there for a week. I had wanted to do it naturally, I wasn't able to. Like 11 hours into having contractions every minute, I begged for the epidural. That stalled everything. I ended up having the baby... well not naturally but vaginally. Which I was threatened with a C-section which was scary for me. Being a nurse I was like everything... I know what's happening, right? Which is a blessing and a curse. When you're the patient and you're a nurse, it's like bad news bears, right? Because you know what can happen. My experience in the hospital was terrible. Nurses, terrible. I actually had a note on the door to keep them out because I felt like I had to protect myself and I had to protect my baby. And I had to advocate for myself when I was very, very vulnerable which was very scary. So my experience in the hospital was terrible.

Bambie Brown:

I get home, and my mom's with me for a week and then she has to go home. And then my husband has to go back to work and I'm alone with this baby. And as soon as the baby came out, I knew something wasn't right with me. I felt pure... I don't know, panic. And it wasn't like I can't take care of the baby. The things with changing diapers and stuff, that's nothing. It wasn't that. It was like this overwhelming responsibility that I had never felt in my whole life and it shook me. It was huge. It was huge.

Bambie Brown:

I couldn't get my head around it. I was able to do all the things that you're supposed to do. The baby's very well taken care of, I was breastfeeding. I wouldn't say that I was emotionally like, "Oh my god, I love this thing totally." But I was like, "This is my baby. I love him." I was like that. But the fear was huge because it was huge. I can't explain it other than just an overwhelming fear.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Well and it was crippling. It was crippling.

Bambie Brown:

I was frozen.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Stay tuned to hear more in just a moment. Hi, it's Ashley, your beloved host. When I'm not hosting The Courage to Change: A Recovery Podcast, I'm running the recruiting department at Lionrock Recovery. We are always looking for amazing licensed mental health counselors along with various other sales and operations positions that pop up from time to time. The Lionrock culture is one of collaboration, support, and flexibility. Our employees work from home offices all over the country utilizing technology to connect to one another. We are always hiring so if you want to have the best job ever, check out our open positions and apply at www.lionrockrecovery.com/about/careers.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So you find yourself in, at the time you're living in a nice apartment, but an apartment nonetheless.

Bambie Brown:

Beautiful. I'm living like if you look at my life, it is looking good.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, right, right, right. But you're alone most of the time with the baby and-

Bambie Brown:

Yep. I don't have a support group. I have a sponsor but I don't have a support group of women with babies. I don't have that.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. And so ultimately you experienced extreme postpartum but what was interesting, at the time, I was no longer in Los Angeles but I-

PART 2 OF 4 ENDS [00:50:04]

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

At the time, I was no longer in Los Angeles, but we were in touch.

Bambie Brown:

Right.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

What was interesting that I didn't know, and I remember thinking, "What is this?" Not understanding, was that you had something called postpartum anxiety.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I had never heard of that.

Bambie Brown:

Me neither.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I had heard of postpartum depression, but you had that and postpartum anxiety. So, that legitimately drove you somewhat insane.

Bambie Brown:

Everything just felt like a lot. So my normal anxiety, I had been able to handle in sobriety without much work. Prayer, meditation, that kind of stuff worked, but this was another level, this was involving another human being. It wasn't like, "Oh, I'm going to drop the baby." It wasn't what you read when you read about it online or when you read about it in books, it wasn't the same for me. It wasn't going to hurt the baby, none of that. It was another level of anxiety I never felt before, and it was crippling.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah.

Bambie Brown:

I was saying it out loud. I was saying there is something going on, there is something going on. I remember calling postpartum specialists in Los Angeles and them being like, "Okay, well, yeah, come in, but the first appointment's $500." I was like, "I can't get the help that I need." You fill out the survey at your six week appointment with the baby at the pediatricians and you just check the boxes, they're not going to do anything. I'm sorry, but our healthcare for women post-birth is atrocious. It's really sad.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

What's amazing about that was that you were in one of the wealthiest places in America.

Bambie Brown:

I mean, if I had been in Hawaii, there's no such thing as a postpartum specialist.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. You were in West Los Angeles.

Bambie Brown:

Yes, yes.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

The perfect area to get specialist help, if there ever was an area to do it. Yet you found-

Bambie Brown:

I remember at three months, I'm calling whoever I can find online that has these specialties and I'm crying and I'm telling them I need help. They're like, "Well, yeah, but insurance doesn't cover it." I was like, "Okay, so what am I supposed to do?"

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. There weren't a lot of people around who understood what you were going through and you were talking about it. But none of us know how to support you.

Bambie Brown:

My husband didn't know how to support me, my mom did the best she could from 2,500 miles away, my sister hadn't experienced this. I was feeling very, very, very much like the 12 year old isolated, but now I have this baby. What I think really made it worse was he was experiencing health issues and the pediatricians were not recognizing them as what I saw medically what was going on. Which made me feel like, once again, no one's listening to me.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right.

Bambie Brown:

So at two months, three months. So three months, he started experiencing reactions. So, eczema. At one point, he was having foaming green diarrhea, anywhere from eight to 13 times a day. I'm calling the pediatrician as a nurse, as a mother going, "There's something wrong here," and I'm being told there's nothing wrong.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So, what brought on these things?

Bambie Brown:

So, usually what would happen is I wanted to be very cautious, so I was doing one shot at a time. These reactions were happening right after the shots and I was going, "Okay, well, cause and effect, what's going on?" I'm bringing my baby in and he's covered in eczema, he stopped breathing in the car, he screamed for four hours with 104 fever. I'm going, "Well, he just had the shot, so he's sick from it, right?" They were telling me it was normal and it was fine, but it wasn't fine. I'm already anxious and then there's something going on with my baby and nobody's listening to me.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, yeah. That must have been [inaudible 00:54:56]

Bambie Brown:

I mean, it was like talking to a brick wall. I remember at one point being like, "You're telling me that nothing's wrong with having green foaming diarrhea for three months straight?" I mean, I just flat out asked the pediatrician, "What is going on? I don't know. I'm not a pediatric nurse, I've never seen this. Tell me what's going on." "Oh, it's the organic sweet potatoes that you just introduced to his diet." No. And I knew.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I mean, especially as a nurse, right? You have this medical background and you're following instructions from the medical community. Then say like, "Hey, my kid is having a reaction that is not normal." It seems strange to me that we're so afraid to even say like, "Hey, some kids have adverse reactions to this stuff."

Bambie Brown:

I didn't know anything about what was happening, because I didn't learn any of this in school. I didn't learn anything about this in nursing school. So I'm bringing my baby to a professional and I'm saying, "Okay, this happened this day, the next day, he's ill, what do I do?" My gut is going, what they're telling me, it doesn't even make sense. If my baby got antibiotics yesterday and today he has a full-blown rash, wouldn't it be the antibiotics?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. They're going to say stop taking the antibiotics.

Bambie Brown:

They'd be like, "Oh, you need to stop the penicillin right now," right? "Let's switch. Let's switch. Oh, he got a rash after you gave him peanuts. Oh, no more peanuts," right?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right.

Bambie Brown:

That was not the case. They were like, "Oh, everything's fine." He's not fine, he's screaming. He's not fine, there's green stuff pouring out of his butt. I'm like, "Am I nuts here?" I'm already feeling on edge and not supported, and then I need assistance and I need support and I need answers, and I'm not getting them. So I've just isolated with this child that isn't well, and I don't know how to help him.

Bambie Brown:

I'm doing everything I know to do to support him. I'm only breastfeeding him, he's only getting organic baby foods every four days or whatever you're supposed to do. The eczema got worse. The eczema was head to toe, he was swollen. Then initially, we did a allergy test and he wasn't allergic to anything. At six months we did an allergy test because the eczema, and he wasn't allergic to anything. But his allergy test at two years old, he was allergic to over 20 things.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So you continued with the shots, because they told you it was okay?

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, yeah. Not until I really just ... I said, "Well, let's stop everything. Let's stop." There's no chemicals in my house-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Oh yeah, I remember that. You took every chemical ... I mean, I remember when you took every chemical out of the house, because it was chemicals that I hadn't even considered were chemical ... it was like everything left your house, everything.

Bambie Brown:

I took anything that had more than one ingredient, that was in a bottle, it got thrown away. I was like, "We're starting from ground zero, because I don't know what's going on." Nobody's telling me what to do.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

People were not supportive either. You were saying what was happening and people were, not only not supportive, but aggressive about you can't say that.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, it was not met with compassion.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah.

Bambie Brown:

No, no. It was like you're overreacting. I was like, "But look at him, look at him." At this point, I'm in therapy, I'm dealing with the anxiety. The anxiety did get better by about nine months in and I was feeling pretty normal and I was trying to control everything that he was ingesting, any kind of chemicals that were around, because he's so sensitive. He just ended up being a very sensitive human. Which they're out there, I just didn't know I was going to have one.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, right. So at six months you did the blood panel and he was not allergic to anything, and then all of his allergies presented. Did they present one by one or do you think they all [inaudible 00:59:46]

Bambie Brown:

No, when you look at the large panel, he was allergic to ... I mean, there's a scale, so green to red. There was so many that were over the edge, I was shocked.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Over the edge of red?

Bambie Brown:

No, it goes yellow, I mean, green, yellow, red, and he would be in the middle. So that could go to red, right?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right, right, right.

Bambie Brown:

Right. So then all of a sudden, I am consumed with monitoring every little thing, because I have to.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. Because his skin is breaking out and bleeding.

Bambie Brown:

He would have fevers for weeks, two, three weeks of fevers.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I forgot about that.

Bambie Brown:

Two or three weeks fevers, where it would go anywhere from 99 to 103 and 101, and there would be nothing wrong. There would be no cough, there would be no sniffles, it would just be a fever.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I remember that. I remember you were saying like, "It's been a week and he's had 101 fever, [inaudible 01:00:47]

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. Normally, when you're in nursing school, when you're learning about this stuff, your body heats up on its own to kill the bacteria, and then it dwindles down and the kid bounces back or the person bounces back. When it's a fever of unknown origin, there's not much you can do and you're just dealing with this roller coaster constantly. So I felt very much alone.

Bambie Brown:

When I look back now, I was learning how to advocate, not only for myself, but for my child, because I just had to look at the facts that were happening. I had to put it down on paper and look at what was happening, this step, then this step and this step. Then logically, reduce my anxiety by looking at the facts, and therefore taking power back into my own hands.

Bambie Brown:

Because I think as parents, maybe not even as sober people, whatever, but as parents, we take our children and we put our trust into professionals and we trust that they know everything, right? They are the solution. That's kind of our society, where we just kind of listen and don't have to do anything else, right? We just follow the directions of whoever's in charge.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. You go to school so I don't have to think about it.

Bambie Brown:

Right, they have the answer. I'm paying them for the answer, right?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right.

Bambie Brown:

That was not my case, I couldn't do that. My son was getting sicker. My son was getting sicker listening to these professionals, which unfortunately, that was the fact. That was fact. When I took back control and started really diving into anything I could get my hands on. I read every book, I read every allergy book, every eczema book. I was up hours, hours, hours, trying to find answers for my son. That's when I regained my power and the anxiety started to go away, because I knew what was happening in my heart, this was true. These were the facts, this is what happened.

Bambie Brown:

It was very hard, as a medical professional myself, to see what was happening and go, "Oh my God, it's happening to my kid. This is happening to my kid. This isn't supposed to happen at all and this is happening to my kid."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right.

Bambie Brown:

It was just really challenging to get over your own ego and just surrender to the fact that this was happening. I didn't want it to.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

These feelings, staying sober during that, I would imagine, obviously drinking is, when you're in a situation like that, is not attractive. However, also in a situation like that, wanting to not feel the pain that you're feeling, which is enormous, is probably really hard to grapple with.

Bambie Brown:

I wanted relief for my son, number one, and I wanted relief for myself, number two. As a parent, you're like, "I'm going to lift my child up out of the burning flames and I will perish. I can sacrifice myself." That's just the way it is when you're a parent. But his relief was first and mine was like, am I ever going to get it? Is the relief ever going to come?

Bambie Brown:

I would be praying, I would pray and pray and pray and pray. My prayers were answered in different ways, of course, then I wanted them to be. I wanted my son to be 100% better and eat everything and go everywhere and do everything, and not be immunocompromised. It didn't come that way, it came in other blessings. But it was through really hard self-work that not everybody can understand. I couldn't just say this out loud and say, "Oh, let's help you." That didn't come.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So, what did happen?

Bambie Brown:

So as I gained more understanding of what was happening, that gave me some relief, because I kind of found some answers. I found some medical professionals that listened and helped me. That was a huge blessing, because I was no longer trying to fight for just a sentence. These medical professionals were actually listening to me and saying, "Oh yes, uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah, that happens." I was going, "Wait, what? They're agreeing with me?" I was shocked. After years of never being acknowledged, I felt like, "Oh my God, somebody's listening to me." That was a relief, because I wasn't holding it all on myself, right?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

We recreate that situation of our childhood and our using of walking into that room and someone finally hears what we have to say.

Bambie Brown:

Exactly. It was very much like hearing my story and being acknowledged that it was real. That I wasn't crazy, that this wasn't just the organic sweet potatoes he ate, it was real. In within my relationship was very hard too, because he's not there and I'm the one dealing with it and I'm the nurse. It was just trying to-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

[inaudible 01:06:18] every day.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, more just the constant worry of what was happening, didn't give me any time to have a relationship.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. Right, right, right.

Bambie Brown:

So there's somebody who needs me, there's a relationship that needs me that I can't participate in, because there's something wrong.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. There's nothing left.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, there's nothing left, and so my relationship is going, "Wah, wah, wah." Screaming, "Help."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Help me.

Bambie Brown:

Help me. So as I kind of got my footing, got some facts, got some answers, got some help, took health back into my own hands, I started to feel more empowered and he was getting better.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So he started to get better?

Bambie Brown:

Yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

How long did that take?

Bambie Brown:

Years. He's five.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

He's five.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Then you guys moved back to Hawaii?

Bambie Brown:

I was like, "I'm done with California." I really begged. I begged, I begged, I begged to go home, because I thought my family will help, I need community. Living in an apartment, as beautiful as it is, it wasn't going to help. The isolation did not help. So we came home, I'm in the town that I grew up in that we met in. It was a hard transition to go from LA back to country. But we're here. It's been what, three years.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So your son, how is he doing and how has his progress related to yours? I mean, you talked a little bit about that, in terms of you got better as he got better and as you took your power back. How does your recovery relate to getting him well and coming back from today?

Bambie Brown:

So, I really leaned on my sponsor in these times. It wasn't something that I would share in a meeting or anything like that, because it's just such a touchy subject for so many people. So I would share with my sponsor, and she was like my rock going through this. It didn't matter if she agreed or not, it didn't matter what her personal opinion was. She knew something was wrong, she knew I had to get through it and she was my pillar of the storm. I just clung to her and she walked me through the steps. She was a constant support system, which I really needed, because it wasn't something I could just throw out there.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. How is he doing today?

Bambie Brown:

We're homeschooling, because he gets really sick in large groups of people. So he's the kind of kid that'll pick up whatever it is, he doesn't bounce back really quickly. So we've been homeschooling and he's a joy. He's a blessing and a joy.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

So your experience, you kept putting him into school, yet-

Bambie Brown:

Because I was told he'll get used to all the bugs, and he never got used to all the bugs. I mean-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

What was that like? When you put him in school, what happened?

Bambie Brown:

So within a week of starting school, he was sick. Which, that's a given, right? A new microbiome biome to kind of ... it's a whole Petri dish in there. But he would get sick, have a long illness, then get better. I put him back in, because that's what you do, right? Your kids get sick, keep them home, put them back in. It just was never ending, it just never stopped. I mean, last year, he had pneumonia three times. Yeah, so he can't tolerate that, he can't. He has what's called chronic low white blood cells, so he doesn't have the ability to fight the infection like you and I would with normal counts.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. Then you've found a way to make that work and a specialty diet, and you've really adjusted your lifestyle.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah, I'm the kind of person that can kind of eat, drink, anything, to I have to be vigilant about what's in my house, what we use, minimal everything.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, yeah. When you got back to Hawaii and you made that transition and things started to get better, you ended up pregnant again.

Bambie Brown:

Yes. I had this strong feeling that I should have another baby and it was kind of overpowering, to the point where I had to listen. I said, "I'm never doing this again." I mean, you've heard me say that like three million times. I said, "I'd never do this again. I would never have another baby."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Well, just for the listeners, I totally forgot about this, just for the listeners. Bambi said I will never have another baby, probably upwards of 50 times a day. You'd be having a conversation about brushing your teeth and you'd say like, "Yeah, I'm using this new toothpaste and really getting into the back of my teeth." She'd be like, "Oh yeah, me too. Also, I'm never having another baby." It was every moment of every day. I'm surprised you don't have it tattooed. Then she got pregnant.

Bambie Brown:

So, there was just this over-powering sense of this somebody that needed to come.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah.

Bambie Brown:

I felt very much comfortable with the new ideas of what that would look like for me. So I knew how I was going to handle my pregnancy, I knew how I was going to interact with medical professionals. I had gained all this knowledge through facing these things with my son, that I felt prepared for.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Your family was nearby.

Bambie Brown:

I just had this sense of knowledge finally, that I had some knowledge about childbirth and babies and all kinds of things. So, I did become pregnant. I had another wonderfully awful pregnancy, where throwing up and kidney stones. I ended up medically evacuated for preterm labor, because we don't have a NICU on this island, so I was medivaced to another island.

Bambie Brown:

Thankfully, I was able to keep her in until 39 weeks, and I had a natural, drug-free vaginal delivery, which was insane. She came out and I hadn't ever felt this in my life. It was just pure joy. No fear, zero fear. I mean, I can't even tell you the difference between my son's birth and my daughter's birth, it was like two different people. Me being the person, two different people.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

And no anxiety.

Bambie Brown:

Zero.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You didn't have any postpartum or any of that.

Bambie Brown:

No.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Knowing you as I do, the comedy in it, for me at least, was this baby, your daughter, is the happiest baby I have ever met in my life. The happiest.

Bambie Brown:

She wakes up smiling.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, she's the happiest human being I have ever seen. You were born [crosstalk 00:24:03]. Yeah, grimacing. Just having a little girl who is just the happiest thing, I think it was everything your soul needed to heal.

Bambie Brown:

I knew she had to come. When I was in labor, I felt like this ... it was insane. This feeling of this person is coming and she's like your best friend and it's somebody you know. It was just so comforting. Even when you're in the pain, I somehow felt comforted. So when she arrived, my husband was like, "I've never seen you with this big of a smile on your face." I was beaming. Me, beaming. Like Debbie Downer, everything's going wrong. No, it was the complete opposite experience and I had so much control over-

PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [01:15:04]

Bambie Brown:

... had so much the control over ... I just had this knowledge, control, I don't know. Just trust, more like. Actually it was more like trust, that everything was meant to be this way. All the things that I had gone through with my first child were all going to mean something, and I had gone through all of that for this reason. Because she was here, and I knew all these things now, and I felt strong. It was redemption. It was freeing.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Which is saying something, because you just had a baby, the most not freeing experience. The most tied-down experience.

Bambie Brown:

It was hard. I was able to do it without the drugs. I had support. I had a doula, I had my mom. It was like, "This is all meant to be." All of the things that led up to it were meant to happen so that I could experience this.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I think one of the main themes of your story that I'm hearing is listening to your gut. Listening to your inner voice. One of the things I was told when I got sober was, "Your first thought is bad. Throw it away." Then you go to the second one. Automatically just trust that the first one's going to be a bad idea, which is usually true.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

But, then, over time, the more recovery we have, the clearer that first thought is and the clearer that intuition is. I learned to listen to my intuition. I was taught that my intuition mattered now. It used to not matter. I think somewhere along the lines I was taught that my intuition doesn't matter because it's inconvenient.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Even as a kid, all these things, my intuition, "I'm not comfortable with these people." "I'm not comfortable with this school." "Something's going wrong." I was told, particularly when you're in relationships where you're gaslighted all the time, you're told, "You're crazy. Why would you say that?" You start to go, "Am I crazy?" You needed that recovery and that intuition to come together to get to where you are today.

Bambie Brown:

It was quite messy, quite painful, didn't come right away. But now, if I'm quiet, if my feet are on the ground, if I look at my feet, I know the right answer. I don't need anybody. It's not an ego thing, it's not like ... I always check in with people around me that I trust, but I know, in my gut, the right answer. We all do. You do.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. Sometimes it's buried real deep.

Bambie Brown:

Oh, God. Yeah. It doesn't mean it's going to come the way you want it to. We always have that in sobriety.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah, it rarely comes the way you want it to.

Bambie Brown:

No. You can't imagine what your life is going to do and the reasons why it happens the way it does. But that's the blessing, right?

Bambie Brown:

I am so grateful to be sober that I went through that pain. I was able to stay sober. I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Granted, he's going to be 15 one day and I'm going to come crying to you, because I know that's going to be a whole 'nother set of challenges. But, here it is. Here is the joy of sobriety, and it is the pain. Right?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right.

Bambie Brown:

It is the pain. It's all the things.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You're right. You're exactly right. Which is that you look back and you realize that the joy is in the pain, because the pain is, as they say, the touchstone of spiritual growth. I do not make grand changes without being in pain enough to make them. I wasn't wired that way. If it's going well, I'm not going to ... If it ain't broke, I'm not going to try to fix it.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

We're enjoying the rewards, I'm not going to up my ante, typically. I'm going to go with what I think works. That pain is the thing that shifts me, and I look back and I see the joy in that pain. But, during the time, my prayers, my mantra is like, "Make it stop, someone. Make it stop."

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. At times I was so mad. I was so mad at the universe for what this was at the time. I was just like, "Why is this happening? Why?" I was mad. Really, really mad. It doesn't mean that I'm not going to have more experiences like that, because I will. I know that more challenges will come. They will be different. I will have different challenges. But, sober, you can pretty much do anything. Right?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. None of the situations that you described would have been improved by having a drink.

Bambie Brown:

I would have ...

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Lost everything.

Bambie Brown:

Lost everything.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Let's say, even so, it still wouldn't have ... Even if it was ... You still wouldn't have gotten the intense, long-lasting relief that you were truly looking for.

Bambie Brown:

No. It would have been, I got to sleep, and then you'd wake up in hell again.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah.

Bambie Brown:

Right? Because it doesn't go away.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

That's why people do it.

Bambie Brown:

Yes. I did it. I wanted that relief. I wanted the hell to stop. Want the hell to stop, and it does. It does stop for a little bit, and then you wake up back in it.

Bambie Brown:

This way, it's literally putting one foot in front of the other until you're somewhere new. It doesn't even mean you're in a new place. It just means you've learned something. You've grown. You've accepted something. It doesn't matter. It's all everybody's own process. But, it's literally putting one tiny inch in front of the other.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. It's incredible what you've gone through and what you've been able to do. For context, you were so isolated in Los Angeles.

Bambie Brown:

Yes.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Just really incredibly isolated, really stuck in your home. Your apartment was this beautiful modern cement apartment. As beautiful and modern as this cement apartment was, I always had this feeling when I went in there ... You were truly isolated to this home, barely could get to the grocery store kind of deal. I remember walking in, and it could double as a really beautiful modern apartment, or a prison.

Bambie Brown:

It felt at times like that. I was so grateful to have a beautiful place to live. It wasn't like I wasn't grateful for this thing, but it was like, "This isn't working." As beautiful as this looks, and it was beautiful, it wasn't going to solve the problem. As we know, the things don't solve the problem.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

The things. Yeah. The more we try to make them solve the problem, the deeper we get.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. The worse we feel.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. You have an incredible story, and, Bambi, I adore you.

Bambie Brown:

Love you too.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I think so many women ... I think sobriety after having children, pregnancy and postpartum in sobriety, is a very important topic to talk about. Which I plan to talk about more on the podcast, because there's mommy wine culture.

Bambie Brown:

Oh, yeah. I have a friend that ...

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. That's into ... I know lots of people, and it looks amazing. Oh, my God. They'd be like ...

Bambie Brown:

Can you imagine being able to drink when your kids go to sleep?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I absolutely 1000% can and have imagined. The next day it doesn't turn out the same as their day. However, there is something so amazing ... Because it takes me hours to get to a place of serenity after my kids go to sleep. I have to do a whole long list of deep calming my nervous system down, if it ever works. Then by the time I do that, I have to go to bed. It's pretty much I just live in that constant heightened state. But, the thought of just being able to take a drink and you immediately experience that? Oh, my God. I just-

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. A bong rip at bedtime? Are you kidding?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

These things ... Obviously we know what that looks like, but when you're sober ... Let me speak for myself. When I had the twins and I was like, "Okay, now I'm a sober mom," I was like, "I am missing a key parenting tool." Alcohol is a parenting tool in your toolbox alongside calling people, and having a minivan, and whatever. There's alcohol, right?

Bambie Brown:

Yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I was now in a situation, particularly with high intensity, that I was like, "I don't have that tool. What am I supposed to do?" These people get a mental break and I don't. How do I survive?

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. It feels like you're in the wilderness and you need a machete, and all you have is your nail.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You have a fork. A butter knife.

Bambie Brown:

You're like, "There's tigers out here, and I need protection. I don't have the machete." That's what it feels like.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. Then if you have postpartum depression, sleep deprived ... Just add in those things on top of alcoholism, and it's a real party. It's a real thing. Those of us who are married to people in recovery, nothing happens to that. Your recovery sometimes suddenly becomes high alert, and they're just like, "What's wrong with you? What's happening?"

Bambie Brown:

They don't grow placentas. They don't experience the hormones.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Oh, my God.

Bambie Brown:

It's two different people. Me pre-pregnancy and now is a whole ...

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. Different person.

Bambie Brown:

I am a different person. I am not the same person I was, for good and for bad. He's been with me through it all. Has it been easy? Absolutely not. There were very, very rough times where I didn't know if we were going to be like, "Okay, yeah, maybe we should just call it a day, because this is too much." Because his life didn't change the way mine did.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right. Think about it. We drank over these intense emotions that we had no idea how to handle. Right?

Bambie Brown:

Right.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Then we get some sobriety under our belt, we're like, "Yeah, we know how to handle these intense feelings." Then you have a baby, and you're like, "I do not know how to handle these intense feelings."

Bambie Brown:

You're like, "I am in Antarctica. It's cold here, and you're not warming me up."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

"Pretty sure we have a serious problem, and I don't have the tools." Then you also don't have the time, which you realize how much time you had. You don't have the time to put into your recovery to get to that ... Normally you would put everything you had. If you're in pain, you would just throw yourself into the middle of all things recovery. You're a mom, you don't have time for that. Now, not only-

Bambie Brown:

After the baby comes, nobody cares.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Right.

Bambie Brown:

Have you noticed that? After you have the baby, people are like, "Handle it. get it together."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

That is true if you have one. If you have two ...

Bambie Brown:

You were thrown into the wolves.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

If you have two babies, people care for a lot longer. But, yes.

Bambie Brown:

No, that's ...

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

People are like ... Because I just say, "I have two three month olds." Everyone's like, "Oh, God."

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. Everyone's like, "Oh, (beep), I better go over there."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Oh, man.

Bambie Brown:

Drop what you're doing and help, help, help.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I remember telling you I was having twins, and you're like, "Oh, my ... "

Bambie Brown:

I think you told me when I was in the thick of hell, and I was like, "This bitch is going down in flames." I was like, "This can't be good. Nobody should have children. Everything is wrong. Get the fire extinguisher, it's hot in here."

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I'm amazed you didn't hose me down with that thing.

Bambie Brown:

I think I tried.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

I know. You did. You did try. I'm very hard to change direction. I do it.

Bambie Brown:

You think?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Hey, I do it, but it takes a bit. I think how we handle pregnancy and raising children in this country ... I can't speak to other countries, but in this country, I think that the mental health aspect of women is not considered enough. That if you are at risk, being sober or in recovery, or-

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. Or just-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Just at risk, whatever, that we need support and tools to handle the new life and to be able to get through that. I truly hope that ... I know lots of women who would say the same thing, that our recovery changed. For me, trauma came up that I had thought I had dealt with.

Bambie Brown:

Same.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

All this stuff. I really thought ... I was like, "No, I really did deal with that," and then, boom, it's back.

Bambie Brown:

[crosstalk 01:30:09] Yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. Turns out ...

Bambie Brown:

My story doesn't look like ... You're in a meeting and you hear a story, and you look for the similarities. Yeah, my story, it's not something that you may even connect with, but when you're a mom and something's wrong with your child, sober or not, you're desperate.

Bambie Brown:

That's what I wanted people to hear, that I was desperate and in need of ... I needed the help, and it wasn't coming. Digging deep into the work of self care and sobriety when everything's falling apart was ... It was like learning how to live all over again.

Bambie Brown:

It was just like getting sober. It was like, "Okay, I'm not going to drink today. I'm not going to drink right now. I'm not going to go to 7/11. I'm going to get through this. I'm going to talk to somebody. I'll call my sponsor. I'm going to call someone safe. I'm going to do the next indicated step. I'm going to listen to the people that I trust. I'm going to listen to my gut. I'm going to pray." All those things that I did in the first year of sobriety, second year sobriety, this was on a whole 'nother level, but it was the same. Right?

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yep. I felt the same way. I think that, women of childbearing age, we should be telling them this. We should be telling, "You are going to get sober when your children are born. You're going to get sober again."

Bambie Brown:

You're going to get-

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

It is going to be whatever it is. You are going to get sober again, and you need to prepare for it.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. You need to buckle up, because it's bumpy out there. I remember telling somebody really honestly what childbirth even felt like, and I was like, "I felt like my asshole was going to rip off and hit the wall, okay?" She looked at me like I was insane. I was like, "No, that's real. That's the truth." No one's going to tell you that. Okay? That's what it feels like.

Bambie Brown:

It's just like you're not supposed to talk about these things. My mom was really open with me about how she felt after giving birth, what labor was like. My sister was pretty open with me. I had seen birth. I had been ... I thought I was prepared. I was not prepared for any of it. It was like hitting a brick wall going a hundred, and then no ambulance is coming. That's what it felt like.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. It was like you get out of the car, you're maimed, you're mangled, and you have to figure out how to save somewhere else.

Bambie Brown:

"Hey, sis, you're walking home with that baby on your back." That's what you're doing.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You got two broken legs, you're going home.

Bambie Brown:

I'm not saying I didn't have a supportive partner. I did, but it's just on a different ... You can't explain it as a mother. You just can't explain your connection.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

You land on a different planet.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

It's really ... Yeah. I really hope that we can spread more awareness and teach people how to prepare for what their sobriety is going to look like after giving birth and motherhood, because it's going to be different. You may have to emotionally get sober again.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. Nobody can tell you until you're in it, just like everything else. You don't wake up on Planet Earth, you wake up on Planet Birth. It's nuts. It's not like that for everybody. I know sober people that have kids and it's like, "Poof." No problem. Baby at the meeting. I'm like, "You bought the baby to the meeting? Do you know how many germs are in here?" That's where my brain goes. People are in here coughing and smoking.

Bambie Brown:

It's different for everybody, but I think for us, women in sobriety, I think that the tendency to go a little ... is higher than your average population, and it's okay.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Totally okay.

Bambie Brown:

It's okay. It feels good to just even say it out loud, because it's freeing. It's just nice to get it out. Not everyone's going to agree with it, and that's okay. It's just, that's what happens to some of us.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. The beautiful thing is that we do have some skills from before, and that we use them, and that we stayed sober. Then our kids have sober parents, which is a really, really important thing, right?

Bambie Brown:

Yeah. If anyone hears this and they relate, they're not alone, just like any other story.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. Not alone.

Bambie Brown:

You're not alone.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. Not alone.

Bambie Brown:

Yeah.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Yeah. Bambi, thank you so much for being here. I adore you. It was super fun to hear your story at length, and I know that it's going to help people. I know that this topic needs to be covered.

Bambie Brown:

Thanks for having me. I appreciate it so much. I'm going to go to the beach.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Hit that beach. I need pictures. All right.

Bambie Brown:

I'll send you some.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Okay. Sounds good.

Bambie Brown:

Okay. Take care.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

All right.

Bambie Brown:

Bye.

Ashley Loeb Blassingame:

Bye.

Speaker 2:

This podcast is sponsored by Lionrock Recovery. Lionrock provides online substance abuse counseling where clients can get help from the privacy of their own home. They're accredited by the Joint Commission, and sessions are private, affordable, and user friendly. Call their free helpline at 800-258-6550, or visit www.lionrockrecovery.com for more information.

PART 4 OF 4 ENDS [01:36:17]