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EP28 Addiction Is a Chronic Disease and Not a Personality Flaw

Addiction is a chronic disease whose sufferers have carried a heavy weight of shame and embarrassment. Still, the push for open discussion has caused a shift in how our society views addiction. For instance, we are now seeing that more and more restaurants and bars have mocktails on the menu, and businesses promote physical activities instead of happy hours.

 

In North Dakota, there's been a lot of progress in reducing the stigma of addiction, but more work needs to be done. First Lady of North Dakota, Kathryn Burgum, is one of the people spearheading this positive change. She is the only First Lady who uses her platform to advocate for recovery, rallying support by working with Recovery Reinvented.

 

On this episode of Checkable Health's Podcast, First Lady Kathryn Burgum and Patty Post of Checkable Health share their personal stories and struggles with alcohol and the many benefits they've experienced since recovery. They discuss how addiction is becoming less stigmatized and ways North Dakota is helping rural communities battle this addiction.

 

Press play to learn more about the First Lady of North Dakota.

 

Topics discussed in this episode:

 

  • First Lady of North Dakota Kathryn Burgum and Patty on getting sober
  • Benefits of living life without alcohol
  • How Drinking induces mental health issues
  • Society's changing views on addiction
  • The founding and progress of Recovery Reinvented
  • Integrating recovery services into business practice
  • Enjoying the gifts of her position and keeping boundaries
  • Highlights of this year's upcoming Recovery Reinvented Event
  • Resources for addiction

 

Register to attend the Recovery Reinvented Event on November 3rd (it’s free!!): https://recoveryreinvented.com/

 

Connect with Kathryn:

 

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Check out our other podcasts selection for valuable info on health, wellness, and more. Continue the conversation in the Hero Moms Social Group on Facebook!

 

Connect with Checkable Health:

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Connect with Patty Post:

LinkedIn

 

Transcript: 

 

0:00:04.7 S1: Welcome to the Checkable Health podcast, where we're helping everyday moms rethink how their healthcare begins at home. This podcast is for moms of school-age children, who were born in the 1900s, and would buy an at-home strep test to check their child's sore-throat symptoms from home. Hello, I'm your host, Patty Post, CEO of Checkable Health. I'm a mother to two teenage boys and one tween daughter, and married for 20 years to my husband, Andrew. I really believe that we should be empowered to make healthcare decisions from the comforts of home. I created this podcast to equip you as a mother to make better healthcare decisions for yourself and your family. If you are new to this episode, we interview physicians, clinicians, leaders in a space to talk about health, so you can be in the knowledge and in the know-how of how to recognize signs, symptoms, or get new ideas on how to make your health better. If you like this episode, I'd ask you to please give us five stars, subscribe. We really appreciate that. This is episode number 28, and I am interviewing the First Lady of North Dakota, Kathryn Burgum.

 

0:01:24.6 S1: The episode title is “addiction is a chronic disease, it's not a personality flaw.” Kathryn Burgum has made it her platform to talk about addiction and to normalize it. We can't normalize addiction if we just don't start talking about it on a regular basis with ourselves, with our family, within our communities. And in the US, there are 23 million Americans that are in addiction, whether that is alcohol, substance abuse. Addiction often makes us feel shameful, it makes us feel less than because we carry a really heavy burden. Addiction is something that is considered a flaw, and a lot of times we think that because we have labels associated with it. The First Lady of North Dakota is looking to strip those labels away and normalize addiction. She has a platform called Recovery Reinvented. Kathryn has been in recovery for over 20 years. In this episode, she shares with us her recovery experience and how it is normalized in her life and how she deals with her recovery on a day-to-day basis, but really how it has changed her life. I share my story of recovery, I gave up alcohol October 25th of 2021, I am celebrating my one year without alcohol, and I have to say my life has completely changed for the better. If you are interested in how you can remove alcohol from your life, please don't hesitate to message me on any social platform, PattyPostCEO and direct message me, I will get back to you.

 

0:03:12.9 S1: And I would love to share with you my story. You can also look at all of my channels, I talk a lot about mocktails and how I incorporate them in my life.

 

0:03:23.3 S2: What an inspiration you are in general for all the…Checkable, and now you've got almost a year, I think, of recovery. Is that right, or?

 

0:03:33.8 S1: Yes, so October 25th, I decided to just... I don't know, I don't know what it was. I am a woman of faith, so I feel like the Lord took it away from me and I just really have no desire. And boy, did it change my life. I didn't realize that I was using an escape mentality with wine and just socializing with alcohol, that changed my personality and made me less productive and less clear-minded, so the last year has been just a game changer for me. I feel so much better.

 

0:04:09.3 S2: Well, that's great. I can relate taking that alcohol out of my life. I was wine, except it wasn't just wine with happy hour, it was once I had one glass it was game on

 

0:04:23.0 S1: Well, that was me too, but I didn't... I felt like I was in control though. But looking back, I really wasn't, because when you are loose-lipped or you're feeling you're not in control, as much as we want to rationalize and say that we are, the reality is that if you wouldn't say things when you're sober, then you're not in control, right, the things that you say when you're drinking. But my mother is 20 years in recovery, and then my brother is 23 years in recovery, and they definitely are inspirations to me. And my dad quit drinking when I was in fourth grade, so he kinda had it like I did, just let go of it, but so I come from that and I never identified it as a problem, but it was actually. When I saw you at Prairie Capital Summit, it was the 13th of March 2020, and you were on stage and you shared your story, and you shared Recovery Reinvented, and it really hit me like I didn't realize how impacted I was by it until I’d seen you again. And then when I'm sharing my... I think back to that, I'm like, Oh gosh, she can do it.

 

0:05:44.7 S1: She's so strong and she's able to live life to its fullest and not looking at a void of a substance as like, oh, my life is so boring now. Yeah. Wow.

 

0:05:57.4 S2: That's really powerful that... 'cause I'm out there talking and I'm like, yeah, I don't know if anything is really happening or whatever, but you know when you said, without life being boring, I mean literally, I did not do anything without alcohol, and it is so great, I mean my life has... Like the world just opened up, and there's so much more. Boring is not even an option. Because you focus. Would you ever have done this podcast, would you have ever…So many things, right doors open.

 

0:06:34.3 S1: It's almost like you take the cap off of your goals. I feel like it was self-limiting almost beliefs, because I don't know about you, but I felt like I sort of had this hyper-anxiety and I didn't know that it was hyper-anxiety, but it was also something sort of in the back of my head that I would wake up in the morning and be like, gosh, I wish I wouldn't have had that third glass of wine 'cause I have a headache and I don't have as much energy, and I need to be there for my employees and my family and my investors, and then I would have this thing sort of hanging all the time. And then it was like maybe a month in that I really saw that feeling was gone. And I was so much lighter. Wow.

 

0:07:21.0 S2: Yeah, I totally can relate because for me, I was definitely drinking because of depression and anxiety, and my depression got so much worse. I don't know if I mentioned during that talk that I was pretty much suicidal when I drank at the end... Every time I drank at the end, I was suicidal. I'm just so grateful that... 'cause that's the permanent solution to a temporary problem that people really struggle with. And I know so many people that I knew for a long time in recovery that relapse and have depression, and then that's where they go. I was not really a spiritual person until I found recovery, and for me, that is a huge part of my life now too, because I can lay in bed at night or any time of the day and just go, hey, I don't know what to do with this thing, so I'm just gonna turn it over to you, and then I feel so much lighter and then I feel such a huge relief. And I didn't really understand that about people who had a lot of faith before I really like, no, but how do you trust that something else has a better plan or a better idea...

 

0:08:31.4 S2: 'cause I needed to control everything, right?

 

0:08:34.3 S1: Which of course, I couldn't. Yes, that's very much a tendency of alcoholism, is that control, right? But what's crazy about it is that we want control, but yet we look to alcohol so we can escape. Oxymoron almost isn't it? Right, 'cause you lose all control. Something that when I was researching Recovery Reinvented, that really struck me was that you really make it a point to say that addiction is a chronic disease, and we should be able to talk about it and normalize it and at Checkable, we had something just last month called Mocktails and Moms, and so I do mocktails every Monday, and we had about 40 women come and we had made three different types of mocktails, and it was a fantastic event. And I did a post before that just talking about how I removed alcohol from my life and how it changed me and that it wasn't... I'm not shameful of it, and it wasn't because I had this horrible incident in my life, it was... And from when I posted that on Instagram, I couldn't believe how many women specifically messaged me and said, thank you so much for sharing that, because people are scared to say that they might have a problem with a substance and that I think...

 

0:10:08.2 S1: I'd love to hear what your reaction is of what society puts on us when it comes to addiction.

 

0:10:18.2 S2: Well, I think that... I guess I live in this world where I feel like people, almost everyone I meet is affected in some way by addiction. So I feel like there's a lot of empathy, there's a lot of sympathy, there's a lot of curiosity, there's a lot of courage just... And even if some people, like I'll talk when I speak I’m like, how many of you, raise your hand, have been affected? And there's only a couple that aren't raising their hand, and I was talking to someone about this yesterday and I was thinking, I'm like, either they are in denial about someone in their life, themselves, whatever, or they... They truly aren't. I have a woman that I work with who took a year's leave of absence to work on my team from Microsoft, and she's one of the only people... she's like, nope, nobody in my family. But then as the year went on, three of her friends, one of her friends really, I helped her get into treatment, whatever, so it wasn't in her family, but there was a lot of people. So I think that... So I believe there's much more of an embracing this idea that the addiction is a disease and not a moral failing or our personality flaw, you know?

 

0:11:36.2 S2: I feel like there's much more. And in North Dakota, we did a survey, which I think maybe you are aware of, because when we started this six years ago, after the first few months, people are like, I feel like things are changing, I feel like people really do believe this is a disease. And then I'm much more of a data person, my husband's a data person, like we've gotta... We need to do the survey. And it was just so cool to learn that after a couple of years, a few years of this, we have moved the needle. We have an 11% reduction of the stigma in our state around the disease; a lot less people are thinking it's a moral failing or a choice. So we're really lucky, but all of that is accomplished really pretty much through storytelling and just talking about it. And we haven't been able to add double the amount of treatment centers, but the one thing that we are doing, which is really important in our state, and we're doubling down on this concept of peer support specialists. Because half of our state is rural, like 50% of the state live in very small communities, and we're never gonna have the services that we need.

 

0:12:49.6 S2: I used to say to people that every small town has a church and a bar, and the bar has a lot of business and the church can use more business. And the people, so many people wanna give back in their own community, and then they have a lived experience. And so we have over 700 people in our state now that are peer-certified peer-support specialists. It's a state-run program and through that, through those people telling their story and helping a lot of people, they're just boots on the ground really making a difference related to eliminating stigma. The world I live in is like that I don't really have... There's never been anybody who's like, oh, come on, really, it's not a... 'cause I think people, if they are really struggling or really have pushback or something, it's probably hitting a very personal chord in some way, you know? Definitely.

 

0:13:46.8 S1: When you did that survey, what were the questions that you asked people?

 

0:13:53.5 S2: Well of course we wanted to know who they were, and how old they were, and what their nationality and all that, and then we wanted to... We asked questions like, if a treatment center were opening up on your block, you know, how would you feel about that? And then based on their responses like, no, not in my backyard, or it's an important thing to have in a community. Or do you know someone? Have you yourself struggled? And so it was really more of identifying the characteristics of how people typically look, do you think it’s a disease, do you think it's a moral failing, just very specific questions like that, but a lot of it was related to how would you feel about this kind of thing in your neighborhood? Or do you think there's enough services available in your community? But we also work with this really great research team. For the last one we did in Delaware, that's all they do is look at stigma, and so how they created the survey, we kind of left it up to them. The first one, we were super involved and we hired a polling team that was really more of like a political polling team that does great...

 

0:15:07.3 S2: They just do great surveys, that's all they do. So they really understood the tool. But this new group we worked with the second time really understands addiction, but they also did a lot of surveys, so we kind of let them. But that's the way that we learned a lot about it, and I think it's... you can do surveys through Survey Monkey, there's a lot of easy ways to do it, but you…kind of just getting a baseline is really the most important thing.

 

0:15:37.4 S1: Are there any other first ladies, such as yourself, that are focused on recovery, on your platform like this?

 

0:15:46.9 S2: No, not recovery. There's a lot focused on mental health, certainly children, welfare, human trafficking, so there's some connection to usually alcohol and drug addiction, but not anybody who's really focusing on the disease of addiction. Interesting.

 

0:16:09.0 S1: So Recovery Reinvented, this is your idea and you birthed Recovery Reinvented. You tell us about this platform and how it's progressed and where you are with it today?

 

0:16:23.9 S2: And actually, I wish I could take all the credit... No, not really, because it’s just not me, but there were two people that were very heavily involved in this idea and concept, One is William Moyers, who's really become a mentor to me. He's with Hazelden Betty Ford, but he's a best-selling author and 30 years ago was addicted to crack, and it changed his life and has really spent his whole life helping people to find recovery. And so I heard him speak before I became First Lady, and he was the one that put this idea in my head that you really need to talk about this to normalize the conversation and eliminate stigma. And then when I became First Lady, I met this really amazing woman, I’ll try not to get emotional, but she's just incredible. But her name is Pam Sagness, she heads up our behavioral health division; she is just so cutting edge and just so on point about how she thinks about addiction. She's a person who's not in recovery herself, but she's been in this world for so long, and really social services, just the whole continuum of health. And so she was already doing great work, she also had run sober-living homes and that sort of thing.

 

0:17:42.1 S2: So the three of us got together actually, 'cause William's idea was, it was him first that said, maybe you should do a conference, and so coming up with this idea, even naming it Recovery Reinvented that William put that out there, we talked about it. So initially I was really terrified because I'm really more of an introvert. I mean, it was a big part of the reason why I drank too, because it's a lot easier to Be somebody you're not. Socialize, all that. So that's kind of how it came about. And then in the first year, we didn't... I mean, I had been to many conferences, my husband had done a bunch, we kind of had this idea, but I knew right away that we wanted it to be different, we didn't want it to be a business conference. I love the TEDx format, the shorter, more opportunities for people to speak, so we wanted to celebrate a lot too. We wanted to give out awards for people that really were making a difference in their communities, we wanted to have a platform for people to tell their stories, because again, the stories are what eliminate the stigma and motivate people to reach out for help. And then we wanted music and we wanted creativity, and that's how it started, and that's kind of the format that we've kept all this time, and I think it's really...

 

0:19:04.0 S2: We just were looking at it yesterday again, like how many people have... We got over 1,200 people that have signed up. We still have three weeks, and that's everybody in person and online. Usually more people sign up the last couple of weeks, but we can probably be over 3,000 people this year. And the other amazing thing that really makes a difference, I think, is that it's free. It’s free. It's incredible. Online and free, but that's due to the incredible sponsors, I get emotional talking about them too, because I can't put... The hospital organizations, the business organizations, they all… this is a big part…the twenty three million people that are affected by the disease or struggle with the disease, 80% of them are employed full or part-time, so businesses see this as a really big, important thing for them to be considering. And then me and my team have really focused on businesses because when we did those surveys, I was like, okay, but... So who are we missing? Because we can't just preach to the same people, the choir, that already know and they're already invested in this world, and we thought, I really thought the business world is a world that really either wants to ignore it…

 

0:20:22.8 S2: Doesn't really understand it, it doesn't know what to do. And so we have worked with the big companies like Amazon and Microsoft, and smaller companies, really great smaller companies in North Dakota that have this... There's a guy now that heads up the office of Recovery Reinvented, his name's Jonathan Holt, and he actually owns restaurants in North Dakota as well, and he has this very cool thing where the minute somebody signs up to be an employee and they hire that person, they tell them during orientation, listen, if you ever have an issue with addiction or are struggling, you can take the time to deal with that and you will be paid while you're gone, your job will be available. So they just tell them up front, so they just know that it's not gonna be... They don't have to worry about... 'cause a lot of people don't reach out for help or don't go... Because of the financial side of things. Right, so of course. So anyway, we just have... On the business side of things, we've really been targeting that group, so... I don't know, I'm not even sure what your question was.

 

0:21:24.1 S2: Well.

 

0:21:25.7 S1: You make a really great point, and something with business that I think that I found myself in is that it seems like so many business meetings, it's like, oh, let's meet over a drink, or you are at a three-day conference or a sales meeting, and so much of it is around alcohol. And to me, looking back, so highly unproductive, because we go through this, the company spends how much money on getting us there, and then they get the trainers, and we put all of this effort into it, and then at night, you go for dinner and then hours of drinking, only to wake up the next day completely depleted. And how are you going to fill up your knowledge and be excited to learn when you just are plum full of toxins from over-drinking the night before, or doing drugs. I think that that is... And it's so socially acceptable. Yes. And from a business standpoint, we just had ladies over at my house last week and we had such a nice night and we didn't makeup and we did facials, and we had dinner, and we went to work the next day at 8 o'clock and we all felt great, and we didn't have to have alcohol, but I think that a lot of people in business it’s accepted 100%.

 

0:22:51.1 S2: Oh yeah, yeah, I'm grateful though that so many bars and restaurants are now offering mocktails and almost all of them are carrying non-alcoholic beer. That really makes a big difference too, that you have these other choices. But that is a great example of networking, getting together, being able to... The group of women that got together, but that you can still do that. It's almost like there's so many groups now that do more athletic things together, they have more options like that versus happy hour, always happy hour. That was one of the things when my husband came home and he was like, I think I'd like to run for governor and I was like, no. I was like, no. I mean, 'cause the first thing I was like, what am I gonna do in all those situations where there's alcohol, and then it was like... And I do not, like, I can chat for a while and then I'm done, I'm out. Because the introverted part of me is like, okay. And so we had this really... He is such a huge supporter of mine and he really barely drinks, so that really helps too, to be able to just say, for me to say, you know, I will support you to do this 100%, but we have to agree on some things.

 

0:24:14.2 S2: One is that I can leave whenever I want to, or I can say, I'm not gonna go. And that's really worked out well, and he's fully supported me to do that, and then it's like being able to actually have conversations. One of the highlights of being First Lady, which was so unexpected to me, is that because I’m introverted and I don’t always like to talk to people, I've met so many incredible people, especially in North Dakota. Last night, I went to this event in a really small town. It was a funeral prayer service for a really amazing woman in this community, and there was a little boy there named Keegan. He was 10 years old, and he was going on and on about...Just a remarkable kid. He's a business guy, he was telling me about cross-country, he sold a rabbit for $500, he bought this. The amount of things he's done in this tiny little community, and his parents were amazing and I would never have the opportunity to meet people like that, and then of course, it's all the people I get to meet with and talk about related to recovery.

 

0:25:20.8 S2: So really, that's been a real unexpected gift through this process where I wouldn't normally be putting myself out there and doing those things.

 

0:25:29.2 S1: And it's a very stressful role that you have, actually. I think that people don't understand that when you are married to someone that is in a powerful position and very highly respected that as a couple, you do go out together, and there's a lot of pressure on you too. And if you're not that personality type, you're very vulnerable, so I commend you for knowing your limitations and your boundaries, and then seeing the beauty and like, Keegan, seeing that as an opportunity.

 

0:26:02.4 S2: Yeah, just a remarkable kid. I kinda wanna track him and follow him in his life because I feel like that he's gonna be something, he’ll probably be president or something.

 

0:26:12.2 S1: This is amazing. Do you or your child have symptoms of strep throat, such as sore throat or fever? Do you want to help an innovative startup validate their at-home strep test? Checkable Medical is currently enrolling children ages five and up, and adults for a strep throat study. Go to www.testforstrep.com to see if there's a site near you. Again, that website is www.testforstrep.com. So I actually signed up for Recovery Reinvented with my mom, and then we're gonna see if my brother and my niece and my sister-in-law and if my dad wants to come, so I just know my mom and I are for sure going. And so I'd love for you to tell us about the day and share how have you curated this event, who's gonna be there?

 

0:27:06.5 S2: Well, I'm so excited that's just gonna be so great that you all are... Have a big group of people and that you're interested in watching. So this year, we have like every year, really amazing speakers. One of the things we wanted to do is we always wanted kind of in some way to focus on brain science and that this is a brain disease, we wanted to bring the science component into it, or for sure, the experts. Like this year, we have this amazing guy named Bruce Perry... Dr. Bruce Perry, who's actually originally from North Dakota, Bismarck, North Dakota. Cool. And he's an expert on trauma and a lot related to kids, and his last book he wrote with Oprah, and it's a super successful book, and it's all about how trauma affects you, sort of like what happened to you, what happened to you that made you, you know, the way you are now. And so I'm so excited about having him be a part of the conference. And then we have Teliea Baker, who's a Native American woman, who runs the recovery community organization at MHA Nation, that's the three affiliated tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara. And they're a tribe that has really wrapped their arms around everyone in their community, they have treatment centers, they have...

 

0:28:31.4 S2: Sober living places. There's a woman named Dr. Monica, who has become a really important person to me, and she's an MD that has worked in the ER for a lot of her life, and now she's a councilwoman there, and anyway, came to the first Recovery Reinvented. She was one of the first people I met when I became First Lady at this lunch we had. Yeah, it was like, my husband, I was there, it was all the tribes, and she's like, Hey, I think what you're gonna be doing with Governor is great, but I really wanna meet your wife and I really wanna talk to you now. I was like, Oh no! But she's been to the United Nations, she's just incredible. But she was the one at that first Recovery Reinvented, we talked a lot about recovery community organizations, which many states have been doing for 30, like Massachusetts for 35 years, we did not have one in our state. And this is where people can gather, go to meetings, get support, have peer support specialists, recovery coaches getting people back on their feet, and eliminating stigma. So they started... Teliea is the director of that recovery community.

 

0:29:42.6 S2: She is a woman in recovery and long-term recovery; she struggled with a heroin addiction, she is a more remarkable story and such a force in their community, so she's gonna be speaking. And then we have this other woman named Carrie Bates, who is an Olympic gold medalist swimmer, and so she had this incredible career, and she's also a woman in recovery, and she's with Hazelden Betty Ford. She has an amazing story to tell, so she's really gonna be powerful as well. And then all through the day, we have speakers, we have someone that does, it's called The Recovery podcast, they're actually gonna be doing on stage talking to people, giving little, littler smaller stories, and that's gonna be happening live on stage. And then throughout the day, we give away awards to people who, again, are making a difference in their community with the work they're doing, and we have music, we have special guests that we're not gonna announce until…so there will be some surprises throughout the day. And so again, it's a powerful, powerful day, and we just invite everyone to come and join us at recoveryreinvented.com on November 3rd, it is free, but we do need people to register so we can let you into the meeting.

 

0:31:09.5 S2: And we know how many people are gonna be there in person, so we can plan for food and lunch and all that. So anyway, it's gonna be a fantastic day, so we're so excited about everyone who will join us. And the Governor and I host it, that's the other thing for six years now, initially it was just daunting, oh my gosh, on the stage, how are we gonna do this? But we get to sort of ad-lib it and have fun, and that's a thing that we really want, to have a really serious topic that's really decimated in people's lives and impacted so many people, but the bottom line is, we're doing it because we want people to know that we can eliminate the stigma, and that mostly there's always hope for recovery. For someone like me who relapsed pretty consistently over an eight-year period, and for some reason, never gave up hope. Again, I believe it is someone bigger than me in my life who was watching out for me, and kept bringing me back to the table like, Okay, let's try this again. Yeah.

 

0:32:19.0 S1: Yeah. So yeah, that's grace, right? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, what a beautiful story. You're such an inspiration, and the way that you just freely can talk about this. My intention of having you on the podcast was to share your story and to have this conversation. To let others hear a conversation about addiction, and that it's very comfortable, and it's actually very freeing. And that there are opportunities, if you open your eyes to create community with others that have addiction or family members that are going through addiction, and that it's actually very loving to have the conversation rather than ignore it. So thank you for creating this event, I'm so excited to attend. Thank you for making it your platform as well and sharing your story, even if there's just one person that listens to this and is like, Gosh, maybe I should... Maybe I should change my life and try it, I would say 100%, don't look back, go for it, and you would never regret it.

 

0:33:30.6 S2: Yeah, yes, I completely agree with you. And that is one that you hit the nail on the head on one thing, you know, is like so many people who are… I don't know what to do to try to help this person, I don't know, whatever. And really, it's like just no judgment, letting them know, Hey, I'm here for you. I’m worried. I'm kinda worried about you and I care about you. Because I think there were a lot of people in my life that were like... Of course, they were like, why can’t you stop drinking? Why is this happening? Blah, blah, blah, but if I would have heard somebody or somebody... Of course, I wasn't around anybody in recovery because I never wanted to admit... That's one of the ways, especially people like in a work situation, like what do I do? I'm managing this person who clearly has issues, they’re struggling, so it's really about just caring about someone and not judging them, and they're gonna be on their own timetable, but anyway. But that maybe that will cause... We do encourage people that are in a work situation to... Or in a work environment, let your employees listen to this during the day, tune in, make it a priority as part of your wellness initiative to have people be able to join Recovery Reinvented for the day.

 

0:34:47.8 S1: That's true actually, as I was thinking about, as you were talking about the agenda for the day, I think, well, why couldn't we all drive up? I'll invite everyone at Checkable and we can... And if you wanna go, great, and if you don't wanna go, that's fine too, but open it up to everyone to take the day. I think it's definitely well worth it. We're an hour away from Grand Forks. Definitely worth the day and let's make it a trip. Yeah, for sure.

 

0:35:15.4 S2: That would be great 'cause I have been encouraging other people too, and sometimes I just say to people, just turn it on the background while you're working from home or whatever, and so anyway, I just think that's just so great of you to even consider that, and again, thank you for all you do and for your, this podcast, which is just so inspiring, and I'm just so grateful to be a part of it. Thank you so much.

 

0:35:42.3 S1: Well, I am so grateful. First Lady, Kathryn Burgum of North Dakota. Thank you so much, it is an absolute honor to know you, and I feel like we could go have a mocktail this afternoon and talk for hours more, so just kindred spirits here. So thank you for being an inspiration and sharing your story.

 

0:36:02.7 S2: Thank you, and I feel the same, so I feel like we'll be more connected in the future, at least, I hope so. So thank you.

 

0:36:09.4 S1: That sounds good. We'll see you on the third. Alright, thank you. Take care. You too. Thank you so much for choosing to listen to the Checkable Health podcast. This podcast is brought to you by the Checkable Health production team, a huge thanks to them, as well as Grow the Show who edits all of our podcasts. If you would please follow us on all of our social channels at Checkable Health, we are on TikTok, we are on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and on Facebook, we have a fantastic group called Hero Moms. We can continue the conversation of this podcast on Hero Moms, and we also do things like recipe swaps, talk about how technology is affecting our kids, and our role as moms, and how we can help one another with different strategies to help with just everyday parenting. I'm really happy about this episode with the First Lady of North Dakota. I reached out to her in the spring of 2022, and unfortunately she was very booked up, and I just heard about Recovery Reinvented, and it actually came through an email saying that they would love to have her on the podcast the same day, so I think the stars really aligned there. Her story is so inspirational to me, she is so well-networked and I just hope that you were able to hear about the benefits of normalizing addiction, normalizing that word, and that there's not a stigma around it. It doesn't make you a bad person, it doesn't make anyone that you are around a bad person either, it is a chronic disease, and if we start treating it like a chronic disease, I think...


0:37:56.4 S1: And Kathryn believes that we can lower that number of 23 million Americans. Let's decrease that number, let's start talking about it with our loved ones and within our community and support one another. So with that, I empower you to make healthcare decisions from home through knowledge, through education, and take care of your families and thrive.