12: What I Know Now

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Last Day episode 12: What I Know Now transcript


[00:44] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: If you are just joining us for the first time, this next episode will make the most sense if you start listening to Last Day from Episode 1. I might stop repeating this message at the top of every episode at some point, but obviously that point has not yet arrived. Enjoy the show. 


[01:10] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Iris, would you get that for your brother? Don’t we have another Sennhaiser mic somewhere? 


[01:17] Maureen Wittels: Do you want me to help you look?


[01:19] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: So as is the case maybe six days a week? Five? Gonna go with six. Six days a week. My mom was at my house and, standing in the kitchen, we started diving into a way deeper conversation than the standard, ‘are you really going to let your kid play in the dog food?’ And so I decided to pull out the mics — 


[01:41] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: OK, now you talk.


[01:43] Maureen Wittels: Testing. 


[01:44] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: You gotta get a little closer. 


[01:45] Maureen Wittels: Testing. 


[01:47] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Yeah, that’s good. 


[01:48] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: And get it on tape. 


[01:51] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: OK. So, yeah, I just feel like we did it completely wrong. That’s how I feel.


[01:59] Maureen Wittels: Yeah, I know, but I just didn’t know better. I depended on experts to tell me what to do. 


[02:11] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: I just didn’t know at the time how critical medication was. It’s like now it’s like so easy now to understand.


[02:23] Maureen Wittels: Yes. But no one offered that option. 


[02:29] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: I know, but why didn’t we, like, talk to an addiction medicine doctor or why didn’t we — 


[02:35] Maureen Wittels: In all honesty, Stephanie, I didn’t know they existed. 


[02:39] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Have you learned anything on the show that you didn’t know?


[02:42] Maureen Wittels: Everything. I’ve learned everything. I would run to the addiction specialist. I would make sure Harris was safe. And realize that for Harris and many others, abstinence is just not going to do it. 


[03:03] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: It’s not an option. 


[03:04] Maureen Wittels: It is not. It’s not. 


[03:06] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Because what you know now it’s like maybe he could have lived. 


[03:09] Maureen Wittels: Absolutely. 


[03:12] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: You know? I mean, if we would have — I keep saying that. You know, I keep saying ‘if we would have.’ Which I hate to do. Because I don’t want to put blame on us. Because you don’t know what you don’t know. 


[03:30] Maureen Wittels: Exactly. 


[03:32] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: But it just sucks knowing now. 


[03:35] Maureen Wittels: It makes it even worse. 


[03:37] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Yeah, because it’s like —


[03:39] Maureen Wittels: I mean, I tell the people in my support group all the time, ‘you did the best you could with the tools you had at the time.’


[03:47] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: So you don’t — you don’t feel like at all responsible?


[03:53] Maureen Wittels: If I did, I’d probably kill myself. 


[03:58] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Mom, don’t say that. 


[03:59] Maureen Wittels: The only reason I can survive is to have no guilt, and just really feel that I did everything in my power to save my child. And I really did. For me, there’s no going back.


[04:14] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: I know. I’m sorry. 


[04:20] Maureen Wittels: I feel like Harris became a heroin addict at the wrong time.


[04:25] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: He became a heroin addict when everyone was becoming a heroin addict. It wasn’t the wrong time, it was he was a part of the thing. He was a part of the crisis. 


[04:38] Maureen Wittels: I know that I do. I don’t know. I just feel like there’s a whole lot more information now than what we had. I really do. Tough. This is a hard interview! 


[04:58] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: I’m sorry. I don’t do softballs around here. I like to play hardball. Do you like the show? 


[05:05] Maureen Wittels: Oh, my gosh. The show is amazing. I am your mother, but it is amazing. Really. And I know how hard you’re working. God bless you. 


[05:20] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Oh, mom. Isn’t my mom sweet? So sweet. It’s not fair. It’s not fair that this world has beaten her down.


[05:34] Maureen Wittels: It’s not. You’re right.


[05:41] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: I’m Stephanie Wittels Wachs. This is Last Day.


[05:53] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: I basically ambushed my mother, Maureen — Maureen Wittels to my children — into this hard interview. But in general, she’s a pretty good sport. It’s not difficult to get her to open up. Now, the other 50 percent of my DNA. Different story. A few hours after our chat, my mom sent me this text:


[06:18] Maureen Wittels: Dad doesn’t want to be interviewed. Sorry. 


[06:21] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: My plan was to do a legit interview with both of my parents for this episode, but as I’ve mentioned before, things don’t go according to plan in my life ever. So of course, I record my mom off some shitty mikes in the kitchen and now my dad is completely off the table. Because it’s really hard for him to go back there. It’s hard for him to talk about this stuff, and that’s what we’re doing this week. We are talking to our parents about where they are with their grief after losing their children, which is something that no parent should ever have to do. It is a particular kind of torture to lose a child. And in my experience, not to generalize, moms and dads deal with it differently. Jess and Stefano’s mom, Doreen, she is with Maureen in Camp Mom. 


[07:19] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: I’m just looking at a text from your daughter. Do you know that I get exactly like 70,000 texts from your daughter every single day? 


[07:28] Doreen Cordova: I know. That’s why she’s texting me a lot less.


[07:33] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Gotta love moms. But that is not what this episode is about. For Doreen, Stefano’s death marked the end of a long and painful period full of a lot of loneliness. And also a lot of exhausting mental gymnastics of the eggshell variety. She and her son were both just waiting for the other one to cross the line. Would he do something to prove he was using? Would she do something to call him out about it? Who would do the wrong thing first? 


[08:10] Doreen Cordova: That was the whole thing wit Stefano — watching and waiting. You know, just watching every move, listening to every thought, every — I couldn’t call him up and say, how are you? Because it would turn into, you know, are you using? Are you OK? You know. Are you high? And that’s not what I was asking. I was just asking, how are you? So I had to change the way I talked to him. 


[08:38] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: So that’s interesting. I mean, yeah, ‘how are you’ become so loaded, you know? And so how did you — I know my mom felt the same way — how did you adjust the way that you talked to him?


[08:52] Doreen Cordova: Well, he would, he would — he called me out on it a few times. ‘What do you mean, how am I?’ I’m good. I’m good. So I had to say, what’s new? How’s work?. You know, what about this weather? You know, a different opening so that it didn’t seem to him like I was asking, how are you? And, I mean, I heard how he was just in his — the way he talked, you know, and or even the way he text. I read and texts. So we texted a lot and I would hear in his words that, you know, he wasn’t doing well. 


[09:30] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Reading in two texts is such a thing, and it is an even bigger thing when one person is intentionally hiding self-destructive behavior that is killing them. And it took Doreen a long time to get to a point where she could talk about all of this.


[09:49] Doreen Cordova: In the beginning we didn’t post on social media that he died of an opioid addiction because we just didn’t want people to come out of the woodwork and say, you know, if they used with him or, you know, or he bought stuff from them, or whatever the story was. That wasn’t what we wanted. We just wanted positive things about his addiction. We probably weren’t even ready. And so we, you know, we shut down his Facebook.


[10:28] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Let me just lay something out here. Social media and death is a toxic combination no matter how you choose to handle it. And it is fucked up that it plays into our grieving process now. Here’s a fun example of that. Harris died the day before my birthday. And when I logged on first thing in the morning, Facebook did this big automated banner with balloons and confetti. And every time someone sent me a condolence message that day, Facebook told me someone was wishing me a happy birthday because apparently the robots have not caught up with the complexities of public grief. And honestly, Harris was so sardonic that he probably would have thought that this was hilarious. I mean, I think he would have thought that. I’m pretty sure. Jess and I have compared notes on this and when your person dies, you truly do wonder what they would think about everything if they were still here. And it’s particularly hard not to wonder what they would think about this show that is about them. 


[11:40] Jessica Cordova Kramer: If Stefano meets me in the afterlife he might be like, ‘Yo, what the fuck? I mean, it’s cool and all, good show, but what the fuck?’ But it has been — for our family, I think it’s been partially, intensely painful. I also think it’s been partially cathartic and I think overall it’s been a good thing. You know, dads in particular are — I’m stereotyping — but I think it’s harder for them to talk. 


[12:11] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Next, we do our best to get a dad to talk. After the break, we catch up with Stefano Cordova, Senior. 


[14:32] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: We’re back. The thing about dads is that they feel just as deeply as everyone else, but they don’t lead with it. They lead with Italian greetings. 


[14:45] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: How do you say ‘hello, how are you’ in Italian? 


[14:49] Stefano Cordova Senior: Bongiorno, come va? 


[14:50] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Bongiorno — what’s the second part? 


[14:54] Stefano Cordova Senior: Come va. 


[14:55] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Come va. 


[14:56] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: I got on the phone with him immediately after I chatted with Doreen. And even though I had heard from Jess that he was listening, I wanted to hear it from the source. 


[15:04] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: My first question is, have you listened to the show? 


[15:10] Stefano Cordova Senior: Yes, indeed. Yeah, I listen. I even listen a couple of times just for more information. 


[15:21] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: As a reminder, Stefano Senior lives in Seattle with his wife, Neelu, and their two kids, who are both in their teens. Stef was really close to his stepmom and his siblings, who were all very invested in his recovery. 


[15:35] Stefano Cordova Senior: We did a lot of research about what could help him, you know, especially when he moved with us and he stayed with us for most a year. And we knew it coming in that he was addicted to heroin. We didn’t know at the beginning what was all about. And, you know, we had a lot of meeting with the doctors and so forth. And then we had a big, big push. I almost went to court for him to be able to get the medication that he needed. And he was fine for, you know, for the last six months.


[16:06] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Stefano Senior falls into the camp with me and Jess. We are doers. There is no problem in this world that we cannot fix, argue or research our way out of. Except for heroin addiction. I mean, that took all of us down. And as a fellow manic Google investigator, knowing that he couldn’t find a solution in time is still agonizing. Because just like Doreen, Stefano Senior knew when his son wasn’t doing well. The only difference is that he wouldn’t play the eggshell game with him. He would actively call him out on it. 


[16:40] Stefano Cordova Senior: I used to call all the time. Did you go, did you go. Show me. Let me know. Let me call the doctor for you. Or let me call the doctor, make sure that you went and so forth. 


[16:50] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Stefano Senior knew a few things before listening to the show. Now he knows a lot of things, and frankly, those things just make him wish he’d intervened even more aggressively. 


[17:03] Stefano Cordova Senior: I knew maybe like 10 or 20 percent of all the research, and if I knew the other 80 percent, there was no way is going to leave my family. So if I knew more than I knew now, I would say — because there was no way that Stef, or anybody like Stef, was able to manage it. You need to stay with your family. You need to be watched by your family. You know, people say, oh, he’s 30 years old, he can do whatever he want. Not in those conditions. Not in those conditions. You don’t let your son — even if he’s 30, 35, whatever — you take him to court. You kidnap him. You break his legs. Whatever you have to do. You know, that’s the only way you’re gonna save it. So you have no choice. You know, you that’s — that would be my decision if I knew more than I know now. 


[17:59] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Do you remember when Nzinga in Episode 6 was talking about how it takes five years for your brain to —


[18:09] Stefano Cordova Senior: Yeah, exactly, So what I said to myself now, I only knew 20 percent. I knew he needed medical attention. I knew he needed love for the family. Supervision for the family, consistently, right? But if I knew it took five years — if I knew it, what I you know what I know now, based on the show there was no way he was going to stay in Boston. 


[18:33] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: For Stefano Senior, Boston is the sticking point. He always knew his son was struggling, but he felt like if Stefano was under his roof, under his surveillance, he could keep him safe. Like you would do with a two-year-old, or a prisoner. But Stefano Junior wasn’t a prisoner and he wasn’t a toddler. He was a man who fell in love and wanted to start his life. And that life was in Boston. So Senior tried to, at the very least, recruit others to keep an eye on his son.


[19:06] Stefano Cordova Senior: And I told everybody, I says, you know, anytime you see anything or whatever it is. I even knew when the first time I met his relatives in Massachusetts, I said, listen, guys, no against him getting married. I don’t feel comfortable because he’s live in Boston. I live in Seattle and I want him to come with me. But anything that you hear about him or anything like that, I needed to know first. And I was very specific. And because I knew it, I knew that this could happen. And I said to him if you stay in Boston, you’re gonna die. 


[19:39] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Just in case you missed that, he told him ‘if you stay in Boston, you’re going to die.’ 


[19:48] Stefano Cordova Senior: And then I find out they had overdosed three times and nobody called me up knowing precisely that that’s the kind of stuff that he needed. So when I talk to myself, or when I would talk home, I said, you know, knowing that he was medically and mentally in necessity, and it takes years — and obviously, the more I listened to his show, the more I realize how much I didn’t know. But I had a sense of it. He needed my protection. He basically needed to be with me, you know, and Neelu and the kids and just, you know, watch him and make sure that for the next year, two year, three year, four years he was into the medication so he wouldn’t he wouldn’t go back.


[20:31] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Realizing that Stefano had been in this overdose cycle leading up to his death remains the hardest part of this story for him to accept. 


[20:42] Stefano Cordova Senior: That void doesn’t go away. That void doesn’t go away. Because it’s — I thought that he trusted me.


[20:54] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: This is devastating. As you heard at the top of the show, my mom has forgiven herself for the things she didn’t know. But I relate to Stefano Senior here. The more I learn, the more I look back with regret. And I feel like he’s along for the ride with me on this it-sucks-to-know-now bandwagon. 


[21:21] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: I remember when we spoke the first time, you know, you said that you had this impulse, this instinct that he should not be in Boston, but that you didn’t really listen to it. You know, you were like, ‘oh, he’s happy,’ you know, he had this good job. And, you know, but there was a voice in your head that was like, ‘he really needs to be with me.’ It seems like listening to the show has just strengthened that resolve for you.


[21:43] Stefano Cordova Senior: Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s, you know, I regret every day that I didn’t push. And then I say to myself, did I do it out of laziness? Did I do it because, you know, it’s the easy way out. You’re gonna be far away and so forth. And you know, and — Yep. Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep. I blame myself. I blame myself. You know, I blame myself for, not for his death, but not being me.  me. Meaning, you know, your gut feeling tells you’re what you supposed to do. Don’t talk yourself out of it. 

[22:23] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Stefano Senior holds onto the blame. It has not gone away. And this feels really familiar to me because my dad feels the same way. How do I know that, you ask, since he refused to talk to me? Well, I was at their house specifically to record my mom reading her text about how he refused to talk to me when all of a sudden he pipes up and demands to know why I won’t talk to him. I mean, it’s madness. He was sitting there on the couch in his pajamas drinking chav, which is basically like liquid spinach or borscht. I don’t know. It is really gross. 


[23:06] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: You just speak right into it. What in the fuck is that? Dad, you have to talk right into the mic. 


[23:12] Ellison Wittels: That’s shav. 


[23:14] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: What is shav?


[23:15] Maureen Wittels: Spinach soup. 


[23:17] Ellison Wittels: Spinach. Borscht. 


[23:18] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Ugh. Why do you eat that?


[23:20] Ellison Wittels: Because I like it.


[23:24] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: I literally had my recording equipment in my purse, so I just threw the mic in his hand before he could change his mind and asked if he blames himself any less now than he did initially. 


[23:38] Ellison Wittels: No. 


[23:39] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: You still blame yourself? 


[23:42] Ellison Wittels: Yeah. Well, there are a lot of reasons that don’t need to be gone into at this point. 


[23:48] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: They don’t need to be gone into on an audio podcast? 


[23:55] Ellison Wittels: Not my audio podcast, no. I have my reasons and, you know, there are certain things that I just don’t wanna talk about. 


[23:59] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: I know! You refused to do this initially. 


[24:01] Ellison Wittels: I’m still refusing to do it. 


[24:06] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Dads. Can’t live with them, can’t get them to say what you want them to say on your podcast. OK, so he refuses to say why he blames himself and the blame hasn’t decreased. So is it worse? 


[24:26] Ellison Wittels: Maybe a little bit. I mean, you know, listen, everybody’s given a mother and a father and the mother and father are supposed to take care of the kid. That’s the way it’s written. A kid’s always a kid to the parent.


[24:54] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Like my dad, Stefano Senior can’t shake this guilt because it’s part of that core belief. A kid is always a kid to a parent. And a parent’s job is to keep the kid safe. And to love them. And Stefano Senior always did that part very, very well. 


[25:16] Stefano Cordova Senior: You know, the fact that’s most important, and I think Stef realized all the time, I never looked at my son as a drug addict. I just thought somebody was sick who needed medicine. That’s something I learned, obviously, maybe like a year before I would say, you know, you’re a screwhead or, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah. I realized that he needed help, they need help. And, you know, you wouldn’t tell me. You wrote me a letter, says, I know you always consider me a drug addict — I said, Stef, get off your head. You’re not a drug addict, you’re sick. You need help.


[25:54] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: What I kept thinking when I was talking to him is that we had had this same conversation six months ago. Now it’s just a little bit sharper. The show hasn’t alleviated his guilt, it’s reinforced it. On the other hand, when I was talking to Doreen, I couldn’t get over how much she’s changed. More from her after the break.


[28:32] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: We’re back with Doreen. For years, she’s been part of the Al-Anon community. And if you don’t know what that is, Al-Anon is the companion support group to AA. It’s for loved ones, family members and friends of people with addiction. 


[28:49] Doreen Cordova: I went to Al-Anon for six years. I stood up in front of everyone. I went to every speaker event where I could speak about Stefano, about him being an addict, about him not wanting to be an addict, about his struggles and how I was helping me to, like, lived through it. I was absolutely paralyzed for, I think, maybe 15 years. I was a shell of myself because I just — I was so immature about every single thing, every single aspect of my life, because I didn’t know how to handle his problem. I couldn’t control his problem. I couldn’t help him. And I felt — I don’t know if I felt bad, but I identified myself as a failure. And so there was so much I coudn’t — so many things I couldn’t face. And only since the show came on did I feel like I grew up. Because the show to me gave me permission to grow up and forgive myself. And to think about the whole thing in a different way. 


[30:05] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Since Stefano’s story has been put out there for all the world to hear, she’s found this sense of courage and strength that she didn’t even know she had. 


[30:16] Doreen Cordova: I mean, I started to face problems that I couldn’t face. And I feel the PTSD, like, coming out one layer at a time. You know, I called a financial coach to help me retire in a few years, and the old me would never. I really thought, I’m going to be OK. I’m going to be OK. And like kind of swimming against the tide, because that’s how I lived my life. Somehow I woke up every morning and Stef was waking up every morning and going to work. He was a functional addict. And so we lived in this crazy world, you know, like just not knowing what was going to happen and having no control. So I’m taking back my life and it feels so good. And I thank Stefano, you know, and I thank God because I had to pray every day to get better and learn not to hate. I mean, I hated everything and everyone. I was not so much a blamer but I was so done. And when I shed all of that, I feel better. 


[31:28] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: In a way, the dads have calcified. But Doreen, she’s metamorphosized. 


[31:38] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Wow. It’s like becoming a butterfly or something, or being released from prison or, you know —


[31:44] Doreen Cordova: It’s definitely being released. It’s being released from my own negative thoughts against who I was. And I’m not pointing fingers or saying anything because we all are damaged from this. But people want to turn and look and say, why didn’t you know? Why didn’t you tell me? You know, we’re all looking at each other. You know, why didn’t you say that? Why didn’t you say this? We all knew. We all knew. And there was nothing we could do. We did every single thing we could do. We paid for intervention. We sent him away. We watched him go to intervention. We talked to him. We you know, we begged him. We tried not to talk to him. We gave him all of these guidelines, or set deadlines. So what are you going to do for yourself? Well, he knew we loved him. He loved us. But. But we were damaged. We were so, you know — it was just so hard and now only thing I could do for him, in honor of him, is to get better and live my best life for Jess, for my girls, for Eli. That’s all I have. And I want them to be proud that, you know, we did it together. And in honor of that, I just said that I have to do it. So, you know, I pinpointed all the things that hurt me, hurt me to do, you know, caused me such stress and procrastination. 


[33:28] Doreen Cordova: And I don’t want to live like that anymore. And so I told Jess and I told Eli for the first time in my whole life, I feel regular, just the word regular. Not euphoric, not — it’s just regular. I can sit down and watch TV and I think, oh, my God, I have five minutes where I don’t have to be stressed. I don’t have to worry about who’s calling and what’s going to be in the mail. And, you know, who’s going to e-mail me something terrible. It just feels good. You know, it just feels regular. 


[34:07] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: I relate to that so much. Oh, my gosh. Yes. It’s like that — I feel like when you have had severe trauma or you have PTSD and you’ve had been living with this, you know, stranglehold of anxiety, the feeling of regular is just the best. 


[34:28] Doreen Cordova: It’s it was like eating the best meal, winning the lottery, you know, having the best weather, sitting on a Hawaiian beach with 85 degrees and rainbows everywhere. That’s how it felt. Regular. And there was no other word that could describe it. And it feels good. And it feels good to take your power back and to say, no, I am not going to have toxic people in my life. No, that doesn’t feel right. So I’m not going to do it. I’m going to change the course of my life. I don’t want to visit that island. I want to I want to visit my home. And, you know, I want to just be sailing peacefully. You know, it’s just — that’s how it feels. And I didn’t have any of that before I listened to Last Day.


[35:24] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: Doreen did everything she was supposed to do. She went to Al-Anon for years. She was always there for her son, responding to every text, phone call and email with the grace and compassion that she was advised to show a person struggling with a disease. But through all of that, she always felt like shit. Because she was in this prison of trying to do the right thing. So it’s fascinating that in terms of her healing process, it took listening to her story reflected back to her and feeling sympathetic for the characters in that story, which just happened to be her and her family, to finally set her free. While Stefano Senior hasn’t discovered Doreen’s sense of freedom, he does feel very warm and fuzzy about his daughter and her podcast partner. Me, it’s it’s me. 


[36:25] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: You must be very proud of Jess. 


[36:27] Stefano Cordova Senior: I’m proud of both of you. No, it’s true. It’s true. You guys are so complimentary. What is my impact to humanity? That’s what I think you and Jessi have in common. You know, the death of your brothers is just a spark because it’s innate in you. Ok, how do I make humanity better? It’s not about me, it’s about everybody. That’s why I’m proud of you guys.


[36:58] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: So now that we have had this chance to look back at where we started, it’s time to look ahead to where we’re going. Up until this point, we have been exploring the opioid crisis through the lens of one person’s story. And that person was Stefano Cordova Junior. We started with him on his last day, and since then we have been zooming out and zooming out to see if his story could give us all of us any answers on how we’ve gotten here. And parts of it do and have been intensely eye opening. But we aren’t done because there are so many different stories yet to be told and heard. So that is our plan for part two of this season. To highlight more stories, more voices and more last days. And next week, more of you. 


[37:56] Caller: I think the holidays are hard for the same reason that they’re hard for everybody. The holidays put all this pressure on you to buy gifts and be happy with your family and happy with yourself and have fun and be joyous. And those demands are really hard on anybody. They’re really hard on you if you are trying to learn how to buy groceries for yourself for the first time, or just be ok alone with yourself in your house for an hour. That’s a tall order anytime of year, it’s especially a tall order when everything is holiday, holiday, holiday. Family, family, family. 


[38:40] Stephanie Wittels Wachs: That’s right. We are featuring our listener-submitted survival 

tips for the holiday season. So you definitely want to tune in next week because you are a human being and you need to survive the holidays. Last Day is a production of Lemonada Media. This episode was produced by Jackie Danziger, our series producer is Danielle Roth. Kegen Zema is our technical director. Jessica Cordova Kramer is our executive producer. And our music is by Hannis Brown. Special thanks to Westwood One, our ad sales and distribution partner. You can find us online at LemonadaMedia.com. And if you like what you heard today, you should tell your family and friends and neighbors and all the people you see in the world to listen and subscribe, rate and review us on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, wherever you happen to get your podcasts. And then check out our show notes for a deeper dive into what you’ve heard today and how to connect with our Last Day community of people who are marvelous and wonderful and incredible. I’m Stephanie Wittels Wachs. See you next week. 


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