Life Behind the Highlight Real

Ep 48: Conquering Addiction and Overcoming Abuse with Payton Barthel

November 14, 2022 Sarah Huffman & William Huffman Season 1 Episode 48
Ep 48: Conquering Addiction and Overcoming Abuse with Payton Barthel
Life Behind the Highlight Real
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Life Behind the Highlight Real
Ep 48: Conquering Addiction and Overcoming Abuse with Payton Barthel
Nov 14, 2022 Season 1 Episode 48
Sarah Huffman & William Huffman

We are hitting on some heavy life topics today with our friend, Payton Barthel. Payton tells her story of abuse, drug addiction, treatment, relapse, and meeting the love of her life. 

You've already been introduced to Payton's family. In episode 28, we interviewed her mom, Jamie, about teen pregnancy, and her love for Sonic Chili Cheese Dogs. And in episode 2 we interviewed her sister, Jorie. 

Both interviews can be found here:

But today, buckle up because Payton is going to take you on quite a ride. 

11:48 Smoking and drinking by age 11? 

12:47 Tried to kill herself with Benadryl

24:05 The story starts to plummet - Abusive relationship and rape. 

30:59 Emergency appendix surgery in England introduces opioid addiction. 

35:40 Cocaine comes into the picture. 

37:56 How she justified her drug use, and her college years. 

42:22 The professor noticed. 

51:08 The breaking point in college

1:02:33 Heading off to treatment

1:04:56 Post-treatment - Payton has a treatment boyfriend. The relapse begins. 

1:09:37 Paton overdoses again

1:15:09 She's either going to die or get clean

1:18:22 Back out to Colorado

1:29:07 Caleb enters the picture. Perfect timing. 

1:37:27 Clean and sober. Has she ever felt the desire to go back?

1:43:28 It's been a journey. But she's proud of herself. 

1:44:35 What to do if you think you're heading down Payton's path?

Catch up on past episodes of Life Behind the Highlight Real:

Show Notes Transcript

We are hitting on some heavy life topics today with our friend, Payton Barthel. Payton tells her story of abuse, drug addiction, treatment, relapse, and meeting the love of her life. 

You've already been introduced to Payton's family. In episode 28, we interviewed her mom, Jamie, about teen pregnancy, and her love for Sonic Chili Cheese Dogs. And in episode 2 we interviewed her sister, Jorie. 

Both interviews can be found here:

But today, buckle up because Payton is going to take you on quite a ride. 

11:48 Smoking and drinking by age 11? 

12:47 Tried to kill herself with Benadryl

24:05 The story starts to plummet - Abusive relationship and rape. 

30:59 Emergency appendix surgery in England introduces opioid addiction. 

35:40 Cocaine comes into the picture. 

37:56 How she justified her drug use, and her college years. 

42:22 The professor noticed. 

51:08 The breaking point in college

1:02:33 Heading off to treatment

1:04:56 Post-treatment - Payton has a treatment boyfriend. The relapse begins. 

1:09:37 Paton overdoses again

1:15:09 She's either going to die or get clean

1:18:22 Back out to Colorado

1:29:07 Caleb enters the picture. Perfect timing. 

1:37:27 Clean and sober. Has she ever felt the desire to go back?

1:43:28 It's been a journey. But she's proud of herself. 

1:44:35 What to do if you think you're heading down Payton's path?

Catch up on past episodes of Life Behind the Highlight Real:

William Huffman  0:00  
Hey everybody, William here and Sarah. And we just need to let you know that we are licensed real estate agents in the state of Minnesota with REMAX results a good life group. And that's our legal disclaimer. Everybody, William here and today we're talking with our friend Peyton and I just need to let you know that if you have small children listening, this might be one you just want to talk to him about maybe her you might want to listen to first. So but there's a fantastic journey we're going to take here, there is addiction. There's mental health, there's abuse. So thank you for sharing your story, Peyton. Welcome to

Accouncer  0:31  
Life behind the highlight reel. The podcast that takes things beyond the curing of life we all see online. Join host Sarah and William Huffman as they dive in with their friends to talk about the good and the hard things that come with a real, not perfect life behind the highlight reel.

William Huffman  0:48  
Everybody, William here and Sarah and Peyton. All right, well, alright, so where were you born? And where did you grow up?

Payton Barthel  0:56  
I was born in St. Louis Park at Methodist Hospital. Very nice. And then my mom and Larry lived in Brooklyn Park. I believe it was okay. And then when they got divorced, we moved out to Florida. And that is actually where I consider my home is Tampa is Tampa Bay. Yep. I'm sure my sister has said that before. We don't necessarily consider Minnesota. Our growing up place. Right. I'm so grew up down in Florida. I came back here. When my mom moved us back up here. And we moved

William Huffman  1:35  
well, well, whoa, whoa, whoa. See all of a sudden, how many years did you live in Florida? Oh, when did you? Were you when you move to Florida?

Payton Barthel  1:44  
Ask my mom.

William Huffman  1:45  
I'm asking you.

William Huffman  1:48  
Can I figure this shit out? Or we're not leaving? Um,

Payton Barthel  1:56  
I think it was when I was three.

William Huffman  1:58  
So young pup still Yeah,

Sarah Huffman  1:59  
very, very reason. Dates might not we

William Huffman  2:03  
have an idea three or four. Were there. Yeah, they're so then when when you get to Florida like what do you what's like one of the first things you remember down there?

Payton Barthel  2:12  
Private School?

Sarah Huffman  2:13  
Okay. Tell me about uniforms.

Payton Barthel  2:15  
Yeah, uniforms. And on Fridays, I refuse to wear my uniform. And I was often sent home every Friday. Usually, yeah. Why? Because I don't want to wear my uniform. But on Fridays specifically. I don't know. Friday. I'm sure we're gonna back I'm sure in my head. I was like, Ooh, long weekend. Yeah, yeah. No, but

William Huffman  2:36  
what at what age? Were you starting to become a little asshole?

Payton Barthel  2:40  
The day I was born. Okay. All right. That's fair. Sure. I would say the day I

William Huffman  2:44  
was yeah, yes. Okay. I'm gonna accept that answer. Yeah, yeah. No question. What

Sarah Huffman  2:49  
day did you become an asshole?

William Huffman  2:52  
It was dramatic. We're gonna Yeah, that's when I was born. I just assume everybody's my age. That's easier. Okay, so we're in Florida. We're at a private school. And were you there? Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  3:11  
I have no idea. Like, did you do middle

William Huffman  3:14  
school in Minnesota is a riveting interview. I'm so glad you know what?

Payton Barthel  3:17  
I did middle school in Minnesota. I went back home every summer to stay with my Antonis got it. Um, yeah. So I mean, if it was Middle School. Let's see my mom got married again when I was 10. So it was before then. Okay. Okay. Like 767 years? Yeah, I would say

William Huffman  3:36  
I think was there anything good that came out of Florida?

Payton Barthel  3:39  
Oh, my aunt Denise. Okay. Tell us about her. So her and my mom met down at the beach one night. That's her story to tell. And on Denise became quickly like a mother figure to us. Along with my mom, she helped. My mom raised us because she was a single mom. She was a police officer down on Fort Myers Beach. And so she's

William Huffman  4:03  
our conversation previously now was making way more sense. Yeah. Okay, keep keep going. Keep going.

Payton Barthel  4:08  
So she was a police officer down on the beach. She has always been like, my hero. Yeah. I love that woman.

William Huffman  4:17  
That's super cool. Yeah. Okay, so we'll get back to her.

Sarah Huffman  4:21  
We learned about Denise through, like through jewelry and through your mom and what a special person like she is. Yeah. And was Yeah. And I love the every time I hear her name, I literally am like, well, what if I fly? Like I think of that, like, quote, that seems to be very like relative to her. Yeah, that's, that's our family. Am I going too far? Well,

William Huffman  4:42  
no, no, that's fine. Okay. This is the third interview with your family. There's going to be some I mean, usually,

Sarah Huffman  4:52  
usually you're like slow down, or you're going to you

William Huffman  4:54  
know, it's okay. I mean, that like was a little foreshadowing. Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. All right. So You were being a rebel in elementary school because that's what we do, I guess. And then all of a sudden we come back to Minnesota and we're in middle school and we met this great Antonis down there. So what's going on now in middle school and where are you at up here?

Payton Barthel  5:15  
Um, we so we moved to Bloomington when we came back to Minnesota. My mom got married to a gentleman.

William Huffman  5:25  
Yeah, we can. It's cool. It's cool.

Payton Barthel  5:27  
Yeah, I will not name names. Um, and we moved out to Eden Prairie. And that is where I went to middle school. was out there. He had a son, who his son and I were two peas in a pod. We were very, very close. And, yeah, that's, I went to middle school. I

Sarah Huffman  5:49  
at Central Middle School. Yeah. So yeah.

William Huffman  5:53  
Okay, so what type what ages was that sixth, seventh, eighth, fifth, sixth, seventh, seventh, eighth.

Payton Barthel  5:58  
Central Middle School was I was there for seventh and then half of eighth. Because then they got divorced my mom and this person, and we moved back to Bloomington. So middle of eighth grade I moved to I don't remember that middle school there was called.

William Huffman  6:19  
Okay, so I just want to so I just want to keep this story straight. Because I think I know where this is going. But we'll just let the natural flow of things happen. So we're born

Sarah Huffman  6:30  
slowly, a lot of transition. Right. Right. Yeah.

William Huffman  6:32  
Right. And I just want to kind of so it's a web. Yeah, we're born and we're born in St. Louis Park. Yep. Life happens we end up down in Florida in the Tampa. All right. And then life happens. We come back to Bloomington to Bloomington. Life happens where in Eden Prairie. Yep. Life happens. We move back to Bloomington. Correct. We're all of 13 at this time.

Payton Barthel  6:58  
Correct. Okay. Wow, you nailed that. Yeah,

William Huffman  7:01  
I've heard the story before. Yeah. Okay. So 13 year old you a lot of stuff going on? What's going on in your world at that time?

Payton Barthel  7:14  
A lot of confusion. Being 13 As tough as is. I never want to be middle school. Yeah. Sucks. Oh my god. Yeah. Middle schoolers are evil man. And they're mean. Ah, yeah. So, um, a lot of confusion, a lot of trying to figure out what I was telling myself and what was true and what was not true. And that is really when I started

William Huffman  7:40  
to ask you a question. Yeah. What does that mean? Telling the is gonna go into Oh, you were so I decided to just totally stole your thunder there. Yeah, touchdown call.

Payton Barthel  7:51  
flag on the play.

Sarah Huffman  7:51  
Are you done? Okay, yeah.

Payton Barthel  7:56  
Um, so at that time, I really wanted a relationship with my father. And I wasn't understanding why wasn't getting that. So I had fed myself the story that you're obviously not worthy of having having that relationship. And with that, the gentleman that was my stepfather at the time was not very nice. And so that just really amplified that voice of you're not worthy. You don't deserve to have healthy relationships. This is what who men are. All men are like this. And this is what's acceptable. And I clearly remember taking like, a handful Benadryl, because I was like, it's not worth it. You're not worthy, you need to feel some other way. So at 11 years old, is when I started drinking, I remember like going and stealing a cigarette from my mom's pack of cigarettes when she did smoke. And just trying to feel something else other than when I was feeling because it was like I you know, you have friends that are like, Oh, you're amazing. I love you. You know, you deserve the world. And, you know, I had a mom who was also like, you deserve you. Anything you put your mind to you can do. Don't let people tell you, you can't. And for some reason, I couldn't listen to that. It was not something that was going to be a part of me. Yeah. And that is just how I identified was, this is who I am. I'm not worth being loved. I am stupid for ABC. And so yeah, that's what I found myself from a very young age starting at like 11

Sarah Huffman  10:00  
Because at that point, did you because when you have that many transitions in life, is it hard to like connect with friends? Is it hard to connect with? Like, like plant roots anywhere?

Payton Barthel  10:10  
I think during the time that I didn't have like, the coping skills to recognize that, looking back, yes, I would say, it was very hard to allow people in and trust me, and for me to trust other people, because I was going to be gone. Yeah, in two years. Like, what's the point? Yeah, um, and that is to no fault of anybody, like, in no way shape or form? Did my mom want that for me, you know, she did everything she could possibly do with all the resources, she had to give me the life that she knew I deserved. And that's still to this day. So I really, it was just the the cards that we were dealt, like, I hate that saying, because like, everybody's dealt different cards. But those were the cards that we were adopted, and that's what we had to deal with. But no matter what, like it was always me my mom and my sister. I'm sure you guys have heard that. Oh, yeah. It was always us, like we always had each other didn't matter what came our way. We always had each other. And my us three, we can yell and scream at each other. But before we walk out a door, we're gonna tell each other that we love each other. You know, we're gonna put it to rest. That's just how, how we've always been as a unit.

William Huffman  11:35  
Alright, so I want to any point in time needed somebody to pound sand, but I'll just, I'll just keep asking questions. Did you?

Sarah Huffman  11:42  
Well, that wasn't for me. This is going

Payton Barthel  11:46  
this was rehearse. Yeah.

William Huffman  11:48  
Okay. How do I just just take How do I take Sarah out of this? Alright, so at 11 You started consuming alcohol? Yeah, I'm stealing cigarettes. Like I'd say relatively common things for teenagers to do. Yeah. Not necessarily. 11 year olds. Correct. And then, you know, when you say took a handful of Benadryl, were you trying to commit suicide? Yeah. At the age of 13.

Payton Barthel  12:17  
That was before 13. Okay, that was like 1112. Yeah. Okay.

William Huffman  12:21  
Um, what was the risk family response to that?

Payton Barthel  12:24  
They'd never knew. Okay. Yeah. I don't even remember if I told my mom that and therapy so surprised, mom. I'm sorry.

William Huffman  12:33  
I don't want to be around when she listens to this. I'm busy. I don't know. Yeah. Your mother. She

Payton Barthel  12:38  
my mom knows that story. Yeah, um, I have been very honest with my mom ever since I got clean clean. There's no point to hide anything.

William Huffman  12:47  
So. So took some Benadryl with with the intent of killing yourself. Thankfully, that obviously didn't happen. When you woke up from that experience, what? What was going through your head?

Payton Barthel  13:05  
I actually remember it was a cold day, and I had missed the bus to school. And I called my mom and she was like, Well, you better get walking. So I walked to school and the whole way to school I just kept feeding that information myself of this is dumb. I don't know why you're still here.

William Huffman  13:23  
The self doubt the self hate this Yes. And worth it. Whatever. Whatever was going through your head at that time. You kept playing that over and over and over as you're walking to school after you just tried to end your life. Yep. And your mom said she didn't know obviously. But she's

Payton Barthel  13:39  
like, No idea. But your I just thought I slept dead. Yeah, like I was being

William Huffman  13:44  
your mom be like, Get the eff up and start walking. Right? Yeah, that's totally your mom. That's awesome. Okay, so you get to school that day. It does.

Payton Barthel  13:56  
Do you tell anybody? No.

William Huffman  13:59  
Do you just you just life continues at that point. I've

Payton Barthel  14:02  
continued. Okay.

William Huffman  14:05  
We're 11 or 12. And what's the next thing that was kind of a big moment for you? Like, was it much longer? Not much longer?

Payton Barthel  14:18  
I would say the next like, huge memory I have was my mom and I were driving home. She was still married at this point. We were driving home.

William Huffman  14:30  
And that was a horrible situation. Correct. Okay. Yeah. Cool. Cool.

Payton Barthel  14:36  
Cool. Yeah. And, you know, it's, all of us have our own stories. And in no way shape or form. Do I want to impose someone use character?

William Huffman  14:49  
Yeah. Yeah, it's all good.

Payton Barthel  14:53  
So I remember driving home from I don't remember what event we were at, but I looked at my mom And I said, I'm done. I'm not going home. And that night she told that man that she wanted a divorce. And it was the happiest day of my life. At that moment.

William Huffman  15:15  
All right. Yeah. So where did you go?

Payton Barthel  15:16  
We went to. I call her Aunt Sue. She's she's just another one of my female supports at the time. Yeah. So we went over to her house. My mom and I literally packed up her Pontiac G five, two door and listen to the song that had that verse in it like a GC. Yeah. And I had a basset hound at the time, her name was Molly. And she, like, had her head out the window. I had like, all this crap on me in the front seat, because we were just trying to get out. It's possible. And so we went to answer his house and Aunt Sue welcomed us with open arms. And we lived there until my mom could get back up on her feet and get her own place.

William Huffman  16:10  
Okay, so everything's great for the rest of your life since then.

Payton Barthel  16:14  
Oh, you're peachy keen. Yeah. Rainbow we can leave not

Sarah Huffman  16:17  
cast over. Yeah. Over.

William Huffman  16:20  
Over. Yeah. Okay. So no, it's now. Okay. So.

Sarah Huffman  16:25  
And so at this point, when you're in with Aunt Sue, it's you and your mom and his jury at this point with?

Payton Barthel  16:31  
She's with my dad. Okay, because she's been with my dad. Or our dad, I should say. Since she was six t, okay. Yeah. So she moved out. She was not having the significant others.

William Huffman  16:45  
But she was also a little bit older. Yeah, cuz she's four years older, six, six years older. Okay, so they're so she's 16 You're 10? Yeah.

Payton Barthel  16:55  
Okay. She like moved out when they got married. She just, I mean, kudos to her.

William Huffman  17:00  
Yeah. Okay. All right.

Sarah Huffman  17:02  
So it just it's already like so heavy. Like just says like someone that knows you now. To even just know this like little piece of the pie. Yeah. Of like your life. And,

William Huffman  17:14  
and you're 27 Yeah, I'm

Payton Barthel  17:16  

William Huffman  17:17  
Yeah. See, I just assumed you were older because you're just a very responsible person that I know. Yeah. Like you carry yourself very differently than a 27 year old.

Payton Barthel  17:26  
It's not unusual that people Yeah. Oh my gosh, she's

William Huffman  17:28  
like, 53 I really will. I'm doing really well. Today. It's terrible. I

Payton Barthel  17:33  
sometimes I feel like my joints are 53 Yeah.

William Huffman  17:37  
Yeah. I don't know how I ever landed you. Okay. You're

Sarah Huffman  17:42  
on Sue lives in Bloomington? Yeah, she does. Okay, so that's how you get back to Bloomington. Yeah, it's all makes sense now.

William Huffman  17:47  
Yep. All right. So now we're living there. And

Sarah Huffman  17:51  
I mean, attempting Middle School, like halfway through eighth grade.

Payton Barthel  17:55  
Yeah. And the girls there were just so kind. Yeah. I mean,

William Huffman  17:59  
they're your bestest friends ever. To this day now. Yeah. Okay, so walk us through that. I mean, we're literally 1314 years old now. We've already had a shit ton of shit. And what's going on? No.

Payton Barthel  18:14  
So I was 13. And I remember trying so hard to make friends at the new middle school. I was like, this is a fresh start. I can be whoever I want to be in that field. Because in my mind, you know, my sister went to Bloomington and she was a cheerleader. Very well liked. And I just, I wanted to be that. And at the time, I did whatever I had to do to be that. So I joined the cheer team. Not well equipped for that at all. That's, there's authority there. And at the time, I was like, I just got out of right. This is not where I'm trying to be good luck busters. Yeah. So I was not friends with those girls. But I did meet some pretty great friends who I still do consider friends. So that's awesome. That's great. They have been with me my whole journey. They have never turned a cheek to me. They have always supported me. And so I was in with like the misfits. Oh, yeah. And, but they were the best. I mean, they were awesome. So I made friends with them. Freshman year of high school. I was still in Bloomington. And my mom met my dad.

Sarah Huffman  19:47  
Gosh, that's so wild to hear. Like, how old you were? Yeah. Through the story of Noah Jory was yeah, when you think about that when you're a freshman. Yeah, like Yeah, he is your

Payton Barthel  19:57  
He's my dad. He's your dad. Yeah, and Y'all hear me later on in the story reverend's other people's mom and dad. We'll get to that. But I am very grateful to have multiple sets of parents at the time as a teenager. I was like, this sucks. Yeah. But yeah.

William Huffman  20:14  
Alright, so in school. How are we doing grade wise?

Payton Barthel  20:19  
I'm just curious. I mean, I was happy if I got a C minus. Okay. Yeah. Hey,

William Huffman  20:23  
that's better. What I did is I mean, good. Cool. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  20:26  
Like I showed up. Yeah, a C's get degrees. Yeah, there we go. Um, so I had higher expectations being held for me. My sister and my mom are very smart people. And academically, I was just not performing.

Sarah Huffman  20:44  
Well, you probably didn't care.

William Huffman  20:45  
I did not know. I was You're smart.

Sarah Huffman  20:48  
I it's just you didn't care.

Payton Barthel  20:50  
The books. I'm just like, No, I don't need to learn Greek mythology. Thank you, though. Yeah. Is not going to be something I started.

Sarah Huffman  21:00  
This is a really good one. Only because you went to a brewery? Yeah. And read the story of Sisyphus. Yeah,

William Huffman  21:06  
it's okay. It's

Sarah Huffman  21:09  
a Greek god. Well, okay,

William Huffman  21:12  
all right. Cool. All right. You know, this, this derailed. Um, so we're freshmen. We're going to Bloomington Bloomington gym advisors. Is that in Jefferson? It is all right. Me, Tim. Now everything's happily ever after. Right? No. Okay, cool. Moving on. Well, yeah.

Payton Barthel  21:37  
God bless my dad. He had before he met my mom. He had never dated anybody with kids. He had never been married to anybody with kids. Seriously, it was his first kid. He came into you and Jory at 13 and 19. Here, do ya? And he's still our best. But damn, yeah. He came in to me at 13 years old. And he obviously wasn't squared away still here. Yeah. But and in Georgia, he did everything she could to really make him try to run. He passed every test. And I remember there was one night I was having just a complete mental breakdown. I had lost it. I was I was done. I made sure everybody knew I was done. My mom called 911 as you should have. They came. And by the next night, my dad had found me a therapist.

William Huffman  22:39  
When you say to God, as in you, were going to try and kill yourself again. Yep.

Payton Barthel  22:43  
Yep. I was. Yeah, I was back in that mental state. And so by the next, like I said, the next day, my dad had found not a therapist, a list of therapists for my mom to cross reference, and do her due diligence. And I know these

William Huffman  23:03  
people I know, just a list.

Payton Barthel  23:07  
It was a spreadsheet. It was a spreadsheet with what insurance they accept what the copay would be their hours, and then your

William Huffman  23:15  
mom was like, no, yes. No. Yes. Three. Can't you okay? Yes.

Payton Barthel  23:18  
Okay. And I was a match.

William Huffman  23:22  
You know, exactly. We know that. We know that. Yeah. They just

Payton Barthel  23:25  
are very type A, they Oh,

Sarah Huffman  23:29  
we need all of them. Yeah.

William Huffman  23:32  
Season that this profile is amazing.

Payton Barthel  23:34  
Yeah. Um, so I was matched with a beautiful human being of a therapist. Janet was her name. And she was with me up until I was 17 years old. So three, four years, four years, okay. I would go see her weekly. She really helped me kind of work through things up until I stopped being honest with her, which was when I was 16.

William Huffman  24:02  
So what happened there?

Payton Barthel  24:05  
I had gotten into a relationship, and it was abusive. And I was scared to tell anybody. This particular person threatened to kill my cat, kill my mom, kill my friends.

Sarah Huffman  24:18  
And were you the same age? Or was he older?

Payton Barthel  24:20  
He was older. Yep. He was three years older. And my mom had a very, very, very strict role when I was a teenager, that I was not allowed to date anybody more than two years older than I was, and at the time, I was like, That makes no sense. That's a dumb rule. Looking back, it's because there's something wrong there. Yeah. In my opinion, let me preface with that when you're a teenager, so

William Huffman  24:50  
we all make perfectly sound and logical decisions when we're young. We are not

Payton Barthel  24:54  
easily manipulated. No, no, we're shaped or formed. Yes. Um, And so that relationship was abusive. He did rape me. So I'm gonna put a blanket trigger warning out for anybody listening to this. This is where my story plummets. So that happened, and I was terrified to tell anybody. I had a best friend at the time. Who knew that something was up. She didn't know the whole story of what was going on. But she was like, You need to end it, you need to get out. And so she I was like, You're right. I do some like, miracle happened in my brain. And she hid in my trunk of my car, while I with my back seats down, and we covered her up with like a blanket, so he couldn't see her there. But just to make sure I was safe while I was breaking up with him.

William Huffman  25:58  
So Wow. Okay. Okay, how old are we at this point?

Payton Barthel  26:06  
16. Okay, it was right before my 17th birthday.

William Huffman  26:09  
All right. Um, so then the therapist isn't hearing about this stuff.

Payton Barthel  26:16  
No, I didn't tell anybody. Okay, until I told her. Janet. Janet. Yep.

William Huffman  26:22  
So the we end this toxic relationship? Yep. You've you've had a lot of experience with these for being a young person at

Payton Barthel  26:35  
the time. Like, I thought that was normal. Like, I thought that was a healthy relationship. Because that's all I had experienced. I mean, my dad was such an oddball. Like, when I was younger, he'll tell you, I used to call him a goof. Like, he was just, it was weird to me how he like was so nice. So nice to my mom. made sure we had everything. Like that was weird,

William Huffman  27:02  
right? No,

Sarah Huffman  27:04  
he's gonna flip like the other shoe conundrum. Yeah. Right. Because this isn't real.

William Huffman  27:09  
Yeah. And reeled in Yeah. Now we're going to be destroyed. Yes.

Payton Barthel  27:13  
Yep. Yeah. So that relationship that I was in was completely normal to me. Like it was that was.

William Huffman  27:24  
That was you're just mirroring and modeling. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  27:28  
Well, I'm really thinking to it like with Janet, like, you are with Janet. For what? Four years? Yeah. That's, besides your mom and your sister. Your longest like, safe relationship? Correct?

William Huffman  27:40  
Yeah. All right. There's a lot going on right now in your life. So how do we keep going forward?

Payton Barthel  27:49  
I don't. Okay, like I honestly, I don't know how I kept pushing through. You know what I do know I I had made friends senior year. Specifically, there was one gentleman who became like my safe garden. He is an amazing person in and out he is with the Navy right now. doing his thing. Like, he's just fabulous. But my mom was like, in love with. She was like, planning our wedding before. So I started connecting with you know, those healthier people. But then that got scary for me. Because healthy equals scary. So I decided to end friendships with those people. And logical a sabotage it. Yeah. Which this individual he knew exactly what I was doing. Like he's, he's very smart. He's like, No, I know you what you're up to you're sabotaging lis. But I didn't give him a chance. I was like, No, I'm, I'm good. Thank you for the generosity, but I'm gonna go. Yeah, do other stuff. Let me backtrack a little bit at 16 1516. I started getting into, like Adderall. That kind of parity seen more pills. I had had my appendix out over in England, and was blessed with a nice full script of

Sarah Huffman  29:30  
violin. Wait a minute. You were in England?

Payton Barthel  29:34  
I was Yeah. Oh, my mom didn't say this. Oh, yeah. So I was in England with my mom and my dad, because my dad's from England. Tim is from Yeah, okay. Yeah. And not know that. Yeah, I didn't either. Yes. All his family lives over there. And so they had gotten married here in the US, but then later that year, we were going to travel over there so they could have a wedding over there. Yeah. And the plane landed And I was like, I just don't feel right. And then the next day like, it shit went everywhere like it was. I was so sick. and European hospitals are

Sarah Huffman  30:12  
like, No.

Payton Barthel  30:16  
And it was really

Sarah Huffman  30:18  
bad. Of course you had your appendix out in England. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  30:20  
Yep. I call him Dr. Pepe Le Pew. He came in with a shirt button. And just like chest hair spewing out he had two beautiful nurses with him. While in the ER, I had an individual who was suffering, she was drunk and having a schizophrenic episode. She flew through the curtain dividing our room on my bed. So

Sarah Huffman  30:51  
hashtag anything is possible.

William Huffman  30:55  
Anything is yes. You too, can have a really messed up experience.

Sarah Huffman  30:59  
Okay, so you have your appendix out in

Payton Barthel  31:01  
England. Yeah, it was an emergency surgery. Yep, I got it. I missed that wedding. Because I was in the hospital. And I flew home and

Sarah Huffman  31:15  
with your mom and Tim. Yeah, okay. Yeah, you're still all kind of together. They just left you for a little bit to go get married?

Payton Barthel  31:21  
Yeah. Oh, yeah. No, she, she had my dad came to hospital every day and made sure that I was fine. And then my mom's assistant at the time her name was Tilly. She also lived over in England. And she was like my care provider.

Sarah Huffman  31:35  
Wow. Okay, so then they they write you a nice, nice, healthy script. Yeah. of Vikon. Yeah. Because it's not monitored probably in England the way it is here. Well,

Payton Barthel  31:47  
even Thai Yeah, that time. The I mean, I could go on a tangent. Yeah, the

William Huffman  31:53  
opiate industry. We can't even go down that road. We've watched a documentary on it. It's we don't have enough time.

Payton Barthel  31:59  
Yeah. They weren't monitoring No. And nice, in my opinion. Still need to do but absolutely. Um, but yeah, there was no legal log, or anything around it. Yeah. So.

Sarah Huffman  32:16  
So as a kid, how do you know? Because at this point, are you already abusing Adderall? Yeah. And other things. So you know, like, this is, in essence, like gold?

Payton Barthel  32:25  
Yeah, it's gonna make me feel different. Like, I know that. And I have had a lot of surgeries in my life for how young I am. A lot of oral surgeries because I teeth growing through like the roof of my mouth. So at a young age, I did learn like you take this, you feel better. That's how it was associated? Yep. Yeah. Okay.

William Huffman  32:51  
We're senior year, the good people in your life, you kick out. You know, quote, unquote, hanging out with the misfits. Nothing wrong with that. graduate high school, what's going on in your world, then?

Payton Barthel  33:07  
Oh, boy. So senior year of high school. I started dating somebody, him and I dated for a while. And he, up until I was honest with him, when I got clean, he had no idea what I was doing. I was very good at like feeding a story that I knew needed to happen in order to keep something that I wanted. So he had no idea what I was doing. He actually the summer before we went to college, he was going out to Colorado. I was staying in Minnesota going down Winona, we had had the classic conversation of like, what are we doing? And he was like, well, let's just try it out. And I agreed. He before he moved out to Colorado, he actually moved in to my mom's house with us. He stayed in the bedroom right next to my parents. And I stayed down in the basement. So we were separated. But yeah, we and then I went to college, I went down to Winona State and during my senior year of high school, I had known people that were down at Winona State. So I convinced my mom that I should go down there some weekends just to make friends. Learn the atmosphere, really get to know people maybe attend some classes with my friend course. So and she was like, Yeah, that's a great idea. You know, get fully immersed in it because you know, you're gonna be college. This is college, you're gonna be a doctor one day because I truly was like, I'm gonna be a doctor. And I want the professors you know who I am before I even have the class. And she bought it. She ate it up. And so I went down there attended zero classes. A drink all weekend. I got to know where I fit in. Yeah. Um, and so the people that were down there knew me like I was I was their friend. So freshman year going into college, I had already had a set group of friends. Like, it wasn't hard for me. They knew who I was, I knew what I was doing.

William Huffman  35:21  
And when you say what you were doing, what does that mean?

Payton Barthel  35:24  
drinking and having extracurricular activities,

William Huffman  35:28  
such as drugs? Okay. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  35:31  
At that time, I had gotten into Coke. Okay.

William Huffman  35:35  
We're not talking about weed here, right? We're okay. Just want to make sure.

Payton Barthel  35:40  
No, I'm not just talking about weed. Okay. Um, I am pro advocate for Wall Street. It's a plant, the marijuana. Um, so I had gotten into cocaine. And when I was down there, I was open to trying anything and everything. My three that because like, you know, during health class, they show you the drug addicts, right. And like, they're like the people with the sores on their faces on stuff. And so I associated meth heroin and crack with those. And those were three that I would never touch because I didn't want to be a drug addict.

William Huffman  36:18  
Oh, okay. The logic is sound. Yep. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  36:21  
Okay, so when you first try drugs, like hard drugs,

William Huffman  36:24  
harder drugs. I would argue she already had when she was doing opiates. Yeah, yeah.

Sarah Huffman  36:32  
Okay. Scheduled drugs. Yeah. Like, what? What is going on in your mind? Like, are you like, oh, I shouldn't do this. Or oh, hell, like, let's go.

Payton Barthel  36:43  
Oh, it was let's go. Okay. Yeah, it was let's go. In my mom's eyes, I could do nothing wrong. And in my sister's eyes, she knew everything I was doing to a tee. Like, and she tried telling my mom and my mom was like, Oh, my Peyton would never do that. Like I had. My mom's so tightly wrapped around my finger. I could do no wrong. Period. So I got away with a lot. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  37:16  
And at this point, are you enjoy close? Or you'll Jory? Like? Like,

Payton Barthel  37:21  
I mean, I was I was 16 1718. Yeah. And so like, 25.

Sarah Huffman  37:26  
Yeah. So yeah. Like,

William Huffman  37:29  
she didn't know everything. We both

Payton Barthel  37:30  
know everything. Yeah. She wanted nothing to do with me. I wanted nothing to do with her. It was a mutual understanding.

William Huffman  37:36  
And neither of you are stubborn. No, no, you're both very open minded and very linked to this.

Sarah Huffman  37:43  
Embrace. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  37:45  
Go into every situation

William Huffman  37:46  
with an open heart. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  37:51  
No, no, no. Okay. So

Sarah Huffman  37:54  
you are like, doing the activities? Yeah.

Payton Barthel  37:56  
So I'm doing me. I have constructed who I am going to be in my life. As long as I didn't have sores on my face. I'm good. You weren't a drug addicts. I'm not drugs. And so I was in college. I was dropping classes left and right, because they were too challenging their ATM. I had plans the night before that into, like, interfere interfered with that 8am class. And my mom didn't know about it. I was just like, Yeah, I'm at class. It's going great. College is awesome.

Sarah Huffman  38:34  
Which to a mom, at that point. They're probably like, I'm so glad. Yeah. My baby girl she's doing so

Payton Barthel  38:40  
well. Yeah, yeah. And

Sarah Huffman  38:42  
then winter. She know at this point, sorry. But it asked him a question. At this point. Does she know about the other things like the Adderall or any of that? No, no. So she knows nothing. So you've

William Huffman  38:53  
been hiding this for years yet? It's very, like you think your Rico Suave at this shit? Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  38:59  
I mean, I could get away with the biggest bank robbery in the world at this point, right. Um, how do

Sarah Huffman  39:05  
you afford it?

Payton Barthel  39:06  
I would call for cash. Like, call my parents. Like, Hey, can I have 20 bucks to get pizza with my friends? My dad, I think I would call him every weekend. Yeah. I mean, it was

Sarah Huffman  39:23  
easy. Yeah. Easy.

Payton Barthel  39:25  
I worked. Two, I worked at a bar. So it was pretty easy getting my hands on that. Mainly with the drugs. I'll be honest, I didn't pay for a lot of my drugs. Okay. I never like sold my body or anything like that. But I would have relationships with people that I knew had the drugs. Yep. So it was pretty easy. I mean, your girlfriend of somebody or, you know, a fling with somebody. It's pretty easy to get your hands on it. And then my mom cut me off.

William Huffman  39:59  
Oh, Oh, yeah. Why?

Payton Barthel  40:02  
Because I went through 2500 bucks in a week and a half. Okay, so in her mind, something's started adding something was off page and was partying too much. There was a couple instances, I did call her drunk. So something clicked on her brain of like, something's off here. I'm not sure what it is, but no more money. So then I leaned into my father, Larry, and started calling him for money for booze. And so it just, I always had a plan of like, how I'm gonna get it, what I'm going to do who I'm going to call the story, I'll tell ya, I have like a rotation, almost of people. And so that's what I did. And then I went home for winter break. My boyfriend came home from Colorado, to spend winter break with us, and everything was fine. And then he got a phone call that his grandpa died the day before Christmas, I believe it was. And so we went down to be with his mom and family and stuff like that. And my mom had texted me saying, Send me your transcripts. For this past semester, I want to make sure that everything is fine. Mom, Everything's fine. Everything's fine. I don't, I don't have access to those right now. I don't know my password. I don't. I don't know how to download it. I'll show you when I get home. I just every roadblock that I could get in there. And eventually, I did send them to her. And there was no more discussion about it. There was a few C's on there. I don't think she knew what w meant. There was a lot. Yeah. We never talked about it again. And so winter break goes by my boyfriend goes back to Colorado, I go back down to Winona, I decided that I was going to take all night classes because then that way, it's once a week for three hours. And you don't have to wake up in the morning. Like you can go out after class you can drink in class. And I decided that I was interested in sociology. So I took two sociology classes, and it was about the same professor she was amazing. And I will never forget. It was St. Patty's Day. And what two college kids do on St. Patty's Day, right does get hammered. They get hammered. So I had, you know, had some had some fun earlier in the day. And I figured if I sit front row of her class, she'll never know. So I sat in the front row. And I had a Gatorade bottle, and a SpongeBob water bottle with vodka on it. And I

Sarah Huffman  43:01  
just transferred one from the other

Payton Barthel  43:02  
transferred one to the other. And she noticed, oh, did she notice? And I'll never forget, instead of asking me or kicking me out of her class, she instead of saying, you know, why are you doing this? Why do you think this is okay? She simply asked the question, what is going on? What is going on? And she was an amazing one she's passed right now. And she wrote me, this is jumping forward. But all rewind, I promise. She wrote me while I was in treatment, somebody cards every week, you know, in her and I stayed in touch. Just make sure everything was okay.

Sarah Huffman  43:51  
So she liked the first adult that's ever called you out.

Payton Barthel  43:56  
Well, let me backtrack. There was one weekend I was home and my purse was upstairs. And it was zipped. And I know it was up to because I always made sure my purse was not easily.

Sarah Huffman  44:15  
Like you couldn't like sneak in there. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  44:17  
Um, and it magically you guys magically fell off the kitchen counter unzipped itself. And my weed fell out.

William Huffman  44:30  
So that was awkward.

Payton Barthel  44:34  
Yeah, how'd that go? I was sleeping and woken up by my mother. And so she at that point, knew something was up.

Sarah Huffman  44:46  
Was it before Christmas break? No, this

Payton Barthel  44:48  
was after. There's after? Yep. This was right before. I believe it was called Venetia down in Iowa State. They had like a yearly party that they threw which As a college I'm just like, why would you throw a weekend long party?

William Huffman  45:05  
For kids already? For? Yeah. Yeah, that Yeah. They don't need a reason. We don't need a reason at that age to not stupid stuff.

Payton Barthel  45:11  
Yeah, they go okay. But yeah, it was before that. So she had threatened to start drug testing me because I had her card on at college. So at that point, it was like, she went to the extreme, and her extreme was correct. And so she said, You know, I'm going to start drug testing you, you are going you know, you were not going to drive the car, you just you drive to school, you park it and pyramids it and that's it. And in my mind, I was like, this girl has a GPS on this car. She's gonna know if I take it. I was terrified. And so I did do kind of shaping up my act for a little bit there because I was scared. My mom was gonna drug test me. And I had a spring break trip planned to go see my boyfriend in Colorado. Like, I'm not gonna ruin that. Yeah, my 18 and I can't get grounded. Sure, but like, It's my mom. She's gonna grow on me. You know? Like, for those listening, if you know my mom, like, I'm 27 and she would probably still grow on me.

William Huffman  46:15  
I'm surprised she just didn't physically beat your ass.

Payton Barthel  46:18  
We got a couple.

Sarah Huffman  46:20  
We did. I believe that maybe that's not yet yet. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  46:23  
No, that was that was in high school. My senior year, we did get a couple physical altercations kind of backtracking. And that was before she knew about any abuse. So I was just angry. You know, I don't know. But fast back, back for it, my purse magically falling on the floor and unzipping itself. Which my dad totally unzipped and I know it. That's okay.

William Huffman  46:50  
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it needed to happen. It's in their house,

Payton Barthel  46:54  
you know, um, and, and so, I was scared, I was scared. And that is when I really learned that I can't control this anymore. I'm in trouble. We had gotten in a fight in my mom and I did. And she was like, you know, you're just like your father. And that was something I was like, Don't ever freakin say that to me again. Yeah. Um, and because that was one person I promised myself I would never become. But I, I knew I was in trouble. And my sister knew, I was in trouble. She knew something was up. And she tried telling my mom and she tried, you know, calling me out on it in front of family. And I was like, Dude, I was just out with friends last night. Like, I'm just tired. That's why I look like this. I was a whopping 105 pounds. Like,

William Huffman  47:57  
you're strung out constantly. Yeah. Amy. Between

Payton Barthel  48:01  
the drugs, the eating disorders, the drinking. I mean, there was there was nothing to me anymore. Like, I look back on pictures now and I'm just like, how, how did we let this happen? Like, I looked in the mirror and I was like, 10 out of 10 No, I was I was tiny. And all the females in our family our muscular build, I mean, we oh, yeah, we are muscle people. In and I was gone. I was

Sarah Huffman  48:33  
deteriorating. When did the eating disorder start with all of this

Payton Barthel  48:37  
that started when I was 14. Okay, yep. It started with bulimia because I liked food too much to be like, I'm not going to eat. But I don't like it enough to like not regurgitate, I guess. And then

William Huffman  48:54  
for people who don't know Bulimia is when you consume the food and you make yourself throw it

Payton Barthel  48:58  
up? Correct? Yep. So it's commonly met with binging and purging. So binging you eat a ton of food for days in a row, and then you purge it. And then that was met with anorexia. So

William Huffman  49:16  
then you went the exact opposite exact opposite yourself.

Payton Barthel  49:18  
Don't eat. You know, don't put anything in your body. And I was a competitive cheerleader at this time in high school, too. So it was like, the smaller I could be the better and, and that is so misinformed, like, you don't need to be small. You don't need to shrink yourself. I'm a big advocate for that now. But yeah, so I went to the exact opposite. And started starving myself and my mom could tell. She knew that when I would come up for dinner and just pour myself a cup of coffee and eat an apple. Well, the coffee was so it went straight through me in the apple, you know, so I could get some sugar and not pass out But that was my day to day life. You know, don't eat, tell yourself fat. Take some drugs. Go to bed. Wake up, do it all over again. Um, so yeah, going back to spring break I had that spring break trip planned with you know, go see my boyfriend I didn't want to miss that. So I that's when it hit me. You literally are constantly thinking about this, but you can't stop it in college I was in a really dark place. I would sleep all day. I actually hung up a blanket on my windows so no light could get through. I just like I was in a hole. You know, I was there's, you can't dig yourself out was too late.

William Huffman  50:58  
So how'd you get out?

Payton Barthel  51:00  
Do you want me to skip all the way to that? No. Okay.

William Huffman  51:03  
Just curious.

Payton Barthel  51:04  
How did I get out? Yeah, I overdosed. Okay. I'll get into it. So I in college, I remember drinking like, bottles of Nyquil. And just, I had no relationship with a God at that point. I mean, I grew up and like new. Sure there's a God up there. I don't know. But I was like, just take me home. I'm done. Just please don't let me wake up tomorrow. Please don't let me wake up tomorrow. Every freaking morning. I woke up every morning. And I was so angry. And I just kept doing more and more again and more. So at some point, there's got to be a breaking point, you know? So I go down to Venetia down at Iowa State. I see my friends that are down there. I have a hell of a weekend. My boyfriend and I at the time gotten a massive fight. I said some nasty shit. We had taken a break during college at some point. And I was sleeping with other people. But he wasn't allowed to. And then I found out he did. And that was like, earth shattering. You know? How could you ever do this to me? You know, I never betray you. I never do anything wrong to just the victim, gaslighting and just being so unhealthy. And so I remember leaving Venetia, I had to go home that that weekend. I don't remember for what, but I went home that weekend. And in the beginning, I told you guys, you know, my mom, sister and I will get in a fight. But before we leave a room, we tell each other we love each other, give a hug. You know, I'll see you later. And so I went home that weekend, and my sister was at my mom's house for some reason what Tatum was like

Sarah Huffman  52:58  
and, and Tatum must have been little and Tatum was

William Huffman  53:00  
very, very baby at this time. Very, very baby,

Payton Barthel  53:03  
like newborn. It was she was just born actually. Um, and my boyfriend and I had broken up at that time. So that's, you know, I just wanted to be home and it was a Monday morning. I woke up and that whole weekend, my family didn't know that was gonna be my last week.

Payton Barthel  53:30  
So that's why I went home. It was gonna be my last weekend with them. And I wanted to make good memories. My mom and I went to the farmers market. We got flowers. You know, my sister and I hung out. And Monday morning I woke up and I thought nobody was home. So I was like, great. I can just go back down to school and I don't have to do this goodbye shit, you know. And my sister was all that was like, dammit. And so I walked up the stairs. I packed up my stuff. And I didn't say goodbye. And that flew my sister off the rails. Like all of her bells started going red flakes are up. You know? I don't never not say goodbye. I mean, I could be like walking to the mailbox. Goodbye. I'll see you later.

William Huffman  54:28  
Back literally I'm right. I'm right there.

Payton Barthel  54:33  
Like Caleb will be pulling in the driveway will be on the phone. I'll be like okay, I love you. Goodbye. And you see him I see him five seconds later. Yeah, um, so I don't never not take advice so I was I got out of there quick. I did not say goodbye did not kiss my nice goodbye. I just laughed. Yeah. And that was got that was April 15. So then April 16 came. It was tipsy Tuesday, and I went out with friends. And like I said, I had my plan, right? You had you knew what you were going to do. I was gonna get drunk, so I had the enough balls to swallow all my pills. That was my plan. And so I went out with my friends, but I had a final that I needed to attend that Tuesday night. So I left the party got off the shuttle, my friend, Derek met me off the shuttle carried me to class, I took the final and I went back out. Time my priorities straight.

William Huffman  55:44  
I don't understand that. But that's okay. Obviously, we're in a different mindset at this point in time.

Payton Barthel  55:50  
I think it was, you know, I wanted to meet the expectations of my mom's academic wise, and not taking a final like, that's just a straight fail. So I had to take the final like, I couldn't get myself to not take the final. So I took the final Failed final. Um, but you took it, but I took it. Yeah. So I went back out with my friends. I had them drive me home. None of us were in shape to drive. But who cares at that point. I had done some coke earlier in the night. So I was really going and I got home to my dorm. I went upstairs. And I used to get really bad migraines at that time, and had seizures because at the time, you know, my family didn't know my boyfriend didn't know nobody knew I was having seizures because I was withdrawn. And the doctors just could not figure it out. Like this girl. She's having migraines sued with seizures like what is going on. We're just gonna get rid of these meds that way if she feels a seizure coming on, she can take one and it will stop it. So I had all these medications stockpiled really because I did not take migraine migraine meds. I did not take any medication as scheduled. So I had them stockpiled. And I swallowed every single one of them. And I don't know what came over me at that point. But I had called my best friend at the time. Who went on with me. And I told her i i effed up. I did something. She was like, What are you talking about? She was back home with her family. And I was like, I don't know, but I love you and goodbye. And so she called the RA. Ra came. And next thing I know, there's police and medics, and my body is barfing because it like get this out of me. So that was April 16 2014. And this is where it gets older, if not darker. I had called my mom earlier that night. And she was like she's just drunk. You know, she told me to go to bed. And the next call that she got was from my phone and she thought, you know, she's drunk again. She picked it up. And it was the ER doctor asking if they had her permission to intubate me. They weren't gonna lose me. And of course, she said yes. Like, why are you calling me just do it. And that ER doctor meant to put the phone on the hook and didn't. And the last thing my mom heard, was she's flatlining. And that's, you know, that's something that haunts you as a clean person. You know, my plan was that I was just gonna die and be found and, and that's it. And that's it. You know, I wasn't planning on, you know, my mom getting that phone call or, you know, my best friend at the time getting traumatized by her best friend trying to kill herself and so they intubated me. Now my aunt Denise flew into town. In my sister and my aunt Denise were tasked with cleaning out my dorm. Oh, Lord. They my sister found everything. I haven't heard the story. My sister found everything. And there was some girls that were very mean to me in my freshman year of college that had swung by my dorm and my sister told them to go F themselves and get the f out here. So they cleaned out my dorm.

William Huffman  1:00:18  
I think you put that nicely. I can I I'm surprised. I'm surprised jury didn't go to jail that day.

Payton Barthel  1:00:23  
Um, thankfully Antonis was there. Okay. Yeah. Otherwise she would have gone to

William Huffman  1:00:28  
jail. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. She would have had some of their teeth in her pocket.

Payton Barthel  1:00:32  
Yeah, probably. And so I was intubated for a few days. Obviously, I don't remember any of this. You know, this has been told to me. I'm still looking for the ER doctor that intubated me down and went on. I've searched my health records. I can't find this dude. Like, his name isn't on anything. Because I just want to thank him, you know, thank you for not giving up on me. And so I was transported up to Abbott psychiatric hospital, and put on a 72 hour hold there. And I was pissed that I was there. Like, how dare you put me in here with all these people? No. So I got out of there, that psychiatric doctor had put me on six medications. And if you can imagine, there's no possible way that those six medications interacted with each other appropriately. But I took them partially because my mom put them out on the counter every morning. When I got home, my mom had locked up all of the knives she had locked up all anything that I could harm myself with was locked up. Anything that would she felt would be a trigger to me, it was locked up. My meds were in her control. So she did the right thing, as a mom responding to that. And we agreed as a family in a psychiatric unit that I would go to treatment. And I was like, Oh God, here we go.

Sarah Huffman  1:02:21  
Because at this point, you're not with Janet anymore.

Payton Barthel  1:02:23  
No. No. Which sucks. Because part of me feels like you know, if I would have kept going to see her maybe I would have been honest with where I was at, but maybe not. Anyway, so my mom and dad being the people that they are, we're not going to send their daughter to a poop hole of a treatment center. Oh, no, no. My niece. She was she was a character. She was like, You're gone are the frickin Ritz Carlton. Oh, god damn treat me sitting here. Uh, yes, I did. Yes, I did. I was complaining. And she was like, you have your own balcony. You got a chef? Like, don't even start. I was like, okay, whatever. I don't get my phone for 30 days. So that was the part that I was like, pissed. Yeah,

William Huffman  1:03:17  
you know, the important things. Yeah. And

Payton Barthel  1:03:19  
so keep in mind all the friends that I still had from college and high school had no idea what was happening. I fell off the face here for 45 days and didn't respond anybody. That's the That's literally what they got. In so I went to treatment. Hazelden was amazing. I had Dr. Lee as my psychiatrist, who is one of the top doctors in I think the country for Addiction Medicine. He got my meds sorted out, I got down to two medications instead of six, which was awesome. And I was clean. You know, I was proud of myself. I had 30 days. I I had been quote unquote honest with my family.

Sarah Huffman  1:04:13  
I don't think this means you're clean then.

Payton Barthel  1:04:16  
Oh, no. So um, I got out of treatment on Denise pick me up. My parents were in France. So I got to spend time with Denise. I started outpatient and I got myself a treatment boyfriend.

William Huffman  1:04:30  
No, no you didn't. Oh wow. Okay, yeah, that's all right. Yeah. Nice. Like I all right, please explain so

Payton Barthel  1:04:48  
I got myself a treatment boyfriend treatment boyfriends are typically people that are in treatment with you. And also struggling.

William Huffman  1:04:56  
Yeah. Yeah. So now you have typically older Yeah, he was older. Yeah, yeah. Um, I just, I know my stuff. Alright. And so now imagine you have two addicts because once an addict always an addict, this is what it is, right? Yep. Two addicts in a really shitty part of their life. Yep. Going through some impossible stuff. And then they find each other and loves fall in love. Or were you just like, Man is what it is I ever told him I loved him. Okay. But then But then you started enabling each other, I'm assuming, okay. Then you sort of name it's okay. Well, we'll just you know, it's fine if we just and then

Payton Barthel  1:05:39  
it's fine if we have one where we take one pill. Pills are prescribed, you know, they say if they're prescribed, you're supposed to take them as prescribed. Keywords being as prescribed. So I got myself a treatment boyfriend. Antonis loved him. She was a fan of him. And I was like, perfect. And at first it was like, when we encourage each other to go to meetings, we would go to meetings together. We you know, stayed on track. And then oh, boy, it was June of 2014. I decided I could not stand living with my parents anymore. We had try going to therapy together. Always ended up in a physical altercation between my mom and I after therapy. Rip to the therapist that we saw. It was her very first case. Oh, yeah.

Sarah Huffman  1:06:47  
Wow. Even like, I don't sound like it was set up for success.

Payton Barthel  1:06:50  
No, that person quit. Oh, she for sure. And if she didn't like, kudos to you, man. But I decided that I was going to go back home and I was going to live with Anthony's because I yerba Yeah. Well, she was in Orlando, right. Okay. Yep. But back home, nonetheless. And so, because, you know, my mom didn't understand addiction. She doesn't get it. She doesn't understand, like she'll never get it was just this frickin sob story. Yeah. Um, so Antonis brought me back home. For some reason. If that woman told me to jump five feet, I would jump six feet. You know, if my mom told me to jump five feet, I would be like, No, I'm gonna bed.

William Huffman  1:07:35  
That happened. And

Payton Barthel  1:07:36  
so I had, you know, it's not that I don't respect my mom. I respect my mom with every ounce of my being. At that time. It was what Antonis said when? If my mom said something, it was you don't get me. So I went

William Huffman  1:07:54  
back home. And you're 2021 I would be maybe 2018.

Payton Barthel  1:07:58  
Still to this point. Yeah, we haven't fast forwarded it at all.

Sarah Huffman  1:08:04  
I mean, when you think about all of it, and you're now you're at

Payton Barthel  1:08:07  
18. Yeah. I'm only at 18 at this point. Yeah. Because were you a young freshman. Yeah. Yep. I was born in June. Yeah. So you were like, okay, yep. Um, so I went back home to live with Auntie nice, everything was fabulous. And then one day it wasn't. I had relapsed while I was down there. Actually, before I went on there, I relapsed with my treatment boyfriend, but I don't. It was a sip. So it wasn't a relapse. Um, it was totally, yeah, it totally 100% This is a pass fail situation. Yes, I failed it. Yeah. Um, so at that point, I had gone down to Florida to live there. And my treatment boyfriend was so freaking hurt that I left. And he used that as an excuse to really deep dive back home, right. And so, one day, it just wasn't okay anymore. And I don't know why. But I called my mom and I said, I need to, I need to come back to Minnesota. And I think looking back now, that was my higher power being like, if you stay here, it's gonna get bad. It's gonna happen again. It's gonna happen again. And so, I went back to Minnesota. And then I was like, you know, I want to go into dental hygiene. So, I but I wanted to be independent. I did not want to live with my mom and dad. So I worked at a nursing home. I went to Normandale for school. And I got an apartment with three strangers. Excellent. That knew nothing about my past.

Sarah Huffman  1:09:47  
Good plan, great plan.

Payton Barthel  1:09:50  
continued drinking and using drugs. They had no idea that I was an alcoholic and addict. Now I should not be drinking that I had severe mental health, they had no clue about any of it. And so it was a perfect scenario for the perfect storm. And it happened again. And so, I, what's it? I overdosed again. Okay. So the the storm was

Sarah Huffman  1:10:19  
that the plan to overdose again, like the first time there was like the first time was planned was planned. The second time was not

Payton Barthel  1:10:27  
I had gone out to the bars in St. Paul with some brands. And a in at this point, I was not doing cocaine again. Because in my mind, that was really the problem was you can't do pills. You can't do coke.

William Huffman  1:10:43  
Yeah, nothing else. Just nothing else is the problem. No, it was just those just those things. Yeah. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  1:10:49  
Because it's rational. Yeah, irrationally.

Payton Barthel  1:10:52  
And so but I could do Adderall. Because that's, you know, pharmaceuticals. Nothing like cocaine. No, nothing. It's nothing, nothing like mathematics. Not one, you know, molecule offer. Um, for those that don't know, it is 100%. It is one simple molecule from the math, like, molecules.

William Huffman  1:11:15  
Did you know meth was invented? No. Hitler actually invented it in the first world war to give to his soldiers to make them super soldiers so they wouldn't have to sleep so they can mark for three, four or five days. And so Hitler actually dead serious. Hitler created meth. And it was rationed out to like his soldiers. Like it was a thing. It was their super pill.

Payton Barthel  1:11:39  
That's crazy. I know. They did that with heroin, like, for you know, those women with hysteria. Awesome. Women. Yeah, you're the

William Huffman  1:11:47  
worst. What? Nothing, just a little meth origin story there for you. Thank you.

Payton Barthel  1:11:56  
That's a good one. I did not know that well. And so I was out at the bars. It did smell raw. I drink a ton. And at that point, I had another treatment boyfriend, who was clean. And he, I called him because I was sitting outside the bar. And I just remember sitting there, and this guy kept talking to me. And he was touching my leg. And he just kept talking and talking. And I just remember calling this fellow that I was had a thing with and just pleading for him to come get me. Please come get me. There's this guy talking to me. I don't I don't know what's going on. Please, help. And he was there. 10 minutes later, to get me. I puked all over his car. And then the next thing I remember is my best friend from Winona also lived in the same apartment complex up here in Minneapolis to transfer it up to the next thing I remember. I was running away from her as fast as I could. I barricaded myself in the bathroom. And I was never one to self harm. Needles at that point terrified me.

William Huffman  1:13:27  
What do you mean self harm like physically self harm besides like with a sharp object? Yeah or sharp object? Yep. Because I just want to make sure because obviously you had overdosed harmed that way, but when self harm we're talking about like

Payton Barthel  1:13:38  
self harm hardening. Yeah, any inflicting pain purpose. Yep. And so I I don't Tuesday, I don't know why. But I broke my razor. And I just went to town. And the next thing I remember is being loaded into an ambulance. Screaming I am DNI DNR, which is Do Not Resuscitate. Do not intubate screaming it. If it's not written in a legal document, apparently they don't have to listen to you.

William Huffman  1:14:23  
It's good. Obviously, you were not in a proper mental state as well.

Payton Barthel  1:14:29  
Correct. And I had apparently taken some stuff that night. I don't remember taking anything besides Adderall. But I had there was stuff in my system. Like I I was back to that flatlining point. I was intubated again. I was on life support again. My mom and dad were down in Florida. They were called and, you know, given this scenario, and at that point, Want, my mom was told by my psychiatrist, don't you dare cancel your trip and go sit next to her. And that was the hardest thing for my mom to do. Because right like her baby is on life support again, like something is going on. And so I woke up alone. And that right there was the point I was like I I'm either gonna die or I'm not. So figure it out and right now is your chance to choose. And so I was put on the psych ward again. But I had to spend about a week and a half on the medical unit that time because the amount of damage I did to my muscles with what I had taken the night before. My I couldn't walk. So I had to relearn a little bit how to work the muscles get up and running. I had to do all of that. And that also was a wake up call to me. Because right the the first overdose, I don't remember being transferred in the back of a cop car. I don't remember any of that. And this time, I remember waking up. I remember being alone. I remember learning how to walk. I remember going to the psych ward. I made friends in the psych ward, because who wouldn't? And I got out those three roommates came and picked me up from the psych ward. And it was time to get honest. And I had called my cousin Owen who is one of my best friends to this day. He is also clean. And I said I think I'm ready. And he brought me to that meeting a meeting that night and September 18 2014 I've been sober and air. Okay. I don't know why I never went to NA.

William Huffman  1:17:04  
What's the difference? Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous.

Payton Barthel  1:17:07  
Oh, so we both of our meetings have the same, you know, kind of tenants or whatever? Yeah. It's just basically what one you vibe with better. It's just all it really is. One's more focused on like, narcotics, getting clean from that one's more focused on alcohol when getting clean from that. But for me with AAA, I can interchange the words easily, right? Like, you know, don't take another drink, drink, don't do another line. So, I started going to meetings again, I did not go to treatment. Again. I didn't want to put my parents through that. I mean, that was like $70,000 the first time around. And I blew it. Like I basically held metal finger up to it and not gonna do that. Thank you though. Um, so I yeah, I got clean. I got back together with my boyfriend from high school. I moved out to Colorado.

William Huffman  1:18:17  
The one who was in Colorado. Yeah, the one who came paying for Christmas and his grandfather passed away.

Payton Barthel  1:18:22  
Yes, yep. Correct. So I went back out there. I lived with him. And we lived in his mom's house. His mom is an angel. From heaven. Like she literally, she's amazing. So I lived down there. He, I was clean and sober. So I had the expectation that everybody else had to be clean and sober in order to be in my life. Which is not true. Like that's not you can't hold that expectation for somebody that doesn't have a problem. Yep. And so he would go up to Fort Collins and see his friends and would be a normal 20 year old. 1920 year old. Yeah. Because we were 19 when I moved out there so I was I was just nasty. I was like, you know, you're basically you're a piece of shit. Because you're not clean an almighty like I am. I'm leaving you. So I moved back home.

William Huffman  1:19:30  
You were living out of a probably a backpack at this time or something, right? No, I

Payton Barthel  1:19:34  
picked up all my shit and I moved it there. Well.

William Huffman  1:19:37  
The reason I bring that up is because you were very transient. You moved a lot. Yeah. So when you say all my shit, how much of stuff was that?

Payton Barthel  1:19:46  
Anything and everything that could fit in a Volkswagen Bug.

William Huffman  1:19:50  
Okay, so you were okay, so vehicle transient. Yeah, some of my friends. They it was a backpack. Yeah, some you know, maybe had a duffel bag.

Sarah Huffman  1:19:57  
It wasn't like I have to move my bed my nightstand

Payton Barthel  1:20:00  
All right, I didn't have that. I mean, it wasn't mine, you know, that that stuff was my parents. And so basically going to like the backpack analogy, anything that I could fit in three bottles was mine. Yep. And that's what I brought with me basically all my clothes because I didn't need anything. So yeah. And then I moved home, home being Minnesota. And when I got here, I heard of the Step Up Program, which is a sober collegiate program through Augsburg University. It allows students of any age, or literally any age to live on college campus, and sober living sober dorms. Wow. Okay. Have a community of sober people. Go to college.

William Huffman  1:20:59  
That's amazing. Yeah, I had no idea that existed. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  1:21:02  
Yep. I just got like, did you know? I didn't know. But only because of Jory had told me about the program. Yeah, but before that I had never known about it. Oh, wow.

Payton Barthel  1:21:13  
It is. Amazing. I mean, there's so many of us that wouldn't have been able to get a college degree without them.

William Huffman  1:21:22  
Right. I mean, the pressures of of addiction, in put on top of that being an impressionable young adults, you've made a lot of questionable choices up into this point in you. Willpower, I don't want to say willpower. That's not the right way to put it. But your ability to self govern, at that point in time without some external forces to keep you on the path is probably pretty slow. Yeah, yeah.

Payton Barthel  1:21:54  
Yep. So they really allowed us to have an atmosphere where we were with other people just like us. They taught us how to have fun again, with our without subsidy using. Don't get me wrong. We had rules. Like there were right. Oh, yeah. There were rules that we were doing, right. Yeah. And not all of them were followed by myself. Probably relationship rules. Yeah, you nail that on the head. So within the first year, you are not allowed to date anybody within that program. So how

Sarah Huffman  1:22:27  
long did it take you to have a boyfriend? Two months?

William Huffman  1:22:30  
Even in AAA, you're not supposed to?

Payton Barthel  1:22:33  
Yep, yep. So that. It? It depends who you work with.

William Huffman  1:22:38  
I mean, you're doing good. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  1:22:42  
To hell with that part, one.

Payton Barthel  1:22:46  
And that one is like more, because there's people that will like it's called 13. Stepping. We're like, I don't want to say pray. But we'll take the young new blood under their wing. And not a healthy way. So part of getting into recovery and being clean is learning you and learning what a healthy relationship is. Learning how not to gaslight manipulate, play. Well, me, you know,

William Huffman  1:23:21  
can I ask you a question? Yeah. So you may be clean of alcohol in clean of non prescribed medications or whatever it narcotics at this point in time? Yeah. But we're still not necessarily right inside. Like emotionally wrecked. Okay. Yep. So that's just because you get clean and sober doesn't mean shit magically changes over No, hell no, no. And this is where you're talking about. Just because you're I don't know this program, but I do no other programs. And just because you get clean and sober doesn't mean they're still not manipulative people in that same exact program who still have issues with how they interact with people and will take advantage.

Payton Barthel  1:24:06  
Oh, that's absolutely correct. Yes. And so I, like you said being in the program. Yeah, you are cleaned from the knockout, right? Like, you don't have any, anything clouding your judgment anymore. But you still have your own brain? Yeah, you don't get to get rid of that. It's kind of there. It's kind of there forever. Yeah. And so a lot of it is working through the step work, you're able to figure out your part in it, because when you're using it, everybody else that is doing wrong, you are doing no wrong. And so one of the steps specifically allows us to write down all the reasons we have, right so like I'm mad at

William Huffman  1:24:52  
ya, everybody. Is that step four. It is

Payton Barthel  1:24:55  
yeah, yes. So step four allows us to write out over resentment and but then then we get to write out our apartment. Yeah. Which really allows us to bring peace within ourselves. And then Step eight, nine, you figure out whether what kind of amends you're gonna make for that situation. And it's not like you work the step once and you're done for good, right? I actually just did a ninth step two weekends ago, where I made amends for a situation. So it's constant. It's teaching you how to constantly be self aware, was what I like to say. And writing those wrongs as soon as you possibly can. Sometimes it's right away. Sometimes it's two years. But yeah, so I mean, the step work allows you to really figure out yourself. However, mental health is still thing. Yeah. A lot of us struggle with it. I specifically still, I'm very open book. I still have really bad mental health some days. And I have a fabulous frickin therapist. who I love and I can be honest with, who I know won't just put me on a 72 hour hold as soon as I say something. But yeah, the program brought me a lot of peace. Step Up was amazing. Like I said, it found took me two months to find a boyfriend. Because why be alone? Right. When you can go through it together. Yeah.

William Huffman  1:26:34  
Yeah, it sounds good when you say it that way. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  1:26:38  
And he, he was he was good. I mean, he had his own struggles. However, I have my fixer, so I was going to fix it.

William Huffman  1:26:52  
Your family has that trait? Yes, we do.

Payton Barthel  1:26:56  
Is a generational curse. In some aspects.

William Huffman  1:27:00  
Yeah. No. I know what you mean. Um, and those people who are listening who have that trait in their family know also what you mean. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  1:27:09  
Yep. So I, we were together for just a little bit like, I think it was like six, seven months, something like that. She'll text me and be like, No, it was like eight months.

William Huffman  1:27:26  
Thanks, bro.

Payton Barthel  1:27:29  
But we, we are cordial with each other to this day. His parents live down in Florida. So when the hurricane hit, you know, he texted me. I texted him to make sure everything was okay. Yeah. And we had broken up on spring break, we were down at on Denise's house. And I something snapped inside of me and I just broke up with him.

William Huffman  1:27:55  
Was he there as well? Yeah.

Payton Barthel  1:27:57  
How did you get home then? On the same airplane?

William Huffman  1:28:00  
Did you change seats? Yes. Okay. Awkward.

Payton Barthel  1:28:06  
Yeah, it was very awkward. But I had gotten home and my cousin Oh, when we mentioned before, also when to step up. And he was like, you know, I, I think I should introduce you to some people because clearly your judgment isn't.

William Huffman  1:28:25  
You might, you might need a little more. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  1:28:27  
So I was like, You know what? I had, I told him I was like, I am going to be this is so inappropriate. I'm so sorry, Mom. I'm gonna be a hole for the summer. I'm just gonna have fun. I don't want any relationship. To test the waters. Yeah, I'm gonna explore. And that was my intention. And I told him that he was like, yeah, yeah. Okay. And so this is where Caleb comes in.

Sarah Huffman  1:29:00  
Get out. I was I was waiting. You know, I was waiting. Yeah. And I wanted to ask and I knew what will would say we're now Yeah, slowly roll.

Payton Barthel  1:29:07  
Yeah. So this is where Caleb comes in. It was his golden birthday, his 23rd birthday. And I was invited to this birthday party. I was like, okay, whatever. I'll go I have nothing better to do. And as Caleb friends with Owen, yeah, so those two worked together on the grounds crew, which is like this huge thing in our friend group. Like all the guys worked on grounds crew. All they talk about is grass and plants. It's annoying.

Sarah Huffman  1:29:37  
I got a golf course or like

Payton Barthel  1:29:38  
no, I had our college college. Crowns green, okay. And they took pride in their grounds. Like it was like, you know, the dads with like the new balances and the tall white socks and like, I know but like not all white socks. No, but not bows like not colorful White.

Sarah Huffman  1:29:58  
White ones 507 C As the ones that my dad wears,

Payton Barthel  1:30:01  
yes, and I swear, you guys, I would look at my college dorm window and these guys would just be like standing there just like looking at the ground looking at the grass like yeah, you know, like, I'm just like, Oh my God, you're

Sarah Huffman  1:30:14  
like their keepers are keepers like there's my future has been there was

Payton Barthel  1:30:19  
Caleb and Caleb or jorts and when I know yours did well and Sarah and listeners, I mean, cut off might have been some slippage. jorts nice,

Sarah Huffman  1:30:32  
like slippage. Like they were really short. Yes, they were short shorts, short,

Payton Barthel  1:30:38  
short shorts. And for some reason in my head, I was like, what's the one? No, but I mean, his reasoning was our college didn't have the budget to give them uniforms, so they had to wear their own clothes and in this was a big, you know, ordeal for them. So Caleb was like, well, if I'm gonna wear my own clothes, I'm gonna look like an absolute fool. So he did it on purpose. He did on purpose. Why not? I mean, he wore GA shorts or short shorts and cut offs muscle to cut offs. Mike can it was I pictures? Oh, yeah. And so. Yeah, so when I went to his birthday party, he was. So Caleb's what we call a Normie. normies are people that can consume alcohol within moderation and not have a problem loser shit. Yeah, yeah. Completely changed personalities. Yeah, yeah. And so he was an Army. So it was his golden birthday. He was intoxicated to say the least. And he's gonna kill me. He the first night meeting him. He told me he loved me. No way. Yep.

William Huffman  1:32:00  
How was that not a red flag? Like?

Payton Barthel  1:32:02  
I chalked it up to urine? tox. Again, okay, mixing with water. Yeah. But not only did he tell me, he loved me. He went on this grandiose speech about how you only meet people like this, you know, every once in a while on people like this. Don't come around that often. And I'm just like, oh, when who did you introduce me to? Because this right here is a no. So, and I had a nanny the next morning. So I, you know, was like, Have a good night. Have fun mixing the water. We'll talk later. And so for some reason, he didn't run for the hills. And I kept talking to him. Yeah. And then we were talking for a couple of weeks, and Easter came along. And I will never forget this. I was with my mom. And I was like, I'm just gonna text him like Happy Easter, you know, like, have fun. It's, like, safe. Yeah. And so I did. And less than two minutes later, he texted me back and he said, Happy Easter man. Happy Easter man. For Renzo? No. Yeah. Oh, yeah. So I was bummed. I was like, dang, I thought this was going down. Like, once again, I was just trying to have a fun summer. But like, I was interested in him being a part of that fun summer. Yeah. Um, and my mom was like, Well, you know, he just doesn't dig your jelly like your demo, Vaughn. I was like, take your chili. You're right. And so I moved on. And I texted Owen, and I was like, Hey, I just got friendzone just to let you know, like, kill doesn't think I'm cool. I don't know. Turns out he has a friend from high school who's named Peyton. And we were both Peyton and his phone. And so when I texted to him, Happy Easter. Have a great day. I thought it was his boy. He thought it was his guy. So he texted back and said Happy Easter man. And I have met this Peyton, so it is He is real. Okay. It wasn't some bullshit. It wasn't some bullshit. He is real. And as soon as he realized he did that he texted Oh, and and was like, Man, I just screwed up like it's done. I lost my chance. Oh, and just started dying, laughing. And so I didn't know Caleb was over at Owens house apartment because we're still a step up at this point. And they all had different apartments and flats. So flats you lived with like 20 to 25 other people. You each have your own room but shared a bathroom with one other person. And then apartments. He lived with three other people. And so I walked into Owens flat. I had a dog at the time that my ex and I had gotten together.

Sarah Huffman  1:34:58  
Of course she did. So

Payton Barthel  1:35:01  
cuz that's rational

William Huffman  1:35:04  
is a fantastic decision.

Payton Barthel  1:35:06  
I told you you can be clean, but your decision making a stay on point. Um, so I walked into Owens and there was killed and I was like, Hey, do you guys want to bring Sasha on a walk? And you know, Owen was like, Yeah, that sounds great. And he was like, yeah, do you mind if I come? I was like, No, I don't. I don't care. Sure. You friendzone to me. Yeah. And so we were walking down the stairs with Sasha. And we were on our way on our walk. And Owen says, Oh, shit, I have to go to homework. Get out. Oh, shit. I have to go to homework. Yeah. And so he turned around and walked back into the apartment building. What am I gonna do? Like knock on a walk with us? Dude, like,

William Huffman  1:35:51  
Oh, just kidding. I don't Yeah. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  1:35:54  
Yeah. So we went on, like a three hour walk together with my dog. And he asked me out two hours, three hours. I mean, it's down at Augsburg, so it's like, down by the river. Still. That's

William Huffman  1:36:06  
excessive. No, thank you. It was a nice day.

Sarah Huffman  1:36:09  
I don't think you've ever gone on a three hour walk with me. No,

William Huffman  1:36:11  
no, hell no. No. No, man. Oh, man.

Sarah Huffman  1:36:17  
Okay, so then,

Payton Barthel  1:36:18  
I mean, he's hooked line and sinker. Do you like he doesn't have to go on with three.

Sarah Huffman  1:36:21  
I knew I loved Well, the first day I met him.

Payton Barthel  1:36:24  
Well clearly killed.

Sarah Huffman  1:36:27  
That's scary to me at all. No.

Payton Barthel  1:36:31  
So yeah, we go on that Spock. He asked me out on a date to go to a concert down at Pantages Theater. And I was like, Oh, I have to check my schedule. I have to work or have homework or have homework or like have to go hang out with family for Easter? I don't know.

Sarah Huffman  1:36:50  
Man. Yeah.

Payton Barthel  1:36:52  
And ever since. I mean, we've been inseparable. You went to that concert? It was right. It was the day after Prince died. So there was a lot of stuff going on downtown, which was really cool. And yeah, now we're married. We have two kids, two dogs. A beautiful house. Thanks to the Hoffmans helping us if you need a real estate agent, these are your people.

William Huffman  1:37:16  

Sarah Huffman  1:37:21  
Okay, can I ask a few questions? Yeah, I

William Huffman  1:37:23  
should probably wrap up. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  1:37:27  
You You've been clean? I'm just tell me if I'm using the wrong words. You've been clean and sober for eight years? Correct. And have you ever in those eight years felt the desire to go back? Yes. So it is. So quite often. Yeah. It's a daily commitment.

Payton Barthel  1:37:43  
Yeah, I have to wake up every single day and make the decision whether or not I want Bally's in my coffee. And thankfully, I have a husband who 1,000% supports me and never has pressured me never has asked me. But yeah, I mean, there are those days. I'll be very frank and honest with you just this past winter. I didn't have a plan to commit suicide, but I knew that I could have and that it would have been easier for me. I had convinced myself it would have been easier for Caleb, it would have been easier for the kids. Rather than having mommy so sad all the time. Thankfully, I have an awesome therapist, I got a safety plan in place. We got all the narcotics out of the house. And then that was right around the time that we decided that we should sell the house. And so yeah, I mean, there are days, I'm not gonna lie to any listener, you know, it's, if you are going through it, keep going. You know, the end does not have to be today or tomorrow. There are so many resources out there for people who need help. And I I have learned to just listen and shut up. You know, that's, that's the hard part. And there, there are days, you know, I will be honest, there's never been a day where I'm like, Oh, I could go for some coke or Adderall right now. Not once. But when Paisley was first born. I wondered what it would be like, you know, going over to her friend's house and the parents offering me a glass of wine and being like, No, I'm good. You know, would it be easier just to accept a glass of wine. But honestly, I don't ever want my kids to have to see mommy in that state. I'm not even willing to risk it. I've worked through my trauma. I'm still working through my trauma that I've experienced. And it doesn't like I don't need to test that water. You know, I know it's pretty cold. I've lost people for overdoses ever since I got clean. I lost my sister in law to a heroin overdose. And it's like, you know, Paisley's already lost her auntie does she really need to lose her mom. So not every day is sunshine and rainbows. But I can tell you that my worst day sober is better than my best day using.

Sarah Huffman  1:40:21  
And then when you when you start feeling this stuff creep up. Do you recognize it quicker now? Or? Just I'm asking this because I don't know. You know, I don't know what that is like.

Payton Barthel  1:40:35  
Um, I would say I recognize it quicker now than I did when I first got clean, obviously. Now, I recognize it, if I start getting really irritable, because I'm not an irritable person. So if I start getting really ticked off by just like, the simplest thing, yeah. I know something's up. And something's coming. And so a lot of it entails me telling on myself. And I tell on myself, to my therapist, I tell myself to my best friend. When I lost my job in June, the company I was with laid off. And when I say mass, I mean a mass amount of people. That was really the first time where I was like, I can't do it. And I called my best friend. And I just told him myself, just straight up, told her myself in thankfully, I have a best friend that is also sober. So she was able to understand and know where I was coming from and didn't let me be alone. But there's still times you know, I would be lying if I told you my mom never had to worry that you know, something's going on. Because the there's times where she does worry. She does check in and when I become impulsive, that's also another key to their minds. Yep. impulsiveness. Decision making is a cue to my family and friends that Peyton's about to go. So if we can stop it before it happens. That's, that's key.

Sarah Huffman  1:42:20  
Yeah, well, I am just, I just know that you're going to touch other people's lives by hearing your story today. Because it's like, knowing you, and knowing that there was a story, but not knowing what the story was, like, I just look at you with like, such. What's the word I'm trying to think of like, ice the person I see across the table or?

Payton Barthel  1:42:43  
The Thank you, my mom tells me

Sarah Huffman  1:42:46  
Yeah, and like just hearing your story and like what you've gone through, it's, it's that it would be so easy to choose these other paths. Because it didn't start like it's been how long you know, like, age 10. Angel 11 Like this, isn't it just really heavy, but it's like, also so beautiful to see you where you are, you know, like the journey that you've been on has been shitty, right? But there's been so many blessings on that path. That I, although I don't connect with because that wasn't my path. Like, it's just, I just see you as like, so brave, and I'm just like, so proud to have you in my life.

Payton Barthel  1:43:28  
Yeah, I mean, it's, it's been a journey. I'm not gonna lie, but I'm fucking proud of myself. Yeah, sorry. There's so many things I'm doing with my life that are like, for any individual that knew me when I was down Winona. If you told me that I was more fun while I was drunk. Go fuck yourself. Yeah, because, or any individual who was like, Nah, she's not gonna stay sober. She can't do it. I can do it. I'm doing it. Yeah. Those people give me motivation to stay clean

Sarah Huffman  1:44:07  
anything I know about your family. When you guys have your mindset. I'm

William Huffman  1:44:13  
not stubborn at all.

Payton Barthel  1:44:16  
I mean, yeah, I'm a shout out for anybody that's listening to this that knows somebody that's struggling or even if you're struggling yourself, don't be afraid to to ask questions. Try to understand where they're coming from. phrase the question with what instead of why? Because they probably don't know why. But they can probably tell you what's going on.

Sarah Huffman  1:44:35  
If you were in that dark, not you, but just if and for listeners in that dark place and they're like I've gone too far. Like where do they call?

Payton Barthel  1:44:44  
So there's a few things. If you are having mental health crisis there, we just the state or the country, I think it's the country just launched 988 which is the National Suicide Prevention line. They will help you through your crisis, get a crisis team out to you if you need it. If you want it, they will get somebody out too. So 988 If you are struggling with substance use disorder. Here in Minneapolis, you can go to a There are meetings, 24 hours a day. And every single one of those meetings, you will, you will run into somebody that will greet you with open arms. There's coffee, typically. So we got that. And if you know me, come to me. If you know somebody that's struggling, my key to you is if they tell on themselves, you have three hours to help them before they talk themselves out of it. That's like scientific re statistics right there. If you know, I know, a lot of nonprofits that are working, change, the outcome is created by my dear friend who passed away from a heroin overdose. His mom started this nonprofit. She helps bring education materials into school systems and to teach kids that it's okay to call the cops It's okay. To give Narcan. The phrase, just say no, is not a thing anymore, unfortunately. So there's resources out there, and you can go to any pharmacy and get Narcan. And, in my opinion, everybody should have access to it. All right.

William Huffman  1:46:45  
All right. Well, thank you so much for coming with us today. Superduper. Appreciate it. It's a hell of a story. And it's, you're still in the first couple chapters.

Payton Barthel  1:46:56  
Yeah. I'm only 27 Yeah. Yeah,

William Huffman  1:47:00  
I think I just aged a couple years of sitting to your story. I'm sorry. Yeah. Like it's all good like that. That's just the it's just how powerful and impactful it is. So I thank you so much for sharing appreciate so much and as always, we out deuces

Accouncer  1:47:14  
tune in each week. For more in depth conversations about life behind the highlight reel. Follow us on your favorite podcast platform to make sure you never miss an episode. For today's show notes, head over to LV