This is the name I’m using (in addition to “One Mom Talking”) for my efforts to provide support to parents of addicts: “Parents of Addicts United.” If you’re interested in having some other ways to communicate with each other besides through our blog posts, I have one new option:
“Parents of Addicts United” discussion group on IntheRooms.com. You probably have to sign up on the website to view the group – I’m not sure. But it’s a good and safe place to meet for conversation.
I’d like to form a secret facebook group as well, but that will have to wait until the weekend. (Plus, I need a few people to invite first. So if you’re interested, send me a note with your full name so I can invite you!). Secret groups on facebook are great because no one can see the list of members except a member; and the only way to become a member is to be invited. I know that makes it a little hard for outreach, but it preserves anonymity, which is important.
That’s all for my report of the day. Be well, my friends. Do something for yourself this week, just for fun. Remember fun? It’s still out there just waiting for us to open up to it a bit. Choose life. Your life. Because you’re still here and you can add blessings and joy to the world.
I live in a small coastal town near a small city in South Carolina. We are bound by the ocean to the east and rural areas to the west and south. There is one NarAnon group in the city and no others anywhere within reach – not for us and not for the smaller towns and cities in surrounding counties.
I work in a women’s recovery house and sometimes the parents call – especially the moms. Due to HIPAA, our privacy regulations are extensive and I usually cannot tell the parents any details about how their daughter is doing. I talked to one mom who was sobbing on the other end of the phone, “What do I do? Will it ever be better?” I was heartbroken.
I want to create a resource for parents but I don’t know how that looks yet. In the meantime, I’ve discovered a website called “In the Rooms.” I just joined and it looks great. You can attend a video NarAnon meeting, participate in meditation sessions, chat with other people and even get a sponsor. If you have never checked it out, I recommend that you do. And if you’re there, look for me, “One Mom Talking.”
Lastly, if you have suggestions about how to build a program or network for parents, especially in rural areas, please share!
I wrestled with whether to title this “If Knowledge is Power…” or “Ignorance is Bliss”! When it comes to addiction, those of us who have faced the music in one way or another know that ignorance cannot be our choice. Detachment, yes. Ignorance, no. And if I’m not going to be ignorant, then I want to know what’s happening out there – and friends, it’s not simple, it’s not easy, but it is a war where we need to know the names and faces of our enemies.
I was contacted recently by the Foundations Recovery Network, a residential and outpatient treatment center located in Tennessee. They are encouraging education regarding the risks associated with the abuse of benzodiazepines. Since I have no experience regarding this category of drugs (known on the street as “Benzos,” “Downers,” or “Tranks”), I did a little extra research and found some confirming information put out by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). You can read that here: DEA on Benzodiazipines.
What I’m thinking is – let’s opt for knowledge and take all the power we can. Click on this image to see the full infographic:
If this is an area of concern for you or a loved one, I hope this information is helpful. And if you have anything to add, please leave a comment. We learn best when we share information and learn together. Thanks, and God bless!
Posted in Addict Child, Addiction, Parent of addict, Recovery, Resources, Support Community
Tagged Benzodiazepine, Benzos, Downers, drug risks, dual diagnosis, Foundations Recover Network, Tranks
In my church – and in many churches – we teach the idea that the way to conquer an evil is to remove it from the darkness and shine the light of Christ in its eyes.
I am saddened by the continued reports saying: “There’s a heroin epidemic in [you name the city, state or metro area].” And yet, I am encouraged that more and more people are sharing this news out loud. We are pulling the curtain aside and shedding light on the evil of heroin and drug addiction.
In my coaching business, I teach about the importance of facing our fears, naming them, and taking back the control that our self-imposed silence had given those fears. We are doing this now. We are speaking up.
I’m feeling prompted to take this further. Every once in awhile I get this intense feeling of wanting to speak out, but I’ve held back – in part because I just wasn’t ready emotionally – in part because I have concern about protecting the privacy of my children. But here I am again, wanting to actively help.
If you were to speak out about your experience as the parent of an addict. Where would you start?
Wishing you all a very blessed Easter.
I know it doesn’t feel blessed to many of you. Five years ago today, at this time (7:15AM), I was in a police station learning that my boys had been using heroin at a party. It’s amazing to me that Easter is the anniversary of this journey for me. No wonder I’ve been tense these past few days.
But now – I’m off to church. Know you are all in my prayers. Know that Love Wins – if not in this life, then in the Great Beyond. Easter is our reminder that there’s more to life than what we can see. And that death holds no power over the beautiful spirit of life in all of us. LOVE has already won. Amen.
I once read that the stone which covered the entry to Jesus’ tomb would have weighed 1-2 tons. Let’s be cautious – let’s err on the light side and imagine it was just under one ton. Let’s, for the sake of argument, say it only weighed 1,750 pounds.
One thousand seven hundred and fifty pounds.
The effect of addiction on me, on my children, on my whole family…
on your child, on you, on your whole family…
this is the weight of a stone that we cannot roll away in our own strength.
Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. 29
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. 30
For my yoke is easy
and my burden is
There are so many sayings about the past: “Put the past behind you.” “Don’t look behind you, you’re not going that way.” “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery.”
The one that rings most true to me right now is a quip that I don’t see often on facebook posts or memes: “The past is never where you think you left it.” (Katherine Ann Porter) I may need to read some of her essays and stories – I think she’s hit the nail on the head.
One of the most frustrating things about this addiction/recovery process – about the road paved by drugs and their users – is that it’s a path not easily erased and left behind. Even when a person has “ceased to be a prisoner of the past” and “continued moving forward one step at a time,” the past can appear without warning, rearing its head and proving that it is harder to dismiss than we want to believe.
Yesterday, one of my boys was arrested. Apparently, he had attempted to sell something to someone a couple of years ago…
I won’t print the details (as little as I know) at this point, but it involves small-town police building a case over years in an attempt to get to the bigger dealers. I get that. I want those people stopped too. But it’s hard to watch this young man who has been working hard to support himself and his family, to stay clean and live right … to walk the right path … have the past come and spin him around, sneering, “Though you could leave me behind did you?”
We say, “Let bygones be bygones.” It’s harder than it seems.
One mom talking. Can’t sleep. Thanks for being here. Much love and God’s peace to you all.
FOLLOW UP NOTE: Yes, all will be well. The system, hopefully, will work in favor of (a) stopping the flow of drugs and (b) supporting my son as he continues to build his life and raise his family. That’s the best possible outcome; that’s what we hope and pray for!
Recently, I applied to a job opening as an Addiction Recovery Specialist. In South Carolina, there is a certification for this specialty – which I do not have yet. But I thought that my coaching certification combined with my personal experience might make me a good candidate for the job. I’m interested in helping people get healthy. I’m interested in educating the public about drugs and families and recovery. Where do you turn when all those efforts you made as a parent to avoid this experience slip through your fingers and here you are … wanting to wake from what feels like a nightmare?
I want to tell you there is HOPE! As long as there is breath, there is hope! For me, my first focus was the health of my child. And the next focus was education for me and my child. And amidst it all – a constant focus on God and faith.
Every now and then, I spend some time on Google looking for new information or resources. Recently, I came across a recovery center called, “Advanced Health and Education.” Well – isn’t that on target! Advanced Health and Education has a truly holistic approach to recovery which seems to be increasingly popular these days – for good reason. Most of us have learned that recovery is about more than just resisting cravings. It’s about rebuilding and redefining an entire healthy lifestyle for both the addict and the family.
In the west – states like Colorado, Kansas, Texas and Arizona – I have had excellent experiences with the Valley Hope treatment centers. They have gone above and beyond in providing service not only to their patients, but to families as well – on the personal side as well as making treatment financially viable.
Now that I live on the East Coast, I’m snooping into what’s available here. I have a friend who recently went to New Jersey for treatment. New Jersey drug and alcohol treatment centers abound, but I’m interested to know how many have the comprehensive type of program offered by Advanced Health and Education. If you are located in the NY/NJ area – a good resource for New Jersey addiction treatment centers can be found here: http://drugabuse.com/usa/drug-abuse/new-jersey/. For New York (and other states), look here: http://www.recovery.org/browse/new-york/.
I want to follow the lead of Advanced Health and Education by advocating their example of treating the whole person – I’d even say, the whole family. What should our next steps so that all treatment facilities – from California drug treatment centers to NJ drug treatment centers and everything in between, above and below, continually improve and provide excellent healing service to addicts and to us? How can we help? What can I do to make a difference?
Hindsight is always 20/20 – or so they say. But whoever made up that quip … I don’t think they had an addict in the house. Looking back doesn’t really make it any clearer.
Recently, a friend told me that she read this whole blog; so I decided to come back here and read it myself from the start. I has been a few years and I was wondering what I would think. I tried reading as if I was a stranger to the story, which wasn’t very hard to do. I felt like I was a stranger to the story!
Here are some things I noticed:
- The child who was in the most trouble (or causing the most heartache) got all the press – with only a few exceptions.
- Insomnia inspires blogging.
- Drug addiction sucks – for everyone in the family.
- I was in some real denial even when I thought I had stopped being in denial.
- This place and all of you here in blogland helped me preserve some sanity. Thank you.
- My journey really has been God-centered.
- The severity of the crisis made it seem (to me, at the time) like all this addiction stuff had been going on for years, when it was only one year from when I discovered the problem to when I chose to move away. (That left me feeling bad; like I gave up too soon – but I let that go quickly too).
- I have so much to be grateful for.
Another popular saying: “Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.” Good advice. There’s nothing I (we) can do about the past. Eyes straight ahead – forward, march!
You’ve heard of “peace and quiet.” I suggest we change the phrase to “peace and now.” Now is quiet – maybe not outside of us, but internally…spiritually. At the core of who we truly are, now is silent and cannot be altered.
Sounds too easy? It is and it’s not. I’m reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now,” and I’m in a section toward the back of the book titled, “Give Up the Relationship with Yourself.” What? Isn’t our recovery about RECOVERING our own relationship with ourselves. It’s the same thing. Just roll with it for a minute and I’ll do my best to explain.
It’s this idea: “If you develop a sense of identity based on your [victimhood, loss, recovering-parenthood, etc.] you have escaped one trap only to fall into another.” (That’s a direct quote from the book except for the parens). This is because any identity other than your pure essence (some might say “God”) is frought with some earthly or ego-centered frailty at one point or another.
Here’s the peace in NOW: Right now I am this breathing body filled with the spirit of life. If, tomorrow, I experience a trauma and my mind/body experiences intense pain of some sort or another, at any given moment I am still this breathing body filled with the spirit of life. What I’m trying to get to is this question (which we’ve discussed before in a different context): How do you identify yourself? I’m thinking that the answer to this question begins any person’s true recovery.
I’m really just thinking through this “out loud” here on this screen. But I’m experiencing access to an always-accessible quiet of “Peace and Now” lately. And this time it’s not just because my boys are in full recovery – because one of them had a relapse recently. He had a relapse and I started to re-identify with my “parent-of-addict-filled-with-fear-and-worry” self again. But I was reading this book, and I find I’m changing a bit in my ability to … as A Course in Miracles says … “See things differently.”
Please know I’m not lecturing or making light of where you are, what you’ve been through, or what you’re feeling. I’m just sharing an idea that might help others as it’s helping me today. Right now. God bless you.
Posted in Addict Child, Addiction, Codependency, Healing, Hope, Parent of addict, Recovering Child, Recovery, Relapse, Spiritual Growth, Support Community, The Ongoing Story, Uncategorized, Women