Category Archives: Support Community

Parents of Addicts United

PoAUnitedThis 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.

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If Knowledge is Power…

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:
Benzo

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!

Darkness into Light

curtainIn 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?

Peace and Now

You are nowYou’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.

The Mourning Shall Rejoice

So my last post was a mournful one. Self-pity. Whaddya gonna do?

This post is rejoiceful!  My son, Dan, now 21 years old, completed his 1.5 year program in Recovery Court!  Yesterday they had a court hearing for all the Recovery Court people. And when it was Dan’s turn, lo and behold, he was greeted by: his current judge, his original judge, his parole officer, his counselor, his NarAnon sponsor, the people who worked in the jail when he was there, even the prosecuting attorney.  Even the judge’s clerk … and it was her day off.  They all came to congratulate Dan on a job well done and to give testimony, on the record, of what an inspiration it has been to watch him grow and heal.

I wish I could have been there. But his dad was there, which is good. I’m tearing up just writing it.

In this case, for my boy, “The System” worked.  The system I often railed against came through, partly because the program is a good one – a real example of the “it takes a village” philosophy.  So I hope that program continues to be supported.  But the program only works because of the people who run it.  They did their jobs with heart, and they — plus the hand of God — saved my son’s life.  And he has touched theirs as well.

I’ll write an official letter to someone there to express this, but I want to say it here: Thanks to all public officials who are in their positions for the right reasons, doing the best they can for everyday citizens.  Whatever I end up owing the IRS…it’s nothing compared to the gratitude I owe to all the people who walked beside my son at a time when I had to walk away.

God bless us all.

Narcotics Anonymous International

If you have some dollars to spare, here’s a place to donate:  http://www.firstgiving.com/narconon.  Please consider giving to narconon.  Every dollar helps, and if you pass on buying lunch or fancy coffee once or twice a week, you can give a little more.  It helps our children and our families, our loved ones in addiction — and those in countries where there are less resources need help too.

Thanks for considering this.

Al-Anon

I came back from rehab family weekend excited to jump right in to Al-Anon.  But I can see how easy it would be for me to dismiss it.  I’m busy.  You know how that goes.  And I think I’m tempted to slip back into denial.  “I don’t have a heroin addict in my house if no one in my house is using heroin.”  This is the lie my brain wants to adopt.  The temptation to roll with that theory is very strong.  I better get my butt to a meeting before this week is done. 

If you are out there reading this…if you are an Al-Anon person…did it take you awhile to get plugged in and add this to your schedule?  I wish someone would call me and say “come on, we’re going!”  Argh.