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!
I haven’t done any formal research on this, but it seems to me that there is a pattern to creating public policy changes: It starts with telling our stories to whoever will listen. If you are anywhere near my age, you remember when the word “gay” or “homosexual” would rarely be spoken in a whisper. Now we have states passing gay marriage legislation. Why? Because brave people stood up and told their stories.
How about child abuse and sexual assault? I remember the days before the term “date rape” existed…days when people would barely say the word “sex” and any kind of talk about incest or sexual abuse or rape was hushed in families and communities as if speaking it would make it spread like a disease. Now we have laws prohibiting these crimes and, recently, commercials with celebrities speaking out against sex crimes. There’s a long way to go, but we’re making progress.
Same with drug use and abuse and dependencies. We’re learning. How many people have to die of heroin overdose before we all stand up and speak. We are learning. We are starting. And some laws and legal processes are changing – like “drug court” systems surrounding people with services for recovery rather than condemning them immediately to jail.
I’m not lecturing any one person to stand up to speak – because it all depends on where you are in the process whether that’s a role for you or not. I’m just bringing up the issue. People are learning and those of us who are ready and able can speak out.
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.
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?
Hello Friends! I know I’ve been absent for so long. I am making an effort to return here regularly. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve stayed away from here because I realized that “Mother of Addict” had become too much of my identity.
Now I’m back because I know that “Mother of Addict” is not my identity. It describes one of the many roles I play in life – but it does not define me. I realize that while I don’t have control over many things in my life (or, even more so, in my children’s lives), I can have control over my own perspective about who I am.
One new identity I’ve added recently is Certified Christian Life Coach. Part of the reason I haven’t been here is that I’ve been building a new blog. I hope you’ll visit me there. My coaching blog (and my coaching business) is called Growing Your Beautiful Life. And we’ve just begun a journal project there. It runs for 10 weeks – and just started yesterday. So if any of you are interested in using my journaling prompts to explore who you are and where you’re going in this new year, please feel free to check out the blog and the project and jump in. You can formally register here (for a more personalized approach), or you can just use the journal prompts I’m posting each day. There’s no charge to register – it’s my gift to you!
In the meantime, I’m still OneMomTalking and continuing the journey. Know that I pray for you all (collectively and often individually), and send love across the cyber-miles.
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.
This is my first humble attempt at creating a youtube video with a bit of spiritual teaching and an original song. Surely we’ve all had questions for God. Please view gently – I’m just testing this out.
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.
The Twelve Days of Christmas – One Mom style, with many thanks
On the twelfth day of Christmas my children gave to me…
Twelve prayers answered,
Eleven years of therapy,
Ten gifts bought with their own money,
Nine brand new friends,
Eight college credits,
Seven hugs for Mama,
Six job applications,
Five straight good nights’ sleep!
Four of us in church,
Three siblings laughing,
Two new family members,
And the blessing of their sobriety!
I cannot believe that I get to spend this Christmas with all of my children! My boys are doing so well, my son’s girlfriend is also doing great and taking care of herself and my grand-baby-to-be… I have so much to be thankful for. So to you all – those who share a season of blessings and those who are in the midst of the darkness that addiction can bring – I send you my prayers and my love. Keep on living. You are not alone. We’re in this together. God bless!