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Author: Lisa Hillman

Where did you send your son?

Where did you send your son?

A question I often am asked is, “Where did Jacob go?” The rest of the question is…for treatment? To get well? To stop using? Regardless, the real question is always the same. Does it matter? Ten years into my son’s recovery, I cannot recall the names of the places in Florida where his last treatment …

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There was a time when I pretended he didn’t exist

There was a time when I pretended he didn’t exist

Impossible to believe today, but there was a time when I pretended he didn’t exist. I had no son. When Jacob was actively using, and I felt so hopeless that no matter what I tried he kept trudging down a dangerous path, I had an inconceivable thought. If I could steel myself against the crushing …

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Don’t you ever get angry?

Don’t you ever get angry?

He leaned in and asked the question without malice or presumption. Don’t you ever get angry? The counselor Jacob and I had been seeing waited for my answer. I was alone in his office, one of few meetings without Jacob. His question stunned me. Angry? It was an emotion fairly foreign to me. Disappointment, frustration, …

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The Three Cs

The Three Cs

When she sat next to me, I sensed her tension.  She was fighting hard to stay calm and stave off tears that inevitably would fall. As a “newcomer,” someone attending an Al-Anon meeting for the first time, she needed to hear the right message, words that would help to reach beyond her misery and give …

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What addiction has taught me

What addiction has taught me

Recently I was asked what – if anything — I have learned from my son’s addiction. And now that he has ten years in recovery, and I more than 11 years in Al-Anon, is there anything I want to pass along to someone living with active addiction? Yes, and this may be just for starters… …

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A Headline with Hope

A Headline with Hope

Maybe it’s our nature.  We dwell on the negative. With addiction there is good reason.  It is easy to feel depressed, anxious and fearful, just as those suffering with the disorder. Headlines don’t help. The pandemic and its forced isolation have fueled one of our worst periods since recording drug deaths.  Headlines scream: Yearly drug …

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Long-term “Recover-ers” offer Words of Hope

Long-term “Recover-ers” offer Words of Hope

When Jacob was actively using, what gave me great hope was the wisdom of those in long-term recovery.  They never failed to say what I needed to hear. Recently, I posed the following question to several men in long-term recovery: What words of hope can you offer to parents worried over a child’s addiction? Tom …

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Where hope lives

Where hope lives

I am sitting in a large community-based fellowship hall with some 50 people. Most are in their 20s and 30s.  There are many who are older, too. This is an AA meeting in South Florida. My son has invited me. He attends this gathering every week, arranging his work and social schedule always to be …

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Understanding “recovery”

Understanding “recovery”

Recently, I had the great pleasure of talking with men and women in long-term recovery. They opened up about building new lives. Their kind and generous responses are too rich not to share. In this post, and again in two weeks, please allow me to offer their words. If you are suffering with the love …

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A New Year’s Gift: Words of hope from those who know

A New Year’s Gift: Words of hope from those who know

Some of the most profound people I know are those in recovery – especially those who have been in recovery for years. They have a strength unique to them, plus a hard-earned wisdom they are willing to share with “outsiders” like me. Recently – looking to this New Year – I asked several men and …

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