Blog

Author: Lisa Hillman

“Dopesick”

“Dopesick”

I’ve always admired journalists. A journalist who spends years researching a difficult subject – sacrificing personal time with a ferociousness to educate the rest of us – is someone to admire even more. That’s how I felt recently when I met Beth Macy, author of “Dopesick,” at a charitable event in Washington DC.  Other journalists …

+ Read More

I love you, but…

I love you, but…

How many times did I say this as my son grew up?  How often did I repeat them in the troubled days of his active addiction, sometimes at the worst times? I recall saying it the evening my husband and I returned from a meeting at the high school where Jacob’s advisor warned us:  your …

+ Read More

Alcogenic

Alcogenic

The first time I read that word my son was fighting for sobriety.  He was early in recovery and I was reading everything I could about addiction. Ann Dowsett Johnston, author of “Drink,” describes our society as ‘alcogenic,’ meaning a “’drinking culture.”  Because so many Americans drink,  social events revolve around alcohol.  On weekends we …

+ Read More

When listening is enough

When listening is enough

Recently I overheard a young man in recovery talking by phone to his mother.  A distance of several states separated them. But it sounded like the distance was far greater. The man – barely out of adolescence – was downloading details about an incident at his job site.  By his raised voice and staccato phrases, …

+ Read More

Two mothers, two sons

Two mothers, two sons

Going to AA meetings with Jacob during family vacations has become as routine as visiting the “100 Flavors” of ice cream on the boardwalk each evening. But this year held a highlight. It began when I learned that a close friend from Annapolis was vacationing the same week with her family nearby. Nine years ago …

+ Read More

Recovery – what’s next?

Recovery – what’s next?

So much is written about how to survive when someone you love is in active addiction. But what happens when recovery begins? When Jacob was using, I lost him.  The son I’d raised, the son I wanted, was gone.  But once he stopped abusing alcohol and other drugs, the son I loved began to re-emerge. …

+ Read More

No one gets through it alone

No one gets through it alone

It haunts me every time. Recently, it was a close friend, a father who is living the nightmare of his son’s active addiction.  Complicated by the young man’s mental illness, this father’s not sure which came first – the drugs or the mental sickness – but the heavy marijuana use thwarts any effort to find …

+ Read More

Why I still attend Al-Anon meetings

Why I still attend Al-Anon meetings

Recently a mother suffering the effects of her son’s substance abuse asked me why I still attend Al-Anon meetings. That evening she was celebrating her loved one’s newfound sobriety.  He was six months clean and she was overjoyed to have him “back.” While I celebrated with her, my instinct was to caution her.  There is …

+ Read More

What’s in a word?

What’s in a word?

How often do we hear addiction referred to as a “disease?”  And we are told that those who suffer from the effects of the “disease”  – directly or indirectly –  are ill? For years, professionals who treat people with substance abuse, and many in recovery themselves, have fought to decriminalize addiction.  Calling it a “disease” …

+ Read More

A Safe Distance

A Safe Distance

It’s often the very first question asked.  After I share my story with an audience, with or without Jacob at my side, a hand goes up from the back of the room. “My sister has a son who’s been in and out of treatment.  He’s 34 and he’s still using.  He lives with her and …

+ Read More