Blog & News

When words misfire

When words misfire

My son and daughter hate how I pepper them with questions. Whether it’s the journalist in me or just overanxious mothering, I have so much to ask them. Always. They just roll their eyes – there goes Mom again – and balk. When Jacob entered his senior year in high school, my habit got worse. …

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Isn’t it time to give up shame?

Isn’t it time to give up shame?

I still hear it. A mother or father whose child is abusing drugs or alcohol, locked away in a basement bedroom at home, is terrified lest anyone find out. Maybe they will share it with a counselor or a physician. But never to a relative or friend, and certainly not to a neighbor. What if …

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A laughing matter

A laughing matter

Recently our family gathered in New Hampshire for a two-week vacation.  Whenever we are together, there is typically lots of laughter. It’s probably genetic. My parents had a keen sense of humor.  So does my brother.  When we both married funny and smart-witted spouses, my father’s only lament was “I didn’t get a straight-man.” Fast …

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When trust changes

When trust changes

A parent will ask, when can I trust my son or daughter again? Until high school Jacob was healthy, smart, college-bound.  A cross-country runner, member of the band, surrounded by other smart, healthy and college-bound kids, he was the light of our lives. No matter how busy our days, his father and I made sure …

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Great excuses

Great excuses

I’ve heard them all. Recently, talking with a friend, we recalled where we were – physically and emotionally – when our sons were using.  We talked about how we never want to go back there. What saved us – or at least me – was Al-Anon. Never a groupie, I shunned the idea of joining …

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Choosing your children

Choosing your children

There’s a line early in Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin’s new memoir “Unthinkable” that lingers long after the final pages. He recounts all the people he loves, including his wife, relatives and the “splendid” colleagues he knows across America, but he readily admits …”there is no one I would rather be with on any given day …

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Why Father’s Day?

Why Father’s Day?

My father thought it was silly. He called “Father’s Day” a “made-up Chamber of Commerce holiday,” commercial and phony. My husband feels the same. Maybe that’s why – when our son was in active addiction – the day came and went without much notice. Now that Jacob is ten years in recovery with a thoughtful …

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What therapists don’t know

What therapists don’t know

Sometimes therapists will call me. They know my story. They know I want to help other families. But often I am appalled at how little some therapists know about families suffering with addiction, and how uninformed some are about groups like AA and Al-Anon Maybe they skip the chapter on addiction during their training. Perhaps …

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Don’t lie to me

Don’t lie to me

Mom: “Don’t lie to me.” Son: “Then don’t ask.” This conversation never happened. But it could have. How many times did I want to grill my son during his last year of high school? Why did you drop off the track team? Did you know you’re failing English, History? Where were you last night? Questions …

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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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