Blog & News

The Solace of Dogs and Decembers

The Solace of Dogs and Decembers

She stares up at me with auburn eyes, alert and ready for any movement. Walking with Charlie, our two-year old adopted greyhound, brings time for reflection, especially on the cusp of a new year. Nine years ago on New Year’s Eve my son entered a far-away treatment center.  I faced that midnight frantic with fear …

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Behind the mask

Behind the mask

 Living in downtown Annapolis, we’ve been watching reconstruction of Lawyers Mall, the open-air, bricked plaza facing Maryland’s State House, for more than two years now. Recently, I spoke with one of the dozens of workmen. “Just a few more weeks,” he said.  “It’s been a daily haul, but we’re almost there.”   Even his thick, dusty …

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The greatest gift

The greatest gift

December. Even the word conjures joy, starlit skies and glittering streets, breath that dances in the air, sweet candy cane kisses.  A world in the best of moods. But maybe not this year. In these ominous December days, when the gift of health is probably the greatest of all, I am grateful that my family …

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When parents disagree

When parents disagree

A mom phoned the other day to talk about her daughter, just 19, living in a far-away state.  The girl had been abusing drugs for several years, drifting in and out of treatment centers.  She wanted desperately to “come home,” again. After listening carefully, I asked this distraught mother, “How is your husband handling this?” …

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A Thanksgiving Lesson

A Thanksgiving Lesson

Because of COVID, my family will not be together this Thanksgiving.  But we’ll be fine.  We have years of warm memories. All, except one. When Jacob was actively using and falling deeper into addiction, Thanksgiving brought only sadness. He was 21.  Weeks before the holiday he entered his first inpatient treatment.  After years of abusing …

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The Prayer

The Prayer

It always surprises me how many people don’t know it. It also surprises me how many do. When I first heard the Serenity Prayer, there was no personal link to addiction. In 1992 my work with a local health system landed me at the ribbon-cutting of the region’s first inpatient, substance use treatment center, called …

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Believing (in) my son

Believing (in) my son

Jacob was right.  I just didn’t understand it at the time. It was eight years ago and one year into his sobriety.  We were seated at an outdoor breakfast café in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where his recovery had taken him.  How clearly I recall his words, and the calm, quiet way he delivered them. “Ma, …

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What I didn’t say

What I didn’t say

Last Saturday I stumbled across a small gathering of people clustered in a circle at a street-end park.  They were seated on lawn chairs and beach blankets on a patch of green under a cobalt blue sky. As I walked by with Charlie, our two-year-old greyhound, I overheard one of the group who looked like …

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Where should we send our son?

Where should we send our son?

After months of trying to hide that their child is abusing drugs, parents often ask me, “Where did you send your son to ‘get well’?” I know what they really mean.  They know Jacob is healthy now.  So they must be asking about the treatment center I “sent” him to, because it “cured” him, right? …

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When friends await

When friends await

When Jacob was actively using, I shunned not only my family, but also my friends.  They sensed something was wrong.  But I didn’t want them to.  I blocked their every attempt to draw me out. Shame engulfed me.  I wasn’t ready to share the horror permeating my household.  I worked hard to hide my anxiety, …

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