Blog & News

You mean, I can set boundaries?

You mean, I can set boundaries?

A father recently asked, how do you handle the guilt when you don’t want your loved one to come home after rehab?  When you fear she is not ready? His question sent me spiraling back years ago, a moment when Jacob was “between” rehabs. We had dropped him off at a rehab center in Maryland …

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Hope imagined

Hope imagined

Don’t take this literally.  I’ve never been there, never witnessed it.   It was shared with me second hand.  But it is as real in my imagination as if I were there. Maybe more. Here’s what I see. A large resort in South Florida.  The hotel holds nearly 1,000 guests.  Two large pools rim an oceanside …

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What the road sign says

What the road sign says

Summertime, my husband and I often travel.  Perhaps a road trip here and there. Besides being fun, a change of scenery inspires the spirit, soothes the soul. Whenever we leave home, I am struck by how prevalent addiction is in other communities, Signs of it are especially evident in small towns.  A poster on a …

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Cultivating the cult

Cultivating the cult

Some people say programs like AA and Al-Anon are a cult.  If that’s so, may there be more cultists among us! Often in Al-Anon meetings – and AA too – you will hear someone say, “the program saved my life.”  It is not an exaggeration. Shame, anxiety, fear, and depression overwhelmed me when Jacob was …

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Let freedom ring

Let freedom ring

This fourth of July I am thinking about freedom. Not so much our nation’s or the freedoms we value every day. Rather, it is the freedom that comes from no longer living with active addiction. I see it in others, too. Like the relief a mother feels when her daughter agrees to inpatient treatment, and …

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Alcoholism, Fatherhood, and a US Senator

Alcoholism, Fatherhood, and a US Senator

Through the years of my son’s active addiction, what I wanted most was a story of survival.  How could someone overcome the lethal grip of alcohol or drugs and return to a “normal,” healthy life? Like many people who love someone with addiction, I needed hope. Well-known Annapolis author John W. Frece has just published …

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One and done

One and done

When we drove onto the grounds of the treatment center, my first thought was, this is it.  This is where my son gets well. The setting was picture-perfect.  Pastoral.   Any ache, mental or physical, would be healed here, swept away under ancient, leafy oaks, cleansed alongside a sweep of graceful weeping willows. Even the stream …

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What’s in a name

What’s in a name

Ask anyone who knows something about addiction. Or read any article on the topic. Most will say addiction is a disease. When I first heard that, even long before addiction assaulted my family, I thought it was a kind way of labeling something people did to themselves.   Abusing drugs or alcohol was a choice, wasn’t …

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Denying denial

Denying denial

The mom’s face gives it away every time.  Her son is using only a little, she tells me.  He smokes weed sometimes.  Well maybe more than just sometimes. Yes, he spends a lot of time in his room, and he doesn’t seem to care about school anymore.  But no, he’s not an addict. For the …

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The middle C

The middle C

At first, I didn’t get it.   Maybe no one does at the beginning. When you’re new to addiction in a loved one or friend, you learn about the “Three Cs:” You didn’t cause it. You can’t control it and You can’t cure it. It took months, maybe years, to accept each of these. Like a …

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