Blog & News

Do you have other children?

Do you have other children?

When parents talk about a son or daughter who is abusing drugs or alcohol, their voices rarely falter. They are fully engrossed retelling the horrors of daily living – how this child with so much promise is ruining not only his life, but theirs. It sends me right back to my own years living that …

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When I didn’t like my son

When I didn’t like my son

Isn’t it unnatural for a parent not to love his or her child? This question came up in a conversation with a friend whose child is abusing drugs and alcohol. She reminded me there were times during Jacob’s active addiction when I didn’t want to be around him. I even questioned how much I loved …

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An Homage to Sponsors

An Homage to Sponsors

They serve almost without anyone knowing. They save thousands of lives every day. These are the men and women who serve as “sponsors” – those who have achieved recovery from addiction – and seek to help others achieve the same. Sponsorship is just one feature that makes  AA and Al-Anon so extraordinary. Sponsorship is free. …

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Finding gratitude

Finding gratitude

Ironic, isn’t it? It took a potentially fatal condition to introduce me to what’s now a popular phrase – a “gratitude list.” Pick up any self-help book or check any self-help blog and you see the term. Therapists recommend writing a “gratitude list” to reaffirm the positive in your life. It took many months of …

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Through their eyes

Through their eyes

When a parent loses a child, are there any words that can console? But when a parent loses a child to addiction, what then? With addiction comes unrelenting guilt, sometimes shame, remorse and isolation.  Does the unbearable anguish intensify? Today, tragedies unfold everywhere. Deaths from COVID that could be prevented. Afghan refugees and those left …

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When bones break

When bones break

A family member recently suffered an injury. Living through it, I am reminded how quickly life can be disrupted – and with no warning. But it also reminds me how different it is when a son or daughter or spouse suffers from addiction. The contrasts are stark. For the broken bone the path is clear. …

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A prayer for a friend

A prayer for a friend

I sit on a shaded bench on Rehoboth Avenue and watch people walk by. At this early-morning hour there are families with small children, an infant cradled in burly, tattooed arms, and a little girl skipping in a pink ballet skirt. Children are warned to hold hands crossing the street.  Couples are clasping coffee cups. …

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Elegy for a Friend

Elegy for a Friend

A friend died of Covid this year Her husband died, too, just days before. Recently, I was walking in her neighborhood and I found myself passing the street where she lived. Her house was empty, of course. A single tree lifted bright, crimson flowers above the tangled yard. Here once lived a woman who loved …

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It’s okay to feel joy

It’s okay to feel joy

“Weeping may tarry for the night But joy cometh in the morning.”   For a parent living with a son or daughter on drugs, it is impossible to feel joy. For years, I didn’t – or couldn’t.  When I tried to feel happy, thoughts of my son’s drug use erased all joy. Days were devoted …

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Can I drink around my son?

Can I drink around my son?

Often I am asked if I drink around my son. It’s a question that comes up frequently in support groups trying to help those with an addiction to alcohol. Professionals typically suggest cleaning out the house when a loved one comes home from rehab, or at least locking up any alcohol. But that doesn’t answer …

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