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Category: Blog

Understanding “recovery”

Understanding “recovery”

Recently, I had the great pleasure of talking with men and women in long-term recovery. They opened up about building new lives. Their kind and generous responses are too rich not to share. In this post, and again in two weeks, please allow me to offer their words. If you are suffering with the love …

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A New Year’s Gift: Words of hope from those who know

A New Year’s Gift: Words of hope from those who know

Some of the most profound people I know are those in recovery – especially those who have been in recovery for years. They have a strength unique to them, plus a hard-earned wisdom they are willing to share with “outsiders” like me. Recently – looking to this New Year – I asked several men and …

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A Tale of Two Mothers

A Tale of Two Mothers

“What do I do?” the mother asks me. “My son wants to come home for Christmas.” She sits before me, a friend from the effects of addiction on our families. It is near-impossible to tell her what to do. I am not a therapist – just one mother with one son. Still, our stories are …

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The Time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s

The Time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s

Thanksgiving to New Year’s is a time of joy for many people. Or so I’ve always thought. It’s a moment away from work. Time to relax with family. Share presents. Savor delicious meals. A retreat from the pressures of the year, and a healthy pause before it begins all over again. In the years when …

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Do you really want to ask?

Do you really want to ask?

Normal conversations include questions, right? When my son was abusing drugs – now nearly a decade ago – normal conversations were impossible. He was either rarely around or often groggy when he was. How many times did I want to ask him so many questions? – Where’d you go last night? – What time did …

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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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