Contributing writers share their thoughts and inspirations.
It’s always hard to step out of your comfort zone – even when there’s nothing remotely comfortable about the zone your life currently occupies. That was one of the most troubling realizations that came to me when a perfect storm of difficulties descended, capped by my child’s addiction. From a family life that was happy by all standards, my world slowly began to crumble as a long series of hardships descended. A loved one’s terminal illness, older parents needing care, financial difficulties as my ability to work was compromised by the demands of caregiving. When addiction entered the mix, my [...]
We sit in a circle taking turns. Dorothy with the orange hair clutches her purse like a life raft as she tells us her husband stayed out again all night. Jason announces softly he’s moving out— a trial week away from his wife and having to watch her self-destruction. Three months, anguishes Norma, since she kicked her 16-year-old out of the house and still no word. I let their stories wash over me, sink in like the edge of a retreating tide blotted up by sand. Strange how pain shared can be so comforting how it pools into a kind [...]
In the early days of my daughter’s addiction, Simon and Garfunkel’s’ Bridge Over Troubled Water was the soundtrack to my life. It was an anthem for me, the Warrior Mom, the one who would do anything to rescue my daughter. The song played in my head. It spoke to me. Inspired me. I would “lay me down,” sacrificing my physical, emotional and financial health to save her. The best lyric? “I’ll take your part… when darkness comes… and pain is all around.” Yes, I was ready to suffer for her benefit. It was brave. It was noble. It was fearless. [...]
Note from the author: I wrote this in preparation for our upcoming parent group meeting focused on gratitude, because I am often able to write better than I speak. There is a quote I love by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, she said: “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depth. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” I think you [...]
If you suspect that your child is using drugs, he or she probably is. I denied the classic warning signs of drug addiction in my son for years. The loss of old friends, the stealing, the lying, sleeping all day and going out all night. I was deluding myself into thinking it was a phase and did not dare to admit to myself that there was a problem. I certainly wasn’t going to talk to family or friends about my suspicions. I was embarrassed, ashamed and convinced I would be judged as a bad parent. The reality is that the [...]
There is nothing digestible or tolerable about discovering that your child is in the throes of drug and alcohol addiction. One of the first things you may notice is how outsiders marginalize you and reject the medical “brain science” of addiction. A strong belief exists that substance abuse is a moral or behavioral issue and a sure sign of weakness in you, your family, and your child. Whatever your personal “take” on addiction, it’s not until the monster invades your own home that you come face to face with the risks and chaos that define the lives of families battling [...]