Blog

Category: Blog

No one gets through it alone

No one gets through it alone

It haunts me every time. Recently, it was a close friend, a father who is living the nightmare of his son’s active addiction.  Complicated by the young man’s mental illness, this father’s not sure which came first – the drugs or the mental sickness – but the heavy marijuana use thwarts any effort to find …

+ Read More

Why I still attend Al-Anon meetings

Why I still attend Al-Anon meetings

Recently a mother suffering the effects of her son’s substance abuse asked me why I still attend Al-Anon meetings. That evening she was celebrating her loved one’s newfound sobriety.  He was six months clean and she was overjoyed to have him “back.” While I celebrated with her, my instinct was to caution her.  There is …

+ Read More

What’s in a word?

What’s in a word?

How often do we hear addiction referred to as a “disease?”  And we are told that those who suffer from the effects of the “disease”  – directly or indirectly –  are ill? For years, professionals who treat people with substance abuse, and many in recovery themselves, have fought to decriminalize addiction.  Calling it a “disease” …

+ Read More

A Safe Distance

A Safe Distance

It’s often the very first question asked.  After I share my story with an audience, with or without Jacob at my side, a hand goes up from the back of the room. “My sister has a son who’s been in and out of treatment.  He’s 34 and he’s still using.  He lives with her and …

+ Read More

I apologize

I apologize

Among the many life lessons learned through my son’s recovery from addiction, and thereby from my own, is to make amends promptly.  I’ve also learned that it doesn’t matter if you did or didn’t do the wrong.  What matters is,  does the other person perceive you did? A recent incident reminded me.  A local charity …

+ Read More

To Stay or Go

To Stay or Go

The woman seemed haunted.  When she talked about her son, a shadow fell across her eyes. I met Carol (not her real name) recently.  She fell in step with me as we walked with a group of Americans on the tiled streets of Granada, part of a six-city tour of Spain.   Her adult son had …

+ Read More

Chasing treatment

Chasing treatment

At a recent book talk a mother asked me, “How involved did you get in researching places for your son?” Her anxious face catapulted me back into the crazed, frenetic days of Jacob’s disease, when he was at his worst, and so was I.   The memory brought back all the feelings of feeling out of …

+ Read More

Walk it off

Walk it off

You know it.  You hear it incessantly.   Exercise is one of the best relievers of stress.  It’s something easy we can do for ourselves. But what if you’re suffering the worst kind of stress – an obsession with someone you love who’s slowly killing himself – and thereby you, too – through drug or alcohol …

+ Read More

The Birthday Month

The Birthday Month

In the church hall 200 people sit in rows of folding chairs awaiting the night’s main speaker.  Eyes face forward. The leader opens with a wide-grinned apology.  Tonight’s AA meeting may go longer than an hour.  It’s “birthday” night. One evening each month the group recognizes members celebrating their annual sobriety dates during that month.  …

+ Read More

Hope revisited

Hope revisited

It’s a four letter word.  Nowhere could it be more palpable than in this South Florida church  where we visit each January with our son. Practically a pilgrimage, this annual return to a place that attracts scores of mostly young people seeking sobriety draws us in. We are with Jacob, seated beside him.  Around us …

+ Read More