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Even in Prague

Even in Prague

Prague, Capital of the Czech Republic.  Certainly not a city you would associate with addiction, or any other disease.  But there we were in early July, attending an AA meeting with our son.  The city was a brief stopover at the end of a river cruise celebrating a family anniversary. Without fanfare, Jacob announced he’d …

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Where there is fear, there is hope.

Where there is fear, there is hope.

At a recent book talk a woman raised her hand and asked, “Do you ever get over the fear?” Her adult son, two and half years clean, was living several states away.  They spoke often by phone and she had the sense he was doing well.  But she couldn’t stop worrying.   “I worry that he …

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Hiding

Hiding

It happens frequently. I’m on the treadmill at the gym, and a woman appears at my side.  She introduces herself and tells me she just finished “Secret No More.” Tears fill her eyes.  She thanks me, and says I am so brave.  Later, I wonder, why “brave?” I walk through the Naval Academy, a common …

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Admiring the older guys

Admiring the older guys

When we visit Jacob in Florida we often attend AA meetings with him.  These are typically “open” – meaning anyone can attend – and normally held in a church.  They remind me, again, how grateful I am to churches, synagogues, local governments and hospitals for opening their doors to people in recovery, usually without charging.  …

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Safe Stations celebrates first year

Safe Stations celebrates first year

This month marks the first anniversary of a program that’s saving hundreds of lives in a Maryland county ravaged by addiction. Last April, County Executive Steve Schuh, flanked by police and fire chiefs, the health officer, state’s attorney and a woman named Jen Corbin – head of the county’s crisis response system – announced that …

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Taking steps towards recovery

Taking steps towards recovery

Recently I met a young woman named “Jen.”   After six years on the run, she is living in a female sober living house and testing her first weeks of sobriety.  Surrounded by women who are months and years ahead of her in recovery, she craves the strength and experience they provide to guide her each …

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When you want to trust the therapist

When you want to trust the therapist

Even today I cannot recall his last name.  He went by some nickname, Art or Andy.  He was the first therapist in our family’s lives.  Just knowing we were “seeing a therapist” felt so strange.  But I was desperate to find someone to help my child. A colleague had said he was “good with kids.” …

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Six Years

Six Years

Wearing a cream-colored polo shirt and dark jeans, the young man stands at the front of the room.  Before him is a worn, wooden podium atop a small table.  His hair is cropped short and his beard neatly trimmed.  When he smiles, his teeth flash white.  Eyes are green, no, hazel under the ceiling’s fluorescent …

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When it’s about time

When it’s about time

The sudden quiet in their voices catches my ear. The group has been chattering for about an hour.  My husband and I are sharing sushi with our son and his friends at a favorite Thai restaurant.  The talk is mostly about food, weekend plans and the next retreat. Then, their voices drop.  I hear, so …

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Where hope is restored

Where hope is restored

Each January my husband and I visit our son in South Florida.   Frequently he invites us to attend open AA meetings.  It’s a glimpse into a world few who are not addicts or alcoholics get to see, or perhaps even want to see. For me AA meetings are intensely interesting.  In South Florida they are …

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