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Archive for April, 2010
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Dealing with Our Addicts: Controlling Our Actions and Reactions
Friday, April 30th, 2010

We all have frustrating confrontations with our addicts.  Most of us experience this every day.  It is up to us to control our own actions and reactions to get through this in the least damaging way to ourselves.  We really are in control of our own stress.

I have many drug-addicts and alcoholics in my life whom I love very much. And I have had a lot of practice dealing with them.  It is hard work to achieve, but there can be some peace and serenity if we choose it.

Have you ever watched a hawk sit quietly while a small bird squawks and dive bombs him repeatedly?  I saw this through my binoculars this morning.  Seeing this reminded me that we can learn a lot about life by paying attention to nature.

I’m sure that this hawk would have been the victor if he chose to react to the small bird, but he remained calm and steady.  After a few minutes, the small bird just flew away.  The hawk continued to “hang out” in the tree taking in his surroundings, with a content smile on his face.

This action (really inaction) is an excellent example of

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Posted by Denise Krochta  /  Filed under Addiction, Alcohol, Taking Care of Yourself  /  Comments: more

Writing a Letter to Your Child with a Drug or Alcohol Problem
Monday, April 19th, 2010

In response to Ron Grover’s recent post, there’s been a lot of discussion about the benefits of writing a letter to a son or daughter struggling with a drug or alcohol problem.

And I think there’s something in it for both the parent and the child.

For a parent, a letter allows a chance to express feelings that they may not be able to say in person. The simple act of sitting down and writing can often be cathartic. There’s something about capturing and sharing the dizzying array of feelings we walk around with – the frustrations, anger, disappointment, hope and love — to your teen or young adult in the written word.

Maybe because of our fast-paced digital world the old-fashioned, ink-on-paper way of communicating is intimate, a true expression of the heart and mind.

And obviously there’s something unique for the recipient too. A  fresh  way to get through to a child. Somehow it’s different than an email or text – or even a conversation.

What do you think about reaching out to your child with a written letter?  Have you done this before, and if so, what phrases or words have struck a chord?  Would you recommend letter-writing to other parents looking to get through to their child with a drug or alcohol problem? Also, what about sending an email or a text – do you think this packs the same emotional punch?

If you’ve already written a letter to your child, please feel free to share the letter here as well as any tips you have with others in our community.

Writing a Letter to Your Child with a Drug or Alcohol Problem

Posted by Community Manager Olivia  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Writing About Addiction  /  Comments: more

An Open Letter to My Son or Anyone with a Drug Addiction
Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Life is not easy. It’s not easy if you are a drug addict or even if you are not an addict. It’s all about evolution. The strong survive.  It’s not just about physical strength; it is more about mental strength. Do you have the will to survive?  Do you have the strength to make it one more day?

As a person who has never been a drug addict or an alcoholic, I can only speak from that perspective. My insight into your world is only through observation. I do not wish to walk in your shoes. But I can tell you what it is like to walk in mine – if you are serious about sobriety.

Every day I have unfulfilled wants and they are not centered on anyone else. It may seem selfish, but I believe that the center of one’s being can only revolve around oneself. I want things, I want different feelings, I want changes in others, I want, I want, I want. It really never ends. I believe that desire is no different for a drug addict or non-addict.

Daily there are people out there telling you, no – a boss, friends, parents, spouses, and girlfriends – that is just a part of life.  Disappointment and hurt is as much a part of living as joy, happiness and love. Hurt is the same for an addict as it is for a non-addict. The difference is how we react to and cope with our emotions, whether they are good or bad.  I don’t know what drugs do for an addict to help cope with disappointment. I don’t know how drugs heighten the joy of happiness. But I do know that my life would be very monochromatic without the peaks and valleys.

I have no doubt from observing you that you hated every day that you were using drugs. I can see how your life was out of control, spiraling into a pit of hurt and despair. You became so lost that the helping hands of others could not even be grasped.

I see your struggles with being clean. More pain than joy. It’s a time in your life where the scales are not balanced. You are working so hard to survive but everyone is saying, no.  There are so many frustrations.  What is the use, you may wonder?

There is one place where no one will say no. There is one life that will accept you. The life of drug use that you have known for the last several years. That is the easy path to take. 

But, please know that the immediate pain you feel now will eventually fade.

Just as when my father died, there was terrible pain for me. I wanted to pick up the phone and call him, but I knew I couldn’t. I wanted one last time, for old times’ sake, but I couldn’t. I flashed back to all the good times, but they were not to be any more. I believe that feeling of loss is something similar to what you are experiencing in order to live on. Your old life must die – and there is tremendous pain with that death. Each day you will want to use just one more time. Time may heal all wounds but sometimes the scars are there forever.

In time, the scales will balance and you will experience more joy than pain. But for now you must travel the difficult path and find the will to survive. You will become stronger each time you choose to steer away from that dangerous and tempting path at the fork in the road. It may be hard to see because the path to recovery is difficult.  But please know you are not walking alone – hands of help are reaching out to you with your every step.

You don't need to walk alone on the path to recovery.

Posted by Ron Grover  /  Filed under Addiction, Family History, Recovery & Relapse  /  Comments: more

Adjusting to Recovery: When Your Addicted Child Begins to Get Well
Thursday, April 1st, 2010

What happens when what you have hoped and prayed for finally takes place? After months or years of living in fear for the very life of your child, she decides either on her own or ordered by the courts, to get treatment. Or she begins to attend meetings regularly to pursue recovery and living a healthy life in whatever form that works for her?

Where does that leave you? The mom or the dad who has laid awake at night wondering how on earth you can help your child.  Wondering if she is alive? Wondering if she is using drugs right at that very moment, is she safe, warm enough, hungry, is anyone hurting her or taking advantage of her?  Now what is your role as the parent?

I will tell you that I, as a mother, still worry. Is she going to enough meetings? Is she really even at her meetings?  Is she being honest? Is she really working her program? Each time she left the house I was in so much fear I was literally sick.

I thought that when she got treatment our problems would be solved.  Little did I know that we were just beginning the most intense journey of our lives.  Treatment and recovery is where the rubber met the road for our family.  It’s where the real work began for all of us – the whole family.  There are no quick fixes.

It was during those times when my daughter Hallah was in treatment that I realized how

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Posted by Annette  /  Filed under Addiction, Recovery & Relapse, Treatment  /  Comments: more


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