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Get Out of My Way: A Song About Crack Cocaine Addiction and Broken Dreams
Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Get out of my way. That’s exactly what I wanted everyone to do when I was active in my addiction. If a person didn’t have money or something I could sell for crack cocaine, then I wanted nothing to do with them. All that my family could do was watch the whirlwind of devastation from the sidelines. They tried to encourage me to seek help, but I didn’t want to hear a word they said.

As the years past, my addiction became all-consuming and that love affair turned into the only thing I cared about.  I can recall countless times looking intently at the person staring back at me each time I walked by a mirror. During the height of my addiction, I couldn’t stand my reflection as it reminded of me how I lost myself to drugs.  But as I began my recovery, slowly overtime I started to appreciate my presence. I shifted my thought process so that I would no longer be running away from the person that I wanted to become.

By the time I chose to become sober, I had accumulated many broken dreams, torn relationships and a loss of trust between me and the people I cared about most.  My choice of sobriety didn’t happen after an intervention or an epiphany on a random day.  It occurred over time after a series of desperate moments.  Those feelings of hopelessness convinced me that I needed to get and remain sober if I wanted to reclaim my life.

I’m grateful to be alive and well today and I owe a lot of it to hard work and self-reflection.  It couldn’t have happened if I didn’t work toward a life in recovery.  I had to drop the anger, stop blaming others and clean up every aspect of my life.  I quit name calling to deflect the anger that I was feeling internally for not being able to stop using drugs.  I had to stop and eventually I became strong enough to do just that.

I captured these struggles in the song “Get Out of My Way,” which I co-wrote with my twin brother, Rock Star.  This song expresses those moments of fighting off the beast and the raw intensity of drug addiction that held me captive for nearly 15 years.

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Posted by Super Star  /  Filed under Addiction, Cocaine, Patience, Recovery, Shame, Treatment  /  Comments: more



6 Things My Husband and I Did to Save Our Marriage
Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Save your marriageMiraculously, my husband Matt and I have been married for 26 years.  We are raising the last of our 4 kids together and our marriage has survived some significant hits through the years.

In our early years, there was a physical injury that resulted in the loss of Matt’s career and financial calamity, we lost a baby due to a second trimester miscarriage, we have both lost our fathers in their old age and we have faced the disease of addiction as it insidiously wound its way through our family unit.

Dealing with our daughter’s addiction was by far the most difficult and the most painful thing we have had to navigate together as a couple. In our early years, we were both sort of shell shocked and in my mind I can see the two of us just standing there with our mouths open, asking each other, “What just happened?”  It was not good. Neither one of us could believe that one of our kids, to whom we had devoted our adult lives, would have, or could have, headed off in this direction.  We lived in denial for a long time.

There was a lot of frantic hand wringing and tears, as we tried to figure out what to do.  What was normal experimentation and what was really a problem? Our biggest obstacle was that we were not in agreement on how to handle anything. I was devastated and showed it through my endless crying and obsessing. Matt was trying to calm me down so I wasn’t a hindrance to the process of trying to figure out how big of a problem this really was and how we should proceed.

Eventually, after several years and many Al-anon meetings, we were able to build a cohesive team who can now face, at least on most days, the challenges that life brings to us in a healthier and more constructive fashion.

Here are some of the things we learned:

1.) Accept Each Other. We have to learn how to accept each other as we are. This means understanding that we are doing the very best we know how to do, and most of all, that our goals are the same and we have different ways of coping — to keep our daughter alive long enough to find a healthy recovery. It set us both free to process our thoughts with each other without the fear of criticism or verbal attack. After we accepted each other, we began to acknowledge that we are a team and no one on earth has our child’s best interest at heart the way the two of us do.

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Posted by Annette  /  Filed under Acceptance, Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Denial, Family members, getting help, Marriage, Shame  /  Comments: more



A Mother’s Thoughts on Blame
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

parents fightingMy journal entry: I want to blame someone – anyone - for my son’s addiction. I was sure that my son’s behavior, his affliction, was his father’s fault. Or mine. I’ve worn the yolk of guilt for years – better my fault than his. The truth is that I still have no one to blame because I’m sure there is no one to blame. After more than ten years and continual heartbreaks, I’ve come to realize his addiction is just that. Folks in the field of drug treatment call it an allergy. He has the allergy and we are all affected.

My reflection today on my entry above: Blame. I wanted to put my pain at someone else’s feet. I wanted to scream, “It’s your fault and look what happened to my son!” I spent a lot of time blaming his friends, drug dealers and even myself.

When I finally quit trying to assign blame and decided to deal with the addiction, I was able to help my son and our family. Whatever the reason for the addiction, Jeff had it. I started to educate myself about addiction. I used my time for better things than blame.

Today’s Promise: I will not blame myself or anyone else. When I had cancer, I blamed no one and fought the cancer. My son is addicted and he must fight. There is no room for blame.

Related Links
Teen Drug Addiction: When Parents Blame Themselves
A Mother’s Love and Hate for Her Addicted Son
Acceptance

Posted by Libby Cataldi  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Denial, Shame  /  Comments: more



The Stigma of Drug Addiction
Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

One of the biggest barriers to patients getting help is the stigma of addiction. The stigma is so pervasive that many family members also resist seeking help for a loved one and for themselves out of fear of discrimination, shame from feeling like a failure or embarrassment from being judged by others.  This happens too often resulting in too many families destroyed.

Addiction affects many individuals and families.  But, it doesn’t have to be this way.  And it begins with sharing our stories, better public education and a broader sense of acceptance of addiction as a treatable disease (similar to diabetes, heart disease, etc.).

Read what these five parents had to say about the stigma of addiction:

this river

Susan: I have felt shame about having a child who is an addict. It’s one of the toughest emotions I’ve had to deal with. The ignorance of others; neighbors, friends, family, etc., is frustrating and can make you feel bad about yourself. I’ve found that reading the Intervene blog and going to Alanon meetings have been a big help.

Colleen: Family members and friends do not understand. They try, but society and media have them convinced that there is something amoral or weak about addicts. I get asked,”Why would he do this to you?” “Why do you allow him to live this way?” I am perceived as a bad parent by many, and I have been completely torn apart by some neighbors on a very public social network. My son is considered by many to just be a problem that society doesn’t need. I tell my friends and family, “It was his choice to try heroin the first time. That was his very bad choice. After that, he had no choice.” No one would choose death or jail if it wasn’t a disease. Anyone who can’t see that, well, they are the problem.

Ron: We spent years hiding from our son’s addiction. We denied it, we were ashamed of it, we tried protecting him from it, if we could have disappeared we would have. That strategy served no one well.

When we were able to overcome our shame we were finally able to take the first steps forward in helping ourselves and being in a place to help him when the time comes. We also began to realize that when people ask about our son it was because they cared about us and they cared about him. It isn’t fair to shut out these people that care for us because we are ashamed and embarrassed. I actually wrote a posting for The Partnership about overcoming your shame.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Community Manager Olivia  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Denial, Shame, Stigma, Substance Abuse, Taking Care of Yourself  /  Comments: more






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