A blog for parents concerned about their teens alcohol and drug use

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Someone asked me, “What has been the hardest part of sharing a story that has a lot of personal experience woven in?” My answer may be difficult to understand for someone who doesn’t write.

Once I get going on a novel, my own experience becomes material for me to use. As I said in a previous post, it is no longer “my story.” As in any novel, it must have what all good stories have: characters we believe in, dramatic tension, maybe some light that shines through for somebody at the close. A novel is usually a lot more ordered than our real lives. So I write, and to make it a good story, where I need to go next is pretty much intuitive: there are real events and imaginary ones that “come” to me, and I don’t differentiate. It’s like I’m building a house: I just haul over what I need next to try to keep the structure from falling down.

And maybe there’s another reason writers write as opposed to telling a support group the truth of their troubles as they see it: In a story, what has happened can be transformed into how it might happen. People still struggling in the writer’s real world can, in this invented story, make some small move that leads us all to believe recovery is possible. 

But — and here’s what turns out to be the hardest part, and maybe if I’d fully faced these consequences, I wouldn’t have written Night Navigation

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Posted by Ginnah Howard  /  Filed under Writing About Addiction  /  Comments: 0

Warning Signs of Drug Abuse
Thursday, May 14th, 2009

When do you know when a loved one is suffering from an addiction? Is it when you notice their growing distance? After too many of their lies have caught up with them? Or perhaps, it is the more subtle moments, when their actions border on the fringe of normalcy and intuition jumps in to warn us that something’s off? For my family the signs were vividly present yet camouflaged with aspects of what appeared to be just teenage behaviors. Looking back I realized, with great anguish, how my stepdaughter Katherine’s disease of addiction manifested right before our very eyes as early as high school. But it wasn’t until college that we finally knew she was using. We thought she was just going through a phase of self-discovery and testing authority with standard acts of rebellion. Little did we know she was experimenting with hard drugs and slipping away further. Before long, drugs had destroyed her sense of family, self-respect and zest for life. Meth had devoured everything she and our family held dear. Our beloved little daughter turned her back on us, shut us out and anchored in a place of loneliness; hopelessness and absolute devastation…and it took everything in our power to get her back.

Katherine’s story is not just ours. Too many families continue to witness the devastating effects of addiction. So as a parent who has witnessed it all and come out the other side with a healthy loved one in full recovery, I would like to share Katherine’s story with you. Over the next several weeks, I will be blogging about her journey from dissent to recovery.

Posted by Linda Quirk  /  Filed under Warning Signs  /  Comments: more


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Welcome to Intervene. We are a community of experts, parents and caring adults concerned about our teens’ alcohol and drug use and have come together to share our insights, inspiration, guidance and help.

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