Intervene

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




Does Relapse Mean Failure?
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Does Relapse Mean Failure?

He relapsed, does that mean he failed? HELL YES, over and over the same old crap!!! Won’t he ever GET IT???!!! (Expressed very loudly by a father of an addict: me.)

No, no, no, this isn’t a rant of today. Everything is still good with my son. These are the words that still echo in the walls of our home.

We all evolve and learn in the process of parenting an addict. When I first entered this world, my way of thinking was cut and dried. You either recovered or you didn’t. If you didn’t, you failed.

Well, learning is hard, especially if you happen to be an adult.  And when learning involves first unlearning what you believe to be true, it is particularly difficult.

I struggled a lot. It literally took me years to understand what so many people told me over and over, relapse is a part of recovery. It was hard to accept this idea when I couldn’t relate it to what I’d experienced and believed in my life.

I can remember sending Alex off to his first inpatient rehab. So easy that was. Why didn’t we think of this sooner? Send him away, write a really big check and he comes home cured. Boy was I dumb!

It didn’t take long for the anger to surface. Two weeks, in fact. What the hell, two weeks and it is the same old thing — except my bank account is minus $6000.

Fast forward through a lot of anger, time and way too many more dollars than I want to think about. Relapse is a part of recovery. I don’t know the statistics on how many addicts “get it” the first time, but they aren’t really relevant to our story.

What I have learned is that recovery is a process that involves many things and numerous variables of which relapse is one component. That’s not to mean I accept relapse because it is part of the package it just means I have a better grasp of the process and I am able to live in reality.

Does relapse mean failure?

Failure is the act of not trying. This is how I broke it down in simple terms and concepts for myself. When I was younger I water skied a lot. The first time I ran a slalom course I fell, if I remember right it was on the first ball. When I tried to trick ski I fell on my first 360.

Failure wasn’t me falling. Failure would have been if I climbed into the boat and never skied again. Failure isn’t the result of not succeeding. Failure is the result of not trying or giving up.

No matter how many times it takes.

To learn more, read 5 Things You Need to Know About Relapse.

(proof Darlene and I were young once upon a time)

Posted by Ron Grover  /  Filed under Acceptance, Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Family members, Forgiveness, parenting, Recovery & Relapse, relapse, Substance Abuse, Treatment, Uncategorized  /  Comments: more



5 Things You Need to Know About Relapse
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

People in recovery and their families are often terrified of relapse. Understanding the following 5 points may help.

1. Relapse is common. Although relapses are not inevitable, they are common. Many people have one or more relapses before achieving long-lasting sobriety or abstinence. This does not mean the end of efforts toward abstinence and recovery. The person needs to get back into treatment and the family needs to continue attending a support group, professional counseling, or both.

2. Work together to prevent relapse. People in recovery may have frequent urges to drink or use drugs, and feel guilty about it, even though these urges are a normal part of recovery. It’s important to work together to anticipate high-risk situations (such as a party where alcohol will be served) and plan ways to prevent them.

3. Relapse can happen during good times, too. Sometimes relapse occurs when the person is doing well with their recovery. He or she feels healthy, confident, and/or “cured” and believes that he or she is ready to go back to casual, regular or “controlled” use of drugs or alcohol. The person may remember the honeymoon period of their use (even though it may have been long ago) — where his or her use didn’t cause problems — and may want to return to that place. But this is often impossible since addiction changes the physical makeup of the brain and the person is recovery is no longer able to use drugs or alcohol in a controlled fashion.

4. If relapse occurs. Medical professionals, particularly those who specialize in substance use disorders, are an extremely important asset during a time of relapse. They can help the person learn techniques for containing feelings, focusing on the present, and making use of support from others. Relying on group support from Twelve Step programs, engaging in prayer or meditation, and finding other ways to stay on an even keel can also be extremely helpful.

5. Learn from relapse. Experts have found that a relapse can serve as an important opportunity for the recovering person and other family members to identify what triggered the relapse in the first place — and find ways to avoid it in the future.

Posted by Intervene Staff  /  Filed under Addiction, Alcohol, Drugs, Family Therapy, getting help, parenting, Recovery, Recovery & Relapse, relapse, Substance Abuse, Twelve Step, Uncategorized  /  Comments: more



Part II: An Overview of Relapse
Thursday, November 17th, 2011

=An Overview of Relapse

This is a guest blog post by Michael V. Pantalon, PhD, Yale Psychologist, Addiction & Motivation Expert, Speaker, Coach and author of INSTANT INFLUENCE: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything—Fast! (Little, Brown & Co., May, 2011).

Many people who enter into recovery (i.e., abstinence from their drug of abuse/dependence & engaged in treatment) will relapse at one point or another.  Though this seems like bad news, the flip side is that relapse can be a manageable part of recovery – some have even said that it has helped them solidify what they need to do in order for it to never happen again.  How did these people benefit from the pain of relapse?  What kernels of wisdom and insight might they have gleaned from it?  And how did their family and significant others help them through that process?

Well, while everyone’s relapse is different to some extent, there are some fairly predictable dynamics that family members should be aware of if they would like to help steer the affected individual through it as easily as possible and in a way that important lessons can be learned and applied in the future.

This is the opposite of the “One-drink-One-drunk” adage that says that the moment an alcoholic who has been in recovery for a period of time (even a long period of time, say 15 years) has a single drink or even sip, they return immediately back to the drunk they were 15 years ago.

While relapses can often set in motion a series of events both environmentally and biochemically that can eventually lead someone back to their worst point or lower, there is no scientific evidence that it happens immediately or that it is inevitable.  In fact, the scientific literature more clearly states that the manner in which the affected person, as well as significant other around him, HANDLES the relapse is much more predictive of how things will go in the future.

So, it’s not simply the relapse that causes problems, but how it’s handled.  That said, the reverse is also true (and much more positive and hopeful)…”The better the affected person and his significant others handle the relapse, the better he will do in the future (e.g., the shorter the relapse, the quicker the time back to treatment).”

How have you and your family members handled relapse in the past?  Did it work?  Please share with us in the comments section.

Related Links:
Part I: Dealing With Your Teen’s Relapse from Drug and Alcohol Addiction
My Own Daughter’s Relapse
Addiction is a Chronic Medical Disease

Posted by Michael Pantalon, PhD  /  Filed under Acceptance, Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Family members, Recovery, Recovery & Relapse, relapse  /  Comments: more



Part I: Dealing With Your Teen’s Relapse from Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

=Wrong CrowdThis is a two-part blog post by Michael V. Pantalon, PhD, Yale Psychologist, Addiction & Motivation Expert, Speaker, Coach and author of INSTANT INFLUENCE: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything—Fast! (Little, Brown & Co., May, 2011)

A “Relapse” Scenario

Imagine your 17-year-old son has been doing really well — staying away from alcohol and pot for the past 6 months following a 28-day stay in rehab.  He’s back at school, his grades are good and he’s playing soccer again.  On top of that, his new friends seem supportive of his recovery.  As his parent, you feel you can finally breathe a small sigh of relief.

However, when your son comes home early from school one day without his backpack, you’re worried.  You confront him and his explanation makes sense: his last class was cancelled because a teacher became sick and there was no one available to sub; he did his homework earlier in the day and during part of the last period, so he didn’t need his backpack; and you already knew there was no soccer practice that day.  The next day everything seems back to normal.

Several days later, however, he comes to you and says that he would like to leave school early on Friday to go to a concert in the city.  When asked about how sensible that might be given that it might be a trigger for using and about the group of kids that he’s going to the show with, he becomes defensive and irritable.  A few minutes later he confesses that the day he came home early, he had slipped out of school right after first period to hang out with some old friends.  He ran into these old friends (the very crowd he used to use and drink with) on the way to school that day and instead of staying in school, he spent the day with them, playing Call of Duty (a popular shooter video game), and smoking and drinking, and that now he’s struggling with strong urges to continue using.

While he’s saying he doesn’t want to go back to the way he was, he also says, “I’m almost 17! Why can’t I have a drink now and then?!  I want to have fun.  Being sober is not fun.  I’m supposed to be having fun at this point in my life!”  Later, he confesses that he’d made plans to go to the concert with the old friends, but he’s still defending his ability to go with them and not use, stating that his new friends are “nice, but no fun at all.”

How do you feel?

What do you do?

How do you keep this relapse from blowing up in your and your son’s face?  Meaning, is there a way to help without making it worse?

You’re probably feeling a lot of different and conflicting feelings.  You’re angry, surprised and hurt, but you’re also worried, understanding and sympathetic.  We might all have the strong urge to immediately vent this barrage of emotions toward our child and, in the moment, we would feel justified in doing so.

However, many of us might instinctively know that to do so would not be helpful.  It might make your son more defensive and irritable.  He might then storm out of the house and go to the concert and resume drinking and pot use NOT simply because of the situation and the people he is with, but also because he now feels justified in doing so because he’s angry at his parents (whether or not it is actually justifiable in this manner).

The other thing is that your son IS actually feeling stressed and distressed about his recovery and the conflict he just had with his parents.  And since he’s learned in the past that alcohol and drugs immediately take this feeling away, we’ve just helped him create a new trigger for drug and alcohol use.

Not that you are to blame, but there are certain ways to handle relapses so that this does not happen.  While we as parents are not to blame when the sort of situation described above occurs, I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to learn ways to prevent it and even to use relapse as an opportunity to further strengthen our child’s recovery.

In my next blog post “An Overview of Relapse,” I describe a few ways to do just that.

Related Links:

Teens Only Listen to One Person…

Adjusting to Recovery: When Your Addicted Child Begins to Get Well

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

Posted by Michael Pantalon, PhD  /  Filed under Addiction, Alcohol, Confronting Teens, Marijuana, parenting, Recovery, Recovery & Relapse  /  Comments: more



Teens Only Listen to One Person…Themselves: How a Child’s Own Reasons for Change Lead to the Most Success
Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Beautiful Teen Girl In Hospital Gown Crying

This guest post is by Dr. Michael Pantalon, author of “Instant Influence: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything–Fast” (Little, Brown and Company).

Imagine you are in the Emergency Department (ED) with your 16-year-old daughter who was brought in for her second episode of alcohol poisoning in six months.  The doctor is about to discharge her because, medically, she’s fine, but you know she’s going to go right back to heavy drinking, if you don’t do something.  You and your husband feel you’ve tried everything to help your daughter, but you also believe that there has to be some way to take advantage of this dire emergency to motivate her to get into treatment and to stop drinking.

I’ve seen hundreds of families in this very situation and their dilemma is always the same: they all want to influence their child to get on a better path, but they don’t know that there is a quick, easy and scientifically-proven way of getting the job done.  The approach I’m referring to is called “Instant Influence.”  It’s based on Motivational Interviewing, which in its briefest form, has been shown to reduce substance use among adolescents and young adults seen in the ED, as well as, my 20 years of experience motivating some of the most resistant to change substance abusing children and adults in a wide variety of settings.

People tend to only listen to one person — themselves.  And, as a result, they’re only influenced by one person …again — themselves.  So, as frustrating as this may be for a parent who would like to sternly say, “You have to stop!” and to have that be enough, the real trick to motivating someone is to get them to convince themselves to make a change for their own good reasons.

But how do you do this?  How might the mom in the example above motivate her daughter to finally accept treatment for her drinking problem?

The two most important things to do are:

1)    STOP trying to motivate your child by telling her about your feelings, thoughts or reasons for change, such as, “You’re worrying me to death!” “I think you HAVE to go to rehab right from the hospital” or “The best reason for you to stop drinking is for your health.”

2)    START asking your child questions that are specially-designed to evoke her own good reasons for change.

To help you remember what things you should vs. should NOT say, I’ve devised two simple lists for parents to follow:

DON’T…

Express your anger. Of course, as a parent, you are feeling angry, but expressing it doesn’t motivate your daughter.  Your anger is very likely legitimate, but if we stick to the idea that kids change when they hear themselves argue in favor of the change, yelling will NOT evoke such reasons – it may even make it harder for her to come up with good reasons to change.

Blame. It’s not a time to figure out who’s responsible for allowing the situation to get so bad, but instead, to garner some motivation to move forward with a better plan.

Confront her with admonitions to stop. Of course she knows you want her to stop drinking!  She doesn’t need to hear that, nor will it be motivating.  I know it feels almost irresponsible NOT to say that she HAS to stop drinking, but because of “reverse psychology,” it could be demotivating.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Michael Pantalon, PhD  /  Filed under Addiction, Alcohol, getting help, Motivational Interviewing, tough love, Treatment  /  Comments: more



10 Important Questions to Ask Sober High Schools
Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Sober High School

For teens in recovery, going back to their home schools and old friends can mean returning to old habits.  If your teen has made a firm commitment to recovery, you might consider the option of sending your child to a sober high school like I did.

Sober high schools are academic institutions that have a state approved academic curriculum and recovery support services for teenagers in recovery from alcohol and other drug abuse or dependence.  These schools typically combine academics with a recovery culture that includes counseling for students and families.

Finding the right one can be challenging though.  Here are 10 important questions every parent should ask a sober high school before enrolling:

1.)    What kind of training has the staff had regarding adolescent addiction?

When my son was in a sober high school, the principal was a kind and knowledgeable educator, but he did not have a background in adolescent addiction and was easily manipulated into thinking the kids would voluntarily admit if they or fellow students were using. That didn’t happen. Like teenagers everywhere, not to mention teenage addicts, the kids lied about their own use and covered up for their friends. Staff needs to be educated and trained in adolescent addiction.

2.)   Does staff include specialists like therapists and substance abuse counselors?

Many students in recovery deal with co-occurring disorders like ADHD, depression, OCD or mood disorders. They may need some “mental health time” during the week, either individually or in groups. They also need substance abuse counselors who can reinforce recovery. The school should have a licensed counselor on staff.

3.)   What is the curriculum like? How is it different or similar to mainstream high school curriculum?

One of the things I liked about my son’s sober high school was how the teachers incorporated the kids’ experiences and interests into curriculum. Another neat aspect was encouraging artistic and creative expression as both part of healing and recovery and an opportunity to explore various mediums using new technology or traditional craft approaches. Self-expression, creativity and the chance to discuss how recovery relates to the real world are desirable curriculum components.

4.) Does the sober high school meet state requirements for awarding a high school degree?

Students in recovery are often behind in credits. It is important that they receive valid credits for transferring to either another high school, for graduating with a degree, or for entrance into college. Check out the school’s certification by the state.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Judy Kirkwood  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, getting help, Recovery & Relapse, Sober High Schools  /  Comments: 1



9 Steps to Take When Your Recovering Teen Comes Home from Treatment
Friday, June 10th, 2011

recovering teen coming home again

It is easy to have high expectations for a teen coming home from some kind of treatment, but what they need to know, is how important they are to their recovery — that failure is not the end and success is up to them.  Substance use disorder creates stress for a family and there is no guarantee of the outcome of recovery without diligence. You know who your teen is.  What comes after treatment is more work.  Finding ways to deal with it are critical.  There are resources everywhere and the web is a good place to start, even to find a meeting.  There are also, ways for the whole family to just work together that enhances the success of a teen’s recovery.  Here are a few:

1.    Willingly, engage in the process of recovery. Recovery takes the whole family. You’ve survived together through major crises. You now have the chance to repair family bonds.

2.    See this in a new light. You know that your teen’s substance abuse was not a passing fad, so “accept” your teen’s addiction.  Try on addiction as a disease, not a moral problem. Look at recovery as an enduring process not a single event.  Don’t view relapse as a failure, but accept sobriety, at any time as a success; usually, the biggest success in an addict’s life.

3.    View your teen as an important. They have a huge burden and deserve to know the freedom of sobriety.  We forget that each of us, are the most important person in our own lives.  Knowing that, gives us the strength to make it.  No one can do what we do for ourselves.  A recovering addict needs to accept who they are to stay sober.  Drugs were a way of hiding and eventually became a way of life.  Sobriety depends on facing ourselves, head on, while staying sober one day at a time.

4.    Respect your teen’s return home by expecting what you would of a house guest. Encourage courtesy, gratitude and other human graces.  These attributes will heal dysfunction in the family.  Living with a recovering teen is still a challenge, but kindness and mutuality will help everyone.

5.    Put expectations aside. Parents usually have big plans for their teens!  Right now, staying sober is as big an accomplishment as any.  Placing more importance on anything else is stress that your teen might not need for a while.  Encourage your teen to resume education and work activities at his or her own pace.  Recommend physical exercise, lots of water, sleep and healthy food.

6.    Don’t underestimate addiction. Without diligence, sobriety can crumble.  Have a plan for relapse.  Encourage daily 12 step meetings to create bonds with other sober teens. Treatment plans should cover these things.  Al-anon is a good counter-plan for a parent.  If a teen relapses, you can maintain your emotional sobriety.  A teen getting back on track can happen just as quickly as they relapse.  Remember, failure is just another step closer to success.

7.    Be resilient and be prepared. Living with an addict who relapsed can necessitate outside help and tough consequences.  Do this rationally and discuss consequences with your teen.   If relapse persists, consider co-occurring disorders which might negate your teen’s ability to engage recovery without counseling and/or psychiatric evaluation.  It gets harder to deal with this once your child turns 18.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Bill Ford  /  Filed under Addiction, Family Therapy, Recovery, Recovery & Relapse, Taking Care of Yourself  /  Comments: more



My Own Daughter’s Relapse
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

We’re excited to introduce new blogger Carole Bennett, MA to the community!  Carole is author of the new book “Reclaim Your Life – You and the Alcohol/Addict” (www.reclaimyourlifebook.com) and the founder of Family Recovery Solutions, a counseling center for family and friends of loved ones with a drug or alcohol problem.  She is the mother of 21-year-old “Lucy.”

I want to share something very personal with you; my own daughter’s relapse.  I doubt if I would be the complete clinician if I did not walk in some of your shoes, share the same trials and tribulations, victories and successes.  So, I’m hopeful that you won’t be offended if I share my recent heartache and despair with you.

My daughter (let’s call her Lucy) was and is a beautiful woman of 21.  Though every mother thinks their child is beautiful, Lucy really is.  Almost 6 feet tall, a knockout figure, dark straight hair, olive skin and almond shaped smoldering eyes.  She could have easily been a model.  I can say this, as she is adopted, so I had nothing to do with her amazing looks.  However, this beautiful young lady is covered with tattoos scattered about her body with little or no thought as to what she is permanently inking.  One looks like a car engine and is supposed to be a music box; another is a musician that I don’t think she has ever heard of and whose hair covers most of his face.  Her ear lobes sport gages that are so big, the middle part of a sugar ice cream cone would fit comfortably through it.

Though I’m not thrilled that Lucy has decided to permanently use her body as a grease board, it does not make me love her any less.

Let me take a paragraph or two to give you a little history.  As I said, Lucy was adopted and from an early age started pulling out her hair.  Defiant toward teachers and combative at every turn toward her father and me, Lucy would fly into uncontrollable temper tantrums. By the time the 7th grade rolled around, Lucy could not attend the public school system and was sent to alternative schools in and out of California that specialized in behavioral issues.  I honestly don’t know when the dabbling into drugs took effect, but dabbling quickly turned into addiction.  Lucy became a garbage pail for any drug from acid to mushrooms to heroin.  Cutting and anorexic type behavior became the norm as well.

Lucy managed to graduate from high school and opted to live with her birth grandparents in Oregon.  Our communication at that time was tense and volatile and I had no idea if she was clean and sober or continuing with her addiction.  Lucy made it clear that she had no interest in considering any of my suggestions   for continued education or career choices.

After a few years of doing little but lying on the couch, Lucy moved to Los Angeles and reconnected with some family members professing that she needed a fresh beginning for her life.  Lucy swore that she was clean and sober, and these family members embraced her with open arms.  Sadly, sobriety was the last thing on her mind, and so started the revolving door of rehabs and sober living housing.

Gratefully, somewhere along the way, Lucy did embrace a clean and sober life style.  She attended AA meetings regularly, had a sponsor, and got a job and her own apartment.  On her first year birthday of sobriety, we gathered like a flock of geese holding wads of Kleenex as we watched our loved one receive her one year chip.  Finally, after all these years, maybe, just maybe Lucy might be on her way to experiencing the goodness that a sober lifestyle has to offer and we in turn could take a long awaited sigh of relief. That was 14 months ago.

Sadly and unfortunately many alcoholic/addicts become complacent about their recovery.  They foolishly think they can start to pick and chose their recovery path believing that they now have learned when to cut off their alcohol intake, or because their drug of choice was alcohol, one line of coke is no big deal. The recovering alcoholic/addict knows that this thinking is “b.s.”, but they forge ahead anyway.

So was true with my dear Lucy. She strongly stated that she hadn’t relapsed as smoking a joint 3 times a day had nothing to do with substance abuse.  However, that was just the beginning of the downward spiral. Lately when I see her, she is unfocused, easily agitated, defensive and dirty. This last week, a planned family dinner witnessed Lucy making several trips to the bathroom.  Was she throwing up her dinner, and back to the days of bingeing and purging, getting high or both?  Regardless, it was clear that her clean and sober days were over.

I have spent many sleepless nights and shed buckets of tears over my daughter’s disease and the devil that has her as a captive audience. But, there is nothing I can do, as she has not sought help and my involvement (for the umpteenth time) has more often than not proven futile.  I am left with prayer.  Praying that her “higher power” will take care of her and that hopefully one day, like once before, she will pick herself up from the ashes and scratch and claw her way back to a healthy lifestyle.

I share this story with you, so if you have experienced something similar, you will know that you are not alone.  There seems to be strength in numbers, even if you don’t know the person next to you. I am a professional counselor – an expert in my field, yet I don’t have the answers for my child, or can show her that her decisions are poor ones.  Instead my heart breaks with the same pain, sadness and fear that any loving parent has when their child is heading 100 miles an hour for a brick wall.

Thank you for allowing me to open up my heart and soul to a caring population of family members and friends who travel the same path as so many of us do on a daily basis.

Editor’s Note:  If you’re a parent of a child struggling with a drug or alcohol problem, please visit Time To Get Help — a new online resource and community from The Partnership at Drugfree.org.

Posted by Carole Bennett  /  Filed under Addiction, Alcohol, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Family History, Recovery & Relapse, Substance Abuse, Taking Care of Yourself  /  Comments: more



A new “medication” for treatment of opioid addiction?
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Like me, you may be seeing the headlines from the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement late yesterday that an existing medication for the treatment of alcohol dependence has now been approved for the treatment of opioid dependence.  The approval of the medication is for use among adults over the age of 18 and is phrased by the FDA as, “for the prevention of relapse to opioid dependence.” 

 

This could be a major positive development for families with a young adult dealing with an addiction to prescription pain medications or heroin.  The non-narcotic, non-addictive medication, Vivitrol from the company Alkermes is certain to get the attention of physicians, treatment professionals, patients and their families.  Because addiction is a chronic disease of the human brain, and opioid addiction, in particular, is so often characterized by frequent relapse, this new FDA approval could mean that a person entering treatment for addiction to an opioid would have the benefit of a once-monthly, opioid-blocking medication during treatment and for some period afterward. 

 

My view is that this medication, or any medication of this kind, must be used at the same time with appropriate addiction treatment services, including psychosocial support.  I believe that is consistent with what experts are saying about the emerging field of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).  MAT is an approach to treatment of substance use disorders that combines use of a medication with appropriate treatment services, including counseling and behavioral therapy. 

 

This should come as good news to parents who are at the center of our mission.  Over the past year, The Partnership at Drugfree.org has worked closely with parents and experts in the treatment and recovery field to create Time To Get Help.This new treatment resource and community helps parents and caregivers gain a better understanding of teen alcohol and drug abuse, dependence and addiction; get support from experts and other parents who have been there and understand the challenges and emotions of caring for an addicted child; and find the right treatment for their child and family. 

 

I encourage Intervene readers to take a closer look at Time To Get Help, share it with others and also provide us feedback on how to make this new resource better and more useful in the future.  It absolutely must reflect the needs of families and address all the key areas of concern.  For example, pincluding more information and a deeper understanding of MAT and what the options are?  What are your thoughts on opioid addiction and approaches like MAT? We would love to hear from you.

Posted by Steve Pasierb  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Finding Treatment, Recovery, Recovery & Relapse, Treatment  /  Comments: more



Hope
Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

hope

The Partnership is excited to welcome new blogger Dr. Libby Cataldi!  She is an educator and mother of two sons.  Dr. Cataldi is the author of Stay Close: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction.

A mother wrote to me: I’m giving up on prayer, I’m afraid.  Recovery was going well, I thought. He was attending meetings, had a new job he likes, nice girlfriend…I was beginning to trust and hope again. In the last week, money was taken from my purse, he relapsed, and violated his probation. Now it’s back to court and maybe prison this time. I can’t do this again.


My Reflection:  Hope is fragile and fear is powerful. I wonder why fear seems to be stronger than hope? I don’t know, but I do know that there are times when I felt like giving up on prayer. Sometimes it’s easier to lose hope and faith than to try to keep feeling them and being crushed. When the addiction rises up again and again, and smacks us, knocking us to the ground, we hurt and don’t know what to do. It is then that we are in danger of giving up hope. But if we lose faith and hope, all is lost. We need to stay close to our children, but our children need to fight their own battles.

Today’s Promise: I am only human and sometimes I feel as though I can’t go on. But I will. I will go on in hope.

“We can’t be armor for our children. We can only be supporting troops.” Irwin Shaw

Posted by Libby Cataldi  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Recovery & Relapse, Taking Care of Yourself  /  Comments: more






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