Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What If It Never Gets Better?

What if it never gets better? I bet that is a question every parent of an addict has ask themselves, probably more than once.

I admit I no longer struggle day to day. Most of my time in dealing with addiction issues involves reflection. Playing Monday morning quarterback is my best position in sports so I have adapted it to life.

What if it never gets any better is that question of frustration. It's usually followed by a statement like, "I've done everything I know to do."

Lately I have been thinking about this question and it is still troubling. For a fixer like me what does that really mean, I failed? I'm not one to accept defeat. There is a fix, I just haven't gotten the right formula. That was always my answer. I always seemed to disregard the real answer because I never really accepted the premise of the question. My failure to accept reality that some never do get better caused me much heartache and much grief for my son.

The last few parents I have spoke with I have ask this difficult question. It's a hard question for me to ask because I know by the time someone would write me, a stranger, an e-mail based solely on this blog there is a desperation and hopelessness that I do personally understand very well. They aren't writing or calling to find someone to tell them give up, they are looking for an answer and sometimes just someone to talk too.

Not until the last six months of Alex's active using did I learn what I needed to know and understand the first six weeks. Understanding and dealing with addiction isn't about the addict.

Understanding and dealing with addiction is about dealing with a disease and yourself.

Granted I can't ask this question to someone that has been dealing with this six weeks but it is something we all need to answer. Put aside the anger, the fixer, the disappointment, the guilt, put aside the past. Don't try to analyze and understand ideas like powerless and acceptance. Make it simple, go off by yourself or with a close loved one.

What if it never gets better? 

What type of relationship do I want to have with my son/daughter/brother/sister/mother/ father/friend or whoever your addicted loved one happens to be? 

When you get to that answer it is easier to begin working on making your own life better despite the heartache you feel for your loved one.

Sometimes it is OK to have a one sided relationship. Life is give and take. Sometimes the scales do not balance no matter how hard you try. (thanks dad, you still speak to me even after 32 years gone.) 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Waiting On Spring

It's been a long winter. Today it is in the 70's but the wind will blow you over if you're not holding on to something anchored down.

I'm still speaking to students. It's going well and I hope some of them hear me. Lots of personal examples of students actions when I speak that keep me going. I have cards with my blog address, phone number and e-mail on them if they want to take them. I leave them sitting next to the door. Any evening after I speak my blog hits go through the roof. Makes me sad in a way.

I want to thank everyone that responded to the Guest Bloggers that sent me posts. I still answer e-mails and have called a few people that ask me to call. I guess this is my way of giving back to all of those that helped me so long ago.

Alex and his family is still doing well. There are a few things I take from his journey:
  • nothing is impossible.
  • hope is everlasting.
  • love is better than anger.
  • never give up.
  • if you need a break take one, then get back at it.
  • accept what is, give up on the world of "ought to be".
  • if the world falls part tomorrow, I still have today.
Can't wait for it to get nice enough to go on a road trip on the bike. I'm needing a little freedom and open road.

This year I hope to get some lake time. The boat has been in the basement for two years. Time to hit he water and I have grandkids to teach how to ski. When Erica was 3 I put her on my ski and took off. We skied a big circle she fell off once and wanted to go again. I got Brooke on the kneeboard when she was 3 but Tyler and Owen haven't had the grandpa experience yet. When I look in the mirror its hard to believe once I skied competitively. How did I get so old and so fat?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Another Guest Post

Hello to all. 

My name is Kim and I'm an adult child of, soon-to-be x-spouse of, and parent of addicts.

I could ramble on for hours with different war stories of chaos, insanity, and pain, but not today. It's the first day of spring signifying change. The change isn't about them, it's about me. I feel it's time to concentrate on myself and my needs. It has always been about them and their affects onto me. However, this morning I decided to look into me and see that I'm spiritually sick. I'm not well.

The truth is, my Dad passed away seven years ago, my husband has been out of house for three years, my daughter is active in her recovery, and my son recently entered detox for heroine. None of them are actively using in my face and I'm in control of my own actions and reactions.So what then is my problem? My answer to myself is simple. I'm engrossed with anger, bitterness, and resentment.

I know I must learn to forgive. Forgiving them all and praying for them is supposed to be the key to my freedom yet I can't do it! Perhaps I hold my resentments for my own sick satisfaction of blaming them for all that went wrong. I have to look deeper into myself to find out why. I like the idea of joining an online community for feed back. My psychiatrist isn't helping me nor the handful of therapists I've gone through. I've been spending time writing my memoirs and returned to college online to further my education. I haven't been practicing yoga, which I happen to love, due to a recent back injury. I do enjoy my grandchildren and the new man in my life. They taught me to love.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Guest Post: Intake (a must read)

Not long ago I ask for guest bloggers. One person responded that she wanted to write and she already writes her own blog. She ask me if I would give her a subject. Knowing her past and what she had been through I was somewhat intimidated. Selfishly I thought of myself.

Four times I took Alex to rehab. Each time I left him there My feelings were always good and happy. I have always wondered what it was like for the person walking through those doors and wasn't walking right back out.

Kel, yes many of you know her and her blog, tells us what it is like.

It doesn't matter if you read this post first or read her blog first, please read both. Here is Kel's blog and below is her story.

Kel's blog: This Can't Be It

Kel's Story: Intake


The intake process took a few hours, most of it waiting for insurance approvals, and checking bed availability at the treatment center.  I am fortunate in that I have an excellent job that provides me with exceptional insurance benefits, however, the insurance company will only pay for inpatient treatment if they truly believe all other alternative options have been exhausted.  I have never sought treatment for alcoholism before, but” lucky me”, I had a few suicide attempts under my belt that involved large amounts of alcohol and prescription medication, a previously treated addicted child who died from a heroin overdose, a minor child with a long history of in and outpatient treatment, and a mother who passed away just 11 months prior from alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver. Additionally, referrals from my psychiatrist and therapist attesting to the fact that my continued abuse of alcohol combined with my diagnosed PTSD and depression, leaves me at a high risk of suicidal ideology and being denied the treatment I needed and desired would be a hugely tragic unmitigated disaster if something unfortunate were to happen to me as a result of such denial. 

Three nail biting hours later, insurance authorization in hand, the Man and I nervously departed  the intake office with my previously packed one-bag-only-that-you-will-need-to-carry-yourself  containing the suggested one weeks’ worth of clothing, my labeled prescribed meds, and whatever personal hygiene items I could fit (which cannot contain alcohol) and we headed East beginning the 90 minute drive to the facility that would be my “home” for the next 20 or so days. Of course, true to my alcoholic nature, we decided to stop for lunch just a mile or so before the treatment center and indulge myself with what I hoped to be my final “one more for the road”  glass, (read: bottle) of wine. Much to my dismay; my last glass of wine was to be a local subpar varietal, that on a normal day, I wouldn’t allow to touch my lips until I had at least drank whatever good wine I had at my disposal first.  I am a wine snob you see, but I get over that as soon as my options become limited. 

We pulled into the parking lot, and even with my wine buzz in full effect, the reality of the situation I precipitously found myself in, was paralyzing terrifying.  How did this happen? What is going on? Why am I suddenly the one being checked into a rehab center instead of being the one to check someone else in? I am not an alcoholic, I made a mistake, I was just kidding around. I don’t need help, I can stop anytime. Please honey don’t make me go in there, I don’t need help. I just need to learn to manage my drinking better, get a little control over it; I can easily do this on my own, maybe I will go to an AA meeting with a friend of mine that I know in recovery…  Does any of this sound familiar?  Similar to what many of us parents of addicts have heard from our addicts at one time or another?  Denial, pleading, begging, grasping, crying, desperately frightened; he held my hand and my one-bag-only and walked me to the front door and held it open for me. 

Crossing the threshold of that door could be assimilated to my youth, when I was a new bride crossing that threshold with my then new husband, my future was wide open and I was starry eyed. Only this time, my future was bleak and possibly deadly if it didn’t work out.  A lawyer could help me if I were to be charged with a DWI, much as he would with a Divorce, but would be of no assistance when the alcohol eventually caused my organs to shut down, my skin and eyes yellowing from liver failure or hepatitis, dialysis required to do the work of my no longer functioning kidneys to rid my body of the toxins building up aiming to drown me in my own noxious body fluids, losing the ability to eat and drink on my own-  sores and abscesses debilitating my esophagus triggering me to choke on my own bile, and vomiting blood from my mouth and nose. Dying of alcoholism is painful and horrible.  I have seen it with my own eyes.  If you haven’t witnessed it first hand, it is not something I recommend putting on your bucket list. 

After saying our goodbyes, a security aide arrived to escort me from the reception area to the basic facility. Leaving the security of the Man was daunting, yet, a little bit hopeful and liberating. It was only me now. However, as the Aide guided me through the halls, the tears began to flow: ugly, sad little girl tears, I somehow felt compelled for the Aide to understand that I was here of my own free will, it was MY CHOICE to be here, I drank too much wine because my son died of a heroin overdose you see. Such classic, narcissistic alcoholic behavior, don’t you think?  I was above the rest of the other addicts and drunks, I WANTED to get better.  He told me that he was an addict in recovery. He worked here as a security aide, because he wanted to, because a place just like this one, saved his life many years ago, and he wanted to give back and help save someone else.  That someone could be me or any other one of 80 drunks and addicts that were in the facility at the moment.  He was not impressed with my tears of self-pity, or my designer boots, and he wasn’t interested in carrying my pretty lavender suitcase that I struggled to carry on my own. He had seen many clients walk out of the very doors we just came in through die of an overdose within mere hours of being released. Another arrested within days of her release for vehicular manslaughter, after killing an innocent young mother of two, after blowing almost two times the legal limit when breathalyzed at the scene. This disease was no joke. It was time for me to stop crying and get on with the business of saving my own life. 

Oh, I think I may have forgotten to introduce myself.  Hi, my name is Kel, and I am an alcoholic. 



 Thank You Kel.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Students Again????!!!!!

Talking to students at schools does something for me. It's so hard to stand up there and peel scabs off of old wounds, but it is so therapeutic.

Every teacher has warned me at one time or another about this class or that class. A student they KNOW that will challenge me or try to disrupt the class. Sorry to disappoint, their predictions have not yet come true. At the end of the day the students sit there in class and all I see are eyes fixed on me. And as you all know us parents of addicts are fixated on eyes.

No one disrupts. Maybe I scare them but I'd like to believe that I am saying things they want to hear.

Students come to me after class, shake my hand and thank me for taking the time to share my story. Some times they share a story with me.

I don't watch or take names but I leave business cards by the door and students are free to pick one up that has my phone number and the address of this blog on them. This evening I look at the stats blogger provides about hits and the hits on this blog begins rising immediately following the end of the first class.

And, to end the day, a message on my phone. "Mr. Grover, I need help, can you call me."



ps.: in two weeks I will be speaking again, this time at Shawnee Mission South. Wish you all could join me.




Saturday, March 1, 2014

Question #2 Naltrexone?

My 21 year old son Alex is due to be discharged from rehab this Wednesday.  This was his 4th rehab stint in 20 months (unfortunately, most of those times in rehab has been only 6 or 7 days because insurance refuses to pay. The longest was 21 days).  His addiction progressed quickly from Percocet to snorting Heroin.

Naltrexone has been suggested to us by his counselors.  I have done research, but so far have come up with a lot of clinical information, but not much "practical" information from addicts or family members of addicts.

Does anyone have any first-hand information on Naltrexone that they can share with me ASAP?  We have to make a decision by Monday.

Thank you so much



I am sorry, I don't have any history or experience with this. I hope readers can help you.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Question #1 from Guest Blogger

My question would be... If I'm the only positive, constructive and truthful voice in my son's head... when he asks me to back off from talking about drug abuse OR anything negative relating to it for whatever his reason ... do I? I guess I feel like if I do "back off" I will just lose him to the demons of addiction that already seduce his mind with it's voice and he will lose himself even more. How does a loved one of an addict determine when to walk away?

Your question is one probably all of us struggle with every day. How do we communicate more effectively? No matter if it is with your son who struggles with addiction or if it is with a spouse, friend or boss. I am going to stick with communicating with your son in my answer, I have no advice or answers for the others, especially spouse, says Darlene.

You are the light for your son. You cannot stop providing your message of love and the dangers of addiction however sometimes it isn't the message but the delivery. Often times I would say to my son while he was using, "My eyes can hear much better than my ears." It was hard for me to internalize my own statement but it got better when I did.

Sometimes actions speak much louder than words. Actions demonstrate your words. Hugs and positive reinforcement when they do small things right provide the lubricant for those times when it is time to say the things he doesn't like to hear. You have to remember that you can say the same thing 100 times but if he isn't "hearing" what you say no communication takes place.

Become cognizant of when it the right and wrong time to talk about this with your son. Just like when driving on the street, there are red lights and green lights. There are days when you hit every red light no matter where you are going and any direction you take. Other days every light is green and the sun shines on you no matter where you are. The same thing happens in communicating with your son. Most of the time in his actions you can see the yellow light of caution, yellow doesn't mean speed up and blast through. Many times determining what color the light is can be as simple as asking.

I could give you a lot of good pointers but in truth when I was trying to communicate with Alex while he was using, I WAS THE WORST! My communication style was reminiscent of a Marine Drill Sargent on Paris Island. I was a slow learner but I did learn to speak with Alex instead of speak at Alex.

Some of the things I learned the hard way was already known by some really smart people about all of this and put into a short guide. I've been pitching this thing a lot lately, only because it is so good and makes so much damn sense. Go to The Parents 20 Minute Guide. Third button top of the page is about communicating.

How does a loved one of an addict determine when to walk away? You walk away when it is not healthy for YOU. You must take care of yourself. You can't help anyone if you aren't healthy inside. I know you've heard my simple question before. "If your son was ready to stop using today, or ready to talk, are you healthy enough to know what to do or say?" You must take care of yourself too so that your ARE ready when that day comes.

Thank you for your question. I have answered it the best I know know how. There is a lot of wisdom out there with my readers. I hope they chime in too with comments. None of us are alone in this, we all need each other.

For anyone interested the mother that ask this question also writes her own blog about her life with an addicted son. You can read her story here: Hands Full Of Tears




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Speaking and Guest Posts

Spring is just around the corner and you know what that means, I'm filling my schedule with speaking engagements at local high schools. All new students in the second semester. This Friday the 28 I am again speaking to students at Basehor Linwood High School. On March 11, I am scheduled for Shawnee Mission East again. I don't mean to toot my own horn about speaking at these schools but these students are lucky that they have teachers that care so much for them that they teach about drugs and addiction, no matter if I speak or not.

The one thing that could make these talks so much better that I have no control over is if each of these classrooms were full of parents with their children. I don't know but I bet you the parents that have come to hear these talks with their own child in the room aren't near as likely to have their own child suffering from addiction.

It's also time that I open up this blog to all of you readers. So many of you faithful readers leave such wise comments and ask such hard questions. Now it is your turn to play blogger. Please send me a guest post or ask a public question that can be posted on here. Thousands of other people literally around the world want to here from you. Please share your wisdom and questions.

email for posts: teamplayer@aol.com

As I have posted before, just a couple guidelines for guest bloggers:

  • Guest Bloggers can remain anonymous or be public, your choice.
  • Links will be available to your blog or e-mail if you choose.
  • No commercial advertisements or posts thinly disguised as advertisements for rehabs.
  • Good taste must be used.
  • Appropriate language and content for our community.
  • You will NOT be graded on grammar, but be sure to use spell check.
  • One paragraph or one page, it doesn't matter on length, even just a simple question works.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Allowing Natural Consequences

Today I took part in a conference call with other Parent Support Network members along with professionals with The Partnership at Drugfree.org and counselors from The Center for Motivation and Change.

Part of the call focused on "allowing natural consequences." It was a very good discussion and there was a lot of back and forth about allowing natural consequences. What's the difference between allowing natural consequences, tough love and just being mean or angry about your loved ones addiction?

This isn't all about letting them sit in jail while you are miserable and feeling guilty. It's not as easy as taking away a car or not paying for a phone. Allowing natural consequences is putting yourself in a place where the actions you take have an intended effect of moving a person towards a realization that life addicted is more than getting high. Allowing natural consequences involves you being able to take actions that may cause your addicted love one uncomfortable circumstances but inside you know you are doing the right thing for the circumstances.

During our call we spoke about one end of the spectrum, your loved one is in jail and they want you to bail them out or they want money on their books. But we also spoke of dinner is at ____ and when it's over and they come late they don't find a plate set aside or leftovers. We all know about the discussions, arguments and fights concerning cars and phones.

But, how do you feel good about something like this? They are hungry, they are in that horrible jail, they need to have to have a car to get to work; all circumstances in which we as parents are particularly vulnerable. The only way to get past this is not that we take these actions because we should or someone told us too, we do this because we own it. We own this because it is our own personal value system.

It's not fair to ask someone to do something they are not capable of doing. I am talking about parents not your addicted loved one. Each of us can only do what we are capable of doing at any point in time. If something seems too harsh then it is an issue you must work yourself, don't shove it off onto your loved one.

Allowing natural consequences is a strategic action. Allowing natural consequences is not and should not be a REACTION.

Setting good boundaries based upon your own personal values and communicating them to your addicted loved one is step one. After all, you get that call from jail asking for bail money. You have bailed them out each time before. It's not fair to change the rules and expectations in the middle without giving your loved one the respect they deserve by explaining your values and plans. This is strategic and not a reaction borne of anger and frustration about getting that call from jail, again.

I want to make sure I am clear. Allowing natural consequences isn't tough love. For me tough love is seems almost like a "get out of jail card" for parents. It allows us to take an action and not care. Allowing natural consequences is taking deliberate actions with an intense interest in the outcomes along with open communication between your loved one and yourself.

A great resource for this is The Parents 20 Minute Guide. Don't take this on just because your read it on this blog or in the guide. Do this because it fits and you own it.

The Parents 20 Minute Guide


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Addicts ARE People

Here is a link to a daughters blog about her father's addiction.

I am not going to say much about it other than she says it all.

Kelsey's Blog

It's good for all of those friends and family that have trouble understanding addiction

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Don't Forget All The Others

It is the hot topic right now to write about the tragedy of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Not to minimize his experience but we must not forget how many other families had the same experience on Sunday.

As the rest of us prepared for the Super Bowl making snacks and gathering with friends other families were getting the news that their son, daughter, mother, father, brother or sister no longer felt the pain of addiction. They paid the ultimate price.

This continues to happen every day. It is not hard to remember the emptiness we felt a year ago when a friend called us to tell us about her son. Sadness, The Monster Claims Another

It may seem overly dramatic but there isn't a day I don't think about how lucky our family is that Alex is clear and sober today. Darlene ask me one day if there isn't a day I don't think about this. I replied no, "Not really." She told me maybe I need to talk to someone. I thought to myself, that's what all of you guys are for.

Seven years of my life while Alex was using affected me deeply. I cannot imagine the pain of those parents whose children that lost the fight before finding recovery. The nightmare must be horrific.

It's hard for me to give advice to parents whose children still struggle because I am not sure there is a good answer to the single overriding question, "What can I do to get them to stop?" I fought with that question for seven years. Today I have learned that the answer to that question is to take care of yourself and to not give up.

There are new treatments available today that were not available ten years ago. Chemical treatments and new evidence based therapy's show great promise. These aren't designed to be in place of the long tested therapy's like NA. It just means we have more at our disposal. Use whatever works for you and for your loved one.

My sympathies go out to the family of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. But my sympathies also go out to each of those families whose loved one wasn't the lead story on the national news. It happens every day. Statistics tell us that every 19 minutes someone loses their fight to the monster.

What if every single month there was a new 9/11 attack? Just as many of our countrymen lose their lives to addiction each month as those in New York. This is a national tragedy just as 9/11. We must not minimize any of these loses, not 9/11 and not the tragedy of addiction.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Facebook Quotes

I figure I am no different than anyone else that has a Facebook page, most of the updates I see posted from many friend seem to be quotations and funny cat videos. Quite frankly friends, I usually blow by them and do a quick scan to see what's going on and never give a second thought to all of those "inspirational" sayings. By the way I hated those Successory and inspirational posters every business had hanging on their walls for a decade too.

However, a quote posted over a big lion picture showed up today on my Facebook page that really struck home for me and I feel for anyone that has reason to read this blog. I am going to repeat it here for you all.

"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice."  Bob Marley

Monday, January 20, 2014

5 Year Anniversary

On January 20, 1999 I began writing this blog. Never when I began did I think it would become what it has and last this long. At this point it has become an old friend and it keeps me connected to friends all over.

Prior to writing there had been a lot of water under the bridge, most of it very turbulent. I was finding it increasingly more difficult to navigate those waters and at times to even stay afloat. Writing on here did not calm the waters, it just seemed I had many experienced friends that were helping to guide me.

In the last five years so much has happened it is difficult to capture it in one post. Fortunately there are 540 posts that do that for me. However, I am going to try and recall some of the highlights of those five years that basically shook me to the core, some in good ways and some not so good.

Three grandchildren and a son in recovery. What more can I say about how good life can be. There were many smiles and quiet moments of appreciation.

However, every day there are times I relive the horrors. I drive past a courthouse or hospital and I feel a quiver in my body. Jail and overdoses haunt me. Every single day I drive by the cemetery where Darlene and I sat in the car and planned our son's funeral because at that time we felt we had lost him to the monster.

Every day I still feel the frustration that I didn't see this, couldn't stop this, and even though I know better, I couldn't fix this. Lot's of guilt still in dad that doesn't seem to go away.

But this blog helps. Each day I can write or I can simply just go back in time and read. I find comfort many days in the wise words many of you left for me as comments.

Each day I keep at this to try and offer hope or help to other parents just like me that feel hopeless and alone. We aren't alone, unless we choose to be. I talk about this at schools in hopes that when those grandchildren of mine grow up it won't be "cool" to try this stuff.

Just like five years ago, I had no idea what I was doing or what this blog would become. I have no idea where this is headed. My only hope is that I have helped as many of you by sharing my story as you have helped me.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Another Mother's Son

Here is another mother writing. Please give her a visit. No one is alone in this.

Hands Full of Tears



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Podcast of Radio Interview

Here is a link to the radio interview I did last night.

http://forthepeople.podomatic.com/entry/2014-01-13T15_22_29-08_00

I want to thank Debra, Chamara, Robbin and all of the staff of "For The People....law in plain language" for having me on this show. We need more people like you that are willing to tackle this tough subject in the public. It is time we bring the disease of addiction out of the shadows and closet.

The first 30 minutes of the show the hosts spoke of their own experiences with drugs. I was then introduced and we spent another 45 minutes speaking with callers and answering questions.

Thank you for this opportunity.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Radio Interview

I have been asked to be interviewed live on a radio program located in Philadelphia, PA. It can be heard live on Tuesday 1/14 at 8:30 pm EST at www.GTownRadio.com. The title of the show is For The People…Law in Plain Language. I told them I am not a lawyer but they are looking for someone to talk about what a family goes through when they have an addicted love one and some of the legal stuff the family gets caught up in while addiction is controlling a loved one. 

If you are interested and miss the live broadcast the podcast will be available on Podomatic and Itunes.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all. Every year this is a day that hope and promise seems to fill us all. Even for parents of addicts still trapped in that vicious circle of a lost child.

Last night Darlene and I went to bed after toasting the new year, tired and sore, with our kids still playing board games on the dining room table. Whispering our hopes for the new year, not even mentioning anything about drugs, addiction, rehab or jail.

I can still vividly remember when our wishes included things like we hoped this would not be the year Alex died. How at times we couldn't even think about recovery, we simply were focused on his survival. Eventually we would fall asleep with no peace. We just knew we had to rest so we could survive another day. No one knew what horror was in store the next hour, day or week.

Last year a few days after the new year a dear friend called saying her son was found dead from an overdose of heroin. The monster is real, it feeds on our children and it is stalking our loved ones every day.

It saddens me that as we enter 2014 there is still no cure for addiction and nothing seems to stop desire and the flow of drugs to our children. However, there are many people doing good work to help us. There are chemical based treatments that help many. The new "evidence based therapies" show great promise with you people that do not find what they need in 12 step programs. 12 step meetings comprised of younger people that can relate to each other and know how to face and help them in their special lives.

Although it has been a few years since the monster has left our family it is not so long ago that we have forgotten the horror and terror we felt. In fact it hasn't even been too long to forget what it was like when the monster first entered our family. I believe that I'll never in my life forget those times.

My new years message to those parents just entering this world is to listen, learn and never ever forgot that you are not alone. We are not alone in this no matter if you are just discovering the terrible truth or have know for years. The monster will feed on your silence and fear. There are people that understand and can help, seek them out. If one person doesn't understand then find someone else. You don't have to suffer privately. Accept the truths of this life and survive.

And, as always to those parents that have endured this for years and years. Where there is life there is hope, just be cautious and do not misplace your hope. Many of you long time readers know how bad it got for us and Alex before he sought recovery in July, 2010.

None of our children are unlovable. It just takes special people to see past the addiction and to know there is still a person inside there. Work to find the answer that works for YOU. You can't fix them so it makes no sense to have two broken people because of the drugs. Work on yourself and when the time is right you will be healthy enough to do what is needed for your child.

I'll end with one question that I have ask many people that are struggling to fix and help their child. Every single day in this world thousands of people stop using and enter recovery that lasts the rest of their lives............If your child walked in the door today and today was the day for your child, do you know what to do and are you healthy enough to help them do what they need to do?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ego Out Of Control

Today is my birthday and I know that all over the world there are celebrations and parties planned for this evening. To many this may feel this is a great reason for celebration but all I want for my birthday is for everyone to be wise and safe for today.

Please do not overindulge on my behalf.  Above all, please do not drink and drive.

Not to stress anyone out with those resolutions, that none of us intend to keep anyway; today let's look back on last year. Tomorrow we can look forward to a new year. Today think of something you are grateful for this past year and share it with two people. We should all end this year on a positive.

I am grateful my son has found recovery and maintained his recovery but that is stating the obvious.

I am grateful that I have happy and healthy children and grandchildren.

I am grateful for people that help others because none of us should be alone.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Magic of Christmas

This is the time of year that brings much joy to some and unspeakable heartache for others. There is not much I can say on here that can help many but what I say here does help me.

There are many different beliefs around Christmas and this holiday season but there are a few things I believe:

I believe there is nothing like seeing a small children and grandchildren tear into presents on Christmas morning.

I believe no person has scared more 2 year old children than Santa Claus, any doubt in this, there is photographic evidence.

I believe it is possible to put aside anger or hurt for one day.

I believe Christmas has become too big of a production with not enough love and support.

I believe if I lived someplace warm it wouldn't be the same holiday without 10 degrees and wind.

I believe that forgiveness is the most wonderful gift you can give yourself.

I believe a fire in the fireplace on Christmas makes everyone feel warmer and nicer.

I believe Christmas wishes do come true.

I believe for each of our suffering children there is recovery for them to take.

And most of all,

I believe for each of us life goes on and where there is life there is hope. Look around you and see all the the life. Try to tell me then there is no hope.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday's to all no matter what your beliefs........Ron Grover