Thursday, April 29, 2010


My son is now among the employed. He started a full time job on Monday and he stopped by for a couple minutes last night to pick up some things. He seemed happy and proud to be working again. Says he gets paid next Thursday and owes rent money. That is a good thing.

Baby Steps

ps.: I am presenting again at a local high school tomorrow, wish me luck.

OOPS: It's 7pm now and I wrote the above stuff at 7am this morning. Spoke to soon, just found out, he's back on the needle.

Monday, April 26, 2010


How do you make those connections to someone you never knew?

I see my son working on his sobriety today like I haven't see in the past. I think he is actually doing it for himself this time. In the past I look back and I see how we coerced him into recovery and it ended badly each time.

The efforts he puts forth this time will benefit him. I am not holding them up as benchmarks for myself or his success. It is his program and I refuse to own his work this time. This is a change from the past.

My current struggles are in recognizing that my son is a different person then when he began his addiction. But I must also recognize that I am a different person. The elephant in the room for me is the past. I see that letting go of our pain is something that is essential to success for both of us in this new way forward. I cannot continue to hold on to past failures, disappointments and hurt like a security blanket that reminds me to protect myself.

There is no doubt that the future will hold its own failures, disappointments and hurt. If I insist on building a wall from the onset to protect myself from those things it will not help me or him.

I am taking uneasy steps. I don't know how to interact with my son as an adult. For so many years my interaction has been with a addicted child and for most of that time my mindset was that he was my kid that needed to be straightened out. That really isn't very clear when I read it but I think most of the parents of an addict reading this will know what I mean.

I must learn to deal with a new person. This person is an adult, he is an addict in recovery, he is 22 years old and there is a lot of baggage with each of us. I can only control how I approach this new relationship but this time I have to accept how he wants to handle this relationship.

Hello, my name is Dad, it is good to meet you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Partnership Followup

My last Partnership posting was re-post of a letter I wrote for Alex. It must have had some kind of impact on a few people at The Partnership because the next article they published at the Intervene site was an essay about my essay (letter). The writer is the Online Community Manager for The Partnership, Olivia Chao.

You can find her article here:

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

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another Hurting Family

Here is a link to another hurting mother and wife.

Laura's son is the addict, Ryan.
Wendy's husband is the addict, Ryan.

Please visit.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A New Behavior By Dad and Mom

Last week was on of those that seemed to be issue compounded upon issue. A flooded bathroom from a plugged sewer line that ruined the hardwood floor, mom's uncle died, another doctor appointment for my mother, daughter preparing to move to Chicago, son-in-laws birthday and our son wanted his truck that we had been storing for over two years.

Getting right to the point with all of this going on our son had to just make do with the circumstances. He has no vehicle that will run so he called and ask mom to pick him up, but he wanted her to do it on his schedule. She explained what had been going on with the bathroom and her Uncle J.R.'s death and we didn't have time to drive down to get him when he wanted us. He had to wait until we had an opening that fit into our schedule. In the past we would have dropped everything and did the suffering on our end, this time it was different. I was able to
retrieve his truck but it is really torn up. I don't think he realizes how bad he trashed this vehicle while he was using. I am going to give it to him free and clear but he can't take it until the title is switched to his name and then he can fix it and then get it licensed. He must be responsible for the vehicle and my name is off of the title.

My mother has been taking the
medication the doctor prescribed a few weeks ago and you can see a difference. She was with us for our son-in-laws birthday celebration on Friday night and she doesn't repeat things over and over and she appears to even be physically getting around better. Doctor give her prescription for 3 months of refills.

If you own a house you will eventually have a plumbing issue. We built our house about 22 years ago. And when I say we built it mom's Uncle J.R. (the one that died this week) was a builder and he built it and we did all the work we could do finish it to save money. He used his workers to do the main things and we painted, did concrete
flatwork, all finish trim and all cleanup. This week was our time for a major plumbing issue. The sewer line going out plugged and the drain water from upstairs backed up through the guest toilet downstairs. It was a nasty mess. It ruined the wood floor in that bathroom and out into the hall. I had to rip up all of the floor and this week we replaced it with real stone travertine tile. That is done now but I have decided to replace the trim in that area with old style door casing using fluted stiles with rosette caps. But at least I can take my time doing that. I just thought of something, J.R. builds a really good house, but this plumbing thing is quite a coincidence, do you think he had to jab me on this house one last time before he died? ;-)

We had a good time at son-in-laws birthday and it is sad to see oldest daughter getting ready to move to Chicago. We are a close family so it will make it harder on mom and I.

Back to son. We haven't saw him since his birthday. I don't know for sure but hopefully it will be good for us both with the events this week and him wanting us to come and get him. I feel like we respected ourselves in that we had our life to deal with and hopefully he will respect us for our decision. Plus, I hope he was able to handle us not jumping at his call to run to his aid. That is how real life rolls no matter if you are an addict or not.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Reading Materials

Here is a list of a few books I have read lately and they have all influenced me positively in one way or another along my path. I will use Amazon links so you can see the actual book but I am not endorsing Amazon. I would guess all of these books are available at your locally owned bookstores. If you can, please patronize your small business local book seller.

These books are not the answers. These are resources and I am sure there are many good books I have missed but these are the ones I have read and I would appreciate any recommendations others may have for me.

Get Your Loved One Sober, Robert Myers & Brenda Wolfe

Addicted Like Me, Karen Franklin & Laura King

Addict In The Family, Beverly Conyers

Helping The Addict You Love, Lawrence Westreich

12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery, Allen Berger

Monday, April 12, 2010

Presenting Again

I will be making more presentations at a high school in our area. Last week a teacher at another high school heard about my other presentation and e-mailed me if I would come and speak at her school. I'll be speaking again on April 30.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Lately my mother has been getting progressively worse with "old age". She is 80 years old and the forgetfulness has been getting pretty bad. We took her to the doctor a few weeks ago and she has been diagnosed with dementia. Unfortunately Alzheimer's runs in the family, Both her father and mother contracted the disease a long time ago. A brother and sister died from it too. I'd say the prognosis probably isn't too good. We got her on some of the new medicines but they don't stop the progression, only suppose to slow it down.

Our son's birthday is today, he is 22. We had a family dinner for him on Friday night. Lots of people attended and we really had a good time. Mom and I wound up just giving him cash. He needs the money badly and we finally gave in that we figured he'd either use the money for good or for drugs and it wasn't really our business and that was what he needed the most so that's that.

At 22 he has to grow up. Our time, concern and resources are going to be split one more way. I hope that will be a good thing for him.

Our oldest daughter has accepted a job in Chicago. Looks like there will be a motorcycle trip to that are area planned for the future and I have a feeling Southwest Airlines may become a friend.

Everything does seem a bit busy lately. We're trying not to be squeezed from both ends.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Don't Get It

I haven't updated on my son for a while and I really don't know what to say. He's clean and he uses. How does he go from not using for a week and then using one of two times and then goes again without using for a week.

My oldest daughter explained to me maybe he is like the "weekend drunk". Sober during the week and gets plastered every weekend. That is still an alcoholic it is just that they only drink on the weekend.

Maybe that's not a bad explanation. It seems like something I can grasp but I still don't get it.

If you can do it for one day, just do it the next day too, and the next and the next.......

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Partnership Posting

The Partnership For A Drug Free America has published another of my essay's. This one wil be familiar to you regular readers. It is what I wrote as an open letter to my son.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Fools Pranks

We all need a little humor in our miserable existence on this round ball hurtling aimlessly through a vast nothingness on a predestined path of fiery destruction. Now on that happy note let's hear about any April Fool's pranks you perpetrated or had foisted upon you yesterday.

Prank #1

One of the guys I work with posted on his Facebook page that as a joke he turned in his 2 week notice here at work. But his joke was taken serious so now he was out of a job in 2 weeks. All of his FB friends were agonizing for him all day and thought it was so terrible that the company would not take it as a joke and force him into living up to the resignation. He had been playing this all day and was getting a lot of humor from his friends misery about his pending unemployment.

So in the afternoon , I got a hold of the owner of the company and showed him this Facebook prank being played by one of our associates. I told the owner of the company to go out and play it up that he was sorry to see him go and he would be missed. he laid it on good. The original prankster didn't know what to believe. THE PUNK WAS PUNKED. LOL

Prank #2

When I got home from work last night I took a silly picture of myself sticking out my tongue. I took that picture and e-mailed it to several female friends. In the body of the e-mail I addressed the note to Darlene (Mom). I said I was goofing around and took some risque pictures of myself and I hope they are not too naughty. These are for your enjoyment. I hope you would return the favor with some naked pictures of yourself. Have fun.

Like I said I sent this picture and e-mail to about a half dozen women friends. About 10 minutes later I sent this EMERGENCY e-mail not to open the naked pictures of me to all those that got the first e-mail. I explained I clicked on the wrong mailing list and it went out to all of the women on my mail list. At the bottom of the e-mail after scrolling far down, I said, APRIL FOOLS.

One person returned an e-mail saying she was disappointed and was so looking forward to enjoying her evening with my pictures, but then it was a joke. Another just responded OMG, how much trouble are in at home.

(I better really be on guard next year.)

In the comments tell everyone about your April Fools jokes. We all need a chuckle.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Peace of NOT Knowing

I haven't had any contact with my son since bailing him of jail. That was the issue of my last post. Lots of disagreement between Mom and I about that action but like in the past when we are not on the same page we always default to the most conservative position.

He is staying at his girlfriends. I must assume he is being straight or she would have tossed him by now. She is pretty adamant about his using, according to our son she grew up with an addicted mother so she says she isn't putting up with another life like that.

Easter is coming up. He usually calls his mother each day to tell her he is alive and not in jail. I assume she will tell him of Easter visit plans with our relatives. I guess it is her call. What is really great none of our extended family has abandoned us or him. Just how great are all of those people!