Sunday, January 30, 2011

Couple Things To Announce

Alex has been granted work release. That means he goes to work during the day and reports back to jail each night. He begins back to work on Monday. When we talk to him on the phone he sounds very healthy.

The other announcement is that Dad and Mom are going to grandparents again. Alex and Kristy are going to have a baby. It is due August 18 and we are all excited.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New Opiate Addiction Treatment

The FDA just approved the use of VIVITROL, a once a month intramuscular injection for opiate addicts. The medication is an opiate antagonist (blocks opiate receptors in the brain). Vivitrol cannot be abused. It is not addictive. It cannot be gotten except in a doctors office. You cannot take it home. You go in once a month for the shot. It has an 86% rate of success.


BUT....this might save our children. Vivitrol Website, with Doctor Locator

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Anniversary #2

Two years ago we began writing this blog in an effort to help us through our son's addiction. Much has changed since we began writing, mostly us. The fact is, I think we would be at the point of nothing would have changed, if we hadn't changed.

While writing this I often thought about self-censuring the content. I am glad I didn't. Sometimes Mom ask me not to write about something so I didn't. To me that wasn't censuring, that was respecting her wishes; after all, we are in this together. But otherwise what you read was the real thing, the good, bad and ugly. I decided to lay out our life for all to see, I'm a person that is all or nothing. Our mistakes were plentiful and I am so glad everyone had the guts to flog me when it was needed. Endless hope is what has carried us this far, even though time after time it was dashed and we crashed. Where there is life there is hope.

I know so many of you have been rooting for and praying for Alex this whole time. We appreciate that more than you can imagine, all of your wishes for our family. But with all of Alex's tribulations and despite what you have read about his exploits the heart of this blog is about a Mom and Dad in the struggle of their lives. An important lesson learned in this struggle is that we know we can and will survive; no matter the outcome and if the monster returns, we will survive another day.

You've probably noticed my posts have become less about the drama living with an addict because at this point there is less drama. It is easier to be light hearted when life is not one crisis after another. I will still post updates but there may be less posts.

Many of you have been reading this blog from the beginning, some have been writing your own blog longer than I. I continue to read your blogs as you post. It is discouraging to see that parents new to this disease begin blogs about an addicted child but these are the people that need help. A parents desperation to search for answers to this insidious disease is only eclipsed by the courage it takes to write about their own journey. My advice to all parents struggling out there is to either read or write. I have never found a peace like the peace I have found reading comments from all of you that read our blog.

I am trying to be diligent about writing comments to new parents. Many times repeating the wisdom of Lou, Dawn, Syd, Barbara, Annette, Suzie and countless others too numerous to mention. But these friends were here in the beginning and I still have much to learn from all of them.

As this new year begins I was ask and have accepted a volunteer position with The Partnership at to be a Parent Ambassador. I'm not really sure of the full scope of a Parent Ambassador but from what I have been told I will be the Kansas representative and help with western Missouri and will be a person designated by The Partnership to help parents and represent The Partnership across Kansas. Not sure I am quite qualified for something like that but they told me there will training, good, I need it. So you will probably be reading about my adventures in this too.

So I hope you are looking forward to another year of boring stories and poor grammar. I am not giving up! Y'ALL HAVEN'T BEATEN ME INTO SUBMISSION, YET!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ivan Glen Grover

On January 17, 1982 my father passed away. There are no more phone calls, no father/son chats, no impromptu visits and no one asking or to ask for help.

I don't have to go to a cold snow covered frozen ground at a cemetery and stare at a spot on the ground to honor my father. You see, my dad does not lay there. My dad is not gone, he lives every day inside of me. His wisdom comes from my mouth as my words. His knowledge is passed along to others; how to square a door, righty tighty lefty losey and so much more that seems just natural to my world.

This is how I honor my dad, "The world is give and take." said he. Make sure your account is always balanced.

Martin Luther King Jr.

I am not a civil rights specialist or consider myself in any way knowledgeable in the subject. Other than my own feelings that all peoples of any race or nationality deserve respect and are entitled to every opportunity in the world that is of their interest.

I grew up in the sixties as a boy. The sixties was the period I went from 5 years old to 15. This is a time that shaped me greatly. There are those that believe in the adage that "you are what you were then" speaking of that period in one's life.

I am not presumptuous enough to think in any manner I could speak for Dr. King. However, when I look around my world as a white middle-aged man that lives in the suburbs of a major Midwest city and holds a management position with a manufacturing company I have to wonder, is this "The Dream"?

How much work is left to be done? Drug addiction and alcoholism still ravage the poor and minority communities. Gangs of youth instill fear and prey upon their own brothers and sisters. In the name of capitalism liquor stores, pawn shops, and payday loan businesses flood into poor neighborhoods under the guise of assistance to the needy. Educational systems fail to prepare the majority of youths living in areas where the perceived only way out is through crime because the "system" is fixed against them. The silence of the night is not filled with the chirping of crickets and croaking of frogs; rather, the sound of gunfire and wailing of sirens. Our prisons and jails are disproportionately filled with minority inmates. Is this "The Dream"?

I know in the sixties the issues were much different. Whole races and nationalities of people were considered less, just because of the color of their skin or where they came from in the world. Sometimes I see great progress. I see the President of the United States is a man of color. In places of business there are men and women of color leading industries, not nearly enough but progress none the less.

At times what I hear today is disheartening. The voices to deny equality are loud against people in this country that happen to be Muslim. Immigrants, legal or illegal are referred to as "those people". Racism is instilled in our culture using the words "we are all equal". Equality isn't about the finish line, equality is about the STARTING LINE.

We all still have so much to learn from Dr. King.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Are You in Southern CA

I usually don't post this type of stuff but thought I'd try it this one time. I received this e-mail today asking for help.

I have not researched this and am not vouching for the validity I am just putting this up in case someone is in a position that wants or needs this help.

My name is Julia Jenkins and I’m a Casting Producer for WEtv and Ish Entertainment. I’m working on a compelling new series based in Southern California that will help families who are struggling with difficult issues, such as behavioral issues, addiction, control issues, eating disorders or obesity. I was wondering if you would be interested in posting my message on your blog.

As you know, these issues not only affect the individual, but the whole family as well - and our Licensed Family Therapist (Tara Fields, as seen on Oprah, Dr. Phil and CNN) wants to help.

We know that especially in these tough economic times, a lot of families are struggling but don’t know where to turn…and this heart-warming show will be devoted to lending a helping hand to the families who need it.

Please see our casting notice below. If you’re interested in learning more or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for your time.


Is your family in crises struggling with issues that need to be addressed? Is someone in your home dealing with an addiction and you don’t know where to turn?

WEtv’s new show can help!!!

Tara Fields has made a difference on “Hoarders” and “Intervention” but now YOUR FAMILY can have the chance to work one-on-one with her! This exciting new one-hour unscripted TV series will delve into the lives of families in crisis. Tara will work with families to uncover what their real issues are and then help them to overcome them, making the families whole again.

If you - or anyone you know - are in need of help and live in the Los Angeles area, contact us today! Families who appear on the show will receive free family therapy and a financial honorarium as a thank-you for their time commitment.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Email for more info.

*Please be sure to include a description of your family and the issues you’re dealing with, along with a recent photo.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where's The Light?

When you find yourself in the dark from something that has happened the natural response is fight or flight. The panic from the unknown grips you. Fear wells up and takes over all your thoughts.

It's dark, you stand still then your eyes adjust. Shadows of familiar objects begin to appear. Your mind begins to accept what you know. The unknown fades and that pushes away the fear.

Slivers and pinpoints of light appear. Your eyes see what you couldn't imagine just a minute ago.

The dark is scary, but if you are brave enough to enter the dark or somehow find yourself there; sometimes you learn something about yourself.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Working On Myself

While my son is incarcerated it gives me a chance to take inventory of where I am. It's so important to take time for ourselves for personal reflection but when you are dealing with an addict in active addiction the drama and crisis is never ending. There comes a point that between the emergencies all you can do is collapse. We've been at that point for 5 years.

I don't want to give the impression of us sitting around waiting to resume our life of crisis and drama. When my son entered jail he was clean and had a determination of sobriety that I had never seen in him before. In all of our correspondence it seems that determination is seated deeper. My hope is that he is what he says now.

At this point I am reflecting on our life for the last few years. How did we, not him, get to this point? What have I learned? It's hard but I have let go of my expectations of what he could have been. His life is his to make the most of and if he wants it he can make it. It is not my job to hand it too him. That would be cheating him of his dignity, pride and life learning. He will make mistakes, I did and I have never been an addict or alcoholic. Life is about discovery and mistakes are a part of healthy discovery. He's not a failure if he makes a mistake, he's human.

Just because my son suffers from a disease that does not justify me robbing him of the chance to discover life by being a helicopter parent. That's another point not just for parents of addicts. If you are always hovering above to shelter your child from the pain of discovery, you are also robbing them of the reward. Sure wish I would have followed my own advice 7 years ago when I was enabling my son's using.

I am tired of, and done parenting. I want to be a father. Looking back I can see as a teenager, as most teenagers, I resented my parents. They were the ones telling me "no". They were the ones I depended on and limited my independence. At that age I couldn't live on my own but in my mind I knew it all and could recite every mistake they were making as a parent. As I matured and began living a life of independence and responsibility a transformation from resentment to respect occurred within me. Dad and Mom the parents morphed into Dad and Mom the father and mother, people with knowledge and wisdom. It would be unfair for me to rob my son of that personal experience.

This is a time to charge our batteries. Our son could come out of jail a monster, I don't believe that but I have learned in all of this time anything is possible. I don't fear the possible, I am prepared for the best.

In the meantime, my mother is getting progressively worse with her dementia. We got her to quit her job effective Jan. 1. That has been a traumatic experience for all and now she is obsessing over her job. Soon it will come a time the car needs to go. It is very trying on my sister because she lives with mom and is the primary caregiver. She needs breaks, we have to make sure she doesn't assume the martyr role. It will be hard on us all. I am so glad Alex wants to fly straight. He probably can not fathom how much help that is to us and how much lighter the load becomes.

Craig Ferguson

Here is a link to a monologue that Craig Ferguson did on his show "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" He is speaking on his own journey about recovery with alcoholism. If you haven't seen this it is worth watching and for me I can almost see and feel his pain as he explains his own situation.

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson