Saturday, July 30, 2011

Is It A Matter of Public Relations or Education?

This entry is about our children that die from addiction. Too many parents lose children from addiction and it is tragic, the pain affects us all but nothing like the parent that suddenly finds a hole in their life that will never be filled.

In our area we have had a number of teens die from automobile accidents, it is tragic. They make an error in judgement or do something stupid and the consequences are fatal. We see it here all the time, speeding, bumper tag, inattentive driving and yes, driving while intoxicated. Another parent loses a child. There are memorials, candlelight ceremonies, an outpouring of grief from the community. All in an effort to ease the grief and comfort all who are hurting.

We have also had young people in our community die from addiction. All is quiet. The family and friends suffer in silence.

We have all heard the comments whispered, just another addict. If they hadn't been doing drugs it wouldn't have happened. That's what you get doing drugs. But, no matter this was a child loved by parents and family. This was a child that did the same thing as the child that dies accidentally in a crash or accident. They made a mistake in which they could not recover.

I have come to believe until addiction comes out from the darkness and we recognize it for what it is our children that have made the mistake of using and becoming addicted there will always be a devaluation of a person suffering from addiction.

There is too much pain in this disease, why do we make it worse?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Recovery and Me Blog

Here is a link to a young woman with a young daughter working on her recovery. She has just started the blog and her few postings so are very insightful, raw and enlightening for me as a parent of an addict in recovery. Her story of getting busted and time in jail and prison is worth a read for any parent going through the pain. It's worth visiting. Please support her, plus her hometown of Warrensburg, MO is not that far from me.

Recovery and Me!

Contest Results

A few months ago I posted about SAMSHA contest for young people to make a short PSA video about substance abuse for national distribution.

I just got an e-mail from Tracy Farmer with a link to the winning video:

"I Am More Than Meets The Eye"

For anyone that is interested in the 2012 contest here is a link to a video with information.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Dead End Road?

We just got back from the lake. My brother has a place on Table Rock Lake and we went there with the family for a few days. While we were there Mom and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. Nothing special just a day together.

While we were out of touch I saw that Amy Winehouse died. I don't know for sure but I assume from the circumstances it was from an overdose. Unfortunately this is the end of the road for some addicts. Never able to find the ability to seek or maintain a life of sobriety. The illness has too great of a hold.

But, this is not the road for all addicts. Whether her death makes a difference to anyone else we will never know but the truth is every single day thousands of addicts and alcoholics across the globe give up their using drugs or drinking. This is not a miracle this is just the way this disease works. All we can really hope for is that the addict in your life lives to see their day. Unfortunately Ms. Winehouse's parents doesn't get to see their daughter reach that day, but that doesn't mean your son or daughter won't.

Mom and I are lucky, Alex lived to see his day. He was one of thousands that made that step a year ago. Truthfully, we thought it was touch and go for a while but he did live to see his day. In fact I look back on what I told an emergency room doctor a few years ago when he gave my son less than 50/50 chance of living through the surgery he urgently needed. I told the doc in the emergency room prepping him it was our job to keep him alive today because every day thousands of people quit and Alex just hasn't reached his day yet. The doc stopped working for a second, looked at me took a deep breath and worked harder. Later the doctor told me he had never heard it put that way.

For those parents with kids struggling through this, no matter if they are 14 or 60 we all hope they reach their special day. The day they see the light of a profound experience.

It's difficult to describe how good it feels with Alex today and nearly impossible to describe how bad it was a year ago. Hold on to hope, take care of yourself and do what you can to support recovery when that day comes. Until then, where there is life there is hope.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Still Work To Be Done On......ME!

It's been about 3 hours now and it's taken this long to finally getting into rhythm here at the office.

Upon arriving at the office this morning I had a text from an associate in the plant. His message was that another associate, who I had just hired on Thursday would not be at work this week due to a family emergency. The new associates name is Alex.

When I saw that message I knew of no family emergency on my side of the family. Of course we are expecting a new grandson in a month, we all know babies keep their own schedule. I text my Alex, no response. I called my Alex no response. I called his mother and she got no responses form text or voice. Of course internal panic begins to grip us. We can see bad places in our minds but we are doing our best not to go there.

A co-worker asks me, "What's wrong?"

As I relate the story I am reminded by him of the new guy hired on Thursday, whose name is also Alex. My Alex is out there on the laminator where he is suppose to be on a Monday morning for work. Of course he doesn't answer our texts or phone calls, he is working.

Maybe it takes longer for you to naturally go to good places in your mind than it does to make a leap to the bad places.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Some of us have children now in recovery. Some are still watching the tumble and dealing with their struggle. Fortunately, here in our home we are in the first group.

After struggling for so many years it sometimes seems strange to not be dealing with the constant crisis and drama associated with addiction. However, the new normal presents its own challenges, just as life always has a way to keep each of us grounded. I guess the real question is, "What is normal?"

Even without the addiction crisis and drama it is important for me to stop at times and consciously think about what I am doing and what impact my actions have on others, personally and globally. 

What are you doing in your recovery? No matter if you child is active or clean, what are you doing to improve your life and what do you believe/hope is the effect on those that you touch?

-  We are re-introducing ourselves to our son and learning about him. Showing him despite all of everything in the past it is just that, past. Forgiven, but not forgotten. It moves no one forward to re-live past pains and experiences so those feelings are now put on a shelf. Acceptance is a lesson I have learned. Accept today for it's own joys. 

-  Give without expectation. Giving provides its own reward. Giving heals more inside of you than any medicine or therapy ever could.

-  Model behavior that is congruent with your own values and beliefs. I don't know what our son believes now or what he remembers about the life lessons he was taught as he was growing up. Actions speak much louder than words, I try not to miss opportunities to demonstrate in life how I want to live based upon my own values. This is most important for me, keeps me conscious of what I am doing or not doing in my life and the effect it has on others.

-  Express appreciation. We need to tell people thank you. Family, friends and acquaintances stood by us and held us up so many years. They should hear how much we appreciate them shouldering our load when we needed help. That includes every one of you out there reading or commenting on this blog. Thank You All.

These are just a few reflections on my recovery. I'd love to hear from anyone about things you do. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July

Much better this year. No rain. No power outage. No plugged toilet. No water running down the hallway ruining the floor. no water dripping into the basement.

This year we had fun, no one "overindulged" and I think everyone had fun. Lot's of big booms and bright lights in the sky. Plus, son-in-laws, and nephews used their "special firecrackers" on one of my trees. There were splinters 30' away.