Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Birthday

57 years young today. At least thats how I feel, everyone else sees me as a old fat gray headed guy.

My birthday wishes have all come true. Alex is doing well, Tyler, Brooke and Owen are nothing but little bundles of love. All the rest are working, healthy and happy. I really can't think of a single wish that could make me happier. (ok, just one, a detached fully outfitted woodworking shop)

I do have one wish that remains unfulfilled, may every parent of an addict find the peace that I feel today. I know that wish remains open. Yesterday I received three e-mails from desperate parents. I answered two e-mails and spoke on the phone to another mother for nearly an hour. I hope that I helped. I'm not a professional, just another dad here, but I try to do the best I can.

But, as I have said many times, talk to other parents of addicts, that has helped me many times. You all that read this blog and comment I have found to the wisest people I know. I hope to someday be qualified to a part of your club.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Pictures Do Not Lie

Merry Christmas to All.

We had family over for two days. Needless to say it was exhausting and right now I am in some kind of recovery but not really sure what kind, I am too tired to try and figure it out right now.

Darlene had the idea that it would be good if loaded up some pictures on a memory stick because she had a couple of those digital picture frames and figured it would be good to have old pictures playing on slide show. I began sorting pictures and decided to have one frame showing summer pictures at the beach and water and the other one showing all pictures from past Christmas's.

As I sorted past Christmas pictures I saw the way Alex looked not so long ago. The gaunt paleness of his face. Smiles that I couldn't remember getting any meaning from his face and expression. Sores and scabs visible in pictures, I don't have to explain that picture. I could feel the the hurt scratching just under my skin.

About the time I got all the pictures transferred to a memory stick Alex and family walked in the front door. He and his family all smiles. Tyler anxious to escape the parental grasp and shed his coat so his play and exploration could begin in earnest. Alex trudging in and out of the cold from car to house carrying in food and gifts. The reality of the present slinging those pictures into the past again.

It is so important to recognize and appreciate the truth of the present without running scared from the haunts of the yesterday.  

ps.: Here is a link to a blog written by a recovering addict. She is just starting and it is interesting:
http://lifesexperiencesandinspiringmoments.blogspot.ca/

Saturday, December 22, 2012

SURPRISE It's a New Daughter

Friday evening Alex ask Kristy to be his wife.

Darlene and I had a hand in it but it was his plan all the way. Our part was minimal, we watched Tyler all night. Plus, as he took Kristy to dinner he had us set up a few things in his house for when they got home. He was very particular with his plan and it had to be just right. Presents wrapped just right and placed on a table surrounded by candles. Flowers and a red rose flower petals on the floor in the shape of a heart.

I guess she said YES, When they came to pick up Tyler this morning everybody was all smiles.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Another Partnership Posting

The Partnership at Drugfree.org has published another one of my essays. Many of you may remember it as my interpretation on detaching with love. That post on this blog has become the most popular post and is regularly hit each day most of time several times.

To find The Partnership version you can look here: Detaching with Love: How I Learned to Separate my Son and His Addiction

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Families

In a few days it will be Christmas. I know many that read this blog may not celebrate Christmas. I am using this holiday for my point but most do have some special occasions or holidays that bring a strong urge to have family close.

There are parents and families experiencing this holiday time without a loved child. The monster claimed their precious child. Others are experiencing an empty chair at the table hoping that their child finds the strength to slay the monster or at least put the demon at rest. Many others know where their child but bars and glass prevent them from sharing their love.

The pain of this disease is insidious.

No matter how long it is I will never forget the pain and anguish of these parents. Addiction in our son was life altering for me.

Today Alex is doing wonderfully. I can now see pieces of myself in his life. Working steadily each day to provide for a family. Laughter at funny situations in life and closeness to a family that loves him. What more could a father ask for in life, a family that loves together and shares.

This season isn't just a season of hope for christians but for all of us that are not christian hope also springs from us with new starts and new years. It is hard and sometimes almost painful to be reminded be we must never forget that where there is life there is hope. Look to the person next to you, that is the hope we need, that is the life we need. Sometimes many things and other are out of control so our only hope is to surround ourselves with the life and love that is at hand.

Happy Holidays to All

Friday, December 14, 2012

I Didn't Know This Program Existed

About a week ago I was contacted by Santa Claus. He told me about a secret program he has to condition himself and the reindeer for the big night. He explained that about a week and half before Christmas night he has always done a secret test flight to make sure everything is working well. The object is to visit about 4 homes across the country so he is ready for the worldwide trip. He explained this is a highly secret exercise and he chooses homes where there are no young kids but have Grandpa's and Grandma's that maintain the Christmas traditions for their grandbabies.

Santa told me he had chosen a home in Seattle WA, Boulder CO, our home in Bonner Springs, KS and lastly one in Virginia Beach, VA. The game plan was for all of us to do exactly what we would do on Christmas Eve night. We were to put out brownies and milk or cookies and milk just like normal.

Well last night Santa made his test run. I'm sure he stopped in Washington and Colorado first because he said he was traveling from west to east this year to take advantage of the jet stream flow.

We got up this morning and Santa left a short note, "Thanks for the cookies, I had really good brownies in WA and CO." However, there were 3 empty bags of Doritos on the floor and a half eaten package of Oreo's on the table. Plus my vintage copy of Cheech and Chong's, Up In Smoke is missing.

What the????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!      Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Partnership Posted Another Essay

The Partnership at Drugfree.org has posted another one of my essays. It is a post I put here on this blog over one year ago. It's about parents and recovery. Some short bullets about what I learned being the parent of an addict in recovery. I often refer others to it when they question what to do when their loved one is working on recovery. It is also one of those posts I often go back and read to keep myself on track too. Here is a link to The Partnership Intervene posting:

Personal Conclusions I've Reached as the Parent of an Addict in Recovery


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's Holiday Season Again

As the parent of an addict we always looked at holiday and family celebrations with nervous fear. What were we in for this time? Nothing ever went well, there was always drama and crisis.

We took it personal. Why is he doing this to us? Can't we just have ONE peaceful holiday, just one day? We never get peace. Christmas, birthday's Thanksgiving, 4th of July, weddings, it didn't matter what day; it ended up a disaster. With that our anger and frustration was always on the surface often boiling over to the point all joy was lost.

Towards the end of Alex's using and now I finally understood it wasn't personal. It's not personal that an addict uses on special occasions and cause a total wreck for us that love them. It's just what addicts do.

Acceptance that a holiday or special occasion is no different than any other day is important for us to understand. An addict is addicted and they will use, no matter if it is a holiday or special occasion. That's just what they do and a date on a calendar has no impact on their need.

Dad, Mom and all you other loved ones of addicts that are not in recovery it is not personal. It's just the way addiction works. It's good if you are able to include your addicted loved on in the holiday celebrations but understand the limits of their ability to function. It's not good for you to have expectations that only set yourself up for disappointment. Remember to live in the world of "what is" versus the world of "what ought to be".


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Part 2, MyAddiction.com

MyAddiction.com has posted part 2 of the interview I did with them. You can find it here: My Son Was An Addict, Part 2

I was to speak to another 150 students at Shawnee Mission West today but the old flu bug got to me. I am weakly recovering today. Yesterday I knew I was not dying because I would have to get better to be considered dead. It was one of those ugly ones where you have no control over what decides to exits either end of your body. Hopefully, we will be able to reschedule my talks in the near future.

Another mother writing about her son, please visit: Mothering Addiction

Thursday, November 22, 2012

More Than Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day designated to give thanks for all people and those things in our lives we are grateful for in our lives. I wrote about my list of gratitude and thanks last year, On Thanksgiving. Nothing has changed from last year however there is something different this year.

This year there is a deeper feeling of thanks and gratitude that words are not adequate to describe. It's not a joyous feeling or happy dance type thing. It is simply a deep feeling of peace inside. A deep calm that allows me to reflect on the gifts given to me after so many years of turmoil.

This week I received several letters from mothers, fathers, siblings and even one from a daughter about her mother concerning loved ones struggling with addiction. Each one of these letters I answered. I spoke on the phone to a mother that lost her son this year and this is her first Thanksgiving without her son. I cannot even pretend to know how she feels. I referred her to another friend that has experienced that and I know he can help her.

Today amidst all of the food and celebration and thanks take a minute to think about or pray for all those families still troubled with children and loved ones fighting the monster and especially for those parents whose child was lost to the monster.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Where there is life there is hope.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Interviewed by MyAddiction.com

Last week I was interviewed by a writer for MyAddiction.com. They have posted Part 1 of  the interview on their website. If you are interested in reading the story here is a link. My Son Was An Addict

Monday, November 12, 2012

Why Me?


Why me, how many have wondered that? That simple refrain was uttered more often than I want to think about while Alex was using. There never seemed to be a satisfactory answer. We went to all the school functions, attended all the ball games, active in the schools and community, we read to him when he was little. Kept him involved in family activities, took him to the lake for wakeboarding, family vacations were a normal activity. We had family dinners together every chance we got. We supported his interests and bought him all the latest toys and games. Why me?

Of course that question was always expressed with a heavy heart. Too many times laying in bed at night Darlene and I would try to find the answer. What did we do wrong? Why are we being punished like this?

It has been a while since I asked that question with a heavy heart. But, the question has never left my mind. Lately I have been deliberating again on that question. With the benefit of time my thought process is quite different. In the past I was looking for an answer to the question. Today I have come to the understanding that the real question to ask concerning this should be, “Why was I asking the question of, why me?”

Why me is about a search of the past; as if knowing will change the present. Parents are problem solvers. Our “problem” was not ours to solve. Our question and problem involved us but our answer was always focused on Alex.

With the benefit of time and experience I see how much those two simple words derailed our own life. This was an exercise in futility. Searching for answers that meant nothing delayed our healing and supported our co-dependence. Why me allowed us to continue enabling because we took ownership in our loved ones addiction. Our role in the past must have contributed therefore without our active involvement in problem solving the “situation” will never right itself. I know this is convoluted thinking about addiction but it is a period all parents endure.

The learning process concerning addiction was one of the hardest things I have ever endured. Not because information and counsel was not out there, it was because it involved so much fear, love and the consequences are so dire. The world becomes topsy-turvy. Jail becomes protective custody, love is unconditional but loving actions become a no-no. Nothing seems to makes sense, we try to create sanity in an insane situation. Nothing seems to work the way it should. Why me, why am I having to go through this crap. What did I do to deserve this?

Why me leads us to believe there must be something or someone to fault. If only I could find the answer I could jump in our time machine and go back to fix our problem.

Many times I am ask, “What would you have done different?” Only a fool would answer with something like, I can’t think of a thing. There are many things I might have changed in the way I did things prior to addiction but that only leads to the “magic bullet” solution. Child rearing and addiction doesn’t subscribe to the magic bullet theory.

At some point as a parent we must allow our child to accept some responsibility in this situation. When I speak at schools I always ask every group if they have ever been told don’t do drugs. Every kid says yes they have been told. As parents we lament, they won’t even make their bed, it’s no wonder they wouldn’t listen to that simple commandment. So logically we assume it must have been something we did or didn’t do, why me?

This is a long post but it is a tough question. I am positive that I have not reached the conclusion of my thinking concerning this simple question. Maybe this is one of those life questions I face until I die, never an answer but always a question. The answer may simply be living for what happens now. The concrete on my sidewalk behind me is already cast and hardened. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting

Today is the day. If you haven't already voted please get out there and share your thoughts and beliefs by simply marking that ballot.

No matter if it is Romney or Obama that is your man or someone else. Voting isn't about choosing a side, voting is about bringing us together. We have the privilege to choose leaders to lead instead of being forced to follow.

Tomorrow I hope that everyone can come together as one. We are Americans first. Neither Democrats or Republicans have all the answers. It is time we all remember America first, arguing politics is just a hobby.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Points Here, Forward and Unknown

Nothing ever ends, the world spins, sun rises and sun sets everything in between is just life. When you think about it, aren't we lucky. The drama and crisis is miserable but without the valleys we would have no realization what we are seeing when we stand on top of the mountain.

Last weekend Darlene and I traveled to western Kansas to visit relatives. The occasion was their farm sale. They are retiring and sold all of their farming equipment at auction. These are people that had been farming for all their life. A very large operation but in western Kansas they are all very large farms to me. Thousands of acres of corn, wheat, beans, the stuff we all depend on for life without a thought of what it takes to get it to our table each night. Massive equipment (mostly green, mid westerners know what that means) brings the earth to life growing and harvesting what we need.

On the 350 mile trip back home we took our time, stopped in Hutchinson, KS and visited a salt mine. 650' underground we went. Decades of salt miners toiled in this deep dark man made cavern. I thought of how these generations of miners complimented what my relatives were doing on their farm. How bland tasting all of that food they were growing would be without the miners so far underground. (if you watch Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe this is the mine he went to mine salt.)

This trip also gave us many miles to discuss the spinning world and time to come with our own retirement. Even ten years ago retirement was not even something we considered but I guess when you are 55 and 56 you start thinking about that question, "What are we going to do with the rest of our life?" Truthfully I cannot imagine retiring for at least another 10 years, no so for Mom. I've got a great job that I love, mom has a job that she is very good at but works for a large company and is just a small cog on a very big wheel.

The world just keeps spinning regardless of our life. As I see others close to me opening new chapters I become aware of the chapters in my life. It's important to keep in mind that the chapters in our own book of life are not yet written. We aren't predestined to be happy or sad. We are all given the opportunity with pen in hand to design and write our own book. Others may impact the narrative of our book but never give up your pen to someone else.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Remember Hating Weekends

I remember hating weekends. The weekend meant there was no rest from parenting an addict. You were home with crisis and drama slamming you into the wall at every turn. Calls from jail asking for bail money. New dents and damage to vehicles. Incoherent conversations that end up being a catalyst for more self hurt. Unknown noises at 3 in the morning and not getting out of bed to investigate. People showing up at your home at midnight and you have no idea who they are and being smart enough not to confront them. Sirens wailing outside wondering who they are chasing and in your heart hoping it is........

I wanna go back to work so I can focus on something resembling sanity. Just an office where I can close the door, hide and work in peace.

Today weekends are once again a time to relish. Babysitting a grandchild from a son you never thought would be alive. Looking forward to a visit from a son that spent Friday night at a family bonfire and a Saturday night at Haunted Houses. Listening to tales of fun and joy from those events on Sunday morning. Watching a 1 year old grandson run into his daddy's arms. This is what weekends are suppose to be like. That's what is called appreciation.

The past seems so long ago now.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Value of Work

I can only imagine what recovery must be like for an addict. I would guess it isn't an internal struggle it must be more like an internal thermonuclear war. Two sides literally fighting for survival. I have a great admiration for any one that has fought that war and won. Way too many are not able to win that war or forever fight skirmishes all their life never feeling even a small taste of freedom.

My observations of my son in recovery extend to all people in general as it relates life. Work is important. Work has been defined as a basic psychological need of humans in general. We all want to feel that we contribute. We must contribute to our family, to others, to society and most of all to ourselves. Work provides purpose. I'm not just talking about punching a clock someplace. Work is what we do to give purpose to our life.

It's not just with addiction, I've seen others suffering from different diseases, they can't wait to get well so they can work. The lack of work is devastating for all peoples. Unemployed, sick, disabled, doesn't matter we all want to contribute.

Especially with addiction I see the destructive power of no work. The old saying I heard from my grandma was, "Idle hands are the devil's playthings" is most appropriate.

Addicts in recovery carry baggage. Many times criminal records, long periods of unemployment, huge unexplained gaps on a resume or application is part of that overwhelming load. For a fact, this makes it hard to get a job and work. I can vouch to that because for over twenty years of my career I have been in human resources and I am that guy that tossed their resume or application aside.

Nothing is going to change over night. All people need work to be healthy. It doesn't matter if a paycheck comes on Friday, work is what we do for our self to be healthy. Work is the reward, money is the byproduct. I don't want anyone to misunderstand the value of compensation, we needs our basic survival needs met but we cannot ignore or diminish the value intrinsic motivation has on our own health.

For myself there has been much professional learning over these past years. I no longer toss aside those resumes and applications (people). But, I do hold all people to the same standards. Recovery is an event or process not an excuse.

I don't have an answer for those in recovery looking to find a job and running into countless brick walls. Nothing in the world is going change over night except you. I don't believe I am unique. There are hiring managers out there that understand what I have come to learn. You just have to dig deeper to find them. Work is a critical part of your recovery, don't allow it be a reason for your relapse.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Parent of An Addict -- Child of An Addict

Today I spoke to over 600 middle school students about being the parent of an addict and what drugs did to my family and my son. These are students that are 12-14 years old. There were over 600 students, too many parents for me to count and a whole school of teachers, staff and administration. It was a jam packed gym with maybe 2 open seats to spare.

My daughter Erica went with me. She is Alex's oldest sister.

This was the first time I ever spoke with this age group. I was a little less graphic than what you have seen on my YouTube presentation. But I tried to be just as intense. For 35 minutes I spoke to this packed gym and other than my voice you could hear a pin drop. These kids were quiet and respectful. I felt every eye on me the whole time. The nurse said that it was amazing how focused and intent they all were on your message.

I introduced Erica in the beginning as Alex's sister if they wanted a sibling perspective. I then began my talk. I introduced myself, introduced my son and his addiction issues, then I issued a spoiler alert and told them that Alex has been clear and sober for over 2 years, since July 2010. When I said he was clear and sober entire gym burst out in thunderous applause and it just went on. The speaker nearly lost his composure at that minute.

At the end of the talk Erica and I found ourselves surrounded. I glanced at her and she looked like a teen rock star she had so many students around her. They were asking her about what to do for their brothers and sisters with issues in there own family. Erica said one little girl ask her if she cried a lot. Erica said, "Yes, she was very sad for a long long time and cried often." The little girl ask Erica if she could hug her. She said if it was her brother she would want someone to hug her.

I was quickly swarmed with parents and students. I answered a couple questions from parents but I quickly focused my attention on students. I'm not going into details but students talked to me about their parents that are addicted. The only thing I could say to these students, tell your parent that you love them, ask them to get help, tell them there are people they can call for help and not get into trouble. But, most importantly, your parent is sick with a disease. This situation is not your fault and you don't have the power to help them. The most you can do is to tell them you love them and ask them to please get help. I left them with my info and told them they can write or call any time.

My heart hurt today. I spoke about the terrible pain when you are the parent of an addict. Today I saw what is even harder to imagine. I met 12-14 year old kids processing being the child of an active addict.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Festival Rescheduled

All of the KC weather guessers are predicting a weather apocalypse on Saturday Afternoon from 2-8. Rain, hail, 60 mph winds. We all know it hasn't rained in KC for 6 months but you all know the Grover luck. So, we are re-scheduling Fall Festival for Sunday at 2:00. I know on the invitation it says rain day on the 20th but that is race weekend and Sunday the 14th is suppose to be beautiful, according the the same weather guessers.  Please show up for the same fun and games on Sunday. The Chiefs are playing at noon in Tampa Bay but what REALLY would you be missing.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Festival Time


It's time to get serious about Fall Festival Oct. 13 is this Saturday. Barbara put me up to having all you readers over to put faces with blogs and readers so it is your chance to meet everyone. Near or far to the KC area everyone is welcome.

I usually get a little over 200 hot dogs for the fire and make around 5-6 gallons of chili, plus there are always enough marshmallows to get everyone good and sugared up. But the best part is all the goodies everyone makes and brings. Every time I walk by the tables I am grazing.

Here is the full invitation. Each year I always like to try something different so this year I'm trying a car show.





Friday, October 5, 2012

Impossible to Swallow, Heart in Throat

This morning I received an e-mail from a mother. Last night her son overdosed.

"Last night I saved my son's life in our bathroom. I'm certainly not the first parent to do so and I won't be the last..........Laying there turning blue lipped and laying in blood from hitting his head on the tile. I can't physically get it out of my head"

How do you get it out of your head? This is the horror of being the parent of an addict. OVERDOSE, what a horrible word!

This is a mother that stole her son back from the monster, at least for that night.

"I believe I first heard of Narcan from your blog or a link from your blog. You indicated you had to use it at some point....  .....Thank you for talking about Narcan. I was able to at least save his life another day for one more day of hope."

Yes, I did write about the time my son was given Narcan because of an overdose.

If you are the parent of an addict, I can't say it enough, EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE, yourself. I know with the drama and crisis of addiction this may seem overwhelming but it must be done.

My random rantings and raving on this blog isn't about helping to save a life. My purpose began as trying to help me make sense of an insane situation. Maybe it has turned into something more.

If this mom that wrote me reads this I want you to know that you have made my day today and you have destroyed my day. You ripped your son away from the monster and there is nothing in the world that makes me feel better. The monster is alive and still grabbing our children each day. That reality grabs my heart and destroys my happiness.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Drug Take Back Day

This Saturday is a nationally coordinated Drug Take Back Day. All across the nation there will people at various locations to take back and properly dispose of unwanted pills and medicines. I personally want to encourage you to take part in this effort.

You don't need to have a young adult or teen in your home to make it dangerous to have unused or expired medications around the home. I hate to say it this way but kids will find a way to get to what you have if they need it or want it. Grandma's and Grandpa's medicine, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends, you are all vulnerable.

My personal experience is enough for us to understand the danger we all face. About 8 years ago I had a joint replacement, shoulder. That was a very painful experience so when I was released from the hospital I was given an ample supply of pain medication, Vicoden. I took a few, particularly after visits to the physical terrorist, but not too many. During a followup visit with the doctor I was ask how the pain meds were working for me? My reply was they were good and worked well. When I went to check out at the doctors office another prescription for Vicoden was waiting for me. I still had several from the first prescription but as a good little patient I stopped on the way home and filled the second prescription, just in case, you know. I never took a single pill from the second prescription and it was a fairly large bottle. Never thought much about it until several months later I found that pill bottle empty in my son's bedroom.

This was very early in my son's addiction. I don't know if this was Alex's first experience into prescription meds. I do know for sure that my carelessness and not being aware the dangers of unused medication in the home made me one of my own sons drug dealers. Yes, I do think about that as a father and it is not a good feeling.

For me and yourself, help every single young person out there by not having unused medication in your home. Take back and dispose of unused medication.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has organized a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 29, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In all 50 states and U.S. territories, you can drop off unwanted or expired medicines at thousands of take-back locations, getting them out of your home (and out of your children’s reach).

go to www.medicineabuseproject.org, put in your zip code, and find the nearest take-back location.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Home, Safe and Sound

Nothing routine about coming home from work tonight. I was riding my motorcycle home and cruising down the highway at 60 mph minding my own business. It was a nice evening to ride.

All of a sudden the engine stopped and the rear tire locked up. Before I even knew what happened I was sliding sideways. Don't know how I knew to do it so fast I grabbed all the clutch I could. That released the rear tire from being locked up. I was able swerve back to getting it straight tracking while holding clutch. Braked to a stop using front brake into the center median.

Darlene was thank god you are OK.  

OK!!!  OK!!!  I'm not even close to being OK, I got a broke Harley sitting in my garage, maybe a locked up transmission or locked up engine. I'm far from OK.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Favor, Please?

Finished another day of talks to students at Basehor Linwood High School. First of all, Thank You, Susan Mayberry for allowing me into your classroom. This is much more important to me that it is to all of you that listen. I'm sure every POA would understand what I mean by that and would side with me on that one.

The beginning of each talk these last two days I opened with a video that was produced for The Medicine Abuse Project. It is the story of 5 teens that abused prescription medication. I couldn't believe the impact this video had on the students and the parents that attended.

I asked and The Partnership has posted the video on their website.

It's hard to talk with your children about drugs. Studies show parents would rather talk to their kids about sex than drugs. Mostly because they don't know what to say and they are afraid of THE QUESTION. You know the "question", "Dad, Mom, have you ever used drugs?" You know what I tell these kids in class, you start the conversation with dad and mom. I also tell them don't be afraid of putting dad and mom on the spot. I explain to them the very best conversation they can have with dad and mom about drugs is a honest one, no secrets.

I am asking a favor from all that read this blog. I know many of you are POA's. The favor I am asking is for you to watch this video. It's only 11:43 minutes of your life. After you watch it PLEASE forward a link to a parent of a young teen. Ask them to watch and beg them to talk with their children about drugs. If they don't know how to talk about drugs to their child send them a link, The Partnership has an entire section about how to talk to your child about drugs.

Here is the link:  PARENTS360 Rx  Click on the video link on that page.

If you need help talking to your kids about drugs:  PREVENT

Leave me a comment.......Watched & Talked

That is all the fuel I need to keep fighting the monster.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's In Their Eyes

I spoke to two classes at the high school today. Along with the students four parents attended.

I really cannot find the words to describe what it is like to stand in front of these young people and parents and talk about what we have been through. I've given this talk for I really don't know how many times. There are parts for me that are very painful. It's like taking the scab off a wound that really needs the air and light. The process is healing for me but it is not without giving up a part of me too.

However much it hurts at times it is all worth it when I look at those young people listening to me. It tough when I recount how long it took me to learn what has to be done and how to be a father with a son addicted to drugs. Not sure but I might even scare some of the kids when I launch into my old worn out phrase that is used before I understood about addiction. "No lying, no stealing, no drugs, JUST WHAT THE HELL IS SO HARD ABOUT THAT!!!!" Of course I deliver that phrase at about one quarter the volume and zero percent of the anger I used when it was screamed at Alex.

The kids seem to be listening. Guess it is my training on recognizing Alex's condition. I look at their eyes. No pinpoint pupils. LOL. They are wide open. If you have seen the videos you know I can't stand still during these presentations. They follow me with their eyes. I think they hear me because I see it in their faces but mostly in their eyes.

One of the parents that attended today critiqued me at my asking. She said, "I pride myself on being a people watcher and I have never seen kids this age so focused. You touched some people today. I admit, at times I was fighting to hold back tears."

Hate to admit but there are times the speaker fights hard to hold back the tears too. This is so personal.

Two more classes tomorrow. I'll be ready, hope they are ready for me.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Ron Road Show

The road show is on off and running next week. Wednesday and Thursday next week I am giving my presentation to another bunch of high school students in my local school district, Basehor Linwood.

This week I got an email from representatives of the Blue Valley School District. I was ask to speak at 4 middle schools in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week in October. Their plan is to have whole school assemblies and I will talk about the impact of addiction on addicts and families. They want a personal story that impacts the students at their level. Over 2000 middle school students along with teachers and any parents that attend will hear my story in one week.

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes schools each year with the National Blue Ribbon Award.

(from the U.S. Dept. of Education website)
What are the benefits of being a Blue Ribbon school?

Blue Ribbon Schools are nationally recognized as some of America's most successful schools. The award acknowledges and validates the hard work of students, staff members, families, and communities in reaching high levels of student achievement. Moreover, Blue Ribbon Schools report a renewed sense of pride and accomplishment at their school. They may be sought out as mentors to others schools or may find that receiving grants and raising funds is a little easier. Communities often report that the award makes their neighborhood a more desirable place to live because parents want their children to attend a Blue Ribbon School—and real estate agents use the Blue Ribbon award as a selling point for those neighborhoods. Tangibly, each fall, all winning schools are invited to Washington, D.C. for a ceremony to celebrate their success, share information, and receive a plaque and flag to commemorate their achievement.


In Kansas there were only six schools recognized across the entire state of all public and private schools on the 2012 Blue Ribbon School list. Basehor Linwood School District and The Blue Valley School District each had one school on the list. From the Blue Ribbon Schools list in Kansas 2 of the 6 school districts have ask me to speak to their students. This tells me the highest performing schools in the nation DO NOT ignore the realities of drug addiction and the impact it has on their students. I feel good in this knowledge, hopefully I can do them justice with my message.

As always, I can sure use your thoughts and ideas. If you have something that every student must know, leave me a comment. Nothing is so good it can't be improved.

Here is a link to videos my presentation to high school students last school year. You Ask For It, You Got'em


Another parent beginning to write. Please give her a shout.
My Life of Constant Intervention

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Milestones

It is day by day. I really understand that now and it was so hard to get but this dad finally got it after a few years. This is my revelation for myself.

Regardless of living for the joy of each day I don't think it is wrong to occasionally put little check marks in the column of normal father /son growth and relationships. Today Alex got back from a family vacation. He and Kristy took their family on their first family vacation. It really is a mark on the life list for a dad to take his family on car vacation. Ask your dad if that adventure doesn't have a special place in their dreams and nightmares. It is such a milestone a movie was actually made of the adventure. I don't know anybody that hasn't laughed at the Griswold's on their vacation to Walley World.

This dad is proud of his son. Not so long ago I didn't even dare to dream. Today dreams come true.

Ocean City, Maryland, USA

Friday, September 7, 2012

What Would You Say to an Addict?

A few weeks ago Adrienne Hurst, Managing Editor at All Treatment.com sent me an email explaining that she was soliciting quotes for an article she was writing. The subject of the article was "What Would You Say to an Addict", if you could only say one thing. She ask if I would be willing to submit a quote for her article, I agreed.

Today I received an email from Adrienne Hurst, "Thank you for sharing your addiction advice with AllTreatment. We received several contributions from bloggers and treatment providers, and yours was among the few that we choose to be included in our article. The point you made about parents of addicts needing to take care of themselves really struck me, and I am excited to share it with our readers."

You can read Adrienne Hurst's article here:  AllTreatment.com/blog

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why Do We Write?

A friend that writes and maintains her own website B Here Today posted a quote that started me thinking. "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.", Ernest Hemingway.

Why do I write? That's a really hard question. In fact Barbara over at Back To Being Me is having a very difficult time with her son and life and her last post was about taking a break from writing because she didn't feel she could give enough time and herself to continue reading and commenting on others blogs. She felt blogging was a two way street. She had to contribute to others in order to write.

I write for myself. Writing is a very selfish endeavor. Even if the room is full of people, when I write I am alone. Writing allows me to be alone with myself, guess it is like having a conversation with my best friend, me. ;-) I've always had a feeling that anyone that couldn't stand to be alone probably doesn't like themselves.

Blogging has never been a two way street for me. Yes, I read many blogs and I sometimes leave comments for others. Comments on my blog make me feel good that someone reads and takes time to comment. Comments are therapeutic and I learn a great deal from all of the wisdom shared by those in a similar struggle. However, for me the real meat of the therapy is the process of writing. The organization of my thoughts, the deliberation on my experiences and beliefs before I commit them to "paper". But it's not paper any more is it?

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.", Ernest Hemingway. Who am I to disagree with Ernest Hemingway about the process of writing, but I do. Look at this fool, disagreeing with arguably one of the greatest writers of all time about writing. For me it goes more like this. "There is nothing to writing. Writing is what I do while I am licking my wounds.", Ron Grover. When I wrote about our experiences the battle was over. Blood was all ready spilled. The battlefield is strewn with hurt, anger and tears. Writing is what gave me the strength to fight this addiction monster one more day.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Something Different: Schools

I had a discussion lately with a person that proclaimed that the thing wrong with our educational system today is that it needs to be run more like a business. That seems to be a popular thought today. I hear so many people proclaim, the problem with government is it needs o be run like a business. I'm not getting into politics. I just want to share my thoughts on the educational system as to how I think it should or shouldn't be run like a business.

Maybe I have a unique perspective, maybe not. My kids are all out of school. I was once a board member in our local school district. (thankless job) I have been involved in our local schools for over 2 decades.

But I have been involved in running businesses for over 2 decades also. Big companies with 100's of employees and small companies with 10's of associates.

There are aspects of a school district that does indeed model a small, medium or large business. When I was on the school board our small school district had nearly 200 employees. Business models in accounting, management, and maintenance are very appropriate in the public education sector. However, how would that work in the classroom?

I think of a business model and how it works in the industries in which I worked, manufacturing. In each case there were inputs, transformations and outputs. How does that compare to our educational system? In education there are young students enter the system at the age or 5. Transformations take place over the course of 12 years and the outputs are educated, competent young adults. Seems simple doesn't it.

First of all in a business we strive to have complete control over the inputs. We spend hours on specifications. Out of specification, then an input is rejected. Transformations take place in a tightly controlled environment, no outside influences, quality standards such as ISO or QS dictate methods and minimize non standardization. Any input out of specification is rejected and placed into quarantine for later modification or scrap. Outputs are highly scrutinized. They must meet quality control requirements as established before an input is accepted. The customer then finally determines the ultimate functionality of the finished product. That really is how the business model works. Not including the P&L.

How does it work in our schools. Inputs must be accepted regardless of the person. Students arrive as inputs each day, some are hungry, some are angry or sad, some have no support outside of the school walls for their mission each day, some not understanding the language in which the teacher speaks.  Transformations take place each day, most of the time at an individual pace, some easily, some struggle in the same classroom. In my business the transformations take place at a predetermined rate. People transform at their own pace dictated by thousands of variables.

In business my customers are well defined, in our schools the customers are those students. Students/customers have expectations and outside influences sometimes not articulated. A teacher looks out and assesses each day what are my customers expectations and what influences are their that are beyond my control.

All of sudden a revelation, my inputs are my customers! My stockholders are the parents and citizens of the district. My stockholder that owns the "company" are not uniform in their expectations, some have no other interest other than to tell me how poorly I perform with a desire to strangle me by taking away what meager tools I am given to transform my inputs. The expectations of my "company's" stockholders is that I improve my outputs with less and less tools.

Outputs of a business determine the success of a business. Without meeting a customers needs no business will succeed. It's the same for an educational system.

When looked at in a holistic nature, for myself I'll stick with manufacturing. My business model will not work in a classroom. My business model is simple in relationship to managing a learning process.

Should we run our schools like a business? Are we allowed to reject our inputs that don't meet the specs? Can we fire those parents that do not support the learning process of our customers? Can we eliminate the destructive outside influence on our inputs like drugs, alcohol, depression, dysfunctional homes, physical and sexual abuse along with every other negative aspect of a child's life that happens outside of our classroom?

A teacher does the best they can with the tools and inputs they are provided. There are teachers out there that live education 24 hours a day, 365 days a year regardless of the classroom bell.

As a stockholder in our school district I don't want my classrooms run like a business. I want my teachers to continue living their dream. They are doing more than I do with less than I have in my company to make sure of success.

Business models work for business, education models work for school. Myself, I cannot see where they are interchangeable.

Thank you teachers.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Humbled and Honored

Cathy Taughinbaugh maintains a website called TreatmentTalk.org.

She contacted me last week to tell me she was writing an article about parents dealing with addiction and working to help others and ask if I would mind if she mentioned me.

I told her, "Sure, whatever you like."

I am humbled and honored she included me with such an accomplished group of parents in her article. I am sure there are many of you that could or should easily replace me on that list including Cathy herself but I am just going to say one thing:

Thank You

9 Parents Who Are Making a Difference

Saturday, August 25, 2012

All Over The World

Ifrah, the woman I wrote about a couple of weeks ago from Karachi, Pakistan, we have been exchanging e-mails and I continue to read her blog. I am learning much from her.

This morning she sent me an article and video link about heroin in her hometown, Karachi, Pakistan. It is a news report done by the BBC. Please take 10 minutes of your time to watch this video.

What struck me is the despair of addicts worldwide. It is hard to watch when you see the pain and fear when a mother does what she has to do for her son. She cries the same tears I have seen in Darlene for her son half a world away. You also see the same manipulation by the drug we all have experienced.

Heroin is a monster. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-19192601

Monday, August 20, 2012

Terminally Unique

I had a father write me and it stirred another lesson that I learned long ago and hadn't really thought about for a very long time. I hope I can do this very important subject justice.

My son is unique. He was a math wizard in school. He competed in state competitions in Forensics in high school. He was an "A" student. He breezed through pre-calc and trig as a sophomore in high school. He was hyper-competitive.

My son once told in tears, "Dad I thought I was smart enough to control this." This was while he wanted to quit and couldn't.

I did something terrible. I told my son he was smart enough to beat this thing he just had  to put his mind to it. That was one of the most terrible things I ever thought or said. That nearly killed my son. I actually believed what I said.

A drug counselor at a rehab told me that there was something very special and unique about my son but she told me that special and unique people die from this disease every day. She used a phrase that I had to re-think EVERYTHING about my son and myself. That phrase was "terminal uniqueness". I have since learned that it is also called "personal exceptionalism".

My son may be smart and unique but this disease does not care. Not until Alex learned understood that this disease cannot be controlled and that he had to submit to his illness in order to get better.

I had to learn that Alex would die if I continued to re-enforce his disease. Just as enabling, I might as well be putting the needle in his arm myself.

Until parents remove their rose colored glasses concerning this disease there can be no helping of anyone. This is a life or death mission for all involved.

This is not about surrender, I have written about my issues with that in the past. If I viewed it as surrender I would still be fighting today. For me it was about coming to an understanding that it is impossible to control something uncontrollable. A realization that there are limits within each of us.

Living in the world of "What Is" vs. "What Ought To Be".




Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vacations

I know I am suppose to mark day to day as life and progress but there are some things that mean a lot to me in regards to our recent family history. Alex is taking his family on a vacation, not with dad and mom, alone with his family. Not a weekend trip, a real one week vacation to Maryland.

Just seems like a huge milestone. He's a real father, one week driving with a load of family in the car. They are going to a timeshare someone in Kristy's family has loaned them. Three kids in the back of an Explorer going to the beach. 1100 miles one way with three kids in the back seat, Tyler in a car seat. If that isn't a test of recovery I can't imagine anything else. LOL

I feel good.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

CORRECTION!!! The World is Such a Small Place

When I looked at the profile for Ifrah from her comment the location said Benin. My mistake, I assumed that is where she is from. Today I received an e-mail from Ifrah. She said she didn't know how or why it says Benin. She is actually from Pakistan. Here is her e-mail reprinted. Addiction and Parents of Addicts exist all over the world. :-(

I am Ifrah from blog izdiher

First of all thanks a billion for writing post about me and my comment I left on your blog.
http://parentsofanaddict.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-world-is-such-small-place.html

I am not from Benin. I also don't know where benin is. LOLDisappointed smile

 It was a mistake. Actually I never saw my profile. So thanks  again for letting me correct it.  Just image everyone will be thinking I am from there. 

 Hope you correct that post too.

And for comment : 
It is very very sad how we treat addicts in Pakistan, so I wrote that from this context as well.  We throw them out mostly here. If someone is from poor background then that addict life is more mess. Rehab centers are just one or two in big cities. Rich peep send their kids to USA and other foreign countries. In Karachi (my city) you can se lots of drug addicts under bridges, lying there and wasting their life.

May God saves everyone from this mess.

God bless you

Ifrah.

I was reading comments on posts and came upon this person. Often I click on the commenters profile to see and learn more about the people that read this blog. So many read and never comment and that is OK. But my natural curiosity compels me to know more about the people that read this blog and why.

The person that made a comment, " It's sad how we treat addicts." was from Benin. I'm sorry but I had no idea where in the world Benin is, even what continent. Thank you Google Earth.

We are all just alike. We want a little joy in each day. We want peace and we all struggle at times with life. No matter if you live in the heartland of the US or in a coastal city in Benin. Still so much for this dad to learn about the world and its peoples. Thank you Izdiher for my lesson today.

Izdiher works with kids making paper flags, her dad watches the Olympics and wants his country to, "my father says, man, can't you bring one stone for us" Sounds so familiar are we that different. Izdiher is Muslim, it is Ramadan, what is real life for someone that is a different religion that most people here in KC, read and learn.

Take time to explore the world. Aren't we lucky to have this technology!

http://izdiher.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Anonymous People

Some of you may have seen this going around on Facebook. If you haven't clicked on the video I highly urge you to do it now.

This video is being produced by an addict in recovery named Greg Williams. He is trying to bring addiction and recovery into the forefront in discussions of health issues in the US and world. I believe this is one of the most effective ways.

Addicts and alcoholics are not pieces of trash that we can ignore or toss out. Addicts and alcoholics suffer from a disease that many would rather ignore or dismiss. We can no longer dismiss the people suffering from this disease. These people are smart, they are talented and they MATTER. It is time we see that there is HOPE and there is RECOVERY from addiction and alcoholism.

If you are a reader of this blog I am asking you please take 8 minutes of your time to watch this short video. If you can donate that is good but be sure to watch this video.

The Anonymous People

Where there is life there is hope.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fall Festival 2012

Barbara over at Back To Being Me suggested that we all should get together some time to put faces, voices and live bodies to all of this wonderful support we offer one another. Her suggestion was that I invite everyone to my annual Fall Festival.

OK with me, that sounds like a good idea. You're all invited. Here is the information for your planning. Darlene and I haven't got the detail planning done yet but we always have it on the second Sunday in October, so the date this year is Oct. 13. Come near or far. It's open to all and it is outdoors. If you're a NASCAR fan we live only 6 miles from the Kansas Speedway and the race is the next weekend so you could come early. There are many hotels around the speedway area.

If you come to town for this be sure to let me know so we can meet up for dinner Friday night or something. Come meet all the "unique" characters you have read about for so many years our blog.
I had trouble getting this to post on blogger so I am going to cheat. To view photos from past Fall Festivals use this link: Pictures. The price of admission is you must have a family picture taken for our yearbooks. You can probably tell from the posted pics that is a high price for admission.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Medicine Abuse Project

The Partnership at Drugfree.org has joined with many other organizations beginning a new initiative. It's called The Medicine Abuse Project. This is a week long drive the week of September 23-29. But it doesn't end there, this project is a multi year effort to stem the abuse of prescription drugs by our son's and daughter's. Along with targeting teens the effects of prescription drug abuse will be held up for all to see. It's not just teens that fall prey to these powerful chemicals.

Facts and statistics have not been wholly effective in stemming this scourge. The Medicine Abuse Project is an effort to blend the horrible facts and statistics with real life personal stories. I have already submitted my story. If you are comfortable sharing your story I would encourage you to do the same. Every one of you are wonderful at helping to guide each other through this hell on earth known as Parent of an Addict. Along with being a tour guide through hell I also want to stand at the gate and play the role of gatekeeper to keep others from entering. I hope you will join me at the gate.

In a call yesterday I learned this project will grow to include new nationally broadcast PSA's, CDC info packets, IVillage chats, Webinars, Facebook web chats and culminating that week with Drug Takeback Programs on Sept. 29.

For more information visit www.drugfree.org


You Can Help Save Lives! Seeking Families to Tell Medicine Abuse Stories

At The Partnership at Drugfree.org, we know that the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications is one of the biggest public health problems in the United States today. In fact, every day, 2,000 teens use a prescription drug to get high for the first time.
This year, we are introducing “The Medicine Abuse Project,” a multi-year effort to raise awareness and curb the abuse of medicine by teens and young adults. Launching the week of September 23-29, 2012, the campaign will encourage and help parents and the public-at-large to help manage this problem, working toward the common goal of preventing 500,000 teens from abusing medicine within the next five years.
We need your help. Has your family been affected by prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse? Has your teenager or another relative struggled with the misuse or abuse of medication? We want to hear from you.
Email us your story so that we can share it, potentially on our website and in the media, as part of the awareness campaign. By sharing your experience with others, you could help us take a substantial step toward stopping this deadly epidemic.
Visit The Medicine Abuse Project online to learn more about the campaign and other ways you can get involved.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kids and Parents

"Great kids come from great parents." This was a comment I saw on a Facebook post. Everything about this statement is complimentary. I am sure there is pride and gratitude. It is a well deserved compliment when we see children doing wonderful things for themselves and others. The praise is deserved.

But, what about the other side to my opening statement. If my opening statement is true then is it an natural conclusion that, "Bad kids come from bad parents." I have thought about the parents of James Holmes, the shooter in Aurora, CO. I don't know anything about them, they could be terrible people or they could be the most wonderful people in the world, I don't know. I'm sure we have all been at each end of that spectrum at moments of our lives. It is so strange that we can quickly attribute the actions of any person no matter the age or life experience to the success of failure of parenting skills. I'm going indulge in an assumption, I believe the parents of James Holmes are probably living a nightmare of heartache, just as each of us do when we hear stories our addicted children, maybe multiplied 1000 times over.

As parents of an addict where do we all fall in that spectrum? Where do you see yourself? How does society see us? I'm sure most of us know how many in society views us and our parenting skills. I bet every parent of an addict can cite examples and tell stories of "I would have..., They should have...., If it was my kid...." that tore you apart inside. Many of them may even come from family or close friends.

There's not a lot I can say here to change the perception of others. Sometimes life experience is the only way many of us truly learn and I wouldn't wish the experience of being the parent of an addict on any parent.

There will always be people out there that believe a drug addict or alcoholic is nothing more than a POS. I'm not wasting my time on those people. It's personal, that POS is my POS and regardless, I hate what he is doing of has done more than anyone but as a parent I can see past that and still love the person. It's OK to separate the two parts.

I'm not going to indulge in a lot of speculation but I am going to share one solid belief that I hold close and that I believe to be an absolute truth. If you are a parent of an addict and you are out researching and searching for help for yourself and your child. You are reading this blog. You love your children regardless of their illness. YOU ARE A GREAT PARENT. Great parents do what they have to do because they love their child even when they are suffering from a disease and doing things we cannot fathom. Great parents help themselves to be healthy, strong and loving.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Battling the Monster: Hero's

Last night I was at the the Kansas City Royals baseball game in honor of and courtesy of Susan Mayberry. She is the teacher at Basehor Linwood High School that I nominated and she won The Partnership at Drugfree.org and Major League Baseball's, National Play Healthy Award for 2011. Susan is a teacher that goes above and beyond to battle the monster. She has me come to her class twice a year to speak about drugs and addiction. Last night the KC Royals honored her by selecting her to sit in the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seats. If you aren't from KC but maybe you are a baseball fan and already know, Buck O'Neil was a player in the Negro Leagues. He was key in forming the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame here in KC. Mr. O'Neil was one of the most respected people I have ever seen in KC. I'm sure if you polled KC people his approval and respect rating would be somewhere upwards of 99.9%. So you see to be honored in this way to sit in his permanent seat at Kauffmam Stadium is indeed a honor and big deal.


In this struggle of addiction in our lives I have found many hero's. It's time we recognize these people. 

I'm asking that you nominate a hero right here. There won't be any national award, fancy trips to New York or special baseball game seats. This is about recognizing someone or people that have helped you. It doesn't have to be someone that rides astraddle a horse publicly swinging a sword at this monster. It may be a loved one that has a good ear and an open heart. It may be that "rock" in your life. Maybe it is a stranger that touched you at just the right time. It might be a person that faced the monster and won or someone that fought a gallant battle. 

I am asking for your nominations, who and what they have done for you or others in facing the monster. Names aren't required. After you nominate them and your recognition is there for the world to see your appreciation, send them a link to this post. Everyone needs to see that they are loved and appreciated.

In a world where crisis and tragedy dominate the landscape it is time we allow the light of good to shine brightly.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Introducing


Owen Paul Thom
8 pounds 2 ounces
19"
2:42 pm    7/16/12

Mom, Dad, Brooke and baby are both doing very well. Grammy and PaPa are doing pretty good too.  Owen entered the world wide awake and has been absorbing everything his whole life. Wide eyes and alert. Been passed around to everyone and he seems to be a very friendly, personable and likable guy.  ;-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What Happened to My Blog

The dog days of summer are here with a fury. This week it has cooled slightly, 90's, but I see in the forecast it will be back over 100 next week.

Work is crazy, we are very busy and I am hiring people. Can't believe some of the applicants when I tell them they must take a drug test. Why do they waste everyone's time and money when they know they can't pass. It just puts my folks in the plant in a bad spot because they must wait longer to get more help.

By next Tuesday we will be grandparents again. The doctor has told Leslie to either have that baby by Sunday or else on Monday the baby's choice to come out on its own is over. Leslie and Paul are old school, everyone will know what it is when it arrives, even mom and dad are waiting.

It's so routine with Alex that there is nothing to write about for us. Darlene is babysitting often because he is working overtime every Saturday. What a change over a few years ago.

I am reading others blogs and I hear so much heartache. This thing never seems to end.

Maintaining this blog is not what it once was. There just isn't much to write as when the drama and crisis was never ending. That's what I mean by what happened to my blog. It's not productive writing for anyone when it's the same normal routine day after day. Long ago I titled an entry SSDD (same shit different day) about all of the shit that seemed to rain down every day on us. That would be the title of most of my entries now except SSDD is normal and peace instead of the other.

Reading others blogs and commenting I see so much from parents going through all the same things Darlene and I experienced. So many times I refer them to links on whatever I wrote in the past. I feel guilty just referring them back to my past posts but this stuff really doesn't change, unfortunately. The worst thing is that there is no set formula for success. The only thing I found that works for sure to do exactly what I was told to do on day one but took me over five years to try. Take care of yourself, you can't fix it and no addict ever gets clean because of or for Dad and Mom.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Volunteers


The Partnership at Drugfree.org is working with CHPA (Consumer Healthcare Products Assn.) to develop a digital media campaign intended to increase perception of risk and social disapproval of cough medicine abuse.  In most states OTC cough medicine is an easily accessible high and one that kids see as being “harmless”.  We want to prevent kids from going down the road to addiction by providing them with credible prevention information in places where they may not expect to find it. 

Objective:           Create 6-10 video testimonial videos for the DXMstories.com website (a teen targeted website). 

Target:

We would like the interviewees (ages 16-23) to be in recovery and have abused OTC cough medicine to get high at least once.   We do not expect that DXM was the drug of choice, but we want the interviewee to be able to speak to the experience and why others should not think about abusing cough medicine. 

Location:

We would prefer to shoot in one region (NY, CA or TX would be ideal).  However, if there are several people willing to speak to us in another region we are open to traveling.

Timing:

We would like to shoot and launch videos in July. The interviews should not take longer than 30 minutes each.

If you are interested in this project please contact Becky Vance at: becky_vance@drugfree.org