Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Mom

Another mom struggling with this stuff affecting her daughter. Her first post can be found here:


ps.: here is a picture of Leslie our daughter holding Tyler, Alex's son. He looks like Alex when Alex was that age, 5 months.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Approach to Help Kids

Today a teacher in New Mexico commented to a post on my blog. In case everyone doesn't read all the comments I want to share this one.

Hello, my name is blake minnerly (bminnerly@nmmediaarts.org) and I am a teacher at the Media Arts Collaborative Charter School, in Albuquerque, NM. Last year we lost a student to heroin overdose. She was only 16. In reaction, the students in my music production class have been working on a project, a CD of original Hip Hop and a music video, dedicated to her and meant to raise awareness about the danger of opiate addiction amongst teens. We want to get a copy to every school in the city. We have launched a fundraising campaign on indiegogo and I am asking for help in spreading the word. So I am contacting bloggers such as yourself, who understand the issue and the danger. The link is


I hope very much your son recovers and that together we all can begin to combat this tragic problem.

Usually requests on the internet draw very little attention from me however for some reason this just seemed too genuine to ignore. I have done some research this evening and have satisfied my natural suspicion and even came away impressed. I am going to post some links that you all can hear and see for yourself. It won't take much from any of us if a lot of us believe in this too.

The Media Arts Collaborative Charter School

The Student's Mission and plea

"Haley We Miss You"     

Thursday, January 19, 2012

3rd Anniversary

What can I say that hasn't been said before. Three years of writing about our life parenting an addict. It has gone from hell to..........what I consider, normal life. With all the joys and problems of being a parent of grown responsible children. Plus the added bonus of grandchildren that make you smile and your heart flip flop just by coming to visit.

My annual gratitude goes out to all of you that read and comment to my posts. I say it over and over but I truly believe none of my family would be at this place without all of your support and comments. Forever I am in your debt.

I want to share what it is like for Alex now from my perspective today. I shared so much in describing his active addiction it is only fair that I open my thoughts to what it is like today.

Alex is a father. I don't mean a baby-daddy I mean it as he is a real Dad. He is raising a baby and helping with Kristy's two daughters. On last Saturday mom called him and he couldn't talk, he was at the girls basketball game and he was at the scorers table because he volunteers to be the scorekeeper. (they won)

Alex ask me if I had bought tax preparation software for this year. He wants to come over so he can do his taxes.

Alex works hard and responsibly at a job. He was sick a couple weeks ago. The baby had been sick along with everyone in the house. Alex called in to work to say he would not be in because he was sick too and had been up all night throwing up. Dad was sad because they were all sick. The thought of "drug sick" did not even enter my mind until they next day when I chuckled and thought not so long ago my first thought was, "serves you right I hope it hurts really bad."

Alex loves his sisters and their families. He asks about them and if they will be there when we invite him and his family over. When we say no they won't be here there is a sorrowful, "Oh". When we say yes you can hear the excitement in his response, "Good".

What more can I say to describe the difference. I have put those past years in a box and on the proverbial spare bedroom closet shelf. Closed up in a box. I know I can never get rid of that box but the contents no longer must be displayed in the living room and setting out open on the fireplace mantel. I know one day I will take that box to the basement and put it on the high shelf in the back. It will sit along side some of the boxes of my own life that have not seen light or been opened for decades.

Those boxes are OUR life. We get to deal with them and place them anywhere we choose. Some of those "boxes" are photo books sitting on the coffee table. Some rest in the basement. Truth is they are all equally important, they are what made me into what I am today.

Monday, January 16, 2012


To update everyone Alex is still doing wonderfully. He's learning that "dad role". I'm not sure any of us dad's ever learn that one really well. We all eventually learn that all you can really do is your best then hope.

For myself I have been thinking a lot about the years of Alex's active addiction and his ongoing recovery. At first it was easy to focus on the millions of my little and big mistakes and how those must have been the trigger to that terrible path for my son and myself. There are no answers to those issues. It is best to leave those mistakes where they are, in the past.

Then I began to look at what did I gain from this experience. How do you get beyond the heartache, anger and regret to the point of appreciation for life lived. I have a firm belief that no matter the experience or how horrible it is there is learning and growth. With some experiences we just have to dig a little deeper to recognize that something good can grow from what I have often described as nothing but hell.

Would I ever wish to do this again or wish this experience upon anyone else? No, not just a simple no but one I would scream at the top of my lungs standing at the top of Mt. Everest. This must be one of the worst things a parent can experience. I am not minimizing all of those mom's and dad's that have lost a child to anything, I am just saying there are many hell's and this is one of them.

What have I learned, how have I changed for all of this? Where is the good? For me that is deeply personal.

Growing up my dad was not a touchy feelly guy. I honestly cannot remember my dad ever saying I love you to me until the day he died and we said to each other out loud what had been understood all of my life. My dad was a quiet man of few words. He never had to say a thing for you to understand where he stood. His love for his family was never doubted. I grew up to be a father in the ways of my father. This experience with my son has taught me that even things understood should be said. I had 6 months of illness with my dad to prepare for that last day. With addiction you don't know if you have 6 minutes. Real life is you never know. I have learned to say "I love you". This is not a statement that should be left as just understood.

The world was mine to make as I saw fit. OK, just a little arrogance here. There are things out of my control no matter how much I worked. To find peace with myself I must accept my own limitations and the cards dealt. For any of you that are Star Trek fans you might recognize the term Kobayashi Maru. (no, I am not a secret trekkie) Kobayashi Maru was a fictional no-win scenario which was given to Starfleet Commanders. Much like Captain Kirk I did not believe in no-win scenarios. If I could not beat this thing I was going to change this thing and the rules to provide me the edge. Sometimes it isn't about winning, it is just about living. Right now, this very minute is what life is about.

My legacy isn't my kids. That is too much and unfair to put on anyone. My legacy is me. My kids don't have to be better, smarter, and more than me. They should be allowed to be themselves. I was allowed to be what I am, I must allow them to make their way in this world too, just like me and their mother found our way. Anything I want my kids to do I should do and if they see the value they will emulate but if they don't it is OK too.

Family and friends are the most important things in the world. Time alone to think and deliberate are the most important things in the world. Without a recognition of these axioms I would not be where I am today and who knows what other things that matter would be different. Once I was in a place where I had all I could take. I went for a 4 day motorcycle ride alone. Life changes when you change. Life isn't about everyone that around you. Life is about YOU first, then everything fits. Kind of like a puzzle, nothing fits no matter how hard you try until you are able to align your edges. Aligning my edges helped me to understand me a little better.

"Where there is life there is hope." I know people are going to get tired of hearing this from me. I have said it, written it to people and I have even written articles about it. Where there is life there is hope isn't about addiction, our addicts, and our children, it is about life and hope.

Finally this experience has taught me to write about all of this experience. Truth is I still think my writing sucks but this is the thing that at times I credit with saving my life. Along with all of your comments.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Mother Deals with Relapse

Over the weekend a mother that is dealing with her daughter's relapse left a comment to my 7 Truths essay posted on The Partnership's Intervene site.

I wrote her and ask her permission to re-post her comment on my blog and she gave me permission. She said there will be days that maybe she will not be so strong but this is the life she is choosing to live.

Christine Bacci says:
January 9th, 2012 at 10:48 am

I went shopping this afternoon and actually did a little dance in the car park, my daughter after being 2 years clean decided before Christmas that drugs would re enter her life, not thinking that they would also enter ours (sisters, father, mother, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and friends). After the tears and the sleepless nights, this afternoon something just clicked. I want a good life with my husband, family and friends I have so much to live for I have so many dreams and so many places I want to see and so much more that I want to achieve with my career. My daughter through her addiction has taken 8 years of my life, I will not let her take any more, I wish her all the very best with her choices and hope she has a wonderful life whatever it will be, but I am done with the worry the heartache I have loved you and have been the best mother I knew how to be, I wish you well my darling, I will always love you but I have to let you go.

7 Truths About My Addict That Took 5 Years To Learn

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More Voices of Experience

The Partnership has launched a group of podcasts from authors of books about their family addiction experiences. The authors read from their books and are interviewed about specific things in their life about dealing with addiction.

No one is alone walking this path. Hope this helps.