Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tornado's Get Personal

Here are a couple pictures of Darlene's sister and brother-in-law lake house in Branson. The tornado in Branson last night got personal. My brother-in-law was actually in the house. They have been renovating it and he was asleep in the bedroom when it came apart. He was not injured.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

You Ask For It, You Gottem

It's taken me a while but I finally did it.

Many of you ask if I would video my talks to students so you could see what I was doing. Finally last week I was able to set a video camera up in the back of the room and video my ugly mug doing my thing. The quality is not HD but it is easy to hear and get an idea of the presentation. Darlene has already told me I need to add stuff on K2 and Bath Salts. She also said I need to do something with my hands. (I don't know what.) If you have any comments or critique I'd LOVE to hear from you.

I have posted Youtube links to the presentation. I tried uploading one big movie but it is 1 hour long and Youtube rejected it because of the length. With my limited tech skills even with iMovie on my Mac that task of breaking it into pieces was beyond my patience and technical ability. I'm sure glad the computer technical guru reports to me at work. ;-) (When I worked for a living in the shop it was called "government work.")

The movie was broken up into 10 minute sections. On the Youtube description I tried to give a short descriptor for each section. Maybe it was the camera but the students didn't comment during the talk but after it was over and the camera was off some very good learning took place by all.

Classroom Presentation, part 1 - Intro / Addiction is a Disease
Classroom Presentation, part 2 - Drug Discussion
Classroom Presentation, part 3 - Drug Discussion
Classroom Presentation, part 4 - Symptoms, Behaviors, Prevention
Classroom Presentation, part 5 - Prevention, Getting Help
Classroom Presentation, part 6 - 7 Truths, Overdose
Classroom Presentation, part 7 - Overdosed, An Addict In Our Son's Bedroom

OH, oh, ps.: BTW, no animals were harmed or injured in any way during the making of this movie.  :-)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Satisfying Feeling

Today when I went to speak at the school I ask the teacher, "Does it really help when I talk?"

Her response is that she has learned not to make a lesson plan for the next day except to allow class discussion about my presentation.  The students drive the discussion about my talk and all of their personal experiences. They share experiences and they comfort fellow students that are experiencing things in their life and family. She said her classes and discussions after the talks on Tuesday were unbelievable this morning. Students amazed her with their observations, questions and open discussions.

That is satisfying for me to know.

ps., I guess one measure of performance is after I spoke today I had several kids lined up to shake my hand and thank me for talking to them. Even if the message doesn't work it shows there are some polite kids going to that school.  lol

Not Much To Say

I find myself not writing much anymore. There just isn't the drama and crisis that so easily stirs the writer in me, plus I don't find the urgency to unload. I don't want to bore everyone with "It's OK today and I am looking forward to tomorrow." Mom and I know well how too much of that while we were struggling turned into jealousy, resentment and anger at our son. That's one of our flaws not his.

So, today I am going to speak to students at the high school again. I spoke to two classes on Tuesday and I think I made a difference for someone. at least I hope I did. I learned my own lesson from these talks. My talks aren't just about trying to reach young adults and helping them make the right choices and knowing why it is the right choice. Sometimes my talks reach out and touch someone and they simply learn that, you are not alone.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

You Are Not Alone

The Partnership at has posted some new You Are Not Alone videos. They are worth your time watching.

It never ceases to amaze me how far and wide this issue strikes.

Barbara Eden - Barbara Eden ("I Dream of Jeannie") lost her son to a heroin overdose. She encourages others not to let shame become a barrier, but rather, to share their stories.

Art Alexakis - Art Alexakis, lead singer and guitarist of Everclear, talks about his struggle with addiction. After a suicide attempt, Art realized it was time to change. The now father of two, 22 years in recovery, is proof that it gets better.

Christian Hosoi - Skateboarding legend Christian Hosoi had everything: money, fame, and a career. After seven years doing crystal meth every day, he hit rock bottom and realized that he had to make a choice. He is now 11.5 years sober and hopes that by telling his story, others will be inspired to make the right choice.

Josh Leonard - Actor and filmmaker Josh Leonard ("The Blair Witch Project"), in recovery for 13 years, credits the support of his family for saving his life. By being open about his addiction, he believes that he is taking power away from the disease.

Jane Paulsen - All three of Jane's sons struggled with addiction, but it was only when she shared her story with others that she realized she was not alone.

If you would like to make your own video to share with others in this struggle go to this page:  

You Are Not Alone

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Benefits of Focus and Love

Alex and his family comes over and Darlene and I both sit in amazement and pride at where we all are today.

Alex has taken on a lot, he takes responsibility for not only Tyler but Kristy's girls too. He and Kristy are good parents. Truth is I think Alex has more patience than I did as a new dad and he didn't get to grow with the situation. He jumped into the deep end with girls that are 8 and 9 plus add in a new baby.

It's funny for us to hear him talk about sitting at the scorers table during the girls basketball games. We melt when we see him walking Tyler and talking softly when Tyler is fighting sleep. The girls play games at our house and fight over Darlene's new I-Pad. Tyler is inquisitive, normal baby, touch it, grab it, put it in your mouth.

Darlene and I talked last night after they left following the Super Bowl. We know the old saying, "Pride goeth before the fall." But we can't help but think back to a time not that long ago and feel the intense fear and know how far away we are from that today. But today is what we get and we have learned to relish in the actions and gifts we are given in the moment.

A big point of personal learning for me has been to be able to accept the concept sometimes what you are given is all you get and all someone has to give. Alex has given me the gift of life. I have learned to accept it day to day. I have all my life to be sad, angry and impatient. Maybe tomorrow I'll be that way but today I am choosing to be happy, proud and grateful.