Monday, August 27, 2012

Humbled and Honored

Cathy Taughinbaugh maintains a website called

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.

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


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.

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


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!

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 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

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

At The Partnership at, 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.