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.


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:

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 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


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 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".