See the answer to Chris’ question.
See the answer to Chris’ question.
Dr. Kevin McCauley will present a Q & A that will provide important information for families affected by addiction as well as for therapists, doctors, pastors, teachers, law enforcement and others. Free to the public!
7:00 PM Thursday March 28, 2013 at the Norman Regional Hospital. Click on link above for more information.
Check out this exciting link! This is a video done by the Edmond PHP. It features parents that have attended the Edmond PHP meetings. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?
I once took a call from my child who was threatening suicide. I can tell you nothing in my life, including my tour of duty in Vietnam, scared me more.
The good news is, I was seeing a counselor at the time and she told me that I should prepare for the possibility of such a call. We discussed it at length and I feel that perhaps the way I handled the call may have given my child the hope and support he needed to not follow through with the threat.
There is a suicide every 16 minutes in the U. S. Substance abuse is the biggest risk factor for suicide in America.
Edmond is hosting a “Suicide Prevention Summit” on Monday, April 23, at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Nigh Center, Constitution Hall. The event will be 6 to 8 p.m.
This program is specifically designed to equip every person, including children over the age of 12, with the proper tools to recognize the signs of someone who may be planning suicide and what they can do about it.
There will be several professional counselors explaining the tools available to you.
Here are some of the breakout sessions:
* QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer)
* Parents Helping Parents
* Heartline’s HELP Youth Suicide Prevention Training
* Signs & Symptoms of Adolescent Depression
* Youth Suicide Prevention Tool Kit
* Worried About Your Friend.
If you would like more information, please email@example.com
At the Edmond chapter meeting of Parents Helping Parents, we received an exceptional presentation on boundaries by Patty Gail Patten, M.S., LPC, LADC, LMFT.
I believe that every parent who attended left the meeting with a better understanding on how to adopt appropriate boundaries, which will lead to a positive change for all family members.
Patty Gail said: “The best relationship advice includes recommending behaviors that consider boundaries. The worst and most damaging relationship advice denies considering boundaries.
“When (you are) faced with a relationship problem, no relationship advice can be helpful without a determination of your personal responsibility to identify where you start and end, and where the other person starts and ends. Just as an owner of real estate may be angry to have someone trespass on land that is owned, we become angry and hurt when another person trespasses on our personal boundaries.
“If we do not know what they are, we cannot respect others’ boundaries and cannot enforce our own. This can be one reason for us to have very destructive and dysfunctional relationships.”
Depression, co-dependency, anxiety and many other conditions can improve by becoming aware of and enforcing our personal boundaries.
Patty Gail conducts workshops on boundaries and related relationship issues. I have attended one of her workshops and highly recommend it.
Her next workshop will be April 21 at her office located at 1700 W Britton Road in Oklahoma City. If you would like more information contact her at 818-1585, or on her cell at (918) 284-0733.
The tears of grief speak more eloquently than any other language.
I invited a very special mom to share her addiction journey with her daughter with you.
It is in the sharing of our struggles and grief that we are all untied and supported in our quest for recovery.
Grief – “The tears of grief speak more eloquently than any other language”
Grief is universal, yet very uniquely personal. Put into this language, a unique story of loss – loss of a child to addiction even though they continue to live. “My daughter left out the front door. I ran after her. She got into the car of a young man. I screamed “please, please don’t go”. They drove off!” …….and I fell to the floor and wept, and screamed, and wept, and hurt. My heart grieved – again!
Living with a child addicted to drugs is in my personal, humble opinion..one of the most painful things a parent could ever have to do. You see I counsel people in their grief journey. But one thing I have recognized is they have a place to move up from and get better. The loss is final. The story of a life is told with joy while the story of the loss is told with grief. Then the story of how they incorporate the loss into a meaningful chapter for their own lives. What they experience is “healing from moving on or moving forward from the close of a chapter.” I soon realized that my grief is so completely different. My grief is mixed with fear of the future and trauma from the past path of destruction. You see we have loss in both directions.
Addiction can cause a parent to grieve the past and ruminate on what they could have done, should have done, should have known and didn’t do! We question our parenting skills, our sanity, and we question the entire child’s life. We question what could have been and we grieve. We question the loss of our dreams we held for this child and we grieve. We question the signs and symptoms, and we grieve. We question our mate and those around us who have given up on our child, and we grieve. We question what caused this, and we grieve. We question what the future might hold and we become fearful – and we grieve. We question how we will handle another relapse – and we grieve. We question what kind of life they will have – and we grieve. Grief seems to run backwards, forwards, and sideways. It is a very different kind of grief.
My grief recovery work began with telling my story to others who understand. It is in the sharing that we find relief. My recovery work also began with me. I had to accept the hard truth that my daughter has a disease and there was nothing I had done then that caused the disease. I had to accept the hard truth that this disease of addiction will lie, steal, cheat, manipulate and anger me if I don’t stand up to the disease and refuse it’s tentacles to invade my own mental, emotional and spiritual well-ness. My daughters brain is diseased and she will have to manage it for the rest of her life, if she wants to live well. My grief work also begins in the morning where each day I consciously choose to release her to the loving care of my Heavenly Father and trust in Him with her destiny. I ask for the strength to accept it for just this day. Tomorrow, I begin again. As time moves on….I recognize that healing can and is taking place.
Our grief is loss of the child we once knew, the child who slowly died in our anticipation for dreams to be fulfilled, our grief over loss of what we thought would be, even our grief over the trauma from seeing the path of destruction – all of which can render us paralyzed in the reality of an unknown and unpredictable future. We grieve the loss of our self. This grief journey can also be a blessing in that we are offered a silent valley to insight. We do draw closer towards a spiritual self as we soon realize how many things in life simply do not matter. What begins to matter is the compassion we feel to those suffering from this disease and those loved ones trying to find their way out of the grief. We find our humanity – and that to me is “losing self to find one’s self”. For me, finding that deeper place of spirituality means drawing near to my Jesus and becoming completely dependent on Him instead of becoming closer to the co-dependency of my addicted child. I am blessed to have found my Savior in the midst of unexpressible pain. I am blessed, and I am hopeful…again.
Paula Nevius, LPC, LADC
I wondered what wisdom might be be gained by asking the question, “What have you learned on your journey with your addicted child?”
I sent that question out to a number of parents who I knew had many years of experience on the journey to recovery. I was very blessed with a plethora of responses from Mom’s and Dad’s, just like you and me.
“I have learned I am not alone.”
“I can have peace in the midst of my son’s bad decisions and chaotic life.”
“I learned I must be prepared to say “let me think about that”.
“I learned I did not cause the disease of addiction. I made some parenting mistakes but it did not cause the disease.”
“I learned I can move closer to dependency on Christ as I move further from my codependency of the disease.”
“I must be prepared to say, “No”
“I must accept that her thinking will not be in line with mine but that my love for her crosses those differences.”
“I must accept the reality that my daughter will have to manage “her” disease for the rest of her life.”
“I learned that micro-managing my child’s life wasn’t the solution to keeping him away from drugs and alcohol, nor was making sure he associated with the “right” people.”
“ I learned that when substance abuse is in the picture, I can literally love my child to death by enabling him.”
“I learned there is a reason that when the oxygen masks comes down on the plane, I’m supposed to put on my own before assisting another. I cannot help my child if my own basic needs are unmet.”
“I learned that I cannot always fix things, but regardless of my child’s path, I can love him unconditionally.”
“I learned that it is OK to give myself permission to grieve some of my hopes and dreams I had for my child, and then to move on with Life on its own terms.”
“I learned God knows what my child needs far better than I. Let go!”
“I learned I am grateful for what I have learned and how I have grown by going through these trials!”
“I have learned that my child’s choices are his own, and that I am not responsible for those choices.”
The following is part two of my responses from parents on what they have learned from their experiences with addiction and their child.
“I learned that I can only control how I react to a person, a situation or a comment.
“I have learned not to engage in arguments with my child. Disengage!”
“I have learned my daughter’s addiction is not my fault.”
“I have learned that a relapse starts well before an addict actually engages in substance abuse.
“I have learned It is a disease and that is cunning, baffling and powerful. “
“I have learned It is so much more powerful than I am.
“I have learned I am powerless over my daughter and her choices.
“I have learned that powerlessness does not mean helpless or weakness.
“I learned the more I try to control another person place or thing the less peace I have in my life.
“I have learned that consequences do not matter to addicts.”
“I learned that my daughter is a sick kid trying to get better and not a bad kid trying to get good.”
“I learned to ask for help.”
“I have learned that 12 step programs work.
“I learned to trust the process. “
“I learned to let my son suffer his own consequences.”
“I learned that there is hope.”
What parent’s have learned through their own personal recovery:
“I learned that there is a God and it is not me.”
“I learned that I did the very best I could with what I had ….and that was enough.”
“I learned that I love my daughter with all my heart but I have my own life to live.
“I learned to save myself and let my family watch.”
“To live in the present moment.”
“I learned to be grateful for everything.”
“I learned that there are miracles.”
“I learned that I am worthy of love and have a tremendous capacity to love other people.
“I learned that prayer is powerful.”
“I learned to experience all there is in this life.”
“I have learned about accepting the things I cannot change and learned to have courage to change the things I can. “
“I have learned to forgive myself.”
“I learned that fear is selfish.
“I learned to trust.”
“I learned to laugh again.”
“I learned how to have my head, my heart and my body in the same place at the same time.”
I learned to love this life I am living one day at a time.”
I recently visited with a father who was desperate to find ways to help his addicted son find recovery.
The son is in his early thirties and in jail. He has never been able to maintain sobriety for longer than a year, and is scheduled to be released soon. He faces a five-year prison sentence if he doesn’t complete a six-month treatment program.
The extended family and friends have long ago given up on his son.
This parent’s greatest fear is he will return to his world of addiction.
One reason he is likely to return to his life of addiction is his disease has convinced him that treatment doesn’t work for him. He has tried treatment programs over and over and continues to relapse, so he feels he is one of those chosen few who will just have to die.
That is the addictive thinking that can be altered if the addicted child can see a reason for hope.
Hope is given to the child through family cohesion which is expressed in an organized and supervised fashion by a licensed alcohol/drug counselor who specializes in codependency.
A professional should be involved in recovery because family and friends influence each other. The counselor needs to evaluate the status of this social system as the son re-enters his world.
Long-term recovery is much more likely when the child knows he has the potential to bond with his family and friends.
My primary point to this dad was he needed to stay involved with his addicted child, but not enable him. I do not want parents just to “wait for the child to hit bottom” because we know now that “bottom” is another term for death.
Also, a willingness to develop personal responsibility for better health is the key to long-term recovery. This is possible by forgiveness, love and hope shared with the child.
“Broken’ author William Cope Moyers, who is in recovery himself, recently stated in a radio interview, “… finally, one day, I decided I didn’t want to die and I needed to take personal responsibility…. There is no cure for addiction, but there is a solution and that solution includes personal responsibility.”
In reading his book, one element which supported the author in finding personal responsibility was he knew he had a supportive family.
As parents, we should stay involved – but do not enable — to prevent an addicted child’s death. We can replace our child’s dope dealer by becoming their “hope” dealers.
Meetings with the Parents Helping Parents organization proved to be most valuable for my wife and me. They gave us the opportunity to hear from professionals in the field of substance abuse and its co-occurring disorders
We listened carefully and took notes, learning so much from their presentations and from the ensuing question and answer segments. It was interesting that many of the answers to questions other parents asked were exactly what we needed to know.
Once the speaker was through we would visit with other parents. It was such a relief to know that we were not alone in this struggle.
One of the other great advantages we received from the organization was having access to their library. It contains tapes and books providing us with information and resources that proved invaluable. By choosing information that addressed the situation we were dealing with at that time we were helped to prepare for an appropriate plan of action.
For instance, at the November 15th meeting Kyle McGraw LPC, LADC was the guest speaker. He touched on numerous situations in which we, as parents, find ourselves. These are known as high-risk situations and he gave us practical solutions for preparing for their occurrence.
Part of his presentation targeted on what we can expect after our children find recovery. He went over the many aspects of what relapse entails and how to recognize the very early warning signs. We were given specific details on how to prepare for this situation.
This sums up the what I call the three P’s of parenting: preparation, preparation, preparation.