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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Every 19 minutes...

By the time I finish writing this post three children will have died as a result of drug or alcohol abuse.

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day. My daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter all went out for breakfast and then got mani-pedies. I hadn’t been out in a while and being with "just the girls" was a great way to relax and I even found myself laughing.
Mother’s Day is always a little hard on me since my son’s death via alcoholism. There is this part of me that is missing. I miss having him call me at the crack of dawn and say “Maw!!! Happppy Mother’s Day! Aren’t you happy I made you a MOM!” He was my first child and so he always claims the rights to being the one who made it appropriate for me to be called a Mom. His younger sister says she gives my title “staying power.” Meaning another child means a strong hold to motherhood. Not sure if I really "get" her theory, but sibling rivalry can sometimes be endearing even when it makes no sense.

Now that my son has died a senselessly, his voice is always in my head. I hear him over and over again. And I miss him so much that sometimes it is unbearable. I’m told that it gets easier. If that’s going to happen I wish it would just hurry up and take place because sometimes the pain is as fresh as it was the day he passed.
There are a lot of mothers and a few fathers in the OARS Family and Friends of Alcoholics Support Group. (www.OARSFFGroup.ning.com) They find comfort in communicating with others who know the emptiness of losing a child. They know the helplessness of watching your child walk down a path that can have no good end. It doesn’t really matter if the child is 40 or 14, to a mother a child is always a child no matter how old the child may be.  The pain of the loss is the same. To join the group go here:


The inherent paternal instinct is to protect the child above all else. But how does a parent trust and let their child grow into adulthood when the dangers are all around? Should we wrap them in bubble wrap and attach an ankle device that monitors their every move?
I think Dr. Phil might have the right idea. You just do everything you can to protect them. Do everything you can do and then do some more. If you suspect that your child (teen) is involved in drugs and/or alcohol, you must invade their privacy; track their cell phone; lock up your liquor and medicine cabinets; check out their friends; watch for fluctuations in their grades; and get them into counseling.

One child dies every 19 minutes. One life that could have been a teacher; President of the United States; inventor of backpack jet propulsion for everyday use; scientist who discovers a cure for Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy or Autism; author of a Pulitzer Prize; or an outstanding ice cream cone scooper or coffee barista. It doesn’t really matter what they might have become. What matters is that they won’t have a chance to be anything other than a statistic of how many dead children we accumulate in an hour.
I have been a supporter of the Hollywood and Vine Recovery Center's upcoming fundraising event. They have already been able to help one of my followers by providing recovery services for the child of the follower. They were proactive and speedy in making sure that one specific child would not become a sad statistic. I am grateful that, even though I don’t know who either the parents or child are, they got the help they needed. Their website is:

Being in the throes of parenting a teen-ager has always been exasperating. I don’t know what happens when a child begins to reach the magical “teen years”, but it can seem as though your child was snatched in the middle of the night and replaced with a pod person. Reason and logical seem to no longer exist. Parenting a teen by using reason and logic often feels futile. When drugs or alcohol is added to the equation the chaos magnifies beyond understanding.

There is no such thing as too much knowledge. If you have questions for a professional who deals with addicted children on a daily basis, Dr. Gloria Montgomery can help. On Wednesdays between 3 and 5 pm (Pacific Time), you can go to www.RMCONAIR.com and join in the “Expect a Miracle CARE FOR KIDS” live radio and internet stream radio. Dr. Montgomery will answer your questions. There is also live entertainment and interesting interviews. This is a “home grown” program, so if it feels a bit unprofessional that’s because these people are not performers. They are real people working in the real work of doing everything they can to help addicted children. No frills here. Just facts.
I started writing this post at 8:30am and it is now 10:00am. It’s been 90 minutes and at least four children have died.


Therapist Los Angeles said...

Hollywood and Vine Recovery Center sure has done a lot of good around where I live.

Anonymous said...

Please Lift the Burden

On a day that seemed uneventful but frustrating, I asked God... "Please lift the Burden". God apparently was listening to my half hearted request (actually not a request at all--Just a cry for help from my frustrating circumstances).

Regretfully, God indeed lifted the burden!
On May 19, 2012 My dear sweet Son Brian was killed in a tragic accident going out for milk for his children.
He was not drinking or using drugs. Just going out to purchase milk. At some point in his life Alcohol could have been the reason. But, ironically after years of worry over getting the call in the night...The burden was lifted (from him) with a benign milk purchase. Who would ever have guessed, our dear sweet son would leave us so soon?

For him Alcoholism was an insidious disease that was critically compounded by a dual diagnosis. He continued to fight the demon with incredible bravery I will always remember and respect.

For all of us--Alcoholic or Non Alcoholic...All we have is Now. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is unknown. Celebrate your life and the life of your loved ones as if each day is your last!

Always Keep God in every situation. He and He alone understands our burdens and the burdens of our loved ones.