Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Living in the Shadows of Stigma

I have started to clear out the old draft folder trying to decide which stories to keep and share. I started writing this right before the April blog challenge and wanted to share this. I was thinking of using it on the day of the letter S. Living in the Shadow of Stigma.

Loving an addict is a lonely place to be especially when there comes a time that you realize you have none or just two very close friends who have stuck by your side throughout the fight. I have lost many very close friends. I guarantee you, it is a lonely place to be. It's often bad enough when you're friends have deserted, it's even more devastating when your family leaves you. And yes, that is where I lived for a very long time at the corner of Loneliness and Addiction for too many years.

Me, oh I used to love to laugh. I could laugh at anything, joke about anything, write anything funny because I wanted others to laugh too. Along the way, I lost my laughter, that joy for writing something funny. I couldn't even laugh so why try making others laugh?

Besides my Higher Power, I have to thank my hubby. He stood by me through all of this when many other families have broken apart.

On the days I said I wasn't getting up he did not allow any of that. He picked me up and said, "not today." Had it not have been for his persistence I am sure I would have sunk into a depression. There were often many days we put on music and just danced.

There were many days we also sat and talked because we really still don't understand many of the why's, like why our son?

I had many days of setting crying, begging, pleading, questioning and a few times cursing at God, Why Us?

Living in the Shadows of the Stigma of this disease is lonely. In those shadows I had people tell me that they wished our son would die. When I came out of the darkness and started speaking out it was then that so many told me our son was worth saving. 

I once had someone tell me they were going to kill my son. I have had family members tell me, to beat the shit out of him. Sadly, you can't beat addiction out of someone by means of assault and battery. If it were that easy I would have done that long ago.

I learned last year some of the answers to the why questions. For instance Why Us?

I believe it is so that I could be here, right now telling you our story, finding information to help others who are in this very place- they too love someone addicted.

 © 2017 Gossip Girl

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Hello Readers,

Sorry about the long hiatus away from this blog. I was having some huge trouble with my Internet as I know many are having the same issues. I have been without Internet since approximately May trying to deal with the issues with my provider. I recently switched providers and so far it seems to be a lot better. I am in the process of going back through posts to pick up where I left off after the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. Thank you for your patience.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Who Am I?

Someone forwarded a link to me of the, 10 Most Wanted Poster. As I read through each of the Who Am I, I realized that I have played the part of all the mentioned sometimes at the same time.

Over time I have learned what great actors and actresses we become in this addiction.

There are only two leading roles in this story. The one with the addiction and those who love them. There are no Academy awards to be given out to either side.

As hard as I have tried, I try not to let my mind wander back to the beginning of the story. Aren't we supposed to move forward from this? Isn't that what recovery is all about? Moving forward.

It is often hard staying focused on moving forward when there are days that take me back to the beginning with the constant reminders.

I am tired. I am tired of feeling like I live every day as in the movie, Groundhog Day. I am tired of the lies. I am tired of manipulations. I am exhausted.

I am tired of the same old fight over the trust issues. I am tired of showing just a little bit of trust and my addict uses that trust only to prove I was wrong trusting again.  It always ends up the same way. In the end, my addict proves it was all a lie.

The addict says, I am not using, while setting beside you swearing on a stack of Bibles, yet doesn't prove otherwise with their life so out of control at the moment. It's always funny when the addict starts rolling up their sleeves to show you their arms when I already know the addict has hidden those marks in other places.

I realized that the pissed off at this addiction isn't mentioned on the poser. I started the 12 Steps in order to free myself only to get roped back in playing the parts of all of the above obsessing over the addict that I love while forgetting what the Twelve Steps taught me.

July 10th marked one year that we took our addict six hours away to a program in Huntington, WV. We took him on his first step to get him there. The rest was up to him. 
pic belongs to: Reach Out Recovery 

 © 2017 Gossip Girl

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Challenge Myself: Day #231 Promoting Your Hobby

Today is Day #231 of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today suggests promoting your hobby.

The book says,

When you feel passionate about your hobby, whether it is free hand painting of murals on the walls of children's rooms, sculpting bowls from driftwood, or making cigar box shrines, tell your friends and other hobby enthusiasts about your latest project.

Word gets around. You may attract people who want to see your projects, perhaps even purchase your services or product. Post digital photos of your creations on your social networking sites of photo sharing sites.

You never know what opportunities may come your way when you put aside false modesty and instead promote yourself and your passion for your particular hobby.

Just For Today: I will look for ways to promote my hobbies.

from the book:  Live Happy

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Winding Path to Addiction

Months ago I found an interesting article I want to share. It's called, The Winding Path To HeroinThe most interesting thing about reading it was that none who shared commentary wished to be where they were at right at that very moment. The unlikely event of choosing a dangerous drug like heroin had led them down a very dark road. I say choosing because YES, that very first time is a choice- a dumb choice- but by all means a choice. Those who choose heroin's deadly charms don't analyze the situation beforehand. They don't measure the consequences, nor what this drug is likely to do to their lives. Yet they are held together by a common thread. The thread of addiction.

This is an interesting article for both sides of the debate- those who are here, an addict themselves and to those of you who love someone suffering from this addiction as well as for those who haven't made it here yet. I meet so many of those not here yet. You probably have too- those who like to stand out in the crowd blaming parents of those addicted. Those who stand out in crowds and say things like, "I think Narcan should be administered once. After that, they should just let them die." Those who stand up in public forums regarding treatment centers and say, "Not in my backyard." 

I am a person who believes everyone's opinion should count, except when it deals with things they know nothing about. The Internet is filled with information about addiction. People choose not to read it because it doesn't pertain to them.

I mean come on while we are on the subject shouldn't we also include those with heart disease, diabetes and some cases of COPD in this conclusion also?

Those with heart disease and diabetes could have chosen a better lifestyle. Those with COPD could have stopped smoking, right?

Let's just say I don't believe any of us want to be here where we are at including the person who is addicted, the family and friends who love them and including those who haven't made it here yet.

I have stopped analyzing how we got here. It takes up too much of my time. It is more of a now that we are here, what can we do about it? How can I help my loved one? How can help others?

Heroin isn't going anywhere. The epidemic isn't going anywhere. Not until everyone gets on the same page agreeing that the first step to treating addiction is an addiction center. Until then this will continue for many more generations to come.

© 2017 Gossip Girl

Detach With Love

I found a very good article for parents. It's about setting boundaries with our addicts. It's about holding them accountable and it's about detaching with love. We talked about this last night in our Nar-Anon meetup.

Honestly, I feel I have done everything in my power. I cannot force them to get better, but I also cannot stand by watching as their lives are destroyed. I can only hold on with love. I don't deny a problem that is too much for me to handle. I cannot control what this drug is doing and I it is beyond my power to fix the problem. So, I hang on to love.

I let go, not because I want to, but for my own peace and serenity I have to let my higher power take control.

The article says,
"Once boundaries are determined, you must sit down with your child, an addict that may or may not be high at the time, and explain where you will no longer go with him. In fact you can even start each sentence with, “Because we love you…” and then, for instance, “we can no longer bail you out of jail.  
All of your life we taught you that stealing was wrong and you know that in your heart, so we cannot support your actions by bailing you out of jail when you do something you have been taught all your life is wrong. I hope you understand this and can accept our decision.”
Read More>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> @ Detaching With Love

Getting Off The Crazy Ride of Addiction

This is a post I wrote several months ago right before the April A-Z Challenge. I mentioned in an earlier post that I have had some computer troubles. Add that to the slow Internet service here and it meant taking a disconnect.

The past two weeks have been spent on the addiction roller coaster. I just want off this crazy ride! This week has been spent thinking and rethinking. Maybe that is the problem that I either think too much or overthink.

I have decided that I'm getting off the crazy roller coaster that often pulls me. I am taking some steps backward away from our son- away from addiction not because I don't love him. I think it's because I love him too much. We all know that love doesn't cure heroin addiction.

Now, I just want you to know that in backing away this doesn't mean I don't care. It means I am tired of the insanity. I have to back away in order to save myself. I was always his enabler, the codependent in most of his years of addiction.

The past has taught me a lot of things I will not repeat. No more denial. No more lies. I didn't cause this. Although  I tried to cure it for many years. It got me nowhere. I have realized that I cannot cure the addiction. I have over the past weeks read messages where he twisted my words around to suit the moment. Maybe he saved many moments like that for the mental relapse. I will not play that game ever again. I also learned from the past that I cannot control the addict, the addiction, or what this addiction has done to his mind.

He has many phone numbers of the resources to call. He knows the people who want to help him. The rest of it is up to him.

I asked myself the question, my kids are all grown up so why are they still driving me crazy? The answer is because I allow them to.

pic from Facebook
© 2017 Gossip Girl

Challenge Myself: Day #230 Build a Model

I'm sorry I haven't posted on this blog for awhile. Just shortly after the April blog challenge, I started having computer troubles. Between the computer and the slow Internet service here it's been a challenge.

Today is Day #230 of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today says, build a model airplane, plane or a ship.

The book says,

As a child did you ever play with little models of World War II fighter planes and ships or a miniature train set up on tracks with its own little village?

If you did, you probably have some fond memories of that time. There are many adventures to resuming that activity now that you are an adult. For example, you can build a plane, ship or train alone and enjoy some worry-free, downtime.

Or, you can spend some quality time working on a favorite model project with a young family member and share with him or her some of the histories behind that model. Additionally, if you really get into that hobby, you and your family can visit museums, read books about your models, and plan family vacations to places where that model made history.

from the book: Live Happy

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Language Letting Go

Found @ Lessons Learned in Life

Challenge Myself: Day #229 Is Quilting Your Favorite Hobby?

Today is Day #229 of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today says, host a quilting party

The book says,

Quilting is so much fun that many quilters have quilting parties to enjoy the camaraderie of friends and to finish their own quilts or to join with other quilters to sew a project for a charitable cause.
Many people equate quilt making with the Pennsylvania Dutch Amish or the Appalachian people. Amish quilts, especially the antique quilts, are of the highest-quality construction, but there are many other types of quilts that require less exacting and demanding skill to make.

For example, you can make a crazy quilt from pieces of leftover fabric, Or you can contribute a square to someone else's quilt (this is the way the AIDS quilt is constructed). Buy a quilting how-to book, take a class, or just dive in and do it. 

Then invite your friends who sew to a quilting party. It's never too late to work on quilts for holiday gift giving.

From the book: Live Happy

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Community Event: The Anonymous People

#PreventionPower: National Prevention Week

For those who are unaware, next week is the annual SAMHSA National Prevention Week is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental and/or substance use disorders.
According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, adolescents and full-time college students most often use substances for the first time during June or July. The timing of National Prevention Week provides an opportunity for schools and organizations to host prevention-themed events before the school year ends, raising awareness about this important issue among students and their families.
Mark your calendars! SAMHSA’s next National Prevention Week will be from May 14 to 20, 2017. Each year around this observance, communities, and organizations across the country come together to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health. The theme for NPW 2017 is: Making Each Day Count.
Parents and leaders of youngsters and teen organizations this is an opportunity to get information and talk about it. Learn the facts. 
For more information, and for resources and topics of discussion please visit SAMHSA Website
pic from spreadshirt

After the April A-Z Blog Challenge

I was supposed to put this up on May 8th. I am a few days late in doing so. Well, it is here the month long blog challenge is over and many are left thinking, what next? Will you take a few ideas from some of your more popular posts and go with the ideas?

After the A-Z Blog Challenge, what is next?

For me, I will continue spreading the word here about the heroin epidemic and talk about those in the community bringing Hope.

This road has been longer than the April blog challenge. I will once again be blogging the daily 365 Ways to Live Happy Challenges.

The April Blogging Challenge provided an opportunity to speak out about the heroin epidemic and provided the means of clearing a few posts out of the drafts folder. There were still some which didn't make it. I want to blog those as well. 

If you missed any of the posts in April you may wish to visit the archives which is on the sidebar of this blog to catch up on the posts.

I thought it was a great month. Thank you to Arlee and all of the A-Z Moderators this year for another great challenge.

Challenge Myself: Day #228 Teach a Cooking Class

Today is Day #228 of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today says teach a cooking class in your kitchen.

The book says,

Perhaps you like to cook, have some culinary expertise, and some great recipes for dishes such as Jewish poppy seed Mandelbrot (biscotti), and Indian fish curry, a paella that even Spaniards love, a fried chicken made from a recipe that your Southern great-grandmother passed on, or some other tantalizing taste treat.

Start a cooking class in your kitchen. Alternatively, reserve another facility and step into the role of teacher. Make sure you have all the pieces of equipment and utensils that you'll need. Decide on a theme for your class- maybe quick easy desserts, Italian past dishes, Indian curries, or sandwiches and pastries for high tea.

Type your recipes for each student and make sure that you prepare and cook the long dishes at the beginning of the class and dishes that need less prep and cooking time at the end. Have fun teaching and sharing your passion for food with others.

Do you like to cook? Do you have a favorite recipe?

 From the book: Live Happy

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Challenge Myself: Day #227 Join a Hobby Association

Today is Day #227  of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today says to find an association devoted to your hobby.

The book says,

You know you love working on your hobby. Whatever your hobby is, there's undoubtedly a professional association representing it. To find yours, type the name of your hobby into your computer browser and see what it lists.

 Or, go to the website at Association for Creative Industries where you will discover the hottest new crafts and hobbies in the global marketplace. For example, scrap booking, quilting, and needle crafts, art and framing top the list today.

The association(s) for your hobby might host annual competitions, produce a magazine, or provide grants or scholarships so that deserving individuals can learn more about their favorite hobby.

From the book: Live Happy

Friday, May 5, 2017

United States: A Look at the History of Addiction Treatment

Today's post is a look at Addiction Treatment in the United States. In searching the Internet for the information, this Infograph came up with interesting information beginning in the 1700's and 1800's up until 2012.

For instance, the first Sober House came to be known in the 1800's. Today is about the history of addiction treatment in the United States. Most of the information is outdated and proved does not work. You cannot use 19th Century methods in the millennium. It has already proved a failure.

America’s Fight Against Addiction | Drug Treatment Timeline | drug rehab

I believe it's time to rethink rehabilitation in this country which is now a billion dollar industry. It is time to revamp and upgrade to the millennium to treat this disease.

It's time for the pharma companies and physicians to work together and not repeat the past. Doctors look at pain as a symptom of an injury or illness when addiction has proven the opposite. The reason for the addiction is a symptom of the medication. This epidemic we have today goes above their heads and the reality of the failure is that they have no clue how to treat it.

The first is to start treating those suffering addiction problems like humans instead of second rate citizens.

It's time to start the road to treatment instead of handcuffs for addiction problems, simple possession of an addict since addiction is not against the law. Neither is overdose and I can't believe the numbers who were incarcerated for overdose. Help instead of Handcuffs.

Not every user who started using heroin had a mental illness, but my guess is by the time the user finds treatment they will be battling some form of mental illness.

Infograph from
© 2017 Gossip Girl

Challenge Myself: Day #226 Learn Pottery

Today is Day #226 of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today says learn to make pottery

The book says,

Maybe you, like a lot of other people, made mud pies as a child. Discover what the ancients knew about the warm, fuzzy feelings you get working with your hands to a piece of pottery.

Spend some happy hours pinching off a ball of clay, centering it on a potters wheel, shaping it, firing out the impurities, glazing it, and then firing it again to affix the glaze.

You will need access to clay, the wheel, and a kiln that can heat at high temperatures (for example, around 1700 degrees F).

A pottery class can provide all those essential items along with instruction and coaching. Or, you could purchase the type of clay that can be fired in your own oven at lower temperatures and make some nifty beads to string. See

From the book: Live Happy

Thursday, May 4, 2017

BC Health Department Harm Reduction

Bikers Against Heroin Poker Run Event

Challenge Myself: Day #225 Learn to do Beading

Today is Day #225  of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is to create jewelry with beads.

The book says,

Beading has increased in popularity in recent years and is considered by many to be not only a high art form but also a way to earn some extra bucks. Already, there are several magazines devoted to beading and columns about beading in others.

Whether you want to create beaded jewelry or works of art, you'll soon discover that time seems to fly as you discover beads in assorted styles, shapes, colors, and textures; decide on the optimum way to use them; and then create beautiful earrings, chokers, bracelets, pins, and necklaces.

To find beads, visit a bead shop, department stores, and art and craft outlets. Have fun making your distinctive pieces as gifts for birthdays and other celebratory occasions, showing them in galleries, or selling them in stores or online.

Beading supplies can be found at Michaels, A.C. Moore Stores, as well as Walmart, has a small selection of beads and supplies. I found a couple links that may help get you started if beading jewelry is a hobby you think you would like to pursue.

Links of Interest:
Beginner Beading
Learn to Bead Jewelry, Pinterest

pic from Pinterest
From the book: Live Happy