Sunday, April 5, 2020

COVID- 19 and My Higher Power

I am not afraid of the isolation, loneliness and alone that the COVID/corona/virus is forcing us to live. The self isolations, quarantine for whatever reason the social distancing- Oh no! I lived many years with stigma. I lost many friends due to stigma.

But the day comes when you can't deny it, any more and you just have to say and admit it, I am powerless over this virus!!! The day comes when you cannot deny that your life has become unmanagable, If you are stressing about anything, or unable to get out of bed or don't want to talk to anyone, your life has already become unmanageable

This virus is causing lives to spin out of control, whether its job lay off or worry and stress over it- whatever it is causing you to sink into despair- our minds are our worst enemy.

Just remember: None of us caused this virus and the sickness it causes, no one reading this can control this virus. We can only control ourselves and how we respond because as sure as I am writing this no one reading this can fix it. This is what makes it easier to take that second step.

It may sound odd to some of you but I came to believe and had to admit that only a Power greater than myself could restore my life and my sanity. I had to realize that a power greater than myself was going to get me through this and the mess that my life had become. I had to rely solely on my Higher Power
It doesn't matter what you feel that Higher Power is or whatever your belief is because this virus doesn't care. It does not discriminate who it will affect- male or female, Christian or non-believer, It doesn't care if you are a CEO or work as a laborer, a doctor, nurse or policeman or politician. The virus doesn't care how you vote, this virus doesn't care about your race. It will affect everyone and anyone.

You can do your part by staying in and staying safe and now knowing that when we do have to go out we can wear a mask. For me, a mask will give me a little comfort and security knowing that I won't be breathing in the virus. I have seasonal allergies and have in the past had trouble regulating my sugar levels.

There was a time in my life that I listened when I was told I would not get out of a storm. I realized that in controlling my actions and how I respond I will not only get through the storms of life, but I will walk out of that fire carrying buckets of water! It helps in believing and putting trust that there is a Higher Power who can get us through the darkest of days!

© 2020 Gossip Girl. 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

COVID-19: Finding Comfort in the Steps

The coronavirus or better known as COVID-19 has reminded me of my days a couple of years ago when I walked another path filled with darkness and fear. April 16th is coming up. That was the day that I let go of all of those chains, decided I was tired of walking in fear, darkness, and the shame of stigma and came out into the light and stood with others on a beautiful day to say, we have had enough.
The fear of this virus and the unknown has manifested in so many ways. I dug out my old notebook from several years ago where I jotted notes that helped me get through the days- sometimes minutes back then. I found so much comfort in walking those steps then. Yes, they were different steps back then, but as I read what I jotted down I still find comfort.
I had to tweak it a little but...
Just for Today: I admit I am powerless over this virus and that my life has become unmanageable. I didn't cause it, I can't control it and I sure as heck cannot fix it. So for today, I will let go of this unknown, and the fear that it has caused and just breathe...
I had to learn that I can only control me and how I respond and often it was the promise of Psalm 23.

© 2020 Gossip Girl. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Challenge Myself: Day #234 Find Deals on the Internet

Today is Day #234 of the Just For Today Challenge and I am so behind. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my daily Challenge. This segment of challenges has been about hobbies. The Live Happy Challenge for today tells us to search the Internet to find lower prices for our hobby supplies.

The book says,

Hobbies can be an expensive enterprise. Take photography for example. Cameras and lenses can cost a small fortune. Oil painters have a similar problem if they want high-quality paint and premium canvases.

But if you have time and persistence you can often find items you need for your hobby at competitive prices on the Internet. Teaming up with others who share your interest in a particular hobby can sometimes help you get a better price because you can buy in bulk.

Search for those good deals and share them with your crafting friends and colleagues. Buy two for one when possible, such as tubes of oil paint or bags of beads, and look for other ways to reduce your cost of buying hobby materials.

Just for Today: Be Happy

From the book Live Happy

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Stay Strong In the Fight!

Social media has a way of reminding us about memories, doesn't it? Today I was reminded about the petition to the City of Martinsburg, WV and to the Berkeley County Council the need for a treatment center right here not hours away because the numbers of beds don't meet the demand.

From the beginning and even until today one of the greatest battles was trying to convince them how much this was needed. It often seemed like apparently those who had already died and those continuing to die from heroin and a heroin addiction wasn't good enough.

Our voices continued to grow louder trying to convince officials what was needed in the fight for recovery.

Even as far as we've come in this fight there are those who scream, Let Them Die! Oh, they've tried to smooth it all over when confronted by trying to say they too have family and friends addicted but honestly just who the hell heck loves an addict and screams for them to die?

Who wants someone you claim to love to die from heroin and this addiction? No one I know. At least I've not met one person yet in any circle that has that feeling. No one I know stands on that first step screaming, Let them die!

Just know that the NIMBY's are everywhere! They always will be.

Have you noticed that even today people continue overdosing on our streets? They overdose in public bathrooms, on sidewalks, and in the streets. They continue to overdose in parking lots all over town. This is proof that awareness is not enough.

In case you are wondering it is also the loudest scream for help an addict is giving. It is proof that these people do want help, they just don't know the way.

It is proof they want to live in the hopes that they will be found and revived. Some of them don't live. They are too beyond help when they are found. This is all the proof needed.

The voices are continuing to grow louder. Stay strong in the fight against heroin and stigma!

The Petition 

©2018 Gossip Girl 

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Transformation: From Chrysalis To Butterfly

I remember many years ago my oldest son did the Chrysalis walk at a youth group retreat sponsored by the church.

You may be wondering, what is a chrysalis?

A chrysalis is a stage in a butterflies life. The stage between the caterpillar, the emerging and the transformation of the beautiful butterfly that lived inside of the cocoon.

Isn't this a nice way to describe someone who is in treatment for a drug problem and how they emerge and transform? The transformation from the life of abusing drugs to the wonderful, person inside of themselves.

Go ahead!!! Celebrate Recovery!!! Celebrate the Transformation. You are a new person!!!!

HEADLINE: BC Teacher Aide Arrested

A story came out this week and is being shared all over social media about the teacher's aide who was arrested at the school she worked. Not only was she high on the job but she was also charged with possession while in the school.

Berkeley County, W.Va., Teacher Aide Charged With Possession of a Controlled Substance

I would like to thank the journalist who reported this story fairly and accurately. I read the Herald-Mail now because our own local paper really doesn't report a lot of local news. If you are a criminal or charged with a drug violation they have an entire section of the paper dedicated to the listing of the charges. Not many stories follow, just listings of names and a few times after hearings. 

Sometimes there is an occasional story about those charged and sentenced for crimes relating to drug dealing. I often wonder what is wrong with a system that the drug dealers often get no or little time sentence for drug dealing, but those who commit crimes due to their addiction are given maximum sentences.

I personally have so many mixed emotions since this news came out. As a grandparent, I am angry because one of my grandkids goes to that school. It just proves what I have said all along, drugs are in the school system and not just at the student level.

As a mother of addicts- clean today, struggling daily, my heart goes out to that person and her family because as I've said so many times, heroin and addiction do not discriminate. This story just like many others of professionals proves it doesn't matter who you are or what profession you have, so many people struggle with addiction to heroin.

I am also angry that this proves that apparently, teachers and BOE workers are not being drug tested. 

Honestly (and in my opinion) this answers so many questions and proves that testing needs to be done each year before the start of the school year and randomly throughout the year. 

I think all state workers, not just a selected few need to be drug tested especially if their paychecks are coming from taxpayer money in the state.

I also think this needs to be done as high as the government level- governor, senators, and representatives- and right on down the chain to all of those in any state paying jobs.

I hope that the person accused will receive drug counseling and help.

The story reported by Matthew Umstead @ Herald-Mail

© 2018 Gossip Girl

Not My Child...

Oh, I have been there in those shoes before. It was many years ago in 2005 to be exact. Oh no, not my child...

It took me awhile. My heart was telling me something wasn't right but I, of course, didn't listen to those gut feelings. I listened to others when I asked...
Friends and Siblings who knew but didn't want to hurt our feelings
The Spouse who told us no, but later learning she was an addict herself.

I was pulled into the tangled web of the enabler.

After blowing through a savings account and cashing out a CD Account when there wasn't anything left to give... it was they resorted to stealing our possessions.

Jewelry with sentimental value and a Christmas present stolen and pawned right out of the program the Grinch Who Stole Christmas- let me tell ya.
A Sony PlayStation left under the Christmas tree just one day vanished. Poof... it's location unknown.

CD's, DVD's, tools, and three vehicles. Yep

A truck that didn't run and needed some work. We were told I need to fix it up so I can get out and find a job and then get to work. We have no clue whatever happened to it.

An SUV- That vehicle was running and was for sale. It was parked at a family members house. He called and said he had a buyer for it. The so called buyer picked it up. Our son told us he had left the money with the family member, Oh No. Boy what a scam that was. We had the title to it and refused to give the title up. We could never locate the vehicle so we also do not ever know what happened to it.

A Car- This car I used for work. It blew a head gasket and was towed back to my driveway. My son called me at work and asked me for it. I told him I hadn't had a chance to clean it out and that I needed to talk to his dad first. When I got home from work, it was gone out of the driveway. I am clueless

Well, I was clueless back then. Since I've learned from another the car went to salvage and the truck and SUV were exchanged for drugs.

Just how the F do you do an exchange for drugs- the truck yep the hubby had given him the title but the SUV- we still have the title to it.

It took awhile. There were several years of some really tough love, a lot of interventions that went out the window... I honestly don't think they work.

Finally, the day comes when we had to admit it. Our son was a heroin addict.

This time we are already there and calling it what it is... Our son is a heroin addict. We learned a lot of lessons on our first ride through heroinville.

Each time however after the sky falls down and the bottom drops out... here we are once again left with the shell of a son that honestly we don't recognize him anymore.

© 2016 Gossip Girl. 

Cleaning Up The Posts and Corrections

I have been going back over posts here and cleaning them up. It is amazing the errors we can make in grammar, spelling, and punctuation with tears in our eyes. I vow those errors were not made in vain. They were made from all the emotions I went through while typing them. They were made from words that poured from a mothers broken heart.

I apologize if any of these corrected postings are appearing in your email box. I am not spamming I am making much-needed corrections and polishing up posts. I cannot figure out what happened that changed their original post date. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Inspiration in Song: For those Strugggling With Heroin and Those Who Are Clean

This is for those currently struggling with a heroin addiction and to those who are clean and free of the chains of a heroin addiction...

Tell Your Heart To Beat Again...

And for our son... Kyle. You broke those chains once we know you can do it again!!!!

Inspiration In Song: This Is For Those Who Have Lost a Loved One To This Epidemic...

This song is for anyone who has lost a loved one to heroin...

A Reality of Heroin, Addiction and It's Abuse Is

Last night I found a piece of a post I had started working on back in January and have added to it. It's official I guess. I'm back with this piece.
It was announced recently that heroin and opioid abuse is now the #1 leading cause of death in the United States for persons age 50 and under. This epidemic has surpassed heart disease, diabetes and cancer as the leading cause of death in this country.
The reality is that heroin and it's abuse is preventable and is treatable.
IF everyone can get on the same page.

We are learning that aside from all of the new information that it is affecting every company.  Companies are realizing just how much this has affected their workplace where drug-related injuries have skyrocketed and caused companies billions of dollars in workers compensation.  Companies are experiencing the trend that overdosing on the job seems to be the norm these days.
 It disrupts the daily workflow which can also cost companies a lot of money.
Last week I posted that I am once again working on a few pieces for this blog. I have been contacted by quite a few people. I hadn't realized how much some missed reading here.

While I am working on a few posts coming soon, I thought I would share that we on this side of loving someone with this addiction have always said that addiction to heroin and opioid addiction doesn't discriminate.

Heroin doesn't care if you are rich or poor, it affects both the same.

Heroin does not care if you were prom king or queen, very popular at school, or football jock, or the quiet shy person in school who had few friends.

Heroin doesn't care about your job. It doesn't care if you are a construction worker, banker, CEO police officer, politician or pastor.

Heroin doesn't care that you attend church every Sunday.

Heroin does not care how you vote at the polls. It is neither democrat or republican or any other political party one may be affiliated with.

Heroin does heroin care which gender or race you are.
Heroin is killing everyone and destroying lives. It is tearing at the very threads of the American family and the values of every family in this country alike; rich or poor and young and old.
Sometimes when asked where I stand my response is simple,
I stand on shaky ground where heroin and addiction are concerned. 
If you want to be a part of my blog I certainly welcome all. If you don't wish to, I understand that as well.

© 2018 Gossip Girl

Monday, October 1, 2018

Challenge Myself: Day #233 Attend Hobby and Trade Shows

Today is Day #232 of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today tells says we should attend trade shows.

The book says,

When you feel passionate about your hobby, nothing gets your creative juices flowing like attending a convention or a trade show. 

From scrapbooking to cooking, quilting, designing (everything from furniture and boats to clothing), and collecting (wine, coins, stamps, sports or movie memorabilia, religious items, dishware, or virtually anything), you'll likely find a trade show for it.

Locate one for your hobby by searching the Internet or perusing magazines or newsletters for enthusiasts who share your passion about your particular hobby and for discovering the latest greatest innovations or products.

Many industry trade shows and conventions are for wholesale buyers only, but some do welcome hobbyists and the general public.

Etsy is a great place to find and sell your handcrafted items. Just click the link to Etsy to find the login page. I have purchased a few handcrafted jewelry pieces from Etsy.

Now since this is about hobbies and fundraising be sure that you are donating to a reputable charity. Ask questions about just what your donation will be used for. A Google search of keywords found a lot of information on this. One I found is Charity 101 which allows you to enter in a search.

Just For Today: I will continue to search for ways to help charities 
from the book:  Live Happy

Friday, September 28, 2018

Challenge Myself: Day #232 Turn Your Hobby Into a Fundraiser

I am once again going to start the Just For Today/Live Happy Postings. Today is Day #232 of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today tells us ways that our hobby can become a fundraiser

The book says,

Consider your hobby as a way to raise funds for your favorite causes. Let's say you paint wooden ornaments and tie them with red ribbons to hang on Christmas trees.

You fashion napkin rings out of Christmas dried floral items, wire and floral tape. Or, you make wind chimes out of spoons or little Mexican crosses. You make birdhouses, sew placemats, or breed orchids.

Think of four or more ways you could spin off your hobby into fundraising. For example, you could:

*Host or participate in a holiday boutique.

*Approach a hospital to organize a silent auction to purchase a piece of equipment.

*Sell your items through your own website.

*Auction your items on an online auction site and then donate the proceeds.

The ideas are endless. These are only what the book suggests. Here are a few more ideas I found on Pinterest

Live Auction Ideas For Charity Events
From Pinterest

Just For Today: I will look for ways to promote a favorite charity.

from the book:  Live Happy

Pic from Pinterest

Monday, September 24, 2018

A Quick Update

Today I had a few spare moments in between housework and a doctors appointment to stop in and check up on my blog. 

It is so in need of some love, isn't it?

I can't remember the last time I even wrote something. 

Between work, a fall with a severe injury involving my right hand back in April, my mom having dementia and then my dad was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks after my injury,  this has been quite the year.

I figure that I must be behind in writing when Grammarly sent me an email notice that I hadn't written anything in a long time. I also have had email notices from so many letting me know that I am lacking in blog writing.

I would have loved to participate in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge once again this year for this blog, but that wasn't even an option for me as I was in a cast until late June.

The cast is off, the hardware removed and therapy has ended maybe I can get back to what feels a somewhat normal existence.

Since this blog is about The Chronicles of Loving a Heroin Addict and is about addiction I would like to share that one addict is in jail; another is living clean, one finding the way back and another struggling. Life just goes on

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 sitting 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 getting 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 freehand 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 for 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