Thursday, June 30, 2016

For Those In Recovery...

It's Name Is... Heroin

As I look back almost twelve years ago now I don't remember any of this in the parenting books. Several years ago I said with the kids all gone from the house it felt like a new chapter of my life was being written. These aren't the chapters that I wished to write, however.

The word heroin became part of my vocabulary in 2006. Our son Kyle was about twenty years old then. That was the year that I learned that our son had been using heroin for many months. That was the year that heroin ripped through my family unit like a hell firestorm and changed us for good. Torn to shreds. Pieces of a puzzle that I didn't understand scattered across the floor.

This Is Why Criminalizing An Addict Does Not Work

We who love someone addicted to heroin have heard others say, "Just Put Them All In Jail" before. I bet you have to. Maybe you thought it was the best thing for someone abusing. Years ago when my son went to jail for the crimes he was committing in order to get heroin- the stealing- I thought jail was the place he needed to be. YES- For those crimes he committed.

Sure if you commit a crime, there should be a punishment. BUT having the disease of addiction to heroin is not a crime. It is a disease. If someone you love had a disease and all you ever heard was, they should go to jail, how would you feel?

Jail is not a detox center. They don't care in jail about those using and abusing heroin. They don't care about the medical part of it. They are not a medical facility. They are a jail.

I saw this the other day. I saved it and I just cannot stop thinking about it because of comments people make about our son. YES, he has committed crimes for his addiction. YES, he should go to jail, but not to DETOX there.

After watching this video, my heart goes out to this family. I am terrified for our son. He will sooner or later be picked up for his crimes and he will without a doubt detox at the Eastern Regional Jail. This terrifies me.

Our son needs to be medically supervised. He has tried to detox on his own and goes into seizures. Our son has had hundreds possibly thousands of seizures from using, abusing and trying to quit and detox. We don't know how many he has had.

They need to rethink how those using and abusing are treated. They aren't animals. They are human lives. Many are crying out and begging for help. There is nowhere to send them. The longer they are in their addiction without help, the easier it is for them to slip up and commit a crime and end up in jail.

As mentioned I have thought about it since this video was in my Facebook Newsfeed and I have to share this... My heart goes out to the family of Tyler Tabor. A Life Lost...

Not one person should lose their life like this... ever! They need to rethink the way that those addicted are treated, not for their crimes, but for their addiction to this powerful drug.

Video From youtube

© 2016 Gossip Girl

Project: Gone But Never Forgotten

I do not want anyone in this town who has lost their battle from heroin addiction to ever be forgotten.

We need to continue to speak their names. I am in the process of finding names for those lost and when possible I want to tell their stories.

You can help me. If you know of someone who lost their battle with heroin addiction, please let me know. You can help me by putting their name in the comment section and please leave your email address. You can contact me on Facebook or send me an email to:

Challenge Myself: Day #18 Comfort Food

Today is Day #18 of our Nar Anon Group Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is to cook your favorite dish. We all have a favorite food right? There is nothing like comfort food is there?

The book says,

Cook up something spectacular such as the comfort food of your childhood, an exotic creation you first tasted on your honeymoon, or even a savory palate-pleaser you learned to cook when you were dating or cook your favorite foreign dish.

If you are a working parent, then it's unlikely you ever cook just to please yourself. So, once in awhile cook what you want instead of what the kids will want to eat. If the kids don't like your dish make them a frozen pizza to nibble on, or order one in.

While you savor every bite of that Moroccan tangerine chicken or New England crab cakes, Mid-western style meatloaf, or southern fried chicken or whatever your favorite dish may be. You know how happy you feel eating your favorite food. That's why it is your favorite.

Speaking of comfort food reminds me Sunday's at my parents and mamas good food. After church the kitchen filled with family and the smells of mamas cooking. For years after I was married, Sunday afternoons spent in mamas kitchen made the best memories.

Now this doesn't mean to binge until we feel guilty about it either. Me, my favorite food group is chocolate. I once thought I perfected the art of making fudge.

Do you have a favorite dish or favorite food? A favorite dish?

Just For Today: I will find comfort in eating one piece of chocolate!

From the book: Live Happy

BC Heroin Treatment Assessment (2015)

Have you read the Heroin Treatment Assessment for Berkeley County (WV)?

There is a lot of information in this report. For instance, the # of Overdoses, the # of Overdose deaths, This report is why we need a treatment center right here in Martinsburg/Berkeley County, WV

You can read it @

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Signs of a Heroin Overdose

Do you know the signs of an overdose? Do you know what to do?
Call 9-1-1 Immediately!
If you don't carry Narcan/Naloxone call 9-1-1 immediately. You can also try to help the person by starting some rescue breathing techniques while waiting for the ambulance.
One technique is to turn the person on their left side in the recovery position. Push in on the side of their chest over their lungs to push air into their lungs.
If you are comfortable doing CPR on the person, if there is no pulse by all means start CPR. If you get a pulse, turn them on their side in the recovery position and proceed with the rescue breathing technique until help arrives.
Keep them in the recovery position. The person will likely throw up. The recovery position is to prevent aspiration.

More Information on the Recovery Position

Heroin Overdose App for phone

Challenge Myself: day #17 Releasing Stress

Today is Day #17 of our Nar Anon Group Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is find a way to release some of that stress and tension.

The book says,

A massage is a great way to release the stress and tension you hold inside your body. There's nothing comparable to human touch

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

OVERDOSE ALERT? There's An App For Heroin Users

Did you know there is an app that may be of interest to those using as well as to those who love someone using and abusing heroin. This is a special app for heroin users that sends out an alert that you may have overdosed.

It is available in the Google App Store and is called Remote Egg Timer Dope Safe.

The app developer is currently working on making the app detect movement of the phone, which he hopes to make the indicator that a person has overdosed—if the phone hasn’t moved since before the timer reaches zero, it’s an indication that the user is not responsive and would trigger the message to the emergency contact. He also wants to be able to provide the GPS coordinates of the heroin user. This is currently in the beta form, but I was reading the reviews for it and all of them seemed like good reviews.

Read more... Egg Timer Dope Safe App

A Moment Of Reassurance That We Are Not Forgotten

I want to thank our Community Recovery Services Coordinator Kevin Knowles who is also a City Councilman for the City of Martinsburg for taking the time to talk to me this morning once again.

I was disheartened hearing the news Friday that the county pulled the appeal against the City of Martinsburg in regards to the proposed treatment center on Baltimore St.

For many of us on this side of the addiction, that was the thread of HOPE we held onto was the possibility of a treatment center ever coming right here in Martinsburg to treat our own local people.

After hearing and reading the news I sent an email to him.

I am so passionate about the first step in the recovery and healing process right here in Martinsburg that I lost my way for a moment. My email was full of questions. Questions I have asked any resource or treatment facility that I have ever called to make inquiries about.

We all have a time or two made knee-jerk decisions and that was a time for me. A heat of the moment email. It was overwhelming. I apologize. The next time I will call him to talk personally. Maybe I just needed reassuring that he was still on our side of the table?

I don't want to be known as a troublemaker here. I am just a voice among many other voices. At this moment I don't know if my son will ever recover or be healed from his addiction. Eleven (almost twelve) years is a lot of time spent in this addiction.

I do know our son has health problems associated with his addiction all of these years. Just a year ago he was having trouble with his kidneys. We also know from 2009 he has liver damage associated with his use of sharing needles.

I don't hold any hopes that treatment will come in time for our son. We've made those plans already for him and in fact, we grieve for him although he is still among the living. I know that is hard for some to understand.

Again thank you Councilman and Recovery Services Coordinator for your time and once again your reassurance that you haven't given up any HOPE for our communities here in Martinsburg and Berkeley County.

BC Moves To Withdraw Appeal For The Treatment Center

Just Who Is Winning This War On Drugs?

This so called War On Drugs... This has been going on for how long now? So many decades of failures and here we are in the biggest fight of our lives. A heroin epidemic consuming our community.

What the hell are we fighting for anyway?

The war in Afghanistan... Are we fighting against terrorism or are we fighting to protect the poppy fields?

Just what exactly are they fighting?

In all of these years our government has not once stopped the flow

That One Small Ray of HOPE We Had

For about a year now our town gave us a little promise, a spattering of HOPE with the purchase of a building for a proposed treatment center right here in our town to treat our local people of addiction.

On Friday, they all but wiped that HOPE away when the county removed the appeal against the City of Martinsburg off of the table. HOPE is now lost because their plan is now even more confusing.

Let me tell you my fight for this treatment center grew stronger and louder in April after listening to the cries of my grandchildren begging for us to please save their dads life. These two kids ages 9 and 11 are terrified that their dad is going to die. They know kids who have lost parents to this disease and these two kids are scared they will lose their dad.

I chose to take a stand and fight for this treatment center for my grandkids.

If I chose to do nothing and something happens to their dad I will forever until I leave this earth to have to accept when those two kids tell me, "but you did nothing." I stood up to do something!

It is like fighting a losing battle and in the end, should something happen to our son who will answer those questions of, why you did nothing?

And here we are Tuesday, June 28, 2016, and people in this town continue to overdose at a much higher rate now and people are still dying. People continue to lose their battle with their addiction.

I and others on this side of the disease saw a small glimmer of light at the announcement of a Recovery Resource Center however as the days go on I am learning that this won't be an actual recovery center. It will be a place to come and get the information and resources on treatment and addiction.

So, just what in the world is this resource center going to do?

Now, I don't know if they realize this, but we already have the information. We already have the resources.

I've been told that it will also be a meeting place. A meeting place?

In trying to understand just what this place will be I have asked a lot of questions.

Just what is going to be so special about it that hundreds and likely thousands of locals who are addicted will come?

Remember, they can build it but it doesn't mean they will come!

© 2016 Gossip Girl

Through All The Pain and The Tears... I Hope You Dance

If only Just For Today...

Sometimes you just have to dance like no one is watching!!!!!

Found on YouTube

You Are Here

I noticed yesterday that the stats for my blog kind of jumped up a little. If you are new or finding this blog for the first time, and you love someone who loves drugs more you are in the right place.

For those who live locally here in the Panhandle of West Virginia, I have links to resources on the sidebar as well as you can find information at the top to Recovery Groups, Treatment Resources, and to our local Nar-Anon Group.

At the bottom of the blog are links to read other helpful pages, local information on our heroin epidemic here in Berkeley County/Martinsburg, WV and also some videos.

A few weeks ago our Nar-Anon Group gave a Just For Today Challenge. What can I do to find just a little peace, if only just for today?

I am integrating my Just For Today Challenge along with another challenge with the 365 Ways To Live Happy. If you're interested you can read the daily challenges at,
If you do nothing else today, give yourself permission to smile!

Along the way, I share my personal stories about loving a son who uses and abuses heroin. Writing it is my way of letting go of some tears, some anger and all the other emotions associated with having a child who is addicted.

The word 'heroin' became part of our family vocabulary eleven years ago. Not by our choice, but by the choice that one of our children made. For so many years I didn't have the courage to speak out about it. I chose to stay alone because of the stigma of society and those cruel stings.

We just in the last two months was able to accept that our lives had become so unmanageable and say the words, we are powerless over our son's addiction. We did not cause this, we cannot control this, and we sure as heck cannot cure this.

The mother instinct in me wants to control this and fix this and make my child all better again. The reality was accepting I cannot do any of that. Throwing in the towel to admit,
Was one of the hardest things to let go of but we had to, just to take back a portion of our lives.

Little by little, we are getting some happiness back into our lives. If you've been here on this side of the addiction you already know the 'insanity' of loving someone using and abusing drugs. Oh, we knew what it was for a lot of years now. We've even called it by its name, heroin. Yet we stayed on that rollercoaster of insanity without letting go and holding onto anger and grudges.

It took a lot of courage to let go spiritually and allow that a higher power could
Back in our lives.
Allowing that to happen meant giving up more control that our child's addiction had over us. But I'm here now. I know that the Higher Power that I trust in all of this will either catch me when I fall or teach me how to fly.

Grab yourself a comfy seat and take off your shoes...

© 2016 Gossip Girl

Challenge Myself: Day #16 It's Okay To Laugh

Today is Day #16 of our Nar Anon Group Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my daily Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is a big one. Today it is about laughing. Although we have all of this going on around us dealing with loving someone who is using and abusing drugs we need to give ourselves permission to occasionally laugh. It's okay.

The book says,

Heard any good jokes lately? Have you tried passing them on to others?

Telling a funny joke is a terrific way to cheer up others, defuse tense situations, add much-needed levity in times of stress, and generate some positive effects on your health.

Memorizing a joke and telling it to others is just one way to cultivate a sense of humor.

Did you know that laughing may actually reduce your risk for heart disease and can mitigate damage incurred when you are experiencing deep distress and pain?

Also, some sources say that while sniffles, sneezes and coughing are contagious, laughter is more so.

What to feel good?

Be able to laugh at stressful situations. Did you hear the one about...?

For today laugh and tell a joke.

I used to do nothing but cry over this. I have lost so many friends over the past eleven years. One day two months ago the sun started to shine when I realized that I was not alone. Little by little I have gotten back the courage to smile and laugh again.

Just For Today: I Will Find One Thing To Smile and Laugh Over.

From the book: Live Happy

Monday, June 27, 2016

Is It Any Wonder There Are Stigmas?

Is it any wonder that a stigma exists between society and those who are caught up in the addiction as well as those people who love someone using and abusing heroin when entities within the Federal Government cannot even stand on the same side?

As a blogger, I type many keywords into search engines seeking information and resources on heroin. We have a son who uses and abuses not only heroin but others as well.

I cannot remember now exactly what words I used to type into the BING search engine to come up with an interesting FACT CHECK on the heroin epidemic written by the website, Fusion.

By interesting I mean this,

The word fentanyl has now become a household word and the nightmare of every parent or person who loves someone addicted to heroin as well as among the groups who advocate. We used to only hear that word as it was associated with many stars in Hollywood who died from a heroin overdose now it is among us on our streets and it is killing people right here in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

The DEA calls it a heroin epidemic however in 2014 the CDC disagreed and said "NO" The CDC does not consider this an epidemic.
“We do not consider heroin usage as an epidemic,” said spokesperson Courtney Lenard. “Deaths rates from heroin overdose in the US were relatively stable from 1999 through 2010. We did not see the sharp increase that we would characterize as an epidemic.”
Now, all the other entities (the CDC and SAMSHA) all agree there is an opioid epidemic in this country but it's not heroin.

Now we who love someone addicted know that once our loved one is addicted it is often not just heroin. Our son was addicted to heroin first. Now it's a combo of heroin/opiates. Sometimes just opiates.

Other opioids and benzos come into action. Those addicted will combine other drugs with heroin just searching for the next bigger high. Heck, I just learned that our son is combining heroin, opioids and smoking them with Spice.

Is there any wonder that there is such as stigma around addiction and whether or not it is a disease? As well as the stigma society places on families and friends of those who use and abuse. We who love them come to that place when we have to call it was it is, a heroin addiction.

Why wouldn't these government entities call it for what it is?

Personally, I feel this way,  If they were to all come to together and agree, it would show a great failure on their part because from the late 1990's and through the 2000's heroin use has gradually risen year after year. We have the numbers of the overdoses and the deaths to prove it so how can they say there has been no increase? No epidemic?

Of course, this is just my opinion.

To read the rest of this interesting article...

© 2016 Gossip Girl

Challenge Myself: Day #15 Nourish Your Inner Being

Today is Day #15 of our Nar Anon Group Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is about meditation and relaxation

The book says,

Nourish your inner being by diving into meditative reflection, centering and grounding yourself, and endeavoring to deepen the experience.

According to Harvard scientist Herbert Benson, who has conducted studies on Buddhist meditation and the effect of the mind on the body, when you turn inward through meditation, complex activity in the brain takes place.

That activity actually calms the body, reduces the stress levels, and promotes healing. Eventually a period of quietude is reached and as your concentration deepens you experience a disconnect between the body and the mind. Some people describe that experience as one of awesome peace and joy.

I spend about fifteen minutes in the early morning meditating. For the past six months or so I am very sensitive to the energies around me, especially the negative energies. I borrowed a book from a friend and am learning how to control the balance of energy as well as maintaining the balance of my chi. This is all done through meditation, aromatherapy oils and candles.

I have had some close to me question me about why I am doing this. A few have even told me that meditating goes against the Christian Principles. To me, Spirituality can come to us in many forms. I love the peace that comes through meditation and clearing my mind.

Just For Today: I will Meditate and Concentrate on Peace and Joy

From the book: Live Happy

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Challenge Myself: Day #14 Allow Yourself Peace and Tranquility

Today is Day #14 of our Nar Anon Group Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is Retreat within to clear your mind.

The book says,

Plan a little time off just for yourself to do some inner reflection. The amount of time is not as important as getting the respite that you need. Make your time away a priority. It's a small amount of time just for you to clear your head, gather your energy, and get perspective.

Retreat to someplace peaceful where you can relax and have a break from the responsibilities of work and family. Don't know of any great retreat places?

Take your favorite book and head to the beach. If there's no ocean in your backyard, find a shady bank along the edge of a lake, creek, river or a pond- someplace where the earth and the water meet.

Sink into your beach chair, tune into the sounds of nature, open your book, and lose yourself in the story. Or, just sit back, close your eyes, and let your mind wander. You don't have to do anything while on your retreat but to make a space for tranquility and joy to fill you.

Even if it it just for one day, or just for today  it is okay to allow ourselves the space and the time for peace and tranquility away from all of this. We have to take time for ourselves because if not we are too entangled in the web of addiction to even breath. I found a good link to read,

Just For Today: I will allow myself peace and tranquility.

From the book: Live Happy
pic from: Quotes Gram

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Challenge Myself: Day #13 Indulge In Moments of Relaxation

Today is Day #13 of our Nar Anon Group Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is about Indulging in moments of relaxation.

The book says,

Your bookshelves need dusting, the dishes in the sink still stand dirty, the floor needs mopping, and you haven't even gotten around to doing the laundry, but you need a moment to deflect or discharge the worries of the day.

Take that time to indulge in something that makes you feel peaceful and relaxed.

For example, sit in a rocker and gaze at a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen counter. Walk into your garden and inspect your plants for new blossoms and blooms or green shoots. Drop some bread crumbs for the pigeons and mourning doves. Fill the bird feeder with seed for the yellow finches. Feel the wind on your face, the sun on your back, and freshness of a new moment imbued with tranquility.

Look what has been visiting one of my bird feeders lately? A beautiful woodpecker. Each and every day I am visited by this woodpecker to the trees in my yard or to one of the birdfeeders. Some people see the woodpecker as destructive and pests. I see them as neither.  To the American Indian, the woodpecker brings us good medicine.

The woodpecker speaks of not being hard-headed because they are able to use their beak to peck at trees. Woodpecker is telling us that even if something seems difficult to do, not to give up. To do what works, even if it is unconventional. To set your own pace, your own rhythm.

Just For Today: I am spending today doing nothing.

From the Book: Live Happy
picture: one of my bird feeders

Friday, June 24, 2016

What About A Treatment Center?

What a slap to the face today after hearing the Berkeley County Council is withdrawing the appeal for the zoning of 750 Baltimore St. You can read the story here:


All the hard work that was given by many the past few months, the petition- nope it will not be in vain and for nothing.

Councilman Kevin Knowles has been appointed as the County Recovery Resource Coordinator. He met with my hubby and me on June 13th to discuss his plans as far as the Recovery Resource Center at 400 W. Stephen St. We even got to tour it under construction.

His plans for this center is that it will be a meeting place. He will have an office there and any who want help to rehab or treatment will come there.

Then what?
Where will you send them?
It is being hailed as a RECOVERY Resource Center- yet that is all it will be. A place for people to come to get information on where to go to be treated for their addiction.

Councilman Knowles mentioned Recovery Pointe to us that night. Recovery Pointe here in Martinsburg would be a really good start.

We have meeting places. If we want we can go to the Library to meet.

We have Nar Anon. There are also plenty of support groups all around this town that meet everywhere.

Just what are the plans now that the appeal has been withdrawn and the plans for 750 Baltimore St. are no more, just a memory. A Tease?

Local politicians brought us a glimmer of hope of 750 Baltimore St. now all we have is a Resource Center to go to get the information on recovery centers and possibly if your group wants to meet there.


Actually, there are a lot of us who have the same information you do OR even more information.

It's Okay: Letting Go of Some Anger

Let me tell you dealing with someone you love and care for who uses and abuses heroin and other drugs are not the easiest place to be.

I have a lot of anger- towards my son, the War on Drugs, Big Pharma groups, Doctors, our sons user friends who can't seem to let him alone, The Dealers and those trafficking that poison here, society and the cruelty they dish out, politicians, the local politicians, local law enforcement because they never really chased down the source of this poison coming into our community, they only criminalized the addicted and those using and abusing. So you see,  you name it- I am angry with it. In letting go of some of that steam I vent a lot.

Those close to me I know get tired of hearing about it so I've started writing it all down just to get it out and let it release instead of holding it all in and then at an inappropriate time it releases on others. It's okay to be angry once in a while especially with dealing with someone using and abusing.

pic from Tiny Buddha

© 2016 Gossip Girl

"Do It Anyway"

I Don't Know How To Do This Anymore

In mid-April, we found our way to our local chapter of Nar-Anon. We've been attending ever since. I can honestly tell you that it has helped just surrounding ourselves even for just an hour with people who know exactly what we are going through and who understand our feelings ranging from pain to anger.

I made a commitment to myself that in order to cross the second gap I needed to let go- of a lot of things- including anger and holding grudges. I had to do this in order to let go of the insanity of loving someone using and abusing heroin, opiates and other drugs.

Honestly, I don't know if I can do this anymore. After a lot of soul searching I have come to a realization.

We are parents first in our child's lives. Parenting is guiding them through the early years, teaching them, providing the basic needs and necessities. We did all of that and more. We didn't have a lot of money so the hubby and I often went without just so we could provide for the kid's everything they needed.

Once our kids come of age we continue through life just being mom and dad.

I have come to the place in admitting a big mistake that I made. Probably the biggest no-no in the parenting book. I was the chief problem solver in the home. As the kids were growing up whenever they had a problem I always told them no problem was ever that big. Which they aren't except that I always did the problem solving for them. I never guided them through the problem in order for them to work it out themselves. I did it for them.

Now what I am left with is four adult kids who cannot work out and solve their own problems because I always did it for them. They have come to me for advice many times as adults. No problem right? Wrong.

They have twisted the advice and honestly they've never stepped up to the plate. I could give many examples which I won't. I won't be here all of their lives. They have to learn to do this on their own. Either sink or swim. If they have to live this life by themselves, they will sink. They already are sinking.

So here I am at a place in life where I have to admit it. Honestly I do not know how to be the mother of an addicted child. This chapter of life was not in any of the parenting books I ever read. There is no scripts to read. I don't know how to do this anymore. The mothering part in me wants me to fix it and make it all better again. I can't fix this.

After eleven years of going through this I feel like I just want to yell "UNCLE" and be done. I'm KO'd in this round. Game Over!

We used to eat healthier, now I've noticed that our diet has gone to hell. We used to go to the gym three days a week. We haven't been there in a year and still continue to pay the dues each month. We are forgetting how to live our lives.

We've been working through the steps of Nar Anon. You know, admitting we are powerless over addiction? Admitting the Insanity of addiction?

Through all of this, we have forgotten to live our lives. I have given this 100% of my time and my energy and I do not know how to do this anymore.

© 2016 Gossip Girl

Challenge Myself: Day #12 Pamper Yourself

Today is Day #12 of our Nar Anon Group Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is a big one. Today it is to take a moment for yourself and pamper yourself.

We should allow ourselves at least a few moments a day. The book says,

You don't need a reason to indulge in some sensual pleasure. Put a blooming orchid in your bathroom for a super sensual feast for the eyes.

Orchids are known for their lush and colorful blooms that can last for weeks. All they need is a little light, warmth and moisture. The bathroom is a perfect place for that environment.

Put them in a colorful urn, glazed pottery or terra cotta pot. Put it on a windowsill, shelf or plant stand.

Put on some music. Draw a bath of water. Drop in your favorite scented oil and a few orchid blooms. On a tray or small table nearby, place a flute of sparkling cider, champagne or wine, a chocolate truffle a scented candle and a book.

Take your time, close your eyes, luxuriate, and let the cares and concerns to float away if only just for now. When you step out of your bath and back into the world, you will feel renewed and ready to meet whatever challenges there may be or coming your way.

Just For Today: I will take a moment just for myself.

From the book: Live Happy

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Community Event: Life Or Drugs

This event is being held in Morgan County West Virginia...
For More information on this event Click Life or Drugs

Update On Our Son

If you've been reading here or you know us personally then you know that our son has had a problem with addiction to heroin, opiates and other drugs for the past eleven years.

The last I wrote about him we did not know where he was in this county. We still don't know where he is but he has been reaching out to his brother at least once a week and staying in contact with his brother. I have comfort in knowing at least he is reaching out to someone.

This week I will once again try to reach out to him myself but for months he has me blocked from his phone. I get a little-recorded message on the first ring that he isn't taking calls at this time. I'm not dumb. I know he has blocked me.

I've sent him texts with information on where and to whom he can reach out to today, but we know this has to be something that he wants for himself. I've had well-meaning people tell me, "just drag his ass there." They don't understand this addiction. If that was the solution we would have already done that.

Although dealing with this first hand with our son, I often reach out to others who are suffering from loving someone addicted to this powerful drug.

We still don't know where our son is at or who he is hanging around with. I just pray each day that he is one day closer to wanting to be free of his addiction and to heal.

© 2016 Gossip Girl

Challenge Myself: Day #11 Notice Synchronicity

Today is Day #9 of our Nar Anon Group Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is to take notice of the coincidences in our life.

The book says,

When coincidence shows up in your life, bringing you just what you wanted, you might shrug it off as one of those once-in-a-lifetime incidents.

But begin to notice how frequently it happens and feel joyful when it does because you are attracting synchronicity into your life.

When you desire for example, to fall in in love with a gorgeous guy and suddenly he shows up sending you a "wink" or greeting on your online dating site, consider becoming his pen pal.

You never know what could develop.

Another example of this is that you are having a bad day and out of the blue a friend calls to ask how you are doing, or sends a card or a small vase of flowers. There are lots of examples of synchronicity.

The more you notice such synchronistical events, the more you embrace and encourage them, the more they will happen. Feel happy and expectant when they do.

I know that my mind is often so wrapped up with my son that often I don't notice even the small gestures of kindness made by others. Even when they are by coincidence. We've had people close to us talk behind our backs for so long that even small gestures of kindness are often overlooked and mistaken. Sometimes what we are looking for comes at a time when we are not looking at all.

Just For Today: I will stop and take notice of the coincidences that occur around me.

From the Book: Live Happy
pic from: Quotes Gram

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

10 Things You Have To Give Up To Move Forward


Challenge Myself: Day #10 Be Happy With Yourself

Today is Day #10 of our Nar Anon Group, Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into the Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is, A Happy You. It's okay to be happy with yourself.

Today's challenge is about loving yourself. For many of us age can sometimes be a  factor and you start to lose self esteem. Loving someone who is addicted can leave you with so many emotions. Just love yourself for who you are.

The book says,

Do you have an inner critic that constantly reminds you that your nose is too big OR you hips are too wide OR your chest is too flat Think of three wonderful things you love about yourself and write them on a card. They don't have to be your physical attributes; they could include things like "I love my compassionate nature," or "I love my ability to immediately put other people at ease," of "I love the fact that I have great inner strength."

Tape the card to your mirror, computer, refrigerator, or other place where you can frequently be reminded of the gifts that are uniquely yours!

I know it is hard allowing yourself these things. Remember inner beauty is just as important. If you love someone using and abusing you may find yourself snappy with others at times. I do that a lot because of being so stressed out.

Just For Today: I will let go of stress.

From the book: Live Happy
pic from Quotes Valley

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Challenge Myself: Day #9 Quiet Your Mind

Today is Day #9 of our Nar Anon Group Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is a quiet mind.

The book says,

Focus on your thinking at the start of every day.

When you first wake up...

Are your thoughts already rushing through your to-do list?
Are your thoughts jumping from one subject to another through thought associations?
Did a troubling dream leave you anxious, angry or fearful upon awakening?

If you have answered yes to any of the questions, spend ten minutes before you even get out of bed doing a mental check in.

Take deep breaths and be aware of your entire body. Feel anchored and center yourself. Quiet your mind. Think positive thoughts. Dial out the emotions of a bad dream or the anxieties of work or even the day ahead.

Relax in peace. The world can wait ten minutes.

Our son uses and abuses heroin and opiates. My mind always seems to be racing from one emotion to the next. I am sensitive to a lot of things around me especially when things are out of balance as well as negative and positive energy.

I have had to let go of a lot of emotions just to get from yesterday to today.

I start each day allowing myself fifteen minutes each morning just meditating. I put on soothing music, I light incense, a few candles and delve into my oils for my aromatherapy. This has been a part of my daily routine for the past two months. It has helped so much.

Just For Today: I will not allow my inner peace to be disturbed by things or people outside of my control.

From the book: Live Happy

Monday, June 20, 2016

The SG Calls For More Funds

I don't know about you guys but I would love to know about the numbers. For instance the Federal and State money of $3.74 Billion already going on substance abuse, addiction, treatment, and prevention.

Especially since only 1.9% of that money is even used for which they say- substance abuse, addiction, treatment, and prevention.

It's a well-known fact when you follow the money, you will get the answer you seek. I would love to chase the paper and the money trail of all of this money already and now more money being proposed.

West Virginia is the only state to report a higher opioid-overdose death rate than New Mexico, could receive as much as $10 million under the new budget proposal. Click to read more...

Challenge Myself: Day #8 A Happy You

Today is Day #8 of our Nar Anon Group Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into the Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is, A Happy You.

I know it is hard in loving someone suffering from this addiction but it is okay to allow yourself to be happy. I know it is hard. I've lived it now for eleven years with our son. It often can just start with a smile. (Day #2 of the Challenge- Smile More Often) Personally I can tell you this week of the challenge has been pretty good week and it started with Day #2.

The book says,

"Put a picture of a yourself- of the younger, thinner, happier you- on your desk."

If you don't have a desk, put the picture where you can look at it all of the time.

"Gaze at the image of yourself in the picture looking fabulous. It can move a mountain of negative thought, boost your self esteem, and make you feel good.

Find a picture of yourself when you felt the most happiest and alive. Frame it and put it where you can easily see it.

If you have pictures but none are that great?

No problem. Use graphic programs or digital image tools to rework your scanned photo or image. Erase the wrinkles, shift the curves, and turn back the clock.

Have fun creating a fabulous looking new you.

Gaze at the picture when you need a little dose of happiness. Let it spark some good vibes."

The object of this challenge is A Happy You. As time has went on we often have to search for a reminder of happier time. There was a time that we were very happy. It is also okay to take a current picture and photo shop it to boost your self esteem. Have fun with today's challenge.

The picture I have chosen to use for my challenge was one that was taken on my wedding day. This was one of the happiest days in my life starting a brand new life with my soul mate.

Just For Today: I will look beyond the imperfections

From the book Live Happy

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Challenge Myself: Day #7 It's Okay To Praise Yourself

Today is day #7 of our Bridge Builders Nar-Anon groups Just For Today Challenge. I am integrating our Just For Today challenge along with the Live Happy Challenge. Today's Live Happy Challenge is to praise yourself. It says,

"You praise your children, your friends, your co-workers, and your spouse whenever they accomplish something praiseworthy, so why not give yourself a one minute praising for all of your accomplishments?

In doing so you're not being a braggart or egotistical when you acknowledge some wonderful task or a breakthrough you made during your day. You undoubtedly work very hard and probably accomplish much that no one but you recognizes.

If you finally played a piano libretto all the way through or found some ingenious way to increase the family budget, tell yourself how wonderfully brilliant and accomplished you are.

Bask in the glory of the moment. You deserve it!"

Some may say that in giving yourself a little praise that you are big headed and will be quick to offer criticism of you and Call you conceited.

Phooey!!! It is okay to give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Mother Theresa once said,
"The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow, do good anyway."

Just For Today: I will find one thing to praise myself for, and tell myself- good job.

From the book: Live Happy

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Once Upon A Time Before Heroin...

Challenge Myself: Day #6 Hope When Disaster Hits

Today is Day #6 of our Nar Anon Group Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into the Challenge. Today is about Cultivating Hope When Disaster Hits. The book says,

"If something isn't going well in your life-your child becomes ill, a car broadsides your vehicle in a parking lot, you overdraw your bank account or the taxi you are riding in on the way to your most important meeting of your life gets ensnarled in traffic- have hope that circumstances will shift and the situation will improve or be resolved.

Find the courage to work to change what isn't good right now. Rather than allowing stress, anxiety to fill you with worry and stress, try to feel hopeful. It will be better for you emotionally and physically."

What a good lesson this is on Hope. Never give up. Try to feel hopeful even when everything around us feels like it is crashing down upon us. Remember: Hope is what keeps us going even in our darkest hours. Our hope is what motivates us to keep going- to keep trying. Never give up on Hope no matter how hard the situation is right now.

Just for Today: When things feel Hopeless I will realize that out of difficulties grow miracles.

From the book: Live Happy
Pic is from Lotti's World

Friday, June 17, 2016

It's Okay to Allow Yourself to Be Happy

For the past week The Bridge Builders have been doing a Just For Today Challenge. I have integrated the Live Happy Challenge into my Just For Today. If you love an addict you know that many days it feels as if the world is crumbling around us. It is okay to allow yourself to be happy, if only just for today.

Found at Images Quotes

Challenge Myself: Day #5 Don't Hold a Grudge

Today is Day #5 of the Just For Today Challenge and also the  Live Happy Challenge. Today is about Harboring a Grudge. When I turned the page and saw today's challenge I couldn't believe it. Yesterdays challenge was to change one of our faults and one of my biggest faults is holding onto grudge, anger and resentment. Those were the wolves that I was feeding.

The book says,

Holding onto anger, resentment and hostility hurts you

Thursday, June 16, 2016

We Need A Full Investigation Into the FDA Pay-To-Play Scandal

I found this article by Health Impact News. Earlier this month, the Washington Post exposed the FDA for taking part in a blatant “pay-to-play” scheme: companies paid as much as $25,000 to attend meetings with FDA officials to shape policy on how drug manufacturers can prove the “safety and effectiveness” of painkillers.

Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia—one of the states hardest hit by the painkiller epidemic—is now calling for a full investigation of the FDA’s role in these meetings.

Ask your senators to add their voice to Sen. Manchin’s in calling for a full Senate probe! After reading you will find the information at the bottom.

The article from Impact Health News says,

I was disappointed to learn of the FDA's role in what appears to be a blatant "pay-to-play" scheme: earlier this month, a Washington Post investigation revealed that drug companies paid as much as $25,000 to attend meetings with FDA officials to shape the agency's policy on painkillers.

Restoring The Sanity Back Into Our Lives

Well, I can say I am finally there. Step Two of Nar Anon is:

Believing that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Yes I admit it. I love an addict and surrounded my entire life with the emotions associated with the addict in our life. Anger, hurt, resentments and grudge- just to name a few. Loving our addict has occupied a significant amount of time, energy and YES thought. The thoughts are based entirely on the addict I love and on fixing him.

If I could just fix him that means I can change him, right?

Soon all of this manifested into a total obsession around our
addict. This obsession hasn't allowed time for anything else. In admitting we were powerless it opened the window of time to fill that void. We are as addicted to our addict as he is to heroin. Just how in the world did things get this messed up?

That realization is that loving our addict we have accepted that we were less sane because of the insanity addiction and our own personal addict we love and all that it has created in our lives.

All of the focus has been on, What If we did this or that?  This has now become a normal routine in our lives. We didn't realize that we have focused that much time, attention and energy. Now we are drained. All that I am aware of now is the negative energy and the oppression around my life and our home.

The insanity and challenges of doing the same thing over and over again repetitively and expecting something different to change have left me with what I call, carpal tunnel of the brain. I do believe in a Higher Power but the focus on our addict caused so many questions, like Why Us? Why Are We Having To Go Through This? We were all created for a purpose what purpose is there in addiction?

After eleven years of dealing with heroin abuse and this crazy ride on the Addiction Tilt-A-Wheel ride in some amusement park, I didn't want to be at in the first place somewhere along the way I lost belief of returning any sanity to our lives.

There was no way ever that I was going to accept our son's addiction as some, Que' Sera Sera. Whatever will be, will be. But then I had to realize the rest of the words to that song says, The future's not ours to see.

There it was right there in front of me the whole time.

I didn't realize that in asking so many questions and being faced with all of the doubts and uncertainties of this addiction that I have lost some faith along the way. Faith that our addict can recover from this hold heroin has on his life right now.

In this release, I have had to realize that spirituality comes to us in many forms. In accepting that there is a Higher Power that can restore our sanity I have had to keep an open mind. Along with the Nar-Anon Promise, We will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.

In these eleven years, I have held tightly onto anger, hurt, resentment and grudge. This was my retreat whenever I felt threatened to let go. That too is another step I will need to cross in time.

This week I've been doing Nar-Anon Challenges with our group leaders, Tina and Lisa and didn't realize that the answer was right in front of me the whole time.

I have released the powers of anger, hurt, resentment and grudge. In doing this I had to change my prayers. Instead of praying for a change to come to the addict we love, I prayed for a change in my own life.

I cannot control yesterday. It is just a memory now. I cannot control tomorrow because tomorrow isn't even promised to me. I can only control today. I will make the best of everything I do today even if it is just for right now.

And as the saying goes...

Now that I am pushed to the edge I have to trust Him. Only two things can happen now. Either He will catch me when I fall, or He will teach me how to fly!

Heavenly Father,
I know in my heart that only you can restore me to sanity. I humbly ask that you remove all twisted thought and addictive behavior from me this day.

Heal my spirit & restore in me a clear mind. I pray for an open mind so I may come to believe in a Power greater than myself. I pray for humility & the continued opportunity to increase my faith and allow me just one day at a time.

The Insanity of Loving A Heroin Addict
© 2016 Gossip Girl

The Fray - How to Save a Life

Challenge Myself: Day #4 Change One of Your Faults

Today is day #4 of the Nar Anon Just for today Challenge. Today's Happiness Challenge is to change one of your faults.

Everyone has faults, but that doesn't mean that you are stuck with yours. Pick one you would like to change or eliminate. Take time to do a little self examination with complete honesty.

Do you frequently gossip?
Do you have a short temper or quick fuse?
Do you procrastinate and avoid facing problems until they snowball out of control? OR

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Martinsburg Renew Events

This Is For Kyle and Carrie

This is for Kyle and Carrie. This song is a big reminder. Our son Kyle had a very good woman who stood by his side for as long as she could. He had a nice life and he let it all go for his abusing drugs.


I just don't get it. I guess it isn't for me to understand. Whenever I hear this song it reminds me of  you and Carrie. Kyle, I told you several years ago when you first met Carrie after all of the bad years in a toxic marriage of using and abusing drugs with your ex. I told you that diamonds are rare and that when you find a diamond, it a treasure to find one. Keep that diamond close to you always because they sometimes only come once in your lifetime.


We wish for all the world when you first knew that he was having trouble maintaining sobriety and had started using and abusing again that you would have reached out to us instead of hiding behind it for a year and a half. We may or may not have been able to intercede at that time. We cannot look back on the shoulda done, the coulda done and the woulda done now.

Loving an addict is a lonely place to be. You continue to care about them while they continue to prove how little they care about themselves and care only for their addiction to the drug. Eventually you have to walk away just to save yourself. We understand why you couldn't hang on.

~His Parents~

The Hardest Thing Is...

If you love an addict you know the hardest thing is
Coldplay: Fix You

Learning that as much as we'd love to we cannot fix them.

Challenge: Day #2 Smile More Often

Today's Challenge from the Book, 365 Days To Happiness is to Smile More Often

My Nar Anon Challenge Today :

Just For Today I will Smile even if I don't feel like smiling.

Right now for no reason at all force yourself to smile. Try it, it's

Challenging Myself: Day #3 Find Serenity And Peace

Today is day #3 of the Nar Anon Just for today Challenge. It is funny that todays Happiness challenge is about Serenity and we know that is a big part of Nar Anon. Lord knows that I need some peace and serenity in my life right now. Even if it is just for today.

We say it in the Serenity Prayer each week at Nar Anon...

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Today's Live Happy is about Aromatherapy and meditation which has been a big part of my daily routine since January. I love that

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

WV SB 700 The Bill to Authorize BC to Own/Operate a Drug Treatment Center here in Martinsburg

We also cannot forget what happened earlier this year when WV Senate defeated WV SB 700 with 11 YES to 23 NO which was a low blow dealt to many of us here in Berkeley County and Martinsburg who love someone addicted to heroin, opiates and other drugs.

In case you are wondering, This is was the bill, SB 700 BILL

The Bill to authorize the Berkeley County Council to own or

Mayor of Martinsburg (WV) Reads Drug Initiative At Meeting

 The struggle against the heroin epidemic plaguing the Mountain State was once again a hot topic at Thursday night’s Martinsburg City Council meeting.
Several members of the public stressed their concerns that they haven’t heard any updates from the council on their plans of action to deal with the issue, with one man even providing a petition with 1,000 signatures requesting answers from the city. Click to

The First Steps in Healing and Recovery For Martinsburg/Berkeley County WV

Yesterday evening we were invited to a sit down meeting with Councilman Kevin Knowles who has also been appointed as Berkeley County's Community Recovery Services Coordinator. He invited us to tell him about our son Kyle who has struggled with heroin and opiate addiction now for the past eleven years and to tell us his plans for the future of Martinsburg and Berkeley County as it relates to the heroin, opiate and drug problem we have here.

He shared with us his plans for his Recovery Resource Center and we got to visit the center which is still under construction and is

Monday, June 13, 2016

Challenging Myself: Day #1 Choose To Think Happy Thoughts

It was suggested by our Nar Anon Leader, Tina as part of our group, The Bridge Builders and as part of the Nar Anon Just For Today to challenge ourselves each day.

"Everyday I want to challenge myself with something positive to do. if you would like to join please comment what your positive thing is for that day or comment on what you did to follow mine.
just for today - I am going to laugh out loud once every hour. (even if things aren't funny)"

Oh I know I need this little experiment. I harbor so many ill feelings toward a certain person and it

Friday, June 10, 2016

Just How Many Are Affected...

The numbers are staggering and depressing. Here are yet a few stats and figures for this great country we live in: In this country

23 Million Americans are classified as dependent on heroin, opiates, pain killers and other forms of illicit drugs.
Of those 11 Million Americans are between the ages of 12 years old and 29 years of age.

Amazing huh?

90% of that 23 Million are NOT getting the treatment needed to

Astounding Figures For Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties

BERKELEY COUNTY, WV From 2001-2014 Berkeley County West Virginia lost 109 people to heroin and opiate addiction.

MORGAN COUNTY, WV From 2001- 2014 Morgan County West Virginia lost 13 people to heroin and opiates addiction.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, WV From 2001-2014 Jefferson County West Virginia lost 28 people to heroin and opiate addiction.

EQUALS: 150 lives lost to heroin and opiate addiction in these three
counties in the last 14 years.


The human lives that have been lost and the families who have suffered a lost and those suffering now because someone they love is addicted to heroin and opiates.

The Fact Is

That heroin and opiate addiction will continue taking more and more lives because of the approach our government has taken over the last fourteen years. In my honest opinion our government is about five years a little late in realizing the BIG PICTURE!!! That we had a real problem here in West Virginia and that Big Pharma went unaccounted for too many years in this state.

The figures here doesn't include the lives lost in 2015
or to date 2016

Data for this post from Data Viz
pic from Wikipedia

This Is Me Still Waiting On A Reply Back

So I wanted to let you folks know that last night we turned in our petition to the council for the proposed treatment center. Yes, I got emotional talking about it as always. It hit me in a moment that here we are standing there trying to convince a group of people our leaders of something we need so badly here for our local people and meanwhile people are still dying and will continue to die. People are still overdosing and that will continue because I wonder just how many of those overdosing are actually still waiting on a bed at a treatment center. I didn't even make it to my main point because

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Mr Mayor, City Council...

Mr Mayor Martinsburg City Council

We are the parents of a 31 y/o son. He has battled a heroin and opiate addiction for the last 11 years. He has 2 sons ages 9 and 11. Five minutes is not enough time to tell you what this drug has done to not only our son, but our family. We are not alone.

We were here last month about the proposed treatment center on Baltimore St and we

It's Too Late To Turn Back Now

I remember those times of hearing my heart calling but I did not understand it's meaning.

I remember asking the Dear Lord one day, What is it that I should do? Where should I go?

I remember signing onto Facebook and an invite to the Berkeley County Heroin Awareness group- I joined. There I found many just like us yet the calling in my heart only grew louder.

Until one day I asked, What is it that I should do? Lord, lead the

Monday, June 6, 2016

It Seems To Fall On Deaf Ears

On May 12th I stood in front of the Mayor of Martinsburg and the City Council (those few that attended the meeting) and read our petition to them. I also told them on that day that this reaches into our schools here. In light of the recent OD's and the two deaths of the young Spring Mills High School Graduates and students I wonder if my words fell on deaf ears that day? Did they not believe me that this has already reached into the school system here in Martinsburg and Berkeley County?

I have no clue what more it is going to take for our leaders to wisen up to this problem here. How many more will need to die while our leaders set idly by?

It is really amazing the struggle in getting people just to sign the

A Young Voice Speaking Out About Our Heroin Epidemic Here

It is such a great thing to know that the younger generation is starting to speak out and joining in the fight

This video was made by Courtney Tomes, "After hearing about a recent passing of a peer due to a drug overdose, I had an idea to record myself talking to a friend about the drug epidemic in my area. Within the last few years some major drugs have made a huge impact on this community. It has always affected this area, however it just continues to get worse. I decided to share this video in hopes to raise awareness about this issue."

Thank you so much Courtney. It took a lot of courage for you to stand up and speak out among your peers. Thank you for all that you are doing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Are We To Assume This Is How It Works?

We are caught up in the web and snare of this Heroin Epidemic here in this town only because we have a son who is addicted to heroin and opiates. A son who too got caught up in this dark web.

I am so freaking tired of those who say, Not my problem, not my money. We too pay our taxes.

We too pay all the other bureaucratic fees applied on top of that such as for the ambulance and fire when the conversation

Educating Is The First Step

Whenever I see an opening in conversation I like to throw in some education on heroin, opiates, drugs and addiction.

When I read, see or hear some trash talk conversation or those seem to talk clueless about heroin and addiction I normally start with:

Not one person ever wakes up one morning, bored and says, "hmmmm I think I'll become a heroin addict today."

If We Do Nothing...

About a month ago I held a Community Awakening, Memorial and Vigil to bring attention to our growing heroin epidemic here in Berkley County, West Virginia.

This event was to bring us all together in one place. That place is the site of the proposed treatment center here in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

About fifty people attended from various groups here in the county. All of us coming together as one. The goal I had in mind then is still the goal I have in mind today. We have to make them see in such a way that they cannot deny this problem any longer. This will not go away on it's own.

Although a month ago I still remember the words of Mr. James Boyd that day when he said,

"If we do nothing this will hit those who haven't even made it here yet."

Boy was he right. Yesterday I learned that three young people from our county who just graduated from high school six days ago are dead from an overdose. There was a graduation party this past weekend and from the stories I am hearing about it they apparently bought what they thought was cocaine. It was either pure heroin or it was cocaine laced with heroin I'm not sure which since our county officials- Sheriffs Department- has not come forward to the news paper with this story.

I am saddened, but I am not shocked or surprised.

I am saddened that another family is going through this; yet I'm not shocked or surprised that this has happened.