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

Getting Off The Crazy Ride of Addiction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pic from Facebook
© 2017 Gossip Girl

Challenge Myself: Day #230 Build a Model

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

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

The book says,

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

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

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

from the book: Live Happy

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Language Letting Go

Found @ Lessons Learned in Life

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

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

The book says,

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

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

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

From the book: Live Happy

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Community Event: The Anonymous People

#PreventionPower: National Prevention Week

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

After the April A-Z Blog Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Challenge Myself: Day #228 Teach a Cooking Class

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

The book says,

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

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

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

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

 From the book: Live Happy

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Challenge Myself: Day #227 Join a Hobby Association

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

The book says,

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

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

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

From the book: Live Happy

Friday, May 5, 2017

United States: A Look at the History of Addiction Treatment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Infograph from
© 2017 Gossip Girl

Challenge Myself: Day #226 Learn Pottery

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

The book says,

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

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

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

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

From the book: Live Happy

Thursday, May 4, 2017

BC Health Department Harm Reduction

Bikers Against Heroin Poker Run Event

Challenge Myself: Day #225 Learn to do Beading

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

The book says,

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

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

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

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

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

pic from Pinterest
From the book: Live Happy

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Challenge Myself: Day #224 Learn Stained Glass

 Today is Day #224 of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is to take a stained glass class.

The book says,

Learn the art and craft of creating a beautiful piece of a stained glass by signing up for a hands-on class. A class can provide you with an in-depth exploration of the types of glass productions, materials needed for a project, the design work of a window or panel, and other ingredients necessary to produce a stained glass project.

While your instructor will be able to teach you the basics, it is often through hands-on work that you gain a comprehensive understanding of the art form. You'll meet new people in your stained glass class and, who knows, one or more of them might become friends with whom you can spend happy hours creating works of art. In time, you might even choose to organize a show, establish an art collective, or sell your creations through word of mouth.

If this is a hobby that interests you, check on Pinterest. There are tons of ideas on that site. The pic above is the Tree of Life that I found on Pinterest. Also, don't forget to check out Etsy. That is also a site for crafts and hobbies.

Links of Interest:
Beginner Stained Glass Kits
Stained Glass for Dummies
Free Stained Glass Patterns for Hobbyist
Hobby Lobby 

pic from Pinterest
From the book: Live Happy

Live Happy: Spend Happy Hours on a Hobby

The Challenge of Live Happy Healthy came to an to an end on March 31st. I stopped blogging the Live Happy Challenges for the month of April so that I could participate in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge.

I have had a couple emails over the past month asking about the challenges which I promised to restart after April. I found a few useful tips. I hope you found something useful.

The next section of challenges is about spending happy hours on a hobby. I have several hobbies.  One is reading. A few summers ago I read 96 books from June 1st until mid-August. One hobby I recently connected back to is painting. I haven't painted in many years. A few months ago I grabbed some acrylics and a canvas and started painting again. I am trying to keep watch on the Paint Nite events in my town in the hopes of being able to go.

Another hobby is for a little time I made a few jewelry pieces- mainly for myself. I have made several pieces that are my favorites that I made using crystals. There are so many things I like to do and used to do often- crocheting is another hobby. I haven't crocheted in about five years now. I need to reconnect with my hobbies.

If you think about it, enjoying time with your hobbies can bring us happiness and just a little peace into our lives. Especially when we finish our projects. Pinterest is a very good place to start.

Do you have any hobbies? If so, what are yours? Hopefully, there will be something for everyone in this next set of challenges.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the continuance of the Live Happy Challenge and Happy May Day to those who celebrate!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Get Plenty of ZZZZ's

Today is the last day for the April Blog Challenge and the day for the letter Z. This month has been a real ride, hasn't it?

First I want to thank all of those who guest posted this month. They were:

Dee and The Bikers Against Heroin

Lori from Swadley Studios and her story in photos, The Fifty Two Addicts Project

Tina, Lisa, and Tara of The Hope Dealer Project

Kevin Bowman from The Lazarus House

Officer Andrew Garcia of MPD and Martinsburg Renew, and

Dr. John Aldis who helped answer a few questions I have and offered information about Medical Marijuana post on April 20th.

Justin a blog reader who gave his personal story in Voice of Recovery.

Jackie Cortez, of The Prevention Coalition who has often offered suggestions and links to awareness of the dangers of heroin. 

Thank you to all of you who stopped by this month to read. Many thanks to those who left comments and to those who continue to send email, thank you. Also, I would like to thank Mr. Arlee Bird for the opportunity to blog in the April Challenge as well as all of the moderators this year.

This definitely is a challenge like none other. First was coming up with ideas of posts for each letter and keeping to the theme of Addiction, Recovery, Hope, and Healing. The challenge in some cases was writing those posts out. I work full time and was amazed that I was able to keep up although I did get a little behind on the commenting. Be patient I am still catching up.

My Internet went on the fritz this past week. Wouldn't you know it? I was into the last stretch and it goes bonkers, but it does that every year during this challenge for some reason. I was able to post each day, but afterward, the Internet was crawling at snail pace and made it challenging to get to others links.

The comment link list while I understand the need for it, it was a challenge every day. I found out the hard way that if I didn't post my link that sometime during the afternoon it would not allow the link to be left say after work at 5 PM.

Now it is time to rest and get some ZZZZ's even if only for a few cat naps. I have posts that didn't make the A-Z Cut which I'll be posting over the next few weeks. I hope if you've liked the posts this month that you will bookmark and return to read more information.

The road along this addiction pathway has been a long rocky road. There are still more challenges ahead as we face tomorrow. I wish not one other person ever had to go through loving someone who loves heroin more.

Now, as promised... The results of the poll from April 1st, the first day of the challenge and my post, Addiction Is...

According to the stats page, 142 people read the post and fourteen participated in the poll. Here are the results of that poll.
Do you think that addiction is a disease?
Yes it is 93%13 
No it is not 7%
Maybe I need more proof 0%
I'm still trying to decide 0%
No Opinion 0%
This doesn't affect me or my family 0%
14 total 

I will also once again be posting the daily Live Happy Challenges starting tomorrow for those who were reading them.

Post credits
poll results
Letter pic Blogging A-Z

© 2017 Gossip Girl

Saturday, April 29, 2017

You Are Worth It

Tomorrow is the last day of the April Blogging Challenge and the day for the letter Y. 

To those of you who haven't made it here to this please know that all the tears that have fallen and all the love from a mother's heart will never be enough to keep someone you love from a powerful drug like heroin.

If you love someone struggling with drug addiction I want you to know you are not alone. Don't try to do this all on your own. Reach out for help. Go to some meetings to get some information. Read the postings from the April A-Z Blog Challenge as I have posted a lot of information this month relating to drug abuse and those in our community who are dedicated to fighting against this heroin epidemic and to those helping. Ask for help. Reach out to them.

In the past year together we have all made a difference here. Just look at where we were last year and where we are today. We have taken some leaps and bounds. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts this month for the blog challenge. 

To those in recovery from drug addiction and to those in current active use

It doesn't matter if you've been clean for five minutes, five days, five months or five years 
Be proud of where you are in your sobriety. No milestone is too small to be insignificant! 
You Can Do IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Letter pic Blogging A-Z

Friday, April 28, 2017

eXpressing Emotions

We are in the last few days of the A-Z Blog Challenge. It doesn't seem possible that April went by so quickly. Today is the day for the letter X, a rather tricky letter, isn't it? Especially when trying to apply it to the theme of Addiction, Recovery, Hope, and Healing. I found it, however. Today is about eXpressing Emotions. I sometimes have a problem with that.

I have gotten a little better. It is better to concentrate the negative emotions into I HATE HEROIN.

I don't hate my son but I hate what this drug has done to my son. I hate what this drug has turned him into. I hate what this drug has done to my family unit.

Last year, it seems all I did was cry a lot. This year I have turned the anger and the pain into telling others about heroin, what this drug will do to someone you love,

I get asked a lot, oh my God, what do you do after?

Well, honestly, after you've been through this for all of these years you eventually stop keeping it all inside and you write. Well, I write it all out anyway. Then of course sometimes you just get a blog page and start blogging it all out.

I am the type of person I have a habit of keeping everything inside and then one day something happens or something is said and it all just explodes without warning.

Many of the personal stories and posts are written from the many emotions associated with loving a son addicted to this powerful drug. At times this is all my emotions at the same time

YES- I am mad!
YES- I am angry!
YES- Sometimes I vent and rant!
YES- Sometimes I am happy!


YES- Sometimes I am all of the above at the same time.

All of which are natural responses by the way when you love someone addicted to heroin and other drugs!

If I want to be mad, angry, vent and rant at that... so be it! I am allowed all of those emotions!

I wish not one other person would ever get addicted. I know that is far from reality.
I wish not one other parent or loved one ever had to go through this with someone they love. I know that too is far from reality right now.
I wish not one other family had to go through losing a loved one to this addiction.

Sadly, I don't see the light at the end of that tunnel so I'll keep blogging along the road that I am in the hopes that others will read the information and my stories and find Hope and Healing.

Credits for this post
pic from: Keep Calm and Carry On
Letter pic Blogging A-Z

© 2017 Gossip Girl

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What Is Heroin Anyway?

Today we are just days away until the end of the April Blogging Challenge. Today is the letter W and I'd like to talk about the problem in my town as well as all over the country, heroin. What is heroin anyway? 

I get asked that question a lot. Of course, when I typed it in search it brought up the trusty Wikipedia definition of it, Heroin. Then, of course, there are the bands and songs named after it.

When I Googled that question it came up with, heroin is a highly addictive analgesic drug derived from morphine often used illicitly as a narcotic producing euphoria.

To put it in words everyone can understand, heroin is a highly addictive and illegal drug. Many

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Voice of Recovery

Today is the day for the letter V for the April Blogging Challenge. I am excited to be hosting a special guest posting, Jay Rosen who is a voice of recovery. 

Jay is but one of the many voices of those who have suffered from a drug addiction and also found the way to recovery. Those who read this blog love to hear stories of success. On March 27, 2017, Jay was one year free and clean from his addiction. 

Congratulations! Jay reached out to me last month wanting to tell his story. 

Here is Jay's Story: A Personal Story of Addiction & Recovery:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Under the Influence: Life In Martinsburg, WV

This is the last week of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. Today my post is about Living under the Influence of a powerful drug like heroin. I have posted a lot of information this month relating to this epidemic, how this has affected a small town in West Virginia as well as my family and the groups here locally who are helping those find recovery offering a better life without heroin and addiction. Groups helping those suffering find, hope, and healing.

Life for many hasn't been great along this stretch of the heroin

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Twelve Steps

Today we only have another week left of the April Blogging Challenge and the day for the letter T.  How are you doing? Still keeping up? Today is the letter T and I'd like to talk about the Twelve Steps.

According to Wikipedia, The twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addictioncompulsion, or other behavioral problems. Originally proposed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a method of recovery from alcoholism, the Twelve Steps were first published in the 1939 book Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism. The method was adapted and became the foundation of other twelve-step programs.

Over time other organizations have adopted these Steps as a basic self-help healing guide. From A.A. to N.A. down to the family oriented programs of Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. These programs are for

Saturday, April 22, 2017

There are No Casseroles: Fighting Against the Stigma

Today we are only about a week away from the end of the April A-Z Challenge. I must say, challenge this has been coming up with a topic to write about for each letter of the alphabet and staying within the theme, but I have enjoyed every minute of the long haul bringing to you awareness of the disease of addiction as well as this heroin epidemic which continues to plague many cities across the U.S.

On this side of the addiction, that is those of us who love someone addicted to powerful drugs such as heroin we have faced many uphill battles. One of the battles is that of the stigma relating to addiction and especially to heroin. 

I wish not one other person had to suffer and not one other family had to go through the tragedy of

Friday, April 21, 2017

Relapse and Recovery

Today is the day for the letter R for the April Blogging Challenge. I have chosen today to tell you about Relapse. What is a relapse? First, you have to understand that heroin is not a drug that you can just stop using at will. 

A relapse is described as it relates to addiction as "alcohol or drug relapse is the recurrence of any disease that has gone into remission or recovery. As a chronic disease, addiction is subject to periods of relapse. During the recovery process, you may become exposed to certain triggers and other risk factors that increase your risk of returning to substance abuse."

NIH describes it as, Sometimes people quit their drug use for a while, but start using again no matter how hard they try not to. This return to drug use is called a relapse. People recovering from

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Questions About Medical Marijuana

Today is the day for a challenging letter, the letter Q and the third week of the April A-Z Blog Challenge. Are you blogging to the challenge? Keeping up? 

For my post today the letter Q is about questions and boy do I have a lot of them especially when it relates to the heroin epidemic or just about any drug for that matter. Today, I have a lot of questions about the Marijuana debate and Marijuana X.

Today seems pretty insignificant. In the April A-Z Challenge, it is the day for the letter Q and often hard letter to write a topic. It is one of the letters of the alphabet that is hard to find words when applying it to a theme. Today is also April 20th. Maybe that is also insignificant to you but to stoners, it is 4/20 and their day to celebrate.

I know I've said it over and over again this month but it seems to apply to this debate. "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results each time" and the questions I have about of this is no different such as, is this a slippery slope? What about not harming people? What is this government approved medical marijuana? What is this synthetic form of marijuana that I am hearing about? I found a short clip that raised some concerns. Take a look at 

Steered Straight Media who produced this documentary says, "It's just not marijuana anymore! Weed is being commercialized. It is being genetically modified and chemically altered on a commercial basis. The very nature of these changes should infuriate the very naturalist legalizers that have led the legalize movement. Butane Hash Oil, edibles, and concentrates are all products that contradict the natural argument. The "It's just Weed" slogan no longer applies. THIS is not your Grandfather's Pot!

I don't know why I have so many questions. I say I don't stand in the way of any treatment for others, but I can't help thinking that years ago we were told nicotine was non-addictive. We trusted those who stood in Congress then yet today nicotine is as addictive as heroin and in fact teases the same pleasure centers of the brain. Many others were told OxyContin was non-addictive yet how many have died from this addiction?

Continue Reading @ Questions About Medical Marijuana 

Credits for this post:
videos from youtube
© 2017 Gossip Girl

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Promote Awareness

Today is Day number sixteen of the April Blogging Challenge and the day for the letter P. I chose for this letter to discuss promote awareness which is something I've been doing since coming out of the stigma of this addiction last year and starting this blog, as well as through this challenge. Awareness is something we don't have enough of.

Here are some facts about the heroin epidemic in this country.

Currently, 23 Million Americans are classified as having a substance abuse dependence and are addicted.

11 Million of those classified with drug abuse problems are between the ages of 12 and 29 years

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Oxycontin Express: Let's Start at the Beginning

Today is Day Fifteen of the A-Z Challenge and the day for the letter O. I am reviving an old post that didn't get a lot of attention when I first posted it. It is a reality post about the start of this whole mess big pharma, unscrupulous doctors, and painkillers. WV Oxycontin Express: Let's Start At the Beginning. So folks, hop aboard the OxyContin Express choo- choo!

Yesterday I posted something I wrote a few years ago called, The Inconvenient Truth: The Devil At The Door... Heroin. I also wrote a post about WV and the Oxycontin Express. 

Today is a good day to take a look back at the beginning of the heroin epidemic. A piece of often forgotten history, a piece when written didn't get a lot of response. I am reviving it this month. Grab a comfy seat, kick off your shoes and hop aboard... The OxyContin Express...

Have you ever heard that expression before? The entire State of West Virginia has been fighting

Monday, April 17, 2017

Into The Neighborhoods: Boots on the Ground

Today is the third week of the challenge and the day for the letter N. For my letter N I have chosen to talk about Boots on the Ground: Going Into the Neighborhoods. 

In the midst of a war, you may have heard the expression, boots on the ground. It is a military expression meaning, The ground forces 
actually fighting in a war or conflict.

We here in Martinsburg, WV, and across the country are fighting another kind of conflict. This conflict reaches far beyond the state lines and into the heartland and across coast to coast. East to West. North to South. This goes all across this great nation of ours. 

The conflict I am referring to is the Heroin epidemic. It is everywhere. It is in your town. It is in your

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Martinsburg Renew

Today is Day for the letter M of the April Blogging Challenge. Today we are halfway through the challenge. Today is the day for the Letter M and my post is about Martinsburg Renew. I feel very honored today to share with you Martinsburg as well as to share a wonderful story about the founder, Andrew Garcia. On many days he is known around here as Officer Garcia.

Martinsburg Renew is a grassroots ministry focused on building up the community by giving everyone opportunities for enrichment. Our hopes are to build a giant network that will make sure that everyone who needs or wants an opportunity for enrichment (be it recreational activity, social opportunity, employment, or addictions

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Lazarus House

Today is Day twelve of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge and the day for the letter L. Today I have another special post about The Lazarus House. I recently spoke with Kevin Bowman who is the Director of The Newness of Life Lazarus House which opened here in Martinsburg, WV on April 1, 2017.

The Lazarus house is a men's only sober living house for men in Martinsburg struggling with addiction. Men who are tired of living that life and want to make a change.

This program here in Martinsburg and Kevin's presence is bringing HOPE to our community and reminds us that people do recover from this addiction. They recover and they go on to live and be successful people in our community.

This program, Kevin and Justin Ponton's program Newness of Life here is an answer to a lot of

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Kids of the Heroin Epidemic

Today is Day eleven of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge and the day for the letter K. Today's post is about the kids of this crisis. 

This generation of children is facing something that none of us will ever know. It saddens me to say that my own grandchildren are now part of the statistical numbers of children affected by addiction.

There is a word entering the vocabulary during this epidemic in this country. That word is called, "grand-parenting". It's not really a new word. Grandparents have taken on the role of caregivers and parents in this country since time began. Today, however, it is happening more than ever with this heroin and the opioid crisis in our country.

Foster systems in this country are now being pushed to the max more than ever. Children are being

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Just For Today

Today is Day ten of the April Blogging Challenge and the letter J. I have chosen Just For Today as my topic today. This is important to those in recovery, living recovered and for those of us on this side of addiction. I can't repeat yesterday, tomorrow isn't promised so I will find some inspiration, some peace some serenity if only just for today. 

Some of us wonder if we will ever know peace? Will we ever know serenity? Will things ever be different? Although they will never be

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Insanity of Loving An Addict

Today is day nine of the A-Z Blog Challenge. Today is the day for the letter I. Today I have chosen to post about, The Insanity of Loving an Addict. This post was written and posted last year and titled Things I learned From My Addict: The Insanity of Loving Them. According to the stats, only two people have read it. I decided to revive it for the challenge.

It's been said that Insanity is...

"Doing the same thing over and over repetitively expecting a different result each time."

We who love them do this all of the time. From enabling them to trying to control them then we move on to try to fix them. The "help" we think we are providing does more harm than it does good. Nothing we do is

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Hope Dealer Project

Today is day eight of the A-Z Challenge. Are you blogging the Challenge? Are you keeping up? Today is the day for the letter H and a guest post from a local group in Martinsburg, The Hope Dealer Project bringing the hope of recovery to our town and to those families and those suffering from substance abuse here. This is about three amazing women here who all work full-time jobs and still have time to operate a nonprofit organization. I am honored today to tell you about The Hope Dealer Project.


Once a parent becomes aware that their beautiful child is an addict... hopefully, we will learn the truth about the impending situation sooner rather than later. Here are some truths that I have

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Today's Teaser: 'GENERATION RX': Wake Up to the Nightmare

Trust me you won't want to miss this eye-opening controversial documentary

For decades, scores of doctors, government officials, journalists, and others have extolled the benefits of psychiatric medicines for children. GENERATION RX presents "the rest of the story" and unveils how this era of unprecedented change in Western culture really occurred - and what price has been paid by our society.

International award-winning filmmaker Kevin P. Miller (Let Truth Be The Bias, The Promised Land) "delivers a jaw-dropping emotional ride," and "weaves a terrifying tale of criminal conspiracy, the mass abandonment of medical ethics, and the routine betrayal of an entire generation."

By employing the expertise of internationally respected professionals from the fields of medicine, ethics, journalism, and academia, GENERATION RX investigates collusion between drug companies and their regulatory watchdogs at the FDA and focuses on the powerful stories of real families who followed the advice of their doctors - and faced devastating consequences for doing so.

GENERATION RX is a film about families who confronted horror and found nowhere to turn for help - and how scores of children have been caught in the vortex of mind-bending drugs at the earliest stages of their growth and development. This powerful documentary also questions whether we have forced millions of children onto pharmaceutical drugs for commercial rather than scientific reasons.

Ultimately, Generation RX may help parents decide whether the perceived benefits of these medications outweigh the serious risks to children.

Those people who know me knows that I love a good controversy. I love a good conspiracy.  Go ahead and click to read the post about Generation Rx: The Silent Pharma Bubble 
Go ahead click it to read. I dare you!
Video from youtube

Friday, April 7, 2017

The 52 Addicts Project: Stories of Recovery Through the Lens of a Camera

Today is Day six of the A-Z Challenge and also the day for the letter F. Today I am honored to bring you a special post about a special local lady, Lori Swadley a local photographer and owner of Swadley Studio who is making a difference in the lives of many of our locals who have recovered from alcohol and substance abuse with her project of 52 Addicts. Lori tells their stories through the eyes of a camera lens.

Lori writes, Last year after reading headline after headline about our heroin epidemic here wanted to do something very special for our local citizens who were brave enough to tell their stories about

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Tangled Web of the Enabler

Today is the fifth day of the April Blogging Challenge. Today I have chosen the word Enabling (aka the co-dependent) this addiction as my word for the day. 

Trust me if you are on this side of this addition, you are here already. Some of you just don't know it yet. Others like me realized it a little too late. Many are still in denial.

Now to some of you, this word is not significant. To those of us who are greatly affected by this addiction, oh trust me you won't know how messed up life can get until you get caught up in this web.

Remember when I had to make that moral inventory of, WHO AM I while standing on Step Number Four?

No, It's okay! I don't live there anymore. The years in this addiction

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What the Dealer Will and Will Not Tell You About Heroin

Today is day four of the A-Z Challenge. Are you blogging the Challenge? Are you keeping up? Today is the day for the letter D. My post today is about the dealers of dangerous drugs, what a dealer may tell you, and what a dealer will not tell you. 

If you are believing that your dealer or any dealer cares about you and your welfare, sadly you are misinformed. In fact, former dealers of heroin have admitted that the users and those addicted to heroin were "pawns in their chess game." You are

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The 6 C's of Addiction

Today is the third day of the April Blogging Challenge. Today I have chosen the 6 C's of addiction and Recovery. Those six words of Addiction and Recovery are Choice, Compulsion, Craving, Consequence, and Control and Choose Life.

The first C word is Choice. This word is the greatest of the debate in the disease of addiction. Many do not believe that addiction should be categorized as a disease because of the word, Choice.

Webster's defines with word Choice: The act of choosing

There are those who say using is a choice and it was their fault for making poor

Monday, April 3, 2017

Bikers Against Heroin, WV Chapter

Today is the second day of the April Blogging Challenge and the Letter for today is, B. For this letter I have chosen to tell you about a local group who is helping out in the fight against this heroin epidemic. They are the WV Chapter of Bikers Against Heroin. I feel honored to do this post.

In case you haven't heard of them before you might be wondering, just who are the Bikers Against Heroin? What do they do?

This group was founded in November 2015 and is headed by Dee Stotelmyer Pierce, President of the Group. Bikers Against Heroin WV Chapter filed for 5013c nonprofit status in May of 2016.

The group currently has about 1,072 members on and off their

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Addiction Is...

Today is the first day of the April Blogging Challenge. Are you excited? Today is the letter A. My posts throughout April will be about Addiction and Recovery. Today my post is called, Addiction is...

What is an addiction? Who can be affected?

Ask anyone going through addiction or those who love someone suffering from addiction and we will tell you, it is pure hell.

Many of us really do not understand what addiction is. In searching the Internet the search engines will come up with a lot of

Friday, March 31, 2017

Video: Addiction to Heroin Explained With Nuggets

A Facebook friend shared this video with me last week which does a good job of explaining addiction and how it works. Pretend for a moment that the Kiwi bird is a human and the gold nuggets is heroin.

From youtube

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Poll Results:Should money from Drug Busts be Used for a Treatment Center Here?

Yesterday I posted a poll. I was curious as to how others felt about the monies from drug busts and should the money be used for a treatment center. The results of the poll are this:

According to the post stats 33 people visited and read the post. 
7 people responded to the poll

I thought more would have responded because I have talked to a lot of people about this and most people are concerned because of the burden it would place on taxpayers. This was a good start! Thank you for voting
Do you think the money from the recent drug busts "kingpins" should be used for a treatment center here in Martinsburg and/or Berkeley County WV?
Yes Absolutely it should be used for a treatment center 86%
No, It should not be used for a treatment center 0%
Maybe I need more information on this 14%
I'm still trying to decide 0%
I have no opinion 0%
7 total 
I am interested in doing more polls in the future here on my blog. I need your help in this for instance, is it easier if the poll is placed in the post? OR would you like to click a link to go to the poll? Are there any questions you would like to see asked in a future poll? Chime in and let me know!