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