Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Friends,

It’s that time of year again—that challenging time of year—when holidays and all they symbolize beckon us into that place of remembrance. This is the time of year when I really step up my program.  A spirit of gratitude has been the one tool that has always worked to elevate me from my despair around my daughter. So I hope that we can bring that spirit into our lives during this season of thanksgiving and count our blessings. We’ve all lost loved ones one way or another to the cruel disease of addiction. But the sun still comes up every day and sets every night. Life goes on—and we with it. Let’s keep hope alive and live our lives as best we can. Blessings to you all!

If We Only Had A Crystal Ball…

Angie got through childhood and adolescence pretty well, and not unlike many other young people. But there were signs of the coming storm. Here’s an early excerpt:

“If I was surprised by my daughter’s drug addiction in 2001, it’s because she appeared so functional and went out of her way to hide herself from me.  Later on once her addiction had taken hold of her, I would be incredulous at the dysfunctional behavior I was seeing. It’s as though she had become possessed. She had problems, but I thought I was helping her deal with them responsibly. There were no visible red flags. She didn’t stay in bed every day and pull the covers over her head. She diligently saw her therapist every week, facing every day with discipline and good humor. She never missed her classes and she never quit her jobs. Her grades were excellent. Maybe—and this is important to recognize now—this was the beginning of the denial that would hamper me throughout Angie’s addiction, preventing me from dealing with her illness intelligently and effectively.

Angie was a good daughter. But please, beware of the complacency in those words.  Clearly, she hid her pain very well. Clearly, much was lurking beneath the surface that I did not see. And if I ache with the vacant promise of all the “woulda, coulda, shouldas,” it’s because I know that even if I had known what was coming down the road, I couldn’t have stopped it.”

Serenity Every Day

From Hope for Today, November 12:

“Serenity? What is that? For years I was like a weather vane that spun around according to the air currents that other people generated… I attributed these mood swings to nervousness, lack of assurance, and whoever else occupied the room at the time. Serenity always seemed beyond my control… Where does this serenity come from? It comes from trusting that everything in my life is exactly as it should be… It comes when I choose to care for myself rather than to fix someone else…

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: I am powerless over many things, but my serenity is not one of them.”

My Story Resonates

I am so appreciative of all the responses I’ve received about my memoir, including this Amazon review:

“I am so glad that I read this book. I can really relate to Maggie’s upbringing in an alcoholic family, and reading about hers transported me back to my own. She described her childhood so vividly. I saw myself sitting on the stairs waiting for my father’s attention too. What I never realized so clearly was how my childhood and coping mechanisms would directly impact me as a parent. Addiction really is generational and now I understand so much of what I never saw before. Maggie’s own personal battle and her subsequent struggle with her daughter are heartbreaking. But her recovery from it is all the more powerful and inspiring.

This is a very well written book and a page-turner as well. I couldn’t put it down. I kept hoping that Angie would turn her life around, but as I got closer to the end I stopped waiting for that. It was Maggie’s recovery that made the book worth reading. I highly recommend it for anyone dealing with addiction in the family. There should be a sixth star for courage because she’s got it.”