marilea.rabasa@gmail.com

The Birth Of A Memoir

I’m the mother of a heroin addict, still in active addiction, and I want to share how I’ve learned to live with a parent’s worst nightmare. My book’s first draft started out as an account of my daughter’s addiction and all the horrors, her loss of self, her loss of soul, that accompany it. But as I got to the end, I realized that her story really began with me, and my story began with my father, etc. It became a story of the generational nature of addiction. And so I rewrote it with an Introduction, where I share my childhood and Angie’s with the reader so that you will know us; you get to know Angie before she was corrupted by addiction and, in my case, perhaps understand why I behaved as I did throughout Angie’s addiction. And as I paralleled her roller coaster ride with my own recovery, it ceased to be a simple story about drug addiction and took on the shape of a memoir, as I show how this tragic life event has changed and transformed me. I begin with a question in the Prologue: “Where might my daughter be now if fate, or genes, had been kinder to her? Now, several years into her illness, I am coming to terms with the terrible legacy that began generations ago in my own family and which I have unwittingly passed on to my daughter. All these years I’ve diligently searched for answers, clarity, and solace in the face of terrible pain. Like a gift from the universe, it has come to me slowly, and it is...

Seasonal Lessons

From Daily Word, 9/29/2015:  “Change: I gracefully move through life’s transitions. As colder days approach, trees shed their leaves and animals prepare for hibernation. They instinctively move through the seasons. In contrast, humans are prone to resisting change even though we know it is an essential part of growth. I may notice myself worrying or fighting change. Then I remind myself I am able to prepare and move through any change I encounter. I envision myself shedding old beliefs and ways of being just as a tree releases leaves. Like the hibernating animals, I prepare my mind and body for a time of quiet and reflection. I see divine order in the leaves reappearing each spring. My life also follows a pattern. I emerge from each season stronger, wiser, and more loving. ‘For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. —Ecclesiastes...

The Price We Pay/The Happiness We Earn

Memoir Excerpt: “Several years ago I paid a heavy price for my involvement in my daughter’s illness, and I didn’t want to keep losing, one by one, the parts of my own life tapestry I had worked so hard to create. I have had a wonderful and interesting life, and I can say that now, and feel it in my bones, without embarrassment or guilt. My work in this transformative Program has reacquainted me with my own worth and humanity, both of which came seriously into question when this tragedy struck my daughter. Well, welcome to your second life, Maggie! I guess it’s never too late to learn how to be happy. Jennie Jerome Churchill has shared with us her definition of happiness: ‘Life is not always what one wants it to be, but to make the best of it as it is, is the only way of being happy.’ That sounds like her take on acceptance to me. So how do I make the best of living with a cloud over my head, a cloud that will always be there, even if Angie at last finds recovery? By focusing on gratitude—my recovery is grounded in...

The Gifts Of Another Season

I’m very happy to be a Finalist this year in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards for Nonfiction. http://nmbookcoop.com/2015-Finalists-List.doc Woot-Woot!   I am so happy to be part of the growing recovery movement in addiction. My story is one of many stories out there testifying to the power of spiritual transformation. As our numbers grow, so does our strength. Blessings to all this Thanksgiving and...

Turning It Over

From Experience, Strength and Hope, July 24: “I admit that I am powerless over my life’s situation, that my life is unmanageable. My friends do not want to be around me when I am out of control. I do not want to be around me! I am learning to take my pain to my Higher Power and let that power handle it while I go out and play. By not acknowledging my powerlessness, I am lying to myself. Recovery is not easy, that is why we are here, why we go to meetings, and why we work on ourselves. The Steps are written in a specific order for a reason, to bring us to a healthy, sane and serene life, learning to live life on life’s terms. Because of this program, life can once again be good for us. This is the hope of recovery. I remember that as a child I was powerless over my alcoholic father, and his physical abuse of my mother and me. It was frightening growing up in abuse. But you know what? I survived, and I believe I can move forward. If we stay in denial about our situation, we cannot begin to hear the message of recovery. When recovery begins, there is a completely new life out there waiting for us. Thought For Today: Once we accept our powerlessness, we can learn to live a better life. However, just because we have recovery, does not mean there will be no more problems. It means that now we have the tools to help us recover without being crushed or broken.” Though I didn’t...