marilea.rabasa@gmail.com

The Adult Child: Growing Up In The Program

Memoir Excerpt: “Recovery from addiction, one’s own or from the effects of someone else’s, is not an easy accomplishment. My program of recovery has enabled me to grow in self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-forgiveness. I’ve committed many sins in my life, against my sister and others. There were very few consequences, and so I internalized my guilt. I would be forever crippled until I found a way to let go of that baggage. This healing Program has shown me how to face myself in the mirror honestly, with gentleness, kindness and praise for the good things I have done. I’ve learned how to hold myself accountable for my actions and cease blaming others. I’ve learned the importance of making a simple apology, something I didn’t learn as a child. In fact, I’ve often said in meetings that I grew up in my recovery groups. And it’s true. I am an adult child: chronologically an adult but emotionally immature, though less so as I continue in my recovery. Many of us who grow up with alcoholism have addictive personalities ourselves and find ourselves ill prepared to meet life’s challenges effectively. We often marry our addicted parent, or we look outside of ourselves for sources of comfort. There is an absence of differentiation, as Dr. Gabor Maté explains (237). Many of us overeat, pop too many pills, shop too much, drink too much, work too much, etc. Addiction is everywhere in our society. It temporarily fills in our hollow spaces until we feel better. A soundly moral character, among many other things, has gone a long way toward keeping my addictions at...

Doing The Difficult…

When I joined Al-Anon fourteen years ago, I just wanted to save my daughter from the grips of addiction. I went back to meetings but kept wondering, “Where was the magic bullet?” God kept me going to those fellowship meetings, even after I realized that there was none. Many newcomers leave at this point, but I’m glad I kept going back. It gradually dawned on me that I had a huge problem and that I was sick too. And so I started to listen better and put the focus on myself. I learned how I was unknowingly making a bad situation worse, and how for my own sake, if not for Angie’s, I needed to try to change my attitude and behavior. I needed to muster a lot of courage where my daughter was concerned, something I hadn’t been able to do before. Now, many meetings, readings, and roller coaster rides later, happiness is a gift I give myself every day that I work my spiritual program. And “it’s an inside job!” Blessings to...

“Never, Ever Give Up Hope”

  I feel very honored to be a guest on Carol Graham’s Radio Show, “Never, Ever Give Up Hope.” It was such a pleasure to talk about my memoir with Carol, who has overcome many personal challenges, and has written about them in her own book, Battered Hope. Our conversation shines a light on my daughter Angie before she became ill with drug addiction, which only emphasizes the tragedy and cruelty of the disease that is claiming so many of our young people. But the memoir is primarily my story where I gradually weave my own recovery into the pages even as I’ve watched my daughter falter. Carol and I share the same philosophy: that no matter what life throws our way, we can learn to deal with it and live well and happily. She has become a good friend. I look forward to continuing my story in my next memoir—a lighter, humorous collection of stories from my travels and escapades—and talking with her again. The interview has gone live. You can listen to it on her website: http://neverevergiveuphopenet.blogspot.ca/2016/04/love-and-redemption-overcoming-guilt.html You can also find it on Apple i-Tunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/love-redemption-overcoming/id1014754680?i=365336143&mt=2 Or listen to the Stitcher podcast: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/never-ever-give-up-hope?refid=stpr I hope you will enjoy, share, and review these downloads and invite your friends to do the same. I think it’s important to continue the conversation around addiction so it will lose its stigma and someday be viewed with the same compassion as other chronic...