marilea.rabasa@gmail.com

The Voice of My Daughter

“When Angie was in her first psych ward back in October 2007, they used art therapy on the patients. She made me a bead bracelet. ‘These are your favorite colors, Mom,’ she said, carefully placing it on my wrist. I finger those beads now and again, like Greek worry beads, a reminder of the hope I nurtured then. On one of the nights she stayed at my motel, she was out all night while I tossed and turned, wondering where she was. When I awoke, there was the most fragrant smelling flower in a glass of water at my bedside. She had picked it outside of her hotel in Japan Town and left it for me to enjoy in the morning. I still have what’s left of that flower, all dried and brown, another reminder that ‘Joy & Woe are woven fine.’” from my award-winning memoir, A Mother’s Story: Angie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, by Maggie C....

“Guilt IsA Terrible Crippler…”

From Survival to Recovery, p. 25-26: “Unless recovery is found, blame, guilt, anger, depression, and many other negative attitudes can go on for generations in a family affected by alcoholism…Focusing on ourselves actually allows us to release other people to solve their own problems and frees us to find contentment and even happiness for ourselves.” We all have different stories of how addiction has touched our lives. In my life, guilt was a constant theme from very early in my childhood, and, as I said in my memoir, “Guilt is a terrible crippler.” It crippled me, especially, when my own child mirrored the addict in me and morphed into a worse and more dysfunctional addict than I ever was. Guilt and self-blame put me at risk in setting and enforcing boundaries, in becoming an enabler, in shielding Angie from the logical consequences of her behavior. In short, guilt kept me from parenting my daughter intelligently and kept me stuck in a hole. Fortunately I found recovery and release from my own guilt, much of it misplaced, which in turn is freeing Angie to live her own life and solve her own...

“Blame Is For God And Small Children”

“Fifth Step Prayer: Higher Power, My inventory has shown me who I am, yet I ask for Your help in admitting my wrongs to another person and to You. Assure me, and be with me, in this Step, for without this step I cannot progress in my recovery. With Your help, I can do this and I will do it.”  I’ve stopped the blame game. Admitting my defects to God and another human being has been critical in my recovery. Denial is like a dark cave: we hide there, from ourselves and others, and without any light it’s not easy to see the truth. I’ve struggled with addictions my whole life, but until I told someone about them, brought them into the light, they weren’t real to me, and I could continue on the merry-go-round of denial. But when I told someone else, I couldn’t pretend anymore. Sharing with someone else makes me accountable. Admitting our defects to others shines a light on who we really are. Then, and only the, do we have the opportunity, through God’s help and the support of others, to work on our defects and our recovery.  P.S. It’s also kinda necessary to know who we are, and admit who we are, before we can love who we are and accept who we...