marilea.rabasa@gmail.com

A Family Disease

“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 with me now. But it’s been a hard won victory. I liken the effect addiction has on families to a bomb exploding in the living room with everyone nearby.  The shrapnel hits us all in different places; none of us is left untouched, though some may be wounded more than others. Some even ignore the explosion or block it out as the insidious effects of addiction take root in these bewildered individuals. What happens when a bomb drops anywhere? Doesn’t everybody run for cover? That’s what happened in my family. Angie’s brother and sister got out of the way as much as possible—a healthy response, I suppose—shrapnel wounds can be pretty dreadful. It broke my heart to see them pull away from their sister. But now Angie was so isolated in her family. And so began the long journey, Angie’s father’s and mine, of carrying her, much of the time, on our backs.” ~excerpt from my award-winning memoir, A Mother’s Story: Angie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, by Maggie C. Romero, available on Amazon   I got an email from my old friend in Virginia whose son is a heroin...

Making A Difference

From “When I Got Busy I got Better,” p. 21 “After feeling so powerless while living unsuccessfully with alcoholism, I see now that I can make a difference. I’ve learned to let go of the things I cannot change and to work on changing the things I can. I’m ‘letting it begin with me.’ I ask myself: am I ready to make a difference?”   We can resolve to make a difference just about anywhere: volunteering in about a trillion different organizations in need of help; doing the dishes when your husband is too tired to; feeding your neighbor’s dog. Any activity that gets me out of myself is often time well spent. We don’t always realize that the little things we do are making a difference in the lives of others. Someone said, “Service is the rent we pay for a space on this earth.” I like the spirit behind that quote because it reminds me to be less self-centered and remember the needs of others in need of help. When I do something for them, MY self-esteem soars. And in giving, we all know, we...

The Path To Peace

From Each Day A New Beginning, August 19: “‘…to have a crisis and act upon it is one thing. To dwell in perpetual crisis is another.’ Barbara Grizzuti Harrison Exaggerating the negative element in our lives is familiar behavior for all too many of us.  But this obsession is our choice. We can stop at any moment. We can decide to let go of a situation that we can’t control, turn it over to God, and be free to look ahead at the possibilities for happiness…Perhaps we can learn to accept a serious situation in our lives as a special opportunity for growth first of all, but even more as an opportunity to let God work in our lives. Serenity is the gift promised when we let God handle our lives. No crises need worry us. The solution is only a prayer away.” In my recovery program we are quick to replace the word “God “with “higher power.” A tree, the sunset, a friend—anything but me, because “my best thinking got me into the rooms.” The point of this reading is Step Three: turning our crises, burdens, whatever is too much for us, over to another being who is stronger and wiser than we are. It took me a long time to take this step because I thought I was strong and wise; I didn’t know how to rely on others. My faulty thinking was: I’d better be able to handle all this cuz who else has ever helped me when I needed him? Fortunately, I’ve learned to change my attitude about many things, including my ability to handle...