Copy
News
View this email in your browser
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parents of Addicted Loved Ones
August 2017 Newsletter

 
palgroup
In This Edition:
Message from the Board Chair
PAL Saved My Family
Blog: Surrender...Letting Go of Control
An Addict's Perspective
A Journey to Hope - Save the Date
Remember to Use Amazon Smile and Support PAL
Sign up for Fry's Foods Rewards Program
“PAL saved my life and my sanity!  It taught me how to love, but not enable. It taught me how to set healthy boundaries for both myself and my son. It didn't happen overnight, but by the grace of God changes are starting to take place!  If you are in this situation with a loved one, do yourself and them a favor and join a PAL group. You won't regret it!
recent post of PAL's FaceBook page

 
by Kim Humphrey, PAL Board Chairman

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

      I hate the thought of regrets. When we launched PAL as a non-profit we had no idea how quickly it would grow. We realized we needed to just keep our eyes forward and on our vision to make PAL available wherever it is needed. 
As I look at my beautiful two-year-old granddaughter she can walk, (although she falls down now and again), she can say quit a few words (but she’s just learning to put them in sentences) and so far she can’t really do much on her own (even though she really wants to).  PAL as an organization is only two and half year’s old. We have certainly had to grow up fast and if you have been following along, we now have meetings in half the United States. 
      Many of our facilitators are in the news in their local areas and we have been seeing more and more coverage of PAL and our efforts. This generally leads to more people knowing about PAL and hopefully more people finding hope at our meetings. Like my granddaughter and her growth, PAL has been working hard to keep up with this demand of “growing up.” We were an all-volunteer organization until June, when we just had to cry “Uncle” and hire our first employee. This has been a monumental blessing to have someone to do part-time administrative work.
      The easy decision for the board would be to just drift along and see where the current takes us, but the board has a bold desire to put our faith to work and trust that we just need to keep moving forward with bigger plans for PAL. The demand continues to increase and the board believes it is time that we take another BIG step to the next level as an organization and hire an Executive Director to handle the work associated with growing and maintaining PAL.  This is a monumental goal and we want to have someone on staff sometime between now and next summer. This will be dictated by our ability to sufficiently fund the position either part-time or full-time.
Your willingness to regularly support PAL has made this a potential reality. We are also seeking grant funding and corporate funding to help us take this big step and handle the growth of the organization.  If you are aware of any funding sources would you please let us know by responding to this email.     
Speaking of fundraising, we have sent out the save the date for our annual banquet / silent auction fundraiser and more information is in this newsletter such as how to get your tickets early!  Additionally, as we are seeking sponsors, if you know of anyone, or any organization that might want to be a banquet sponsor; we will follow up -  we have a very nice sponsor packet for our banquet. We are looking for sponsorships of $1,000 to $10,000. Again, we can provide a detailed packet of information on this if you happen to know anyone that might be interested.  A highlight last year was also our Silent Auction which we will repeat this year. Again, if you know of great silent auction items, such as hotel, travel certificates, artwork, gift cards, sporting tickets etc. that someone is willing to donate, please respond to this email.  Additionally, this year’s event has some wonderful speakers and we will only have 350 tickets for sale. You won’t want to miss this fun and informative, inspirational event. We plan to “throw off the bowlines,” and sail away from our safe harbor. Please come and be a part of this amazing Journey to Hope event and hear our plans for the future of PAL.
In this newsletter, be sure to check out our new column, “An Addicts Perspective,” and of course our counselor is back with more great wisdom in his blog, and you won’t want to miss our story of hope from another PAL mom. 
Blessings,
Kim Humphrey
 

PAL Saved My Family
      My nightmare began 12 years ago. My one and only daughter, Cindy, was doing drugs and I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t realize how bad it was and I had no idea what types of drugs she was using.  I kept telling myself, whatever she is doing, she is going to quit.  Unfortunately, my ability to control the outcome or direction of her life was not working.
      I remember having multiple talks with her.  We even had an intervention and she promised she would stop using drugs.  I continued to let her live with me, provided food and even money for gas and other “essentials.”  Things did not change. 
The summer of 2005 she became pregnant and my first grandson, Matthew, was born in February 2006.  After his birth, her drug problem continued and rapidly got worse.  I was able to persuade Cindy to grant me guardianship of Matthew as she was in no condition to raise a child.  I did not want to raise another child at this point in my life. My youngest son was 13 years old at that time.  Cindy’s father and I divorced when Cindy was young, but we now had a good relationship and we began to work together to try to help our daughter.
      We took Cindy to many rehab centers in hopes that she would get help and get well.  She never stayed very long, maybe a couple of weeks, before leaving or getting kicked out.  I was at my wits end as to how to get her to stop.
      I was becoming depressed. Cindy was now living on the streets. She showed up now and then and I could not convince her to stop.  She was arrested, drug dealers would call me, she regularly showed up at my house loaded wanting to see Matthew.          Now, I seemed unable to stop enabling her with money and other types of help; by giving her things, I thought this would show her that I loved her and in turn she would quit using and get better.  My current marriage was now under tremendous strain as we fought about Cindy all the time.  I was working full time, taking care of my home and Matthew, and I was continually thinking about my next move to get Cindy off drugs. 
Eight years into this journey, in 2013, I found out about a support group called PAL on the internet.  I knew I needed to go. I asked a friend to come with me and in retrospect, it was the best decision I had made in years.  I remember the first couple of times I went, I cried and cried and cried.  But, what I learned was that I was not alone and there were people who had similar stories as mine.  I could relate to them and they had some good suggestions.  I learned that I could only change myself and that if I changed, Cindy might be inspired to change as well.  I learned that I needed to stop enabling and get on with my own life …. my life with my husband, kids and grandson, Matthew.  I made a choice to “allow” Cindy to live her own life as hard as it was to see the choices she was making.  I learned that it was ok to say “no” to unhealthy “helping.”  My faith grew as I accepted the reality that only God knew the answers and what the outcome would ultimately be.  I built a relationship with God for my own self growth.  I accepted that I could not control Cindy’s actions, only my own. 
       Once I started being educated at the PAL meetings and learning different techniques, it did not make Cindy happy.  She didn’t like the word “no.”  She didn’t like that I would not give her money, and other material things. When she would come to visit with Matthew I would walk into the other room and I would not speak to her, it was just too painful. I wouldn’t allow her to show up when she was obviously high and she stopped dropping in as often.
       Cindy’s problems were catching up with her. I would later learn that she was living in a clothing donation bin in the parking lot of a store, she was committing all kinds of crimes and the daughter I once knew was unrecognizable.  Eventually she was faced with going to prison for two years but was given an option to complete a 30-day rehab.  She completed the 30-day rehab (with no help from me) and the day she got out she went directly into a sober living house for women.  April 26, 2014 is Cindy’s sobriety date and to this day she continues to be sober.  She works at a rehab center and helps individuals struggling with the same drug addiction issues that she had to deal with.            
      She tells me now that if I had continued to enable her (let her live at the house, etc.) she would probably be dead by now.  I give credit to PAL for saving both of our lives.  I tell everyone I encounter who is struggling with a child, a friend, a loved one with addiction issues   that they should go to a PAL meeting as it will help them and their loved one.  I don’t attend as often now, but I will never forget this group (especially the leaders) and what they taught me.
Theresa, Pal Mom

Blog: Surrender…Letting Go of Control
      This month we continue to look at surrender and some of the principles behind why it is so critical as a parent that we allow others, even our children, to be who they choose to be.  Many people in recovery utilize the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).  Written by Bill Wilson in 1935, it is interesting to look at the first three steps of AA
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
       As you can see, all three of these involve a form of surrender. First when we admit we are powerless over something, we are simply acknowledging our inability to control the outcome, hence surrender. The second step carries this a step further in that he states that they needed …“to believe in a power greater than ourselves…,” this again, was an acknowledgement that we are not in control and we need strength from somewhere outside ourselves. And lastly, we “made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God…” again this involves an act of letting go of our control of our lives and trusting someone greater than ourselves, in this case, God.
      What do these have in common?  Letting go of control.  As parents, we can become so concerned about our loved ones and their problems that we simply will do whatever it takes to try to get them to change their course. We will try head on tactics to get them to stop, and when that doesn’t work we will try to manipulate or do whatever it takes to try to get them to change. 
       Surrender, is realizing this is not healthy for you or for them.  Do not think of it as abandoning them, or forgetting about them, it is simply making a choice to let go of trying to control another person, in this case your loved one who is suffering with addiction issues.  So how do you do that? If you believe in God, your prayer might be to ask God to help you surrender this burden of worry, you may want to learn mediation techniques to help you visualize giving up control, you may even try writing down all the things you are doing to try to control another and then ceremonially destroy what you wrote.  For our health and the health of our loved ones, surrender can be the first step to finding joy in your life. As always, this may be a difficult journey and we will talk more about this in future blogs, but in the meantime, be sure to keep finding support in caring family members, and of course your local PAL meeting.
 
Ron Paterik is a practicing psychotherapist in Phoenix, Arizona with over 20 years experience. He is a licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor and also a Whole Life Leadership Mentor at Grand Canyon Counseling.
An Addict’s Perspective:
We asked a young man in recovery whose parents went to PAL to answer the following question:
In retrospect what boundaries did your parents set that at first were
upsetting to you but later you realized we’re helpful in your recovery?
       What would you be willing to do to save someone’s life? When it comes to setting firm boundaries with family members struggling with addiction this can be incredibly conflicting. At the height of my addiction my parents were able to stick with specific boundaries that I certainly may not have understood at the time but in hindsight can see how beneficial the boundaries really were. When my parents stopped bailing me out financially, when they stopped letting me move back into the family home – I was able to have my own experience; this was an important step in the right direction. At the time I felt hurt, alone, even abandoned. It was hard for everyone, but I can look back today without a shadow of doubt in my mind and confirm that it was vital to my path of recovery.
       This decision on their part, to relinquish the attempt to control my behavior and focus on their own actions essentially became the key toward freedom, for all parties involved. When I was left to my own devices, I found myself penniless, with no meaningful relationships or means to speak of. When an addict finds them self in such a position, the brokenness and hardship of maintaining such a self-destructive habit can become all the more clear to the individual. When it comes to recovery, the faster one can find themselves at “rock bottom” the more emboldened they generally become toward finding intrinsic motivation to seek help. Basically, as a result of my family setting clear, specific boundaries, in which only recovery oriented behavior would be supported, I was able to find my “rock bottom” faster.
      I was able to be my own person, as miserable and beleaguered as that may have been at the time, and spiral down toward a place of complete powerlessness. In 12-step parlance, an admission of powerlessness is the first step toward a life of recovery. My parents essentially became a part of my first step experience. I fought. I fell down. I got hurt. But in the end, this was integral to my admission of defeat. My surrender. All of this eventually culminated in an experience wherein I was able to reach out for help, on my own, and find some hope for a better tomorrow.
      So today, if you find yourself conflicted, if you find yourself saying things like “I could never cut them out, I could never stop trying to reach them, to rescue them”, take it from me; These very principles, these clear-cut boundaries, these practices may well be the greatest gift you could ever hope to give the addicted individual. As difficult as it may seem, take the focus off the sick person’s behavior, bring it back to yourself, and ask what can I do today to best support this person in a healthy, meaningful way. Someday they’ll thank you for it. Trust me.
 
-Reid, 30 year old young man with 3 ½ years of sobriety after
nearly 12 years of addiction, drug of choice: IV Heroin.
Save the Date - OCTOBER 28, 2017
       PAL's 3rd Annual Banquet will be held on October 28 at North Phoenix Baptist Church.The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with an amazing silent auction, followed by dinner and special guests speakers: Debbie Moak, PAL mom and former Director of Arizona Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family and Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone who has made the opooid epidemic a priority to address in our community.
      If you'd like to join our banquet committee and help with securing silent auction items, planning and decor, etc. please let us know!
      Watch for an email soon to purchase early bird tickets at a discounted price of $40 per person.


Support PAL When You Make a Purchase on Amazon

Simply Register with Amazon Smile and PAL Benefits at No Cost to You

 

Amazon:

1) Go to https://smile.amazon.com/
2) Sign in using your normal Amazon username and password.
3) Amazon will prompt you to select an organization-type in Parents of Addicted Loved Ones-PAL
4) Select the Gilbert AZ PAL, and then make sure that at top left of page, in orange letters you will see the word “Supporting”: it should say Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) in white letters next to supporting.
5) You’re now correctly signed up. Simply always go to https://smile.amazon.com/ to sign in and make your Amazon purchases (if you just go to Amazon.com it will not register with your charity) and by doing so Amazon will send a portion of the profit to support PAL.

 
Fry's Foods - It's easy and again, it's free.  If you live in Arizona - and now available in Indiana or Ohio - please connect your Fry's Foods rewards to our account. Its easy- and again its free. Please share with all of your family and friends to help PAL every time you shop!  Note: the following link will take you to an instruction sheet to sign up, if you are from Indiana / Ohio, look for PAL that is in your state.
Click here for instructions on signing up for Frys Foods Community Rewards Program.
Donate Now - Click Here
Copyright © 2016 LIST:PAL All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 3325
Gilbert AZ 85299
Phone : 480-300-4712
Email : info@palgroup.org

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list