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Dear Friends, 

OK, so it’s been really hot in Phoenix. My car registered 120° the other day, I think it was officially 117. This reminded me of something I heard at one of my first PAL meetings from the founder, Mike Speakman: “Your loved ones won’t change when they see the light; they will change when they feel the heat.”  Of course, I later realized that also applied to me. I didn’t want to change either, I wanted everything to magically just get better, and I simply ignored what was happening right in front of me.
 
That was why PAL was so helpful. I had individuals in our meeting who were so kind and helpful in pointing out the reality of our situation and sharing what they had done. Many of them had actually been successful in finding that elusive joy and peace in their lives. Back then I found it difficult to go to work and concentrate as I was so focused on my sons' problems.  
 
Speaking of work, a quick update on what we’ve been doing here at the PAL office. We are actively seeking grants to expand our marketing and outreach to get the word out about PAL and to reach into communities that we are not serving. We are also about to launch our annual campaign known as “Share the Blessing.” Details are found below in this newsletter, and I hope that you will consider participating as this benefits your local meeting as well as our efforts to expand PAL nationally.
 
We also recently received a draft of our latest evaluation from Northern Arizona University which was based on a large survey of PAL participants we conducted in the last few months. It was no surprise to learn that once again, people are reporting tremendous benefits from attending PAL meetings. It also included information from another part of the evaluation which showed that when family members get healthier, it increases the likelihood that their loved one will also seek recovery.
 
Honestly, that is the promise of PAL, not that you can guarantee your loved one will get better, but if you respond in healthier ways, it could be the chance that they need.
 
I repeat it often in our meetings: You may no longer be the person in control of your son or daughter’s life and you may no longer be their mentor, but hopefully you have transitioned to an adult-to-adult relationship rather than an adult to a child. One thing that you will always be is a role model, and as a role model you can show how you found health and joy. Hopefully that will show them that recovery is possible. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to go through some heat to get to where we realize what we really need to do.
 
There are some positive nuggets of information in this newsletter and as always thank you for your tremendous support of PAL financially, particularly those who are now donating monthly. In addition, it is through your prayers and simply letting us know how PAL has made a difference in your life that gives us the boost we need to keep pressing on. We always love to hear from you.

God bless,

Kim Humphrey
ED / CEO

The Three Cs
CauseControl & Cure 
In my 25 years of working with parents of those suffering from substance use disorder, few concepts or perspectives stand out as much as “The Three Cs”. The concept comes from the Al-Anon Family Groups, but the idea has spread to countless other family recovery meetings. The Three Cs: you didn’t Cause it, you can’t Control it, and you can’t Cure it. I have attended an abundance of meetings where parents (who are now full of hope) are enthusiastically sharing this idea and the good news it brings. As they share their own story with the newcomers, specifically, they recount the change in perspective and the freedom this saying brings.
 
We may wonder why parents who have been attending meetings are so excited to share this concept with newcomers. Why are The Three Cs a regular discussion topic in family recovery meetings and counseling sessions? Why is this concept so valued by members both brand new to recovery and those who have been in recovery for many years?
 
I believe it is because it sums up a parent’s experience so well; it can bring such an impactful and prolific change to a parent’s view of addiction.
 
Let’s take a deeper look at what we often believe Caused the problem.
Many parents operate under a false belief that influences their responses to their loved one and forms their self-worth as a parent. This false belief is almost always that it is something they are doing, did, or did not do that caused their child to become addicted to substances. Having this belief leads them to agonize over the little things they said or did in the past, to freeze when decisions need to be made (for fear that they will make things worse), to search for someone else to blame, and to remain in denial of the problem (believing that if they accept the problem, they are admitting that they are a failure as a parent). Sometimes this leads to ignoring blatant evidence to the contrary such as having raised other children who did not become addicted to substances or the fact that addiction runs in the family.
Read More
Giving Hope to Others
Share the Blessings – July 12 – August 22, 2021
(Financially provide support for your local meeting and help spread PAL)

 
We recognize things have changed this past year, we are sorting out what is today’s “normal” and we know PAL meetings are slowly starting to return to in-person meetings. We also know because of all the turmoil experienced this past year, the opioid crisis is the worse it has been and it’s not going away. The number of people reaching out to PAL for assistance is increasing daily.
 
We need your help to respond to this increased plea for hope!
The Share the Blessings campaign will allow us to start new meetings in communities without PAL AND will also support YOUR meeting with materials, books, targeted marketing, etc. (your choice). 
 
Share the Blessings campaign will be ONLINE – July 12 – August 22.
 
Watch for more information coming soon.

We needed this, we’ll go back

I have three children. Jessica 37, Jamie 34 and Tiffany 28. My two oldest are my steps kids (I don’t like the word “step”) as I have known them for 32 years and we have all gotten along, including my husband’s first wife.

Tiffany, our child who didn’t have to deal with going back and forth from mom’s house to dad’s house or any of the divorced parents’ stuff, is our child who became addicted to substances. Tiffany is very smart!  She loves to read which means she has an amazing vocabulary.  She is a very good cook and has always been loving and kind. My husband and I found out years ago that my younger sister, Tiffany’s Aunt, let Tiffany try alcohol at her house. I don’t know what possessed my sister to do this!  I think she was just trying to be the cool aunt. Anyway, that was the beginning of Tiffany's journey with substance use disorder.
 
My daughter got married and after having two children, she was not happy and divorced her husband. I know she drank some during this marriage. When she met her second husband it went downhill fast. She got pregnant before they married. She didn’t want to get married but did. Her husband was narcissistic and treated her horribly.
 
She started smoking pot with him. She did anything he said. She would drink at night and get drunk because it helped her deal with him. She did become a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) during one of her “I’m going to make something of myself” periods. Because they never had money she started working through the night and tried to stay awake during the day with the kids by doing meth after someone told her you could stay awake a long time with meth.
Read More
New PAL Meetings

Step out of your comfort zone

As many of you probably know at this point, the American Southwest is experiencing a massive heatwave. Temperatures skyrocketing upwards of 115 degrees this past week in California and Arizona have been commonplace. The dry, bracingly hot wind that whips against your face as you step outside can be breathtaking. Even walking to the entrance of your local grocery store from your car can be fatigue inducing. It can quite literally be a miserable experience in every conceivable way.

So, it might seem odd that, upon awakening today, I thought to myself: I'd like to get out and do some exercise, go for a run. As I laced my shoes up and stepped out my backdoor onto the pavement, radiating heat already, I briefly thought of my choice as odd too. As I set about the task, warming up, and hitting the road, I reminded myself why I make the choices I do, in this case regarding intense physical activity: the answer, quite simply is that it makes me feel good. It gets me outside of my comfort zone. It helps my mental health, wellness, and awareness, even though the process itself can be less than fun at times.

It draws an interesting analogue to the problems centered in our minds: sometimes the hardest choices, the most difficult and painful tasks we face are the most beneficial in our lives: as learning experiences, growth, and change.

I resisted change for years. Mired in my disease I remained determined to stay stuck in my comfortable ways: viewing the world through the hazy lens of a chemically altered state of mind. It was all I knew how to do. It was the only way I felt that I could deal with the harsh realities of my situation, and the terribly negative way in which I felt about myself, internally. Through my own making, I created a safe haven with drugs that I thought could carry me through my life forever. But as we all know - using illicit substances in a heavily consistent manner on a daily basis is not a sustainable lifestyle. Many people, unfortunately, meet their demise in pursuit of this very thing.
Read More
Race for Recovery
September 18 - 26, 2021
More information coming soon!
Copyright © 2021 PAL - Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, All rights reserved.


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