View this email in your browser
Dear Friends, 

PAL was invited by the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to a family summit in the Washington DC area on June 14 and 15.  Administrator Anne Milgram recognized the role families play in the drug issue and wanted to gather people from around the nation to begin working on this matter. We sent our new Communications Director, Melanie Allen, to attend on behalf of PAL. To me, having the head of the DEA recognizing and wanting to help mobilize organizations that work with families is a significant step forward. We are all fully aware that our loved ones need access to treatment; however, help for families has not been the priority it needs to be or is simply overshadowed by the monumental loss of life from overdose. We are looking forward to continuing this relationship and working to keep the focus on a holistic approach to this problem. 

I also want to take a moment to thank all of you who supported our Share Hope campaign and those who are considering joining us for the Race for Recovery.  Our good friend Michael Murtaugh is once again taking on a major challenge of swimming from Alcatraz to the San Francisco shore wearing shackles and no wet suit!  This is to symbolize his battle to break the shackles of addiction. Last year we started asking others to come up with a challenge (and no you don’t need to swim in shark infested waters!). Details are listed in this newsletter, and I am working on coming up with a challenge with my older son Sean. Last year we were hit with Covid right when we were about to do our challenge of hiking to the top of Mt. Humphrey, the highest point in Arizona. This year we haven’t settled on what to do but we will be participating, and I hope you will join us. This is not only a way to help support PAL but a great way to bring attention to this issue and help us spread the word about the help that is available. 

I remember a time when I was so lost in worry over our sons that the last thing I was doing was taking care of myself. I was depressed. I had aches and pains. My lack of activity was catching up to me. Frankly, I thought why would I do something to take care of me when my sons were suffering? A good counselor, along with PAL, helped me see that by taking the microscope off my sons and picking up a mirror, I could actually do something to help.  I had to come to the conclusion that I was no help to my sons if I lost my health.  If I waited until I “felt like” exercising or taking care of myself, I would likely never do it.  I had to realize that, which again PAL helped teach me, that I needed to rather “act my way into feeling.”  I had to just start and to borrow from Nike, “Just do it.”  Eventually, I was doing it and feeling better and seeing things much clearer and I believe that helped tremendously in how I responded to my sons.  So please consider joining us for the “Race” just for the sake of taking care of you! 

Let’s continue to have hope for our loved ones and that everyone would be able to find joy in their lives.

God Bless,

Kim Humphrey
What is YOUR race for recovery?
Support Race for Recovery.  Race founder, Michael Murtaugh, fought addiction and personal issues for many years until he faced what challenged him and changed his life! Each year he commits to a challenge and does the hard work to conquer it.

Will you join him in your own Race for Recovery fundraiser? Your loved one is challenged daily, what challenge can you face and overcome in their honor? Race challenges can come in many different forms including: • Running • Cycling • Walking • Climbing • Swimming • Marathon participation, or whatever you can think of - last year someone decided to do 100 holes of golf!

Pick your personal challenge to overcome, prepare for it, ask friends and family to support you and achieve your challenge and financial goals!

Registration Details: Registration Fees: Fees are free when you fundraise; otherwise they range: $50 - $100.

Participants may receive a custom Race for Recovery t-shirt, race medal and bragging rights for conquering your challenge!

Every journey is unique. We know it isn’t easy for you or your loved one. Let’s come together, virtually, to race (in our own unique ways) and offer hope to support others.

Find Your Challenge. Show your gratitude. Honor your loved one. Support others on their journey!
More Race Info
Guest Blog:
Am I a good role model for my adult children?

Our regular counselor blogger, Josh Acevedo, is on break for the next three months, so we are bringing you perspectives from a PAL Facilitator.

At a recent PAL meeting a distressed mother said, “I’ve cut financial strings, my son no longer lives with me and I’m limiting how many phone calls I take because he only calls when he wants money or is in a crisis, so I guess there is nothing else I can do?” This is a frequent remark I hear from parents. We tend to feel as if “we aren’t doing anything” when we hold a boundary and begin stepping out of the drama of our loved one’s lives. Have you ever found yourself thinking, there must be something more I can do but you just can’t put your finger on what that is? That is exactly where I found myself roughly ten years ago when I had exhausted every idea I could come up with to “help” my adult sons. At the urging of my PAL facilitator, I finally reached out to a qualified substance abuse and family counselor and started navigating the tumultuous journey within my own head as to what I would do next to “help.” Somewhere along the line, I had embraced the message that I had no right to be happy and free as long as my sons were stuck in their disease. “We” were in this together.

Over the next two years as my sons continued to spiral into the depths of addiction, homelessness, and incarceration. I began to embrace the idea that as long as we were all living, I would always be a role model to my sons and have some element of influence. It was up to me to decide what kind of role model I would like to be. Did I want to send the message that they had “ruined” my life? No! Did I want them to look at me and say, “Why would we want to grow up and be miserable like mom?” Of course not. It had never occurred to me that I was doing exactly that. I had been adhering to the concept that I was in this with them, and “we” would be “in the trenches” together so to speak, having no fun until this problem “of ours” was resolved. Once, during one of the many conversations with my older son that involved me offering endless unsolicited advice and suggestions, he said, “Mom, I wish you would get your own life!” I began to realize, slowly, (did I mention that I was a slow learner?), that even though my son consistently asked for my resources, he really did want me to move on with my own life and step out of his.

Read More
PAL Awareness Week
Meet Melanie, PAL's new Communications Director

Passion. Long ago Melanie Allen learned that one must follow their passions because this is where true happiness and success lies – doing what you’re passionate about.

In 2016, Melanie began attending weekly PAL meetings to learn to how to deal, in a healthy way, with the challenges of her loved one’s addiction. Through the meetings and her interactions with participants and leaders, she found passion in the hope that PAL provided. Even after her loved one’s recovery, she continued to support the PAL organization and when an opportunity arrived to be a key part in fulfilling PAL’s mission, Melanie knew that this was where she belonged.

Melanie is excited to join the PAL team as the director of communications and continue bringing the mission of providing hope through education and support to parents of addicted loved ones to those around her.

Before joining the PAL team, Melanie found her passion in teaching English, advising the school newspaper and serving as the Language Arts department chair and literacy coach at Moon Valley High School for 17 years.

Outside of PAL, Melanie serves on the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA) board as the past president. She also likes spending time with her family and friends, reading a good book, watching her favorite sitcoms, traveling and catching up on much needed sleep.

Melanie graduated with her B.A. in Communications (Public Relations) in 2001 and her M.Ed. in Secondary Education in 2005 both from Grand Canyon University.

There is always Hope!

After my son graduated from college, he lived on his own and picked up a few jobs before he started working for a bank - he was in his mid-20’s. He was doing very well at the bank and was working in the mortgage department. He advanced up through the department and was eventually managing six other branches. 

He was 29 when he got his first DUI. Eight years later, he started having severe abdominal pains. The pain persisted and he was continually being admitted to the hospital and given pain meds. After multiple tests, he was diagnosed with pancreatitis - the doctors said this was likely caused by drinking alcohol.

Since he lived on his own, we didn’t know the extent of his drinking and in 2013 he got another DUI. This time, he went into a rehabilitation center for 60 days, and convinced his counselor to let him out before his birthday. We all thought he was “rehabilitated.”

The pancreatitis progressively worsened, and the doctors found a grapefruit-sized benign tumor on his pancreas that was choking off his biliary tract. This caused infections which were making him very sick.  They could not do surgery until the infections were gone and the pancreas had rest. 

He moved in with my wife and me so I could tend to his medical needs.  For three months, I administered antibiotics three times a day into his PICC line, flushed his biliary tube twice a day and administered liquid through his feeding tube twice a day. Once he was feeling better, he moved back to his house and a few months later the doctors removed the tumor. As result, he was now a type 2 diabetic. 

He had no job, no car and no health insurance and the surgery was $35,000. He, again, moved in with my wife and me. During the long recovery process, I could tell he was becoming addicted to the opioids he was prescribed for pain.  There were times where he would nod off and fall asleep while he was cooking, eating dinner or just standing. I would have him check his levels thinking his actions were a result of low sugar. Often times, I would take him to the hospital because his sugar levels were so high and they would put him in the ICU while treating him with IV fluids and pain management. 

Read More
We Need Your Help!
PAL believes that we can help parents find joy in their lives regardless of their loved one’s choices. To help parents find this joy, we need people like YOU to volunteer. We have four very exciting opportunities for you to get involved in making a difference in our communities.
  1. H.O.P.E. Project (National Volunteer)
  2. Power of PAL Watch Event (National Volunteer)
  3. PAL Awareness Week (Arizona Volunteer)
  4. Silent Auction (Arizona Volunteer)

We can't wait to partner with you!
For More Volunteer Info
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost
I recently left a job I had held for seven years of my adult life. In a way, it was where I grew up, learned how to conduct myself as a professional and essentially where I re-started my life in sobriety. So many cherished memories were created during my tenure there, and I will forever look back on those times fondly as the place where my new beginning became a reality.

The decision to move on didn’t come easily. Sleepless nights, anxiety, and uncertainty were the order of the day. I had become very comfortable in the workspace I was operating in; schedule was dialed into a T – so much so that several of my job functions ran on autopilot. I knew where I needed to be and what I needed to be doing at any given time. With a new baby on the way, the rising cost of living in the world today, and a sincere desire to expand my skills professionally, I knew in my heart that a big change was ultimately necessary.

Changes. New Experiences. Personal growth. These things typically don’t come easily. As I sit here reflecting – as I exist in this transitionary season of my life – I’m reminded of how much struggle I felt burdened with early in my recovery. I remember the pain I felt in letting go of stasis – despite how miserable it had become. As humans, we become accustomed to our situations – comfortable even – even when they may not be optimal to our own forward movement and growth as individuals.

In those days, darkness was the norm. Pain was equitable with daily living. Trapped in the vicious cycle of drug dependence made some form of twisted sense in my mind; the instantaneous relief I found in substances was paramount to any other directive I could bear to conjure in my psyche. I became very familiar with the basic necessities of what I needed to do to maintain the status quo there. And I sat in it.
Read More
New PAL Meetings
Copyright © 2021 PAL, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
11225 N 28th Ave, Suite B109
Phoenix, Arizona 85029

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