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Parents of Addicted Loved ones
February 2017 Newsletter

In This Edition:
Message from the Board Chair
A Mom's Journey
Counselors Blog : How do you know when it is time to seek professional help?
PAL Needs: We Need Volunteers!
Top Golf FUN and Fundraiser coming in April
Sign up for Fry's Foods Rewards Program
"There is no judgment, no condemnation, just acceptance, surrender, empathy and compassion. Our journey to health has led to our son heading down the path of sobriety. One of the promises of PAL is ...if we get better, it gives hope to our loved ones and that may help him in turn."  PAL parent
by Kim Humphrey, PAL Board Chairman

WOW what a year 2016 was for PAL. We opened up meetings in about a dozen more states, our fundraising increased and more and more people are being blessed as you help one another through this terrifying journey no one wants to go through alone.  As PAL grows we are working hard as a board to keep up with the demands of running a quality non-profit that meets the needs of our PAL families.

It is hard to believe that all that growth in the last two years has put us in 19 states and to date we have not advertised PAL - all of this from word of mouth and our website and Facebook page.  Well, we are now in a position to reach out to more and more communities. We have recently brought on a national marketing consultant. She brings a wealth of knowledge and skills we need to help us expand PAL's reach.  We hope you start seeing more and more about PAL in the news and other media as we strive to get the word out.  Also effective in this newsletter, we will feature a blog from professional counselors, this month "How do you know when its time to seek professional help."  

If you have not noticed, we have meetings starting this month in Missouri, Michigan, Alabama, Texas, and potentially more in Arizona, New York, and Minnesota.  Of course we would not be able to do this without your ongoing support and prayers. For those that support PAL financially, thank you again for what you have done, and if you can, consider signing up for a monthly donation, as this helps us with a steady source of income. Also, our Facebook page just topped 1000 followers - you don't want to miss out on all the great information we post there.  Lastly, we can sure use your help, please check out our list of volunteer opportunities! 

Here is to an amazing 2017, with more and more people finding HOPE!


PAL Mom's Journey             
Our journey began, like many others, looking for a place that would fix or find a cure for our son’s addiction.  PAL began as a safe place where I could express raw emotions without reservation or judgment.  After a few meetings, PAL quickly became a place where I could find unconditional support and unconditional friendship.  As the pain from our ‘special’ situation lessened, the learning began.  We eventually learned that everyone had similar experiences and we were definitely not alone in our journey.
               Our son, Michael, has been on his journey about ten years.  We had been trying to control his journey for about 3-5 years.    When our lives were out of control, we found PAL.   PAL has given us insight to the addict’s thoughts and behaviors.  It’s also been profound in shedding light on our behaviors which allowed our son to continue in his addiction.  Who would have thought, we would be contributors to such a devastating lifestyle.  Eventually admitting to ourselves that our helping was hurting, money we gave for things like clothes was just being turned around to buy drugs.  Our son went into treatment and was sober for a long time, but I kept going to the meetings even though our report was for a long time, “He’s doing fine.”  So at least we were prepared when around a year of sobriety, he relapsed.  We had replaced our first inclination of jump in and help with let him go through his journey, as we encouraged him from a distance.   What a roller coaster it has been. 
               We have come to learn that our ability to find joy and live life on our terms has been through the education and support of PAL.  Learning how to detach with love, knowing how to treat an adult addict like an adult and accepting their choice to be an addict is just the beginning.
Michael is currently sober and has been for 17 months.  We continue to educate ourselves while he is sober.   We’re experiencing for the first time, a sober child and we continue to work on healthy ways to maintain our relationship.  In the event, he relapses, which is normal, I am committed to healthy helping, being the encourager and continuing my journey of hope and faith. Brenda, PAL Mom

How do you know when it is time to seek professional help?
There are many confusing and difficult decisions to make along the journey with your addicted loved one; not the least of which is…”When do I reach out for professional help?”  While no two people or situations are alike these are, nevertheless, some rather universal markers that individuals and families can use to determine need.  Below are a few:
  • Emotional – a prolonged sense of sadness and helplessness.  A lack of hope.  Emotional intensity and an inability to “get off the roller coaster” of emotions and mood swings.  Feeling “stuck” in anger, worry or guilt.
  • Mental – preoccupied or obsessed with your addicted loved one’s situation.  An inability to concentrate or make clear decisions (often affecting work or relationships).
  • Physical – chronic problems with sleep, fatigue or appetite.  Often rundown and sick.  Plagued with headaches, stomach problems or other “ailments that just won’t go away”.
  • Social and Vocational – declining performance at work or home.  Isolation from friends.  Inability to enjoy pleasurable activities.
  • Behavior – engaging in self defeating actions in order to cope (overeating and drinking too much are a couple examples).  Rescuing and codependent behavior in which you are working harder to “fix the problem” than the addict is. 
I personally know the difficulty in reaching out for help but in my years working as a substance abuse counselor, the most common response I hear from those seeking help is…”I wish I hadn’t waited so long to get help.”  So, if any of the above markers describe you, I want to encourage you to pick up the phone, search the internet or ask a friend (or PAL group member) for resources in your area.  You won’t regret it!

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. 
Wondering how you can help out with PAL's wants and needs?

Volunteer When Feeling Blue? Come On, It’s Good for you!

Ugh you might say! But, this isn’t a cliché lecture on volunteering your time.  It is my own personal experience on how volunteering helped get me, and many other PAL families get through a deep sadness and depression. We redirected our energy and attention to help others and make an impact on our community and something unexpected happened…we began to feel good, less blue...
How is this even possible, you might wonder? I can barely get through my work day, go out to eat with a friend or even think straight.  I couldn’t do something like that – what can I offer, I don’t even want to leave the house.  I might fail and embarrass myself.  It’s contrary to what you might naturally think you want to do when feeling blue... 
Well, think about the following and see if it makes sense to you.
Volunteering offers vital help to worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. Volunteering and helping others can help you reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help your community and improve your health and happiness.
Volunteering: The Happiness Effect
Helping others sparks happiness, as many studies have demonstrated. When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were, according to a study in Social Science and Medicine. Compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being “very happy” rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks. Among weekly volunteers, 16% felt very happy—a hike in happiness comparable to having an income of $75,000–$100,000 versus $20,000, say the researchers.
Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health:
Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety
Volunteering combats depression
Volunteering makes you happy
Volunteering increases self-confidence
Volunteering provides a sense of purpose
Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy 
Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life

So, does this make a little bit of sense?  We invite you to test the concept: “volunteering increases personal happiness…and several other significant benefits.”
PAL has many volunteer opportunities for you to get involved, see a few below:
Flyer Distribution Month: During March PAL will be delivering flyers to treatments centers, counseling offices, hospitals etc. If you are willing to search out locations with criteria we provide and deliver fliers during the month of March, we need you regardless of where you live or work!! 

Newsletter Editor – Write, coordinate, design (mailchimp), produce and edit a minimum of four to six newsletters per year to keep members in touch with PAL activities.

Online search and connection to PAL – Identify organizations, businesses and referral entities that might offer resources to families of addicts.  Send PAL info and request to be listed as a resource – help create awareness of PAL to other  organizations’ resource lists/directories. 

Work on a committee - outreach and development – Attend a meeting once a month and help with ongoing PAL projects, such as our fundraising events, family seminars and at booths representing PAL etc.

Coordinate Family Seminars - Held quarterly in any location where PAL meetings are available.  The Family Seminars are free to the public and provide information about addiction issues as well as to promote PAL. All the materials and information to coordinate is provided, and a PAL resource is available for questions to ensure success! 

Corporate Sponsor assistance - Help us connect to companies and corporations to support PAL with resources and financial support. Introduce PAL to them - we provide all the materials- just need people willing to identify potential sponsors and meet with them.

Webmaster – Do you know WordPress and have 2-3 hours a week to help update our website?
We invite you to give it a try, get involved, help your community and feel better! Find a little happiness!  If any of these volunteer opportunities interest you, please let us know! Email or call 480-300-4712
PALs 2nd Annual 100 BALL BASH
Coming Saturday  April 29th 2017 at 9:00 AM
Hosted By
Parents of Addicted Loved Ones

We need your help to make our 2nd Annual FUNdRAISER a huge success!  By success, we mean have FUN and help raise funds!  Please save the date and start rounding up some golfers. More information to come - watch for our email announcements.

Fry's Foods - It's easy and again, it's free.  If you live in Arizona, 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! 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 :

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