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Letter from the Executive Director - Kim Humphrey

Dear Friends, 

Over the years I have made a number of New Year’s resolutions and probably like many of you I was not all that successful in keeping them. In reading about this topic, I found several researchers who estimated the chances of you keeping a resolution range from 8% to about 20%, with most of us in the 8-10% range. This simply means that 90% of the time we just can’t stick to the plan.  Working at PAL has led me to try to anticipate and set logical goals that seem sometimes really difficult to attain and when it comes down to it, some of our goals are not in our hands. 

I am starting to think we just don’t dream or think big enough.  Although hard to believe, PAL is reaching a milestone this year, turning five years old as a non-profit.  Growing from a handful of meetings in 2015 (all but one in Arizona) to meetings now in 37 states in roughly 4½ years. So for 2020, we have decided to think big and stretch our goals. We will be doing what we can to expand our reach this coming year to all 50 states. It’s our five-year 50-state goal.  Why? Because our mission is to provide hope through education and support; and our vision is to make PAL meetings available wherever they are needed.

We are not doing this to create a bigger organization.  Honestly, we would love to see the need for PAL go away entirely. Sadly, that is likely not going to happen. We want to grow because people are hurting and those who have benefited from PAL would like to pay that forward to others.  As I noted, we are not in control of much of this goal - it will take many more volunteers, additional funds and of course most important, prayer and faith for it to happen.   

There are four ways you can help:

  • If you have ever considered starting a meeting, now is the time! Make the resolution to jump in and be the one to raise your hand and step in. Email us at info@palgroup.org and we will send you information on what it takes to get the ball rolling. 
  • We also need more volunteers who can help with supporting our meetings, people to help with typing and sending letters, with online research and many other tasks that can be done from your own home. We have information in this newsletter on how to get involved. Please take a minute to read and reflect if this is something you can do.
  • We also appreciate all of you who give your financial resources to PAL.  As we grow and look for more sustainable funding sources, you can help us plan more realistically by considering becoming a PAL Patron, a monthly donor to PAL.  Again, you can find information in this newsletter. 
  • Lastly, if you can commit to send your thoughts and prayers to PAL and its outreach to our community, drop us a note by responding to this email and let us know if this is something you are willing to do, it will encourage our staff and volunteers. 
I hope that 2020 brings peace and joy to your families. As I think about our goals and resolutions, I believe we can beat the odds and meet our goals for this coming year. Will you please join us?


God Bless,

Kim Humphrey
PAL Executive Director

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
Help PAL from the comfort of your own living room!
PAL is growing so quickly that we need help. The great news is that these volunteer jobs can be done from home on your own computer, and you can make a HUGE difference in the lives of families all over the country! See if you would be able to serve in one of the volunteer positions below – we can use two to three people in each post.  Let us know if you have other skills as we are always expanding our volunteer base.
 
Outreach coordinator
When new groups start up, we like to send out letters to local officials, treatment centers, hospitals, counselors and the like to let them know that PAL is available for hurting parents in their town. This volunteer position entails:
  • Online research to build a list of contacts with their mailing addresses in the new markets for PAL.
  • Prepare and mail letters with brochures to those businesses/organizations.
PAL will provide all the letters, postage, and brochures needed, and reimburse you for any expenses.
 
Media lists
One of the best ways to get the word out about PAL is through the local media. Typically, this means one or two major newspapers in the area; two or three television stations; two or three radio stations and online news outlets. We need help researching media outlets in local markets for new PAL groups. This volunteer position entails:
  • Researching the media outlets online using resources we provide.
  • Entering the information into a simple spreadsheet and sending it back to PAL.
PAL staff will take care of reaching out to the media.

If you live nearby …
For those close enough to come into the PAL Phoenix office to help with mailings or special projects, just let us know and we’ll keep your name on file so we can send you an email when opportunities arise.
 
Thanks so much for all the things each of you do! Please share this information with others who may be interested, and if you want to learn more about these opportunities, call the PAL office at 602-512-1454 or email Rachel at admin@palgroup.org.
Healing from Codependency
PAL  Blogger: 
Ashley Worthington, MA, LAC

A new year (and new decade!) naturally brings with it the tendency to reassess and realign our intentions and goals.  We have all probably set New Year’s resolutions with the full intention of keeping them, only to find ourselves back in old patterns within a few days or weeks.  What we’ll be discussing here is not about setting a New Year’s resolution, but about how to regain more of your authentic self, even in the midst of challenges such as having a loved one who is in their active addiction. 
 
In the dynamic of addiction, the family system often finds techniques to survive the intensity of their loved one’s state in codependent ways.  Codependency is a learned behavior where we learn to betray and neglect ourselves.  Instead of focusing on our needs, interests, and desires, we start to focus externally.  This can look like care taking, enabling, or people pleasing and keeps us from being able to live fully and authentically.

In healing from codependency, we learn something important:  We are not responsible for the emotional state of others.  It is not up to us to make another person “okay” or fix what he or she may be wrestling with emotionally.  People who are emotionally healthy say "no," they have limits and boundaries.  They can also hear and respect the boundaries of others.  They do not neglect themselves to obtain validation, approval, or love and they’ve learned to be at peace with being misunderstood by others.  They protect themselves and also have empathy in knowing that this might be triggering for those around them.  Emotional health means we place our needs, wants and desires first so we can connect and give authentically to others.
 

Read More
Check Out Our Store!
Featuring PAL Brands
We are excited to have an online store to purchase PAL branded items.

The online store features PAL shirts, mugs, and other swag can be purchased online with just a click or two. Check it out and let us know what we should add. Items may be purchased to help promote PAL and share the great work PAL does. 

The store is run by a third party and PAL receives a portion of the proceeds from all purchases.

Click here to see what’s for sale
 
PAL STORE LINK
Parent Testimonial: 
From chaos to thankfulness

My daughter had behavioral issues from the time she was little. By the time she was 4 I had her evaluated because of her behavioral issues of hitting and biting other children. Once she started school, she clearly had problems with paying attention. She was held back in kindergarten with the explanation that she needed to mature a bit before moving on. In about fourth grade I took her to a child psychiatrist to have her evaluated for ADHD.  They started her on Ritalin which seemed to help at least through grade school.  But then in eighth grade she stole a small bottle of whiskey from home and took it to school, planning to go drink with her friends at the park.

From there, high school was a nightmare.  Her psychiatrist changed her medication and added anti-depressants.  She began skipping classes, leaving school with other kids to drink or take any drugs that would help her feel calm.  She got in fights with teachers or fell asleep in class. One day the call came from the principal that she was suspended for handing out her Adderall to other kids at school. 

We home-schooled her to try to get her back on track for graduation. We are not sure how, but we got her through high school graduating by the skin of her teeth.

She enrolled in college which she ended up flunking out.  She moved in with her boyfriend who eventually became the father of her first daughter, and married him three months after the baby was born. He had his own addictions; he was the child of alcoholics and became one himself. 

She complained of pain issues continually and doctors prescribed pain meds. Then her second child was born and as life became busier, her abuse of pain meds increased. For the most part, she hid it well. Then came the day we were called to her house when it all came crashing down. Her husband said he couldn’t do it anymore; and we took her to the hospital to detox. Her marriage became strained and her husband left and filed for divorce.

After living in chaos for months, one day I went to Barnes and Noble looking for a book a friend had recommended. I opened up to the clerk who waited on me about my daughter, and she shared about her loved one. At checkout she gave me a piece of paper and written on it was - palgroup.org - she said to check it out.

Immediately I came home and looked it up and found a PAL meeting group five minutes from our home.  My husband and I both attended, taking it all in, listening to all the other parents and their stories.  Tuesday nights were our date nights, and we finally became a team. The fighting stopped between us, we knew we had to be on the same page.  

Through the application of PAL’s lessons, we did the tough work. She either returned to rehab or we were going to have to ask her to leave our home. I think she spent some sad lonely nights in the house – no friends, no husband, no daughters.  She finally sent us and her siblings a long text saying she couldn’t do anymore; she was ready to go back to rehab and do the work.  This was two days before her final divorce hearing.

It hasn’t been easy for her. Her husband agreed to allow her to try and get clean before proceeding with a divorce. She went through detox and rehab and moved back in with her husband and kids in his new apartment. Then she struggled getting off the Suboxone she was put on, and he worked on his alcohol addiction.

My daughter will be four years in recovery this coming March 2020.  She and her husband have added a third daughter. They are a miracle family and I am so proud of them both.  This past Thanksgiving, we did our family circle where we all shared our thankfulness openly with each other.  Their middle daughter, now 10, said through tears that she was thankful that her mom and dad were sober.  It brought our entire family to tears – tears of happiness.

We thank PAL and we thank God for his steadfast faithfulness in bringing us to this point.

PAL Mom

What's your catalyst for change? 
PAL Blogger:
By Sean, In Recovery

At the beginning of 2019 I made a resolution to run for health, for fitness, and overall general well-being. I had always enjoyed hiking and walking over the years and was looking to get into a positive healthy habit to get in shape and lose some weight. Now, if you are like me, I thought running entailed putting on my sneakers, walking outside, and then…well…running. And, on the most basic surface level I suppose I was correct. In actuality, the sport tends to be slightly more complicated than this, as I soon found out, to my own detriment.
 
I started out with some short runs one to three miles through the neighborhood at a pretty easy pace, over the course of a couple weeks. I felt great. It felt easy. And, best of all I quickly experienced what I had heard so many athletes speak about – runners high. That rush of endorphins and good feelings that was supremely effective at boosting my mood and well-being. I was in love with my new hobby, and I was determined. These short runs were great and all, but I wanted to see how far I could go. How much could I push myself? 

With firm resolve, I set about my task, and attempted to run 10 miles. 10 MILES. In a new pair of shoes, nonetheless. A novice, a rookie, with almost no training, limited leg/core strength and functionality, attempting to run a 10K-plus right out of the gate. At mile six my legs were screaming at me, writhing in pulsating pain and agony. My lungs were on fire. My left knee felt almost completely numb. The arch of my left foot was covered in angry red splotches and blisters. Despite my ironclad resolve to prove to myself that I could run 10 miles, I quickly realized that I was finished. I limped along the streets of central Phoenix, and eventually resigned myself to the fact that even that was too difficult at this point, I ordered a Lyft from my phone, and went home. Unfortunately, the worst was yet to come.

Read More
Help PAL Reach Our Goal:
Meetings in all 50 states in 5 years

As PAL will celebrate its five-year anniversary this year, it is remarkable that 37 states have PAL meetings available to families seeking support and resources.  This year our goal is to have PAL meetings in every state – that’s 50 states in five years!  This goal aligns with the PAL mission to provide hope through education and support and our vision is to make PAL meetings available wherever they are needed. 

An easy way to help is to become a PAL Patron by making a monthly gift to support PAL’s work where it is needed.  

When you become a PAL Patron — a monthly donor — you make it possible for PAL to provide dependable and lasting impact to hurting parents who are seeking hope and change. Your monthly gift means more consistent and timely funding to be strategic in our growth to better offer critical services and resources to those seeking help. As a PAL Patron, you will have access to quarterly updates from PAL’s executive director, as well as the satisfaction of knowing you are making your support go further by reducing administrative costs and helping more families.

It is simple and easy to be a PAL Patron. REGISTER ONLINE: Go to the website at PALGroup.org — Click “Donate Now.” To make your monthly gift, choose any amount that works for you, select “Make this a recurring donation” and your subsequent giving will happen automatically. If you’re not quite ready to join, but have questions, please contact us at development@palgroup.org
 

How Your Monthly Gift Makes a Difference Over a Year
$10 a month x 12 = 12 facilitators will each receive one complimentary copy of the book Smoke and Mirrors.

$25 a month x 12 = provides materials and start-up costs for one meeting a year to serve families seeking hope.

$50 a month x 12 = provides community outreach and digital marketing to increase awareness of PAL services to reach parents in need.

$100 a month x 12 = contributes to volunteer facilitator recruitment and training to add meetings in new locations for families seeking resources.

Donate Here
Copyright © 2020 PAL - Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, All rights reserved.


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