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Letter from the Executive Director - Kim Humphrey
Dear Friends, 

Once again the Holiday Season is upon us! For many it will be a time of amazing joy and celebration and for others with actively using loved ones, it's many times a season we wish was over before it starts.

Holidays can be nostalgic and we might find ourselves longing for the story of young children excited, happy and everyone healthy. I hope that if you attend a PAL meeting you are finding hope from your group and your fellow travelers in this difficult world of addiction.  

PAL has seen significant growth over the past year as we are able to offer more meetings in many more communities to help hurting families. The recent December issue of Money Magazine which has a cover story that features my family and two other PAL families has had a tremendous impact on inquires to start meetings.  There is a link to the article below in this newsletter.

We are pleased to announce that PAL has received a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona to expand our volunteer coordination services and help us continue our efforts to evaluate PAL’s effectiveness by Northern Arizona University professors.  In addition, we are expanding our office space to allow us to have room for staff and volunteers who want to come in and help at the PAL office.  We are also looking forward to our first regional conference and dinner celebration in the Kentucky tri-state region on Saturday, April 13, 2019. More details will be coming soon.

I wanted to share an example of an email receive here at PAL. This is one of many just like it:

 
Hi.... I am so relieved to find you all. My heart has been broken in pieces,
my family life shattered and my son is suffering thru his alcoholism so badly
he will not even allow me to know even where or how he is now. 
I moved across the country alone...Not financially fit, because he asked for help. 

What does a parent do, right?

I so wish I had found your group and education three months ago.
I would not be so lost now. I will be following you and sharing with others. 
Today... I believe was my day to find hope and I found your group, PAL.

It grieves my heart to get these emails when someone does not have a meeting nearby.  If you have ever thought about starting one in your community, now is the time! You can reply to this newsletter if you have questions or an interest in starting a meeting or learning more.

As I wrap up, I am reminded that we have much to be thankful for this Holiday Season, our bloggers are back with great information as well as a testimonial from a parent who shared their PAL experience on Facebook.  We at the PAL office will pray that you will experience what this season is really all about and somehow you can find joy this time of year.

Kim Humphrey
Executive Director, PAL    

 
PAL Blog: When Life is a Struggle ~ Ron
The struggles of life rarely take a day off and the holidays are no exception.  If anything these special times of year seem to magnify whatever difficulties we are already facing; robbing us of what little peace and joy we manage to muster.
 
When life is a struggle it is important to find perspective by recalling important truths.  One such truth is:
 
Suffering is Inevitable (a wise Rabbi, whose birthday we celebrate, once said… “I have told you these things in advance so you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart because I have overcome the world!” John 16:33) 
 
But Misery is Optional (another spiritual teacher reminds us that we can be optimistic when facing hardship knowing that “the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance works maturity and maturity produces a fully developed you that is not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4)
 
Below are 5 ways to respond to struggles that minimize suffering and ensure our growth:
Read More
Smile Amazon Benefits PAL
It's easy, and it's free and it helps PAL!
click here or just go to https://smile.amazon.com/
Next sign in using your normal Amazon username and password.  Amazon will prompt you to select an organization, type in: Parents of Addicted Loved Ones. Select PAL and after you complete the process, make sure at top left of page, you see orange letters "Supporting" and to the right of that it should say Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) in white.

That is it! You're now correctly signed up. Simply always go to https://smile.amazon.com/ to sign in and make your Amazon purchases and by doing so you are helping to support PAL.  There is no cost to you!
International Day of Giving
Thank you for Your Support 
Together, We Raised Over $9,000!

 
Your generous contributions to PAL will help cover operating costs including meeting materials, promotional brochures, mailings, and coordination of over 300 volunteers. 

We are so grateful for every gift we received!
Thank you for being a part of this international day of giving


THANK YOU!
The Holidays…A Time to Let Go…
The Holidays…A Time to Let Go…
 
            The holiday season. Every year we gather with friends and family to celebrate and be close. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the promise of a fresh new year are enough to put a smile on your face at the mere thought. Some of us travel, some have family coming in town to stay, some even go the extra mile and find ways to give back to those in need. When life is coming along swimmingly and everyone is happy and healthy, the holidays are a lovely time indeed. But with the looming crisis of the opioid epidemic that has decimated the country, with the rampant abuse of alcohol and other drugs touching the lives of at least one person we know and love, these times can leave us feeling lonesome and lost. When we have someone close to us who’s afflicted, all the joy and happiness and good cheer we may have felt in years past can be dashed, diminished or altogether gone when our thoughts turn to their struggle, or their absence at the dinner table. Where do we go from here? Where do we resolutely turn our thoughts to when we’re crushed by the behavior and absence of the sick people we love? How do we help in a meaningful fulfilling way?

            Our first inclination is usually to throw out the figurative life preserver and reel them back in. To try and rescue them from themselves, if you will. Anyone who has made this type of futile attempt can honestly speak to the fact that it will leave you even more brokenhearted than you were before. We addicts and alcoholics in our disease often recoil at the efforts of friends and family members attempting to pull us out of the depths of our disease. Setting healthy boundaries and leaving the person in question to their own devices seems counter-intuitive, heartless even, but it could be the very action on our part that sets someone upon the path to a happy destiny. An ounce of intrinsic motivation is worth a 100 tons of someone else’s effort. Regardless of your good intentions, you will never be able to give that to someone. And, the sooner we can let that idea go, that somehow we can “change” someone, or make them “see the light” if only to be a part of the family at the holiday table this year, the sooner they have the opportunity to face their consequences and be an adult.
Read More
Parent Story: Finding Hope!
Hope! I remember my early PAL meetings and listening to others’ stories about recovery. I remember sitting there listening to what seemed like far-fetched theory and something that happens to other people. I remember thinking “our family situation is so complicated” and “if they knew how bad and how long this nightmare has been, they would also think it’s not possible.”

Like most who come into PAL, I was in a state of despair, grief, sadness, anger and “almost” hopelessness. I was overwhelmed with guilt, “my divorce caused this - I should have known my pain pills were being abused.” I should have known sooner how bad off he is and the hardest part, I should have done something to stop his addiction. After all, he was a minor for most of the time he was using. The guilt had me so bound up.

As I kept coming to meetings, learning, and doing what was suggested, I could see a glimmer of hope for myself and my son. Things didn’t go uphill from there though, things got worse. With the help and support of my PALs, I was able to take some baby steps that lead to what was a giant step for me, letting go. Without hope, I would not have been able to let him go.

By the grace of God, my son is 2 years and 8 months off heroin and has a beautiful life, more than I ever hoped for or dreamed possible. In my darkest times when I felt hopeless, my PALs held hope for me and my son. I love you all for that. I am grateful and blessed. When you feel there’s no hope, we all are standing in your place of HOPE and lifting you up in prayer. There’s always hope, and God still performs miracles. Thank you for letting me share this, I felt someone needed this today.

💜🙏💙
PAL Mom
(If you are not connected to PAL on Facebook, please do, this was posted on a local PAL Facebook page)
Financial Advice for the Holidays
By Fred Leamnson, Financial Planner / PAL Facilitator
For parents with addicted loved ones, the holidays often bring another layer of stress into the picture. If your son or daughter is still using or is incarcerated, you will likely be separated from them. If they are around, that potentially adds another layer of stress on top of what was already there.
 
Are you uplifted yet?
 
Here’s my piece of financial and personal advice. Do something different this year. Book a weekend getaway to somewhere you love. Change up the family routine. Go out for Christmas dinner if being at home brings up heartache and stress. Take some time off and go to the movies. All of the best pictures come out during Christmas, right?
 
Spend less on your kids and family and more on yourself. It’s OK to be a little selfish. If you’re like us, you’ve poured thousands upon thousands of dollars into you son or daughter’s addiction. Do something nice for yourself. You’ve earned it. You deserve it. Make it about taking care of you this year. Isn’t that what PAL principles teach us?
 
Merry Christmas everybody. I’d love to hear if this works for you.
Click Here to see Fred Leamnson's Blog
PAL Featured In Money Magazine
Parents Are Cutting Off Their Opioid-Addicted Kids — and It's the Toughest Decision of Their Lives
Click Here to Read Article
BANQUET: Building Hope from Hopelessness
The 4th Annual Building Hope Banquet was a great success! We raised over $75,000 net and increased the attendance to over 400 guests! Our fundraising efforts are critical to responding to families searching for hope!

As you know, PAL’s growth is accelerating and the need is great to help coordinate and support the hundreds of PAL volunteers who are leading meetings across the United States. Our fundraising efforts are focused on responding to and managing this growth and ensuring our ability to continue to provide more support to our volunteers.

We owe the event’s success to everyone who attended, who bid on auction items, who made a donation during the event and to our generous sponsors.  In addition, it couldn’t have happened without the many volunteers who served on the committees, helped secure event sponsors, sold tickets, helped to secure silent auction items and all the volunteers who helped the day of the event with set up, registration, check-out, clearing dishes and clean up. It was an amazing effort!

We know the need for PAL is great! We each have our own journey to Hope and are extremely fortunate to have each other for support, encouragement and to learn important lessons to help us live a more healthy life.  Thank you all of your support!
Copyright © 2018 PAL - Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, All rights reserved.


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