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Letter from the Executive Director - Kim Humphrey

Dear Friends, 

I am bound and determined to meet my personal goals this year! However, I think I say that every year and now that we are one month past the first of January, many people statistically have dropped and or given up on their goals.  Gyms that were full are half-empty and people have settled back in their routine. This past week I heard about research on habits, what it takes to change one and to actually get it locked into who you are and what you do.  I learned that one of the most important things to answer before you set a goal is “why.”   Why are you setting this goal, what do you want to change?

I always think of things like, I want my health to be better so for example, I will lose weight, eat better, exercise etc. and then I set goals and start searching for the ever-elusive motivation. Many times, I just honestly lose my motivation after a short time and I cannot seem to find it again. I read that when it comes to setting goals, the most successful people are those who attach a time and a place to when they will work on that goal. 

In other words, it’s not as much about motivation as it is about writing down when and where you will work on it.  In PAL, I had to “unlearn” many parenting habits I had fallen into. I had to realize that in the upside-down world of addiction, what might be healthy with a child not on drugs would actually make things worse for a child on drugs. PAL meetings made all the difference. For one, it became a habit to go to PAL, it was every week at a specific time and location and second, I was constantly reinforced with what needed to change.  

Most changes did not happen overnight, but it was not long before the small adjustments my wife and I made started to add up. If you did not set goals this year or have not had much success, let’s just hit restart and try again in February.  PAL as an organization has been setting goals and this year, we really want to see PAL offered in all 50 states and maybe beyond!  If you have no meeting near you, now is the time to go forward and reach out and let us help you get one going so you can not only bring hope and healing to yourself, but to those around you.  Simply email us at info@palgroup.org and we can go over the details with you.

Also, maybe just set a goal to show up at PAL every week even if you don’t “feel” like it, and even if your loved one is doing ok right now, because you can bring hope to others!  We as a group can help one another in dealing with this insidious disease of addiction. I needed all the help I could get.  Let’s make February a month to remember where and when we took positive steps to help ourselves and one another. 

We are so excited about our blogs this month and about the Midwest Celebration of Hope, which now has tickets on sale. We are anticipating seeing as many of you as possible at the event on April 18th in Erlanger, Kentucky.  See details in this newsletter!

God Bless,

Kim Humphrey
PAL Executive Director

Parent Testimonial: 
We needed support too

The first time we met with treatment counselors, we were trying to determine what type of program we were going to put Jonathon in. Because this was his first incident, we had no idea what we were up against. I mean, all teenagers experiment right? Their frontal lobe isn’t fully formed so they make dumb decisions, right? After the one-on-one counselor’s meeting with Jonathon he called my husband and I in for a meeting. He suggested that we admit our son to an eight week out-patient program with meetings three times a week and weekly drug testing. We were desperate, open, and willing to do whatever it took to see our son happy and whole. As we were leaving, the counselor said, “In my many years of being a drug counselor, I can almost guarantee that he will end up here at our in-patient program.” I was appalled, offended, and a little taken aback. He obviously didn’t know our son, our son is different; he didn’t know our family. He had no idea that we were a Christian family that home-schooled our kids. I was going to prove to him that we were the exception to the rule. Just watch.
 
Jonathon was my firstborn. He was the most kind, loving, funny, witty, incredibly intelligent, and curious kid. He never really got in trouble because he was pretty obedient and followed all the rules. He was always the life of the party. He attracted a crowd within five minutes of being on the playground or at school or in sports. He had a magnetic personality and had a lot of charm and charisma. When Jonathon was in the first grade, it was pretty evident that he was advanced for his age. He was reading Harry Potter books and was reading at a seventh-grade level in the first grade. The teachers had a meeting with us and let us know that there wasn’t really anything extra they could give him and that he would just be bored in school. We decided to home-school. He still had a lot of social interactions with his friends. In 2013, our family decided to move to another state.

It was a rough transition, but our family was resilient, and we knew we could adjust and adapt to our new environment. Jonathon was a little more subdued and apprehensive about making new friends, plus he was entering into the tumultuous, dreaded, teenage years. As he became more isolated and focused on making music, we just chalked it up to being a brooding teen. We enrolled him in a charter school that seemed to be a good fit. He found new friends and seemed to enjoy being social again.

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My Personal Bill of Rights
PAL  Blogger: 
Ron Paterik

There are any number of ways to look at the topic of boundaries; many are helpful, and some are confusing.  One of the more useful tools I use with my clients when discussing boundaries is the “My Personal Bill of Rights” handout. 
Below is a copy with some follow-up questions and additional comments:

  1. I have the right to be treated with respect (basic respect is the cornerstone to healthy relationships.)
  2. I have the right not to take responsibility for anyone else’s problems and behavior (it is imperative that we ‘give’ people responsibility for their decisions and actions and allow consequences to teach – don’t rescue and don’t feel guilty for what is not yours!)
  3. I have the right to get angry (anger is a legitimate feeling/response.  However, we also bear responsibility for how we choose to express our anger.)
  4. I have the right to make mistakes (perfectionists.are you listening?)
  5. I have the right to say “No” (you can and must learn to say “no”.  Remember… it’s easier to reverse a “no” than it is a “yes”.)
  6. I have a right to my own feelings, opinions and convictions (be clear in what you believe and why you believe it.  If unsure, solicit input from those you trust.)
  7. I have a right to change my mind or to decide on a different course of action (if we make a mistake…see Right #4… do not continue with the same course out of principles or stubbornness.)
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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
PAL Receives Nearly $80,000 to Help Families Impacted by Addiction

We’re delighted to report that PAL was recently awarded a $79,500 grant from AmerisourceBergen Foundation. The funds are earmarked for a campaign to increase the organization’s reach and impact across the country.
 
There are four components of the program that will be supported by the grant:

  1. Build awareness of the impact of addiction on families.
  2. Start new groups in underserved communities, offering free education and support for parents of the addicted.
  3. Nurture outreach through seminars and participation in community events.
  4. Fund a part-time staff person to help follow up on responses to the campaign.

AmerisourceBergen is a distributor of pharmaceuticals based in Pennsylvania, and their foundation is committed to providing communities across the country with support and resources to combat the epidemic of opioid misuse.

Human Nature 
PAL Blogger:
By Sean, In Recovery

Human nature, it would seem, can be innately self-centered. Not necessarily in the sense of a child throwing a fit when they don’t get what they want; but in the way that our thoughts tend to be geared inward, toward ourselves when left unchecked. In recovery, I’ve found gratitude and thankful living to be directly correlated to the amount of peace and serenity I feel in my life at any given time. Considering the life I used to live, filled with chaos, pain, loss, and mental and emotional instability, you’d think it’d be easy to keep a positive mindset with whatever current situation I may find myself in. But alas; the blinders can come on quickly and I lose my insight when I’m not doing the things I need to do to take care of myself. Last week I found myself in one of those unfortunate episodes where I was feeling down on myself and my circumstances, ruminating consistently on my own situation. None of it could even be deemed consequential and generally tended toward being of my own making. While our feelings and struggles are always valid, and an integral part of the human experience, chances are, someone else is always going to be going through something more difficult than I.
 
I shared in my last post that I had recently gotten extensively into running and its ensuing lifestyle. A lot of my thoughts in life are directed toward that; toward training, my goals, and my personal physical fitness. It brings me a great deal of joy to run. It provides me with mental clarity and happiness on a regular basis. Due to my knee issues there have been times where I’ve had to take a break from my training, and since I’m out on the roads and trails almost every other day, I generally start to go a little stir crazy when I’m stuck on the couch with an ice-pack. Last week was one of those weeks. I started obsessing about it. I focused on it. I felt the sting of loss that a huge part of my life and recovery was slipping away from me; this turned into a cascade of negativity and hopeless feelings pretty quickly. Bad thoughts can spiral out of control when we hone in on the negative aspects of whatever life might be throwing at us at any given time.
 

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Facebook Ads Are Spreading the Word About PAL

Sometimes the hardest thing for hurting parents to do is seek help. Even when they hear about the hope that PAL offers, it takes a lot of courage to go into a meeting full of strangers, filled with shame and maybe some fear.
 
That’s part of the reason why some PAL meetings have difficulty in getting traction in terms of a steady stream of parents coming through the door.
 
We’ve experimented with several types of marketing, from direct mail, to newspaper ads and flyers. One program that’s showing a lot of promise is our Facebook ad campaign. We can target adults 40-65 in the area around a low-attendance group and run an ad talking about what to expect from a PAL meeting. People who want to learn more can comment, or simply click on the “Message” button. Our Phoenix team then opens up a dialogue with them via Messenger, guiding them to the nearby meeting.
 
Currently in the middle of our second pilot group, we’ve determined that this is the most effective paid marketing we’ve used to date in terms of earning responses. In the first month we received 136 direct inquiries to four specific meetings, resulting in 13 new attendees. We anticipate the number of attendees will grow, as it may take several weeks for people to gather up the nerve to go to a meeting.
 
Our challenge, however, is helping more of those moms and dads who reached out to take the critical step to visit their local meeting.
 
We are on our second round of pilot testing with meetings in Wyoming, Michigan, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Indiana and Texas. We’ll let you know how it goes!

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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