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Parents of Addicted Loved Ones
February 2018 Newsletter
In This Edition:
Message from the Board Chair
God Moments
3rd Annual TopGolf Event
Blog: Change: Different, Better or More
A Journey in Recovery
Arizona Gives Day
Remember to Use Amazon Smile and Support PAL
Sign up for Fry's Foods Rewards Program
"Attending PAL meetings gave me comfort to change. Tough love feels unloving, yet PAL taught me it saves lives. My addicted daughter now has a much better chance to stay sober with my PAL mindset.  Thank you PAL!"
Mindy, PAL mom
Letter from PAL Board Chairman

       PAL is reaching thousands of people every month as we continue to experience growth as nine new meetings opened in January of this year.  We average nearly one inquiry a day asking how to start a meeting.  So, to be perfectly honest, the board and all of our amazing volunteers simply cannot keep up with all the requests and rapid growth.  It has become more apparent over the past few months that we need an Executive Director and staff support. I have been filling that role along with serving as Board Chair and I can safely say that the hours justify the need for paid staff.  We are excited to say that we recently approached the BHHS Legacy Foundation in Phoenix for seed money to hire an executive director and they have graciously granted us that money. For every dollar we raise in 2018 they will match it 2 for 1 up to the grant amount of $75,000. This will allow us to begin the process immediately to hire someone and take PAL to the next level. 
       In looking back over the last three years, I’ve asked myself “how did we get here?” It began with PAL Founder, Mike Speakman, and his vision to reach parents and families with a message of hope.  In 2015, Mike welcomed a board of parents to take his vision and move it forward. This gesture cannot be understated.  PAL has grown from a few meetings in Arizona to facilitating meetings in more than half of the states across the country.  
       This would not have happened without our amazing, dedicated facilitators who stood up and were willing to start meetings in communities where meetings did not exist. We also have been blessed with your generosity in giving to PAL and allowing us to not only keep our meetings free but allow us to supply everyone with start-up kits and mentor them along the way.  
       Now, as we embark into 2018, we look forward to what’s to come.  With an Executive Director and administrative staff, we can dedicate the time it takes to help us reach that vision of making PAL available wherever it is needed.
       I am so thankful for those that went before us, who were willing to give of their time and start a meeting, so that we had a safe place to go and realize we were not alone.  My wife and I learned so much from others who were willing to share their experiences and now we feel blessed to be able to pay that forward and help others. So, we continue to facilitate a meeting along with our work on the PAL board and organization.  Our prayer is that people will continue to see the value of PAL, support our efforts to help reach others and consider how PAL has helped them along the way in this journey none of us expected to be on. 
       As you look ahead in the new year, I hope you find some insight in our blogs from our counselor and recovering addict, as well as a story of another family that found hope in PAL.  We look forward to sharing with you what happens with our current fundraising efforts to hire the new executive director, and our ability to reach more parents with a message of hope.


Kim Humphrey

       Our son, who recently turned 36 years old, has been struggling with addiction for over 20 years.  With only the best of intentions, we spent most of those years trying to “fix” him and protect him from consequences, but I think we all know by now how well that works!
       Several years ago, through a series of God moments, we met a man through a mutual friend who would completely change our way of thinking.  At the time he was a counselor at the Betty Ford Center and he offered to come to our house to talk to us about addiction and enabling.  We had some revelations at that meeting and we made the decision to start educating ourselves about addiction and recovery.
       We both completed the Family Program at the Betty Ford Center (Jill did it twice!) as well as family programs in other recovery centers.  Most importantly, we began to read everything we could get our hands on.  We read The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and dozens of others cover to cover.  We began the habit of reading together first thing in the morning before we started our day and just soaked it all in.
       The next God moment happened when Jill was praying for an answer to our son’s “problem” and she got a very clear response that she wasn’t expecting – “WORK ON YOU!”  At the same time, the pastor in our church was preaching hard for parishioners to get more involved in something you believe in.
       Jill began looking for support programs and even tried an AL Anon meeting, but it wasn’t a good fit.  As she was researching other options, she came upon the PAL website.  It seemed like it was exactly what we were looking for, but there were no meetings in the entire state of California.  Jill reached out to our pastor to ask if the church might be interested in having a regular PAL meeting at the church (in some small, subconscious way hoping they would say no), but the response was an enthusiastic YES!
       She turned again to God and prayed that he guide us and somehow let us know if this is the path we were supposed to take.  She called the number for PAL in Phoenix and reached Kim Humphrey.  She told him of her interest in starting a PAL group and Kim said he and his wife were traveling on vacation and they were presently in Oregon training some new facilitators that wanted to start a group there.  Kim said they were headed back to Phoenix within a couple of days and would be passing right by our house, so they offered to stop and do our training and of course we agreed.
       So, the first PAL group in California was born and the rest is history. We had our first meeting in a classroom provided by the church in September of 2015 and this week we had our 115th meeting in that room.  For weeks no one showed up, but we were determined to have our meeting anyway and made the decision that we trusted this was where God wanted us to be and we weren’t going to give up.  We have had meetings with four of us and meetings with 25 of us, but no matter what, we keep going.
       Our group has become a family and we have made friends we will cherish forever.  A couple members of our group have tragically lost their children and we mourn with them.  Others have applied the lessons we learn in PAL and have found success.  We and others in our group have found recovery, marriages have been salvaged and most importantly members of our group have learned to find joy in their own lives regardless of the decisions of their loved ones.

Jill and Mitch Spike
Facilitators, Palm Springs, CA
PAL's 3rd Annual 100 Ball Bash
9:00am, Saturday, April 7, 2018

TOPGOLF - Scottsdale
Hosted by Parents of Addicted Loved Ones

What is TopGolf? 
TopGolf is a premier golf entertainment complex where players, at any skill level, hit golf balls containing computer micro-chips that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while also awarding points for hitting targets on the outfield. It’s like a driving range, bowling alley and an arcade all in a state-state-of-the-art climate controlled facility.
NEED GOLFERS/PLAYERS – No experience necessary!
To get started as a golfer/player your $100 minimum donation includes:
            3 hours of FUN in a group of 6 to hit 100 balls in 3 hours
            Chances to win fabulous, fun prizes
            A tasty breakfast and beverages
            And, a donation to support PAL!
To help raise additional FUNds, we ask that you try to get sponsors/pledges for each golf ball you hit. For example, if someone pledges .25 cents per ball x 100 balls = $25 donation, or .50 cents per ball = $50 donation to PAL!  We hope to raise as much as we can for PAL.
Family and Friends – Please join in the FUN, be a cheerleader, if you do not want to play. We ask for a $50 donation to cover food and beverage expenses and make a small donation to PAL.
Watch for an email with more details and registration information.
Contact us at if you have questions.
Blog - Change: Different, Better or More
       With the New Year arriving it is not uncommon to find ourselves contemplating change.  For many the focus is on externals; a new job, new friends, a new wardrobe to go with the new body we want.  For others it can be internal; a better outlook on life, more joyfulness or peace, a less critical – more forgiving attitude towards ourselves and others.  Whether external or internal the desire for change is a normal and healthy longing.  To grow and expand as a person and deepen our enjoyment and satisfaction with life is a yearning we all share in common.
       In any conversation on change it is important to remind ourselves of one very important fact:  WE CANNOT CHANGE ANOTHER PERSON!  Sorry, but our efforts to change our addicted loved ones (or anyone else) are doomed to fail.  The only person you can change is YOU!  So, let’s get our focus set on the individual staring at us in the mirror and embrace the challenge to make our life different, better, more joyful, peaceful, or forgiving.
       With this challenge in mind I’d like to share with you the model I use for Whole Life living...
       The center represents our “Core”.  This is your True Self. Your Soul; the unique and distinct you.  It’s who you are at your deepest level.  Your Beliefs, Values and Sense of Purpose.  From our Core we live (effectively or not so effectively) into 8 dimensions.  These dimensions are the “Arenas” in which we express who we are and where we impact our world.
       As we contemplate change it is important to identify one specific area where we would like to experience growth.  This “one thing” is important because inevitably we would “like to change everything” and end up changing nothing!

If you want to succeed focus on one thing at a time.
       So, today my challenge is for you to consider the 8 dimensions of your life.  Make a list of everything you would like to see different, better or more of in each dimension.  After you have completed your list of changes in each dimension, go back and begin the process of Identifying “the one thing” you would like to focus on in each dimension (you should have 8 items).  Now the hard part (you didn’t expect this to be easy did you?).   Pick one item of change out of your list of 8 that you intend to focus on over the next 30 days.
       If you are brave enough, share this with your PAL group and explain why you decided to focus on this change area first.
       Next?  We’ll talk more about the Whole Life model and steps to ensure success as you commit to a Different, Better or More joyful, peaceful, or forgiving version of you.
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.
A Journey In Recovery
     New Year’s resolutions. How often in this culture do we take solemn oath’s come the new year, that we’ll eat healthier, try out that new diet, exercise regularly, cut out that smoking habit, etc. The list goes on. And how often that firm resolve we feel before we begin just seems to fall by the wayside. This tradition of course regularly extends into the world of recovery. It’s a recurring theme in our lives as addicts that we make a firm resolution only to find that a resolution on its own is woefully inadequate when it comes to making real change.
       I clearly remember a time in my life where I made these types of statements to myself on a daily basis, things like “I’m not going to do this anymore, this is the last time," (and of course the classic) "things will be different this time”. These types of sentiments are empty promises and illusions that are created within the addict’s mind. If we could just stop doing what we’re doing on our own power or with a simple resolution then we would. The fact of the matter is we need real, tangible help to accomplish our goal of living a clean, fulfilling life in recovery.
       Trying to out think your addiction problem is generally futile. A resolution is only the most basic of beginnings. When it comes to the struggle with drugs and alcohol, most need to have what we in the program call a “1st step experience” to begin our journey in recovery. This refers to the first step of Alcoholics Anonymous, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable”. Also regularly referred to as “Rock Bottom.” In essence, we have to find ourselves so beaten down by our drug or alcohol use, and the lifestyle choices we make to support that use, that we find ourselves in a place of reasonableness. This is where a true catalyst for change can occur - the dark night of the soul, the roughest scrapes, between a rock and a hard place. 
       It’s always darkest before the dawn if you will. Sometimes when we have found ourselves in such a place, a decision, resolution to change, or first step in the right direction can honestly occur. But that’s all this is folks. A first step. Anyone who’s ever stuck with a new year’s resolution would probably tell you they had a specific plan as to how they’d accomplish their goal. The same strikes true here, with recovery, whether it be your own personal journey of better emotional health and wellness, freedom from codependency or a loved one’s path to fulfilling and service oriented sobriety.         
       Regardless of the many routes, pathways, and methods of recovery, one thing truly remains constant throughout, that the first mode of action after a decision is made is to reach out and ask for help. Ask a medical professional. Ask a friend in recovery. Reach out to the congregation at your church. Let a family member know you’re ready for the help you need. Whether someone is directed to a medically supervised detox or the local AA meeting hall, any step forward is a step in the right direction on the road of a happy destiny.
       Our journeys may be fraught with peril and hardship at times, we might fall down, relapse, struggle to hold on, and fail. It’s not always a walk in the park. I firmly believe though, that all that matters is the well intentioned action we take behind that first step experience, and the fact that despite our struggle at times, that we continue to take up our swords on a daily basis and do battle with our demons. Remember, decisions, resolutions, are empty promises unless backed by action, by a plan, by reaching out and asking for help. What are you waiting for?
Sean - In Recovery!
Arizona Gives Day Returns April 3
BHHS Legacy Foundation Will Triple Your Donation

Join us for 24 hours of giving to benefit Arizona nonprofits.
On April 3rd, during one day of online giving, donors will open their hearts
and wallets to support their favorite Arizona non-profit.
It’s a whirlwind of just 24 hours, but the tangible and intangible impacts of Arizona Gives Day can be long-lasting!
Triple the IMPACT of your donation!
BHHC Legacy Foundation will match $2 for every $1 donated!
$10 donation = $30 donation to PAL
$25 donation = $50 donation to PAL
$50 donation = $150 donation to PAL
Watch for details as April 3rd approaches!

Support PAL When You Make a Purchase on Amazon

Simply Register with Amazon Smile and PAL Benefits at No Cost to You



1) Go to
2) Sign in using your normal Amazon username and password.
3) Amazon will prompt you to select an organization-type in Parents of Addicted Loved Ones-PAL
4) Select the Gilbert AZ PAL, and then make sure that at top left of page, in orange letters you will see the word “Supporting”: it should say Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) in white letters next to supporting.
5) You’re now correctly signed up. Simply go to to sign in each time and make your Amazon purchases (if you just go to it will not register with your charity) and by doing so Amazon will send a portion of the profit to support PAL.

Fry's Foods - It's easy and again, it's free.  If you live in Arizona - and now available in Indiana or Ohio - 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!  Note: the following link will take you to an instruction sheet to sign up, if you are from Indiana / Ohio, look for PAL that is in your state.
Click here for instructions on signing up for Fry's 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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