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Parents of Addicted Loved Ones
June 2017 Newsletter

 
palgroup
In This Edition:
Message from the Board Chair
Mom's Journey Starts with a Christmas Text
Blog: Allowing the Addicted Love One to Choose
Introducing New PAL Logo
Fun at TopGolf Event
A Journey to Hope - Save the Date
Remember to Use Amazon Smile and Support PAL
Sign up for Fry's Foods Rewards Program
“I am wanting to start my own support group for parents of addicted children
and in researching it, came across your website. I feel like this would be
a great ministry to help others going through the same thing as I am
and I feel I could be very supportive and understanding to their situation
since I've lived it and am still living it today.“
Inquiry to PAL – now a facilitator!
by Kim Humphrey, PAL Board Chairman

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ~ Dr. Seuss

Once again I am struck by the number of people who are willing to step up and facilitate meetings. Many are in pain and struggling and not sure what to do, but they reach out and want not only to find support, but to be there for others. I once heard someone say, “When you fall down, pick someone else up!”  I know how difficult this is when we are facing life and death situations each week we meet at PAL.  A longtime member of our meeting and facilitator, lost his beautiful daughter to addiction in the last month. He contacted us that day and I was in total shock as I tried to wrap my head around the news we all fear. And yet, he was calmer than I was, he had truly come to a place where he had surrendered and understood he had done everything he could. He said with strength, that his daughter was no longer suffering, but in a much better place based on his faith.

He shared how PAL had made such a difference and that he wanted to honor his daughter by continuing to help with PAL.  I am not sure I could be as strong, but I sure appreciate him as a friend and I am reminded that: Addiction untreated is a terminal disease. My friend told everyone in the meeting not to lose hope and that he had not, in spite of the loss of his daughter. He wants to continue to help in any way he can. 

So as we move into the summer months, please take a minute to read through our newsletter. Our blogger, Ron Paterik, is back with more great suggestions on dealing with your loved one.  We are introducing our new logo and hope you like it! We have provided an explanation about it’s meaning. We have put a lot of thought into what we believe will be recognized by people all over the country as a symbol of hope in this addiction crisis. We have more new meetings starting and by the end of June I think we will have meetings in half the states across the U.S.  This rapid growth is amazing and we are so thankful that PAL is able to reach more and more families with a message of hope.  We are looking for facilitators not only to start meetings but to be substitutes. If you have been thinking you might want to get more involved, please let us know and we can give you more details. We also are looking for help with our upcoming annual banquet slated for the fall of this year. If you are interested in joining our special banquet committee and can help with silent auction items, planning, decorating etc., please let us know.

Wishing you a wonderful summer!

Blessings,
Kim Humphrey

Mom’s Journey Starts with a Christmas Text

My journey into the world of addiction started the day after Christmas in 2014 when my 18-year-old daughter sent me a text message.
Just the day before we spent Christmas together. She bought presents for the little kids, she was so cute about the gifts.  We took lots of pictures and had a fun day.  We were like any ordinary family with pretty good kids. Neither of my girls gave us any reasons to be concerned… 
That all changed with the text I received from her on December 26:
 “Mom, I’m going into rehab tonight. They are going to take my phone away,  I don’t know for how long. Let Dad know I’m ok and I can’t contact anyone when I get there.  I love you so much and I’m doing this because I don’t know how I ended up in this position. I feel like I’ve disappointed you and everyone else and I need to get better. I’m sorry and I love you.”
How could this be? I knew she had received a medical marijuana card in California for her new anxiety diagnosis while living with her Dad.  I had never smelled pot on her.  Fortunately, I was able to call her before she went to rehab and ask her, “Are you in rehab for POT?”   I was just stunned when I heard she say, “heroin”.  I thought to myself, ‘What person in their right mind does HEROIN?’ My foundation was crumbling around my beliefs and it crushed expectations for her and myself. I was mad. I felt lost.  Only junkies do Heroin, not my kid who’s been on the ‘fast track to awesome’ - she worked so hard to graduate High School when she was only 16 by taking extra summer school classes.
I guess my “OH GOD” was enough of a prayer.  I had an inkling of a reasonable thought: If it were me, what would I need to hear if I had just turned myself in to rehab to experience, what I understand (and she must know), is a very difficult and painful detox?  So, I said to her, “I am proud of you for getting help.”  I honestly don’t know where that came from. I’m glad she found a resource and was getting help because I sure didn’t know anything about helping her. I remember thinking she is very brave and very stupid. I guess I am too, for not figuring this charade out earlier. I was sure my sleepless nights would be nothing compared to what her nights were going to be like.  The gravity of the situation was overwhelming and I knew I needed help. I searched the internet on Heroin. 
I believe my daughter’s journey actually started in July 2013. Looking back, before my daughter’s ‘unraveling’, we had waited to schedule the extraction of four impacted wisdom teeth with an oral surgeon until after her May High School Graduation. My daughter was so busy that there just wasn’t any room for down time.  After the procedure, she was given a 3-day supply of 20 Oxycodone for pain. We went back to the oral surgeon as 2 dry sockets developed and she was given another bottle of Oxycodone.  I believe this was her first courtship with Opioids.
The pieces were starting to come together. Her ‘unraveling’ was starting to make sense. She said, she was having anxiety. We took her to her doctor and she was prescribed anti-depressants.  She quit her job where she once felt confident. There was a car accident that totaled her car (luckily no one was hurt). She dropped out of college to move to Calif with her Dad.  She had weight loss.  Her stories didn’t add up. I knew the answers and the truth would be forthcoming.
As I pieced together the timeline, I wanted to understand it and I read several reviews, I ordered my first book: A comprehensive addiction guide written by an MD that battled addiction. I also sought out a relationship and addiction counselor from my EAP at work for my husband and myself.
My daughter relapsed 3 months after going to rehab that day after Christmas. That is when I found a PAL group on the recommendation of a friend in the field. I attended several different PAL meetings around the valley. I wanted to gather all the information as quickly as possible. I felt like I was cramming for a College Degree in Toxicology. For months, I cried every time I said, “My daughter is an IV Heroin user”.  My shame and guilt over the stigma of addiction slowly lifted, as did my mistaken understanding of addiction as a moral character flaw. I learned about addiction being a disease by watching the movie Pleasure Unwoven, through the educational lessons at PAL and hearing others describe their triumphs and struggles. I felt safe and supported at PAL during my most vulnerable times. I used the beloved “GEMS” on her when appropriate, I stopped rescuing or telling her what to do, as she was an adult now.  I’ve been able to get suggestions from other PAL members when needed.
I read Mike Speakman’s book on recovery and it became my ‘go to’ reference for dealing with my daughter during her addiction which included several rehabs, relapses and subsequence overdose from fentanyl laced heroin in which Narcan was used. I am so thankful that I still get to be the mother of an addict because Narcan was administered.  I found my courage during the ups and downs and I set healthy boundaries.  I supported her by going to all her family counseling. I found my joy again while loving an addict that made me wonder if she really was my kid.  My daughter is now 14 months clean and sober.  Her 21st birthday is in August. She is self-supporting, has a sponsor and puts her sobriety first.
My daughter has said, each in-patient rehab, time of sobriety, counseling sessions, doctor appointments, dual diagnosis, AA meetings, intensive outpatient and 1 year sober living has helped her learn new ways to move toward staying sober.
We have a good relationship because we BOTH got help. 
Lori, Pal Member & Facilitator

Blog: Allowing the Addicted Love One to Choose

            One of the most difficult, but critical lessons we must learn on our journey with the Addict is that of letting our loved one live the life they choose to live.  For most, including myself, this is an exceptionally hard lesson to master.  Why?  FEAR!

            We are driven by the worst case scenarios rolling through our minds like a tsunami.  We react predictably and understandably by doing what comes natural in threatening situations.....We Attempt to Seize Control!  Our hope is to steer the ship into a safe port, thereby avoiding disaster and the accompanying pain.  However, our efforts to control Never (Yes, I said Never) deliver the outcome we had hoped for and almost always make things worse for us and our addicted love one.

            The Solution?  The lesson we must learn?  Surrender!  Surrender is not giving up.  Surrender is not giving in.  Surrender is, among other things, a humble acknowledgment that I cannot fix or control this; that I cannot impose my will on another and call it “good” or “love”.  Surrender is a spiritual act that requires faith.  It requires that we allow others, even our children, to be who they choose to be.  It requires trust and an acceptance that I can't do it alone; hence the need for God and others.

            In upcoming blogs I will be talking more about the principles associated with surrender.  In the meantime check out a PAL group.  You'll be encouraged to know you are not alone on this journey.

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.
Introducing a new logo for PAL
 
We are at a point in time where Parents of Addicted Loved Ones is ready to become truly a national organization. The PAL board of directors is excited to introduce a new logo that reflects the purpose and mission of the organization.
  
The original logo represented the organization well as it grew from the passion of one man to a board of 12 people; from 18 meetings in three states to over 60 meetings in 22 states, all through parents sharing what helped them survive a challenge they never dreamed they would have to face.
 
The colors of the logo – blue and green – have special meaning.
  • Blue is considered the color of addiction recovery awareness – the dream of every parent whose loved one has been gripped by dependency. For Christians, the color also represents hope and good health.
  • Green symbolizes the breaking of shackles and freedom from bondage. In the Christian context, it means life over death.
The three figures at the top have joined hands, supporting each other; and also have their arms raised in victory over the nightmare of addiction controlling their lives. The yellow line represents the sun and the hope of a new morning.
 
Together, PAL helps family members reclaim their lives, using education, community support and the knowledge that they are not alone.
 
We had a FUN day at TopGolf in April!
Thank you to everyone who came out to
"Swing for FUNds" and support PAL.
And THANK YOU to those who sponsored our golfers! 
Save the Date - TENTATIVE
PALS Annual Banquet will be held on October 28 at North Phoenix Baptist Church. We'll confirm soon!
If you'd like to join our banquet committee and help with securing silent auction items, planning and decor, etc. please let us know!


Support PAL When You Make a Purchase on Amazon

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

 

Amazon:

1) Go to https://smile.amazon.com/
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 always go to https://smile.amazon.com/ to sign in and make your Amazon purchases (if you just go to Amazon.com 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, 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.
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Copyright © 2016 LIST:PAL All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 3325
Gilbert AZ 85299
Phone : 480-300-4712
Email : info@palgroup.org

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