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Dear Friends, 

I heard a story the other day of a famous tightrope walker who set up his tightrope across a deep gorge and – with no safety net – walked across with no problem, to the astonishment of the crowd who gathered to see the amazing feat.  As people were congratulating him, one enthralled young boy kept telling him he just couldn’t believe how incredible that was.  The tightrope walker then told the young man, “I’m now going to walk back to the other side pushing this wheelbarrow.” He asked the boy, “Do you think I can do it?” The young man replied that he did.  The tightrope walker then asked, “Are you absolutely sure, I can do that safely?” The young man replied, “Of course!” The tightrope walker then said, “Okay, hop in the wheelbarrow and let’s go.”

I remember people in PAL saying what they had done and how it worked so well for them when they learned healthier ways to respond to their loved one. However, when they suggested maybe I try it, I was sure it would never work for me. Their ideas seemed logical and reasonable – as long as it didn’t apply to me! It took many meetings, a good counselor, and support to finally take small baby steps. I continue to be thankful to PAL for all that support and now I can see the value even more than I did then.

I hope this newsletter is helpful and useful to you. Not only did I appreciate reading the testimonials and our usual blogs, but we have lots of other things going on as we continue to spread the PAL message. There are a number of news stories featuring PAL and how families are helped which we included if you are interested, and we have several events coming up from fundraisers to our annual PAL Awareness Week in August.

PAL Awareness Week is a call for any and all people willing to help us spend some time disseminating information on PAL in their community. We provide all the materials – we just need your help as we have a goal of getting out at least 40,000 brochures/information cards around the country.  More to come on that. 

In the meantime, I can say that now I would trust getting into that wheelbarrow. I finally did it and was thankful someone who had been there before took me to the place that I simply felt I could not go alone. I am truly grateful. 

God bless,
Kim Humphrey
ED / CEO
PAL Awareness Week
Aug. 21-29! 
We’re excited to announce the 2021 PAL Awareness Week – a time for supporters across the country to focus on getting the word out about free hope and support available through PAL meetings! We supply the brochures and flyers – you take them around your community!
 
Look in your inbox for the details or click her for the latest! https://palgroup.org/pal-awareness-kit/
At a certain point in time, I was just a regular suburban kid. I loved video games, watching cartoons, eating cereal, riding my bike with my friends, swimming, and catching bugs. My family loved me, and I felt it. I remember riding in my grandfather’s old pickup truck sandwiched between him and my grandma - my “Nan” - in the front seat, I remember the way it always smelled like stale cigarettes and linen at their house in Avondale. I remember riding in my father’s boat out at Lake Pleasant, the wind whipping my face as we sped along, the spray misting my face as we hit the wake at high speeds. I remember having pool parties and BBQs at my aunt’s house. I remember church every Sunday. Every single one of these memories is fond to me. I enjoyed being a child, and when I reflect back, I can’t think of it as anything but excellent, in every way, shape, and form.
 
By all accounts it was idyllic. For the life of me, I can’t identify any one single moment where things took a turn for the worse. Sure, there were some warning signs, typical: low self-esteem and poor self-worth. Feelings of anxiety that seemed to emanate from nowhere in particular.  General social discomfort. Genealogical history of addiction and mental health issues (let’s be honest though who doesn’t have any of these to a certain degree, really). There was no proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back that led me on a journey the likes of which myself or my family could ever have anticipated. So, what made me different? Why did I react so absurdly and differently than others before me who experienced similar circumstances when exposed to chemicals?
Read More
PAL Facilitators Receives Recognition
PAL’s volunteer facilitators nationwide were honored at the First Annual Inspiration Awards for their dedication in handling the adjustments necessitated by the pandemic in 2020. The event, sponsored by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, was designed to honor the courage and drive of many individuals and nonprofits during a most unusual time.
 
 Four awards were given. The PAL staff nominated our volunteer facilitators for the “Resilience Award,” to recognize their dedication under the pressures of the pandemic to continue offering PAL’s services to hurting families despite the shut-down of society during that period.
 
In the nomination, we shared that “the key to the success of PAL is the more than 300 facilitators who are on the front lines helping parents, and who are heroes who are changing and saving lives.”
We honor and thank all our facilitators and are happy that this organization agreed that they are truly deserving of the Resilience Award!
Giving Hope to Others
Share the Blessings goes through August 29, 2021

Support for your local meeting and help share PAL nationally.

 
Your participation is more important than ever to help respond to the increased need. 

The CDC recently reported that drug overdose deaths rose by close to 30% in the United States in 2020, hitting the highest number ever recorded, with more than 93,000 people who died from drug overdoes.  We know the opioid crisis is worse than ever and it’s not going away.
 
The number of people reaching out to PAL for assistance increases each day.  
We need your help to respond to this growing plea for hope!
 
Ask your facilitator for your group's fundraising web page or click the
link below to find your PAL Group and make a donation.
 
The Share the Blessings campaign will allow us to start new meetings in communities without PAL
AND can also support YOUR meeting with materials, books, targeted marketing, etc. (your choice). 
 
 For more information contact development@palgroup.org
Share the Blessings

Addiction is a family diease

The statement that addiction is a family disease is so true. I have two children, a son, who is 33, and a daughter who is 39. I have been happily married for 43 years. My daughter is the chaplain at a state university and has not had any issues with substance abuse, but my son has battled addiction most of his life.

He was born with a learning disability and after neuropsychiatric testing, it was determined that he had an auditory processing disorder and a learning disability. My husband and I were shown tests results by the neuropsychology team with our son being on and off Ritalin. The results determined that he could not hear or be educated properly without medication. As a result, we decided to do what the doctors recommended. He was five years old.  I have no idea if this contributed to his addiction in any way, but of course it is a question we ask ourselves from time to time.

In junior high school, he began to drink alcohol and to misuse his meds.  He struggled terribly in school and his self-esteem declined. He was handsome and popular, but the learning disability became more and more apparent. When he was 14, he came to me and my husband and said he needed help and was considering taking his life. We began individual and family counseling for him and for us. This helped temporarily, but it seemed to him that the drug and alcohol abuse was what allowed him to mask his pain and cope best. Eventually, he began abusing other drugs, but especially used meth. When he was using, he thought he didn’t have a care in the world. When he was coming off meth, he was a terror. We had no idea how to handle the strife and craziness in our home and life in general.

My husband and I are Christians, and we wouldn’t have survived without God’s word and prayer. Despite that, I didn’t feel church was a safe place to speak about the truth of what our home life had become, and at times I felt lonely, isolated and like I was living a joyless and hopeless life. 

Read More
PAL is making headlines
PAL featured in media over the past weeks
 
One of the best ways we have to share the message of PAL is through media coverage. When people view an article or see a story on TV, it gives added legitimacy to the organization and typically results in an increase in queries from people who want to both attend and lead meetings.
 
We thought we would share a few recent examples with you – just click on the links below to see the original story.
 
PAL group offers local support for parents of addicts – Elkhart facilitators Jim and Chris Geyer are featured in this TV story talking about the effectiveness of the group.
 
The epidemic within the pandemic – The BBC interviewed facilitator Fred Leamnson about the impact of addiction on his family, and how he began a local PAL group.
 
Recovery Hope radio show (beginning at 23:15) – PAL CEO/Executive Director Kim Humphrey is interviewed on a show targeting people interested in recovery.

A House
United
One of the first things parents who have a child abusing drugs and alcohol can ask themselves is, are we one the same page about how we want to respond?
 
The answer varies, but is often no.
 
This is one of the critical issues that will need to be addressed in order for the individual with the substance use disorder and the family to begin to heal.
 
Parents come into their relationships not only with different life experiences and ways of being raised; but they often have different beliefs about addiction, discipline, communication, parenting and problem solving. These differing beliefs can really stand out when dealing with an addict child as each parent operates based on what they believe and on their individual experiences.
 
When they disagree with their spouse or co-parent about the way to deal with the addict it is easy to play the blame game. This is often magnified if there has been a divorce. Each parent can develop a mindset of, “if we had done it my way we wouldn’t be in this mess.” The blaming can continue into “you always do (fill in the blank) and that’s why he/she is like this.” This mindset will create a further divide in the relationship at a time when unity is needed most. It leads to inconsistency in responses to the addict’s poor choices and behavior, which is easily exploited by the addict.
 
 Divide and conquer is an easy tactic for a child, much less a grown addict when mom and dad are already laying the groundwork for them by showing disagreement. Addicts, being artful manipulators, pit mom and dad against each other. Letting their parents fight it out while they get what they want, to take the focus off of their addiction. They know which parent is sensitive to which pleas, manipulations or guilt. This creates a huge crack for them to slip through and avoid accountability for their lifestyle. All the while the parents feel more alone because they are getting more and more angry, hurt, and frustrated at each other every time they are undermined by the other parent.
Read More
New PAL Meetings
Race for Recovery
September 18 - 26, 2021
It's easy to help!
 
1. Do your own race or challenge and ask people to sponsor you
OR
2. Support someone who is participating
OR
3. Make a general donation to support PAL

For more details about Race for Recovery click below
Race for Recovery Info
Copyright © 2021 PAL - Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, All rights reserved.


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