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Dear Friends, 

I’m sitting down to write this and thinking about how my plans were all turned upside down in the past week. I just had an unexpected medical procedure and I’m being told I need to not do much of anything for at least 10 days. My wife recently had surgery on her hand and is in a cast for two months, my son and granddaughter just got over COVID recently, and the list goes on and on. 

For a minute I found myself feeling sorry for myself, but it only took a minute to realize these are luxury problems.

When my sons were active in their disease of addiction, I would have traded today’s problems for that any day.  I was at our PAL meeting last week and with the exception of my family, everyone’s loved one was not yet in recovery.  For some reason our emails and calls for information at the PAL office about starting meetings has increased significantly in the past few weeks. We have numerous new meetings about to get started all around the country.  Thank you so much for your support and generosity through this as we have tried to meet the growing need. 

For those who saw and or participated in our Race for Recovery event, I want to personally thank the founder of that race, Mike “Murt” Murtaugh. His incredible generosity and ability to fundraise for PAL is truly amazing. We expanded this year to invite others do a challenge and I want to thank those who decided to do that. Our goals for this “race,” were big and next year I hope more and more people will find a challenge to conquer and sign up to do this like my sons and I did this year. Murt is an inspiration in recovery!

Our Indiana contingent, led by Diane Buxton, and Jeannette Krohne hosted a fundraising golf tournament for PAL Sept. 18. We continue to be inspired by these regional efforts to support starting new groups around the country. They had nearly 50 golfers, donated food, silent auction items and 50 Narcan kits for those who wanted them. Thanks so much for your passion to help others!

Also, we had a recent Facebook Live event where we featured grandparents and their role with addicted loved ones and the difficulties they face when their son or daughter with substance use disorder has children. This adds a layer of complexity to an already difficult situation. This was not only well attended but has been viewed thousands of times. Please let us know of other topics you are interested in and as always if you have ever thought of volunteering and starting a meeting or just helping us out in other ways – please just reply to this email as we have many things, we can use your help with. 

I am also looking forward to our sixth annual PAL event on November 13. This limited capacity event will also include a live stream of the program portion for those who cannot attend. See details in this newsletter and be sure you get signed up.  Please come join us if you can and help us celebrate PAL and build support for the growth we are experiencing.

I am actually in a little pain right now from this procedure, but the doctor told me there would be pain before it got better. I hope and pray that if you are suffering with your loved one that you too will experience relief and find joy and healing regardless of the choices of your loved one. Gratitude is once again in order for my life.  I am thankful that PAL made such a difference in our lives as well as our sons and so many others. I pray the same for all of you, knowing that most of you would trade your problems with an addicted loved one for my current “luxury problems” any time.

God bless,
Kim Humphrey

Is Relapse a Part of Recovery?

I would like to share some of the most common questions I receive about relapse. I will answer them from an overview perspective and in a general sense. Relapse is a big topic, with many variables that are case specific. I don’t think it can be covered thoroughly in a blog post, so my aim here is to cover some basics. I hope to help remove some fear about relapse and provide perspective for those parents who are trying to understand their addicted loved one's behavior and support their recovery.
Here are four of the most common questions I receive:
1. Does everybody relapse? Should we expect our son/daughter to relapse?
No, not everybody has a relapse. Some people come into recovery truly ready to make a change and sobriety sticks right from the beginning. To address concerns you may have about your own child and the possibility of relapse, I suggest you respond by using your recovery in the same way that is suggested to the addict/alcoholic: take it one day at a time. It is incredibly hard to tell who will have a future bump in the road. Sometimes the toughest and least motivated person doesn’t relapse, and the recovery valedictorian does. Either way, if you work on yourself as a parent, you will be well-equipped to respond to either possibility. If there is a relapse and you have been working on your own recovery you will at least know that you did not contribute to the relapse. Being a part of the solution is something you can control. Whether or not they relapse, is not.
2.What are the most common reasons for relapse?
Reasons for a relapse can be very case specific, but here are some common issues that often lead to relapse: 
  1. Not accepting the severity of the problem - many alcoholics/addicts struggle to admit the severity of their problem and the full ramifications and effects that it has on themselves and others (this is particularly common with young people who have not experienced a lot of consequences yet). They often tell themselves that their using isn’t that bad, that it was circumstances that created their latest problems, that it was somebody else’s fault, or that it will be different this time. They have trouble accepting that the effect alcohol/drugs have on them is different from what they see in other people. They see others who use or drink with different outcomes and long to be like them. If they are aware of the disease concept of addiction, they may feel it is unfair that they have the disease. This failure to accept the full ramifications of the problem can lead to lack of effort in recovery or outright avoidance of needed changes, followed by continued use of old coping skills which can lead to a drink/drug.
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Save the Date - Nov 13, 2021
Power of PAL
The POWER of PAL, an inspirational, informational, and touching hybrid event that will leave both virtual viewers and in-person attendees encouraged, full of hope and wanting to stay connected.

The POWER of PAL event will feature a variety of elements including a recognized keynote speaker, motivational speakers, evidence-based research, family testimonials, giving opportunities and an online auction. The national event is open and free to a virtual community, and there is no limit on the number of viewers who can participate. In addition, the event will offer a limited number of guests to attend in-person in Phoenix, Arizona.

Event information
Virtual & In-person Reservation

Finding Hope

I am a wife and mother of three. My son loved riding motorcycles, working on cars, hanging out with friends, trips to the dunes with his dad. Then, in that transition from junior high to high school, he was exposed to drug use. I believe the peer pressure became too much. I believe he was in that struggle that all teenagers wrestle with fitting in and figuring out who you want to become. He was introduced to drugs, and he says to this day, “It just took one time, and I couldn't stop. I wish I just had not tried it that one time.”
His drug use led to jail, prison, and a year or more of homelessness. I recall his first stay at a detox and short stay for treatment. One of the other residents stated that this was his sixth time in a program. I thought that would never be my kid - that's crazy. But as we now approach his 12th or 13th go-around for treatment and re-entry into real life, it has become clear how difficult it is to recover from the disease of addiction.

My daughter saw how devastating the actions of her brother was to the family, and how they had been affecting all of us. I am so glad that she shared our story with a friend of hers who recommended we speak with someone from PAL. They were incredibly helpful. 

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Race for Recovery
Many thanks to everyone who signed up to "race"
and to everyone who raised funds for PAL.

Thank you to everyone who made a donation in support of a racer.

And thank you to Michael "Murt" Murtaugh, Race for Recovery founder, who shared his amazing event with PAL and inspires us everyday on his journey. 

This year's Race for Recovery has generated over $37,000!
Welcome to MaryEllen Seaton,
PAL’s new Administrative Assistant!
The PAL staff members in the Phoenix office are delighted to welcome MaryEllen Seaton, the organization’s new administrative assistant who joined the team in September.

After a lengthy search to find someone who was just the right fit, MaryEllen joined PAL after years of helping offices run smoothly and wearing a variety of hats – all skills that are useful as our organization continues to grow – and most recently she worked for a large electrical contractor. On a more personal level she is familiar with addiction and the struggle between helping, enabling and letting people be responsible for their own actions.

She has lived in Phoenix most of her life, except for a stint in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where her family is from. MaryEllen and her husband David live near the PAL office. She has five sons and a daughter, and in the coming weeks she is expecting not one, but two grandsons from a daughter and daughter-in-law!

Welcome, MaryEllen!
Remember to remember...              

Ten years ago my life was crumbling before my eyes. After some experimental usage of illicit substances I had come to embrace “better living through chemistry” to the fullest extent. While I found temporary relief in using substances to change the way I felt about literally everything in my life – I quickly was slapped in the face with reality; there was no outrunning this thing. There was no easier softer way in my journey through living. Wherever I went – there I was. Challenges would always present themselves. Hardship would always come. Emotions would be a part of me as long as I drew breath on this plane of existence – and no amount of heroin, alcohol, marijuana, meth, or pills would ever change that simple fact. Despite intrinsically knowing this, even internalizing it to a certain degree – it wasn’t enough to deter me from trying.

 As is often the case in situations such as these, the consequences of my actions slowly began to pile up, engulfing me in a darkness that I couldn’t possibly have imagined. Failing health. Problems with the law. Homelessness. Extreme, unpredictable behavior. Depression, anxiety, insane mood swings, even psychosis at certain times became a fact of my life on a daily basis. I was wholly and utterly lost in such an incredibly complete way that I never thought I’d see a way out.

Like many individuals in these situations I found willingness through pain. After having been beaten to a pulp repeatedly for years I accepted help. I admitted myself to treatment. I listened. I tried to remain teachable. I participated in recovery even in times where it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I made that promise to myself in those dark moments that regardless of how pointless I thought some suggestions may be – I’d still take them to heart and try my best to follow through. That was it. That was enough for my situation to begin to change – to allow me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. God placed people in my life at exactly the time I would be most receptive to their insight and wisdom – people just like me who’d walked through the fire and had come out on the other side – people living freely.
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New PAL Meetings
Giving Hope to Others
When you become a Monthly Pal — 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 Monthly Pal, 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 Monthly Pal
REGISTER ONLINE: — 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.

How Your Monthly Gift Makes a Difference Over a Year

$5 a month x 12 = provides two Facilitator Guides for new facilitators.
$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.

If you’re not quite ready to be a monthly donor, but have questions,
please contact:
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Our mailing address is:
11225 N 28th Ave, Suite B109
Phoenix, Arizona 85029

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