A mom wrote to me: My son keeps trying to push his addiction. He has been sober for nine months. This past week, he decided to “try” and drink again. I keep telling him, you can’t drink and drug, and of course I got the, “I am getting healthier, Mom,” spiel. He got so sick when he came home he threw up with such force that he busted veins in his face. He is not allowed to drink in our home, but for now I’ll let the situation play itself out. The consequences might do the trick. I keep praying!

My reaction: Father Martin at Father Martin’s Ashley, Jeff’s first recovery center, told this story, “There was an alcoholic who, after 20 years of sobriety, decided he was healed. He walked into a bar on his way home from work and had a drink. He left after the drink, proud of himself. The next day, he stopped again. Two drinks this time, leaving after the second drink. On the way home, he thought he had this addiction thing under control. The next day, he stopped again for a few drinks and never made it home.”

Today’s Promise to consider: Changing behavior is difficult, and many medical experts believe that addiction and alcoholism are life-long conditions that require constant vigilance. As time passes, it’s human nature to tend to forget how bad the bad things were in our lives. If my loved one relapses, I will allow him to feel the consequences of his choices. I am grateful he is sober today, and I pray he chooses health tomorrow.


A mom wrote to Jeff, Very interesting to hear you say that while your life is not perfect and everyday is challenging, you have a peace about it. I get this. While very different, sometimes I cannot believe how I have continued to move forward since my husband passed, how I can be at peace and even generally happy, how I have had to accept that what I thought would be my future with my best friend and the life that I envisioned…will not be. I can only attribute this attitude and “peace” to my spiritual relationship. Jeff, so glad you have found this.

My response: I want to write that I, too, have peace, but I still struggle. I believe that my spiritual core needs strengthened. I need to nurture it, be silent and pray more. As Mother Teresa says, “In the silence of the heart God speaks. It is only when you realize your emptiness that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”

Today’s Promise to consider: I will take ten minutes at the beginning of my day to be still and try to silence the noise in my head. I will open my heart to a feeling of peace. I will make this part of my morning routine.





A dad told Jeff and me, Our son is not yet sober, but my wife and I have found peace after hearing your story. We know that we can’t control our son’s behavior, but we now know we’re not alone. And more importantly, you’ve shown us there’s hope.

My response: We are powerless against the addiction, but we are not powerless to help ourselves. The Serenity Prayer gives us a guide, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Today’s Promise to consider: Today, I’ll consider the continuation of the Serenity Prayer: To live one day at a time, enjoy one moment at a time and accept hardships as the pathway to peace. I will ‘let go, let God.’ This will be my personal victory.





A mom wrote to me: So often with addiction we want to wipe the slate clean and start over which, of course, is not possible. Here is a quote I came across and thought you would find it interesting: Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. I like the sound of this!  I always found it depressing that a new start didn’t solve the problem so the idea of a brand new ending is comforting to me. 

My response: Jeff once wrote, “Addiction has changed my life, made me a different person, and in many respects my life is richer because I was forced to confront myself, or die. My past is my past and I can’t turn it around or change the footsteps that follow me.” He learned that he couldn’t wipe the slate clean, but he could create a brand new ending. And he did.

Today’s Promise to consider: Our histories are ours, and they provide valuable opportunities from which we can learn. Every day offers another start, a fresh chapter or a new page in our life. The challenge isn’t about not getting knocked down, but is learning how to get back up again.