TM.7 (1)A friend sent me an article from the Washington Post about a small county in western Pennsylvania – a county of slightly more that 200,00 people and just 40 minutes from my home town – where there were reported eight overdoses in 70 minutes. “There’s been a progressive increase in overdoses the last two years, and it just went out of control,” said Rick Gluth, supervising detective on the drug task force. “I’ve been a police officer for 27 years and worked narcotics for the last 15, and this is the worst.”

My reaction: Articles like this are important. They help, as Dr. MacAfee says, to take addiction out of the shadows and into the light where it can be healed. There is no silver bullet for stopping the flow of narcotics into the hands of our loved ones, but pieces like this unveil the hard facts around an epidemic suffocating so many of our families.

Today’s Promise to consider: Addiction is anchored in Stigma, Shame and Silence. Today, I join together with other parents to break the backs of these three S’s. People are dying and the death toll is increasing.

(the full article:



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Photo credit: Mikele Roselli-Cecconi

A mom wrote to me: My son is still on the streets and I don’t know from one day to the next what will happen to him, but I survive by working my steps, having a sponsor, reading my books and calling people on the phone list. Most important of all, I try every day, all day, to put God first in my life and, in doing this, I have been able to Let Go and Let God. I’ll be a work in progress until the day I die.

My reflection: I join this mom in being a work in progress. Whether my son is struggling with his demons or not, I also try to live by the mantra Let Go and Let God. When I truly acknowledge the fact that I am not in control of others or their choices, I am able to live one step closer to peace.

Today’s Promise to consider: My mom once told me, It takes a lifetime to learn how to live. Today, I will pray for humility and for my Higher Power to direct my path.



Son Jeremy, Granddaughter Iysa, Libby, son Jeff

Son Jeremy, Granddaughter Iysa, Libby, son Jeff

An Italian friend wrote to me: For six months now, two or three days a week, my mother goes to my brother’s recovery community and helps the girls design and make bags. In this way, my mother has the possibility to ‘stay close’ to my brother without ‘staying attached’ to him. When she works on the bags, it feels like all the suffering was not so important: we live “Hic et Nunc”, Here and Now. We are able to joke, smile, laugh, cry, be happy and above all be HIC et NUNC! How many times I’ve prayed to be able to live ‘here and now’ and not think about all the ifs, buts and whys. My family has found the possibility to grow in spite of sorrow. We are understanding how to stay close without being dependent.

My reflection: When Jeff was in active addiction, living in the present seemed impossible – my mind was a constant wash of regrets, past hurts and disasters yet to come. This didn’t serve me well and it didn’t serve our family. Jeff’s 14-year addiction is teaching me how to live “Hic ed Nunc” – to be mindful of the moments, the little victories. When I’m able to live in the present and without the ifs, buts and whys, life is more steady.

Today’s Promise to consider: Today, I will live ‘Hic et Nunc,’ the Latin term for ‘here and now.’ I will let go of yesterday’s sufferings, and I won’t obsess over the future. I will work toward staying close without staying attached. I will be grateful for the moments.


Photo credit: Mikele Roselli-Cecconi

Photo credit: Mikele Roselli-Cecconi

A mother wrote to me: My son is homeless. I will not allow him to live at home as long as he is using. I asked him what his plan was and I explained that it was hard for me to tell him he couldn’t stay with me. Normally he would have yelled at me, slammed doors and walked out mad, but he didn’t this time. I saw something different in his face that made me think that he was finally seeing that his problem was bigger than he had thought. I pray he chooses a different life, but I know that he must choose.

My reflection: Dr. MacAfee wrote, Complaining, threatening, forcing and handwringing rarely, if ever, succeed. Instead, such approaches tend to drive the condition underground. Defensiveness must be lowered and communication must be clearer.

Today’s Promise to consider: Addiction is cloaked with heavy blankets of shame. Today, I will recommit to fostering an honest, compassionate environment with firm boundaries in place. I pray my child will choose to bring his addiction into the light where we can address it, for his life and for his health. Only he can make this choice.