Jeff and Grams Cataldi

Jeff and Grams Cataldi

A mother wrote to me: My youngest daughter is 19; she started with alcohol at age 12 and ended up a heroin addict. After many false starts and years of fearing that phone call when I would hear that she was dead, she finally entered an inpatient center. After completion, she wants to come home. I want her home, but I am also very realistic that we are NOT out of the woods by a long shot. She is going to need help from someone who truly “gets it” and is not family. Our family is still healing – we have a very long way to go.

My reflection: We need to stay humble in the face of addiction because it lurks in the shadows, always taunting and biding its time, gauging just the right moment when vulnerability is high and relapse is possible. Addicts need to work their program. For Jeff, this meant the twelve steps of AA, meeting with a sponsor and attending AA meetings. As his family, we could provide a loving shoulder for him, but the work of recovery is a personal process forged between the addict and his support group.

Today’s Promise: AA talks about rigorous honesty and a spiritual awakening as the way to keep sober. Recovery takes work, plain and simple, for the addict and for those of us who love him. I will keep hope.


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pat nichols
9 years ago

Hi Libby,

Truer words have never been spoken!

I feel your post applies to the parents of the addicted child also.

I would save this post and read it everyday.

Ginny Gobel
Ginny Gobel
9 years ago

Hello Libby, Your compelling book inspired me to have the courage to act. I’ve attached a video that I created and gifted to our local high school – I put it out to the universe to be shared in hopes it lands and helps another parent and their child.


9 years ago

Ginny, that was a great video and something that every school could use.

My community like so many others is a bedroom community. Many parents work and at a distance away which has led to what I think is almost a disconnect in what goes on only due to the work demands and lack of time.

I have heard so often that it takes a village to raise a child and I believe this to be true. Kids are inquisitive, fearful, intimidated not to mention the struggles through the teen years. It is hard to keep track of or to follow what your kids are up to. We all want to believe in our own child’s stories but sometimes we have to face the hard reality and deal with truths we would rather ignore.

It would be wonderful to have a community of eyes ensuring the safety of our kids and the decisions they make when we cannot be there. Open communication, trust, honesty, and a non judgmental attitude are key to this.

Kudos to you for doing this and opening the eyes of your community.


9 years ago

Ginny, thank you for sharing the video with all of us.

Sue, I couldn’t have written your posting better myself. Your daughter is missing out on a wonderful relationship with her mother. I pray that someday, soon, she will come to you and want a better life for herself. You are very courageous, my friend. It takes much courage to get up every day and face the day knowing that we could get that dreaded phone call anytime. It takes much courage and hard work to heal from the hurt. Keep your spirits up, Sue. Someday, your daughter will come around and realize what a wonderful mother she has.

Dear Jane, I think about you every day. You are another courageous mother in the wake of this horrible disease. I pray every day for you, your family, and your son.

Dearest Libby,

Thank you so much for another healing meditation.

With much love,