A WALK OF COURAGE: SAN PATRIGNANO

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Michael and Libby in the woodworking shop at San Patrignano

Michael wrote to me from San Patrignano, a recovering community in Italy: My story is very similar to Jeff’s. My life was a mess: I was thrown out of rehabs and out of the Marine Corps; I dropped out of college on a baseball scholarship and walked out of countless treatment centers. I was convinced that I was the smart one doing heroin, ‘living the good life,’ while everyone else was living the ‘sucker’s life.’ 

My mother frantically searched for a cure to fix me. We tried 12-step, medication, therapy, in-patient, out-patient. I wasn’t having any of it. 

Just when everyone was prepared to write me off as a lost cause, my mother found your book and was deeply moved by its reality and truth. Somehow she picks San Patrignano out of your book and has the courage and determination to “Stay Close” and never give up hope. 

We traveled to Rimini and I entered San Patrignano, but with a different attitude. As they say in AA/NA, I was ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired.’ 

San Patrignano has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. The Marine Corp was a walk in the park compared to this place. Here I was literally taken by the hand and shown how to start living a different way. 

I’ve been sober for 3 and ½ years. Thanks to you and your sons for reaching out and trying to comfort and help people who are struggling.   

This past Saturday, I traveled to San Patrignano to visit Michael. My heart was filled with joy to see him healthy and strong. I admire both him and his mother for their courage, and their story inspires me. Thanks, Michael, for sharing your story. Jeff, Jeremy and I wish you only good things. We’re here, staying close. 

Today’s Promise to consider: It takes courage to confront addiction, both by the addict and by those who love him or her. But where there is life, there is hope. Today, we’ll keep believing.

 

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Pat Nichols
9 years ago

What a wonderful story of hope, love, persistence and all the positive traits that must be present for long term recovery.

We grow in many new and different ways due to our journey with our addicted child. It is the willingness to see our pain and disappointment as an opportunity for growth that brings those glorious smiles in the picture of Libby and Michael.

See what Libby has done with her struggles — she has no idea of the “full” impact of her Blog, book and all the other ways she has touched the lives of so many parents in pain.

My sincere respect and admiration for all who give so freely to help parents like me.

In prayer for all of our children and their families.

Jane
Jane
9 years ago

Just beautiful.

Barbara
Barbara
9 years ago

Dear Pat,

I agree that Libby does not know the full positive impact she has on her blog, book, etc. She is so humble. She inspires parents and addicts all over the world, and, I never want to take that for granted. Thank you Pat, for reminding us how special she really is.

Dear Libby,

Thank you so much for bringing to us, this beautiful story of Michael. It is one of the many, many lives you, Jeff and Jeremy have touched with your story of encouragement. Your book and your blog has helped many of us go from despair and depression, to a sense of well being and hope.

My love to you, and to all who come here. Thank you.

Barbara

joy
joy
9 years ago

Hope and healing and such love. Thnka you for inspiring story.

Bev
Bev
9 years ago

Michael I am so happy that you (and your mom : D) have found your answer for recovery.

After reading Libby’s book Stay Close a few years back I have been spreading the word about San Patrignano to anyone who will listen. There is now another ‘San Patrignanno” in London http://www.italoeuropeo.com/focus/deepening/1259-san-patrignano-opens-in-london

With a 72 % success rate the San Patrignano recovery model should be one that is sought after by all countries. Many thanks to you and Libby for spreading the word about San Patrignano : D

Nanci
Nanci
9 years ago

Thank you, Libby, Jeff and Jeremy for reminding me never to loose hope.
This was a beautiful story (and picture). I especially appreciate your message, “Where there is life, there is hope.”

Today, my son is in a dark, scary, all too familiar place. I had just read your meditation prior to seeing him, becoming painfully aware of his most recent (god awful) relapse. My parting words to him (as I asked him to leave the house) were “You are alive! Please don’t lose hope.”

Perhaps, just perhaps, this message will resonate with him.
God bless you and all who willingly and honestly share their experience, strength and hope. I am so grateful to you.
Love,
Nanci

Libby Cataldi
9 years ago

We all work together to help each other. That’s the only way we can break the bonds of addiction. Dr. MacAfee says, “Addiction must be taken out of the darkness and into the light. Only then can we fight it.” And we, together, are doing just that. We are breaking the isolation, the suffocation….together.

Bev is right that there are multiple San Patrignano communities. In fact, the people of SP would like to start a community in the States! They are preparing for a State-side tour in May and June, coming to six major cities in the States. This is the link in English http://barrique.sanpatrignano.org/en/who-we-are They would love news coverage, so if you know anyone who might give this tour some strong press, please let them know. You could write directly to their offices in English, lots of the folks in their offices speak English. Michael, the boy in the photo with me, will be coming with the tour to help coordinate the transition from Italy to the States. In any event, please keep this effort in your good thoughts and prayers that they find footing in the States to realize their dream.

L

Libby Cataldi
9 years ago

Nanci, My heart breaks for you. I’m sorry. You and Joy are both suffering. You are in the midst of relapse and she in the midst of her son’s jailing.

Yes, your son is alive, and we join with you in prayer that he finds his strength to fight.

My love and prayers,

L

Bev
Bev
9 years ago

Libby, I followed your link to the San Patrignano site but it didn’t seem to talk about the tour. Would you have any other information about this? I did read that there will be ‘runners’ from San Patrignano attending the New York City Marathon in November : D

Libby Cataldi
9 years ago

Bev, This is the best link. To be sure you have the information, I cut and pasted a bit of information (from this link) below. Hope this helps. If you still have problems, just google San Patrignano, Barrique.
http://barrique.sanpatrignano.org/en/exhibitions

The show will then cross the Atlantic to arrive in the United States in May 2013. The project “New life for wooden barriques” will be included in the programme of events held as part of the year of Italian Culture in the United States. The exhibition will visit seven cities in the land of the stars and stripes: New York, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Miami, New Orleans and Houston. This will be an opportunity to promote not just the design pieces but also some Italian wines, one from each region, including those from San Patrignano.

Under the “Project” tab, they offer: For information about making a purchase:
Tel: +39 0541 362396
cchiozzani@sanpatrignano.org

Hope this helps,

L

JOY
JOY
9 years ago

Nanci, I am praying for your son. And mine. The call today from jail I received was heartbreaking -he asked for nothing -he was just so scared and depressed. I felt a certain level of detachment -but was more like numbness, — Godspeed to all Joy ..
.

Barbara
Barbara
9 years ago

My thoughts and prayers go out to both Nanci and Joy. I pray the pain goes away, soon. Remember, it is their choice to be where they are. It’s your choice to make the boundaries. It’s so difficult not to feel the pain.

I pray that God’s angels will descend upon both of you and give you comfort and peace.

Lots of love,
Barbara

Barbara
Barbara
9 years ago

Dear Libby,

I’m so glad to hear that San Patrignano is thinking about coming to the States. I’m very familiar with Miami and only hours away. If I can help in any way, please let me know.

Barbara

JOY
JOY
9 years ago

Barbara… you would be so good — you are such a healer …next I dream it comes Canada .

The sentencing is tomorrow I will be so glad to at least know how long. I went to communion today — and afterwards a woman came to talk to me and started talking about her grown children, where they lived, what they did – you know— how “norma”l people talk. How far away they lived, how they weren’t close by to help, how she missed them and found herself depressed because they lived so far away. My friends I am a kind person ,truly I am, but I listened for as long as I could, and then blurted out :Yes, I understand what it’s like to miss grown children. My son is a drug addict and is in jail. Her mouth flew open. I said I’m sorry to be so blunt, but if they are healthy and safe, praise Jesus. I hope that gives you perspective. She just blinked at me and when she picked her jaw up off the floor said: My, yes, it does. I am so sorry. Friends —I might not be safe to go out in public these days. We parents of addicts just don’t walk in the same world– do you know what I mean? When I told my husband he laughed and said good for you. You spoke your truth. Still, I did not see it coming. But maybe a wee laugh for you all? Prayers for all tonight. xoxox

JOY
JOY
9 years ago

Adjourned till Thursday. xo Prayers.

Nanci
Nanci
9 years ago

Thank you Barbara, Libby, Joy, Bev and Pat for your kind, helpful words and thoughts. Yes, Joy, you did in fact make me laugh! I completely understand your frustration, especially in the social setting. I want others to understand but unless they walk this walk, it will never happen…and, I would never wish this upon them. That is why I am so grateful for Libby and her blog.
All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.
I, too, am interested in learning more about the SanPatrignano. Wouldn’t it be something if we could all come together and support/promote this program?
With love,
Nanci

Bev
Bev
9 years ago

Joy, my prayers are with you and your son. My son also was in jail and it was a very difficult time. I have had thoughts of doing what you did and thinking of it now I just might have and just blanked it out…it’s been 15 years since my son’s addiction started and so much has happened though now his addiction is just a part of our daily lives…no longer a struggle…it’s the new ‘normal’. Nanci, perhaps by just continually mentioning San Patrignano in our daily lives and on Facebook we make make a bit of difference. Does any one have any ideas about this?

Libby Cataldi
9 years ago

Prayers coming for everyone, our children and us. Lots of pain. We need to stay strong. Sometimes it feels hard to breathe, but together we can move forward in hope.

Bev, for San Patrignano, there is a nonprofit organization in NY: http://associazioni.sanpatrignano.org/new_york including an email address for information. I don’t know anything about the organization, only that it’s a 501C3 and it’s goal is to bring the idea of SP to the States. You might want to contact them. I agree with you that by mentioning SP on fb and other places, recognition will grow. Grassroots programs can take hold and grow.

There is also a UK site http://associazioni.sanpatrignano.org/uk again with an email contact.

My love to all.

L

5X1000
9 years ago

bookmarked!!, I like your site!