The Tangled Labyrinth of a Chaotic Childhood – Kyczy Hawk

I have not felt as if I had any connection with my ancestors; but it turns out that I do. Not in the “descended from royalty” kind, or the “long line of heroes” type, but the “inherited a poor resilience structure” kind. I do have a history, and it is painful. After several years in recovery I had to look at my life before liquor, my childhood before cocaine, my minority before marijuana – you get the drift. There were behaviors and characteristics that had set the stage for my using, drinking, rampant sexuality, dependence on independence. I had to untangle my old solution set, and find a new structure for my character and inner self, just as I had found recovery for my disease of addiction. This had to start in my past. With a family that moved often between cultures but had no center in itself, this wonderful… Continue reading

It Cracked my Heart Wide Open – Lisa Lawston

During the years of my daughters addiction sometimes she would go missing for months at a time. When I ate, I wondered if she had enough food. When I pulled the covers up at night, I wondered if she had a blanket… It cracked my heart wide open and it was during that time I unearthed a depth of compassion that I never knew I was capable of. There were a series of events that followed but the first was in NYC. I was approached at the train station by a young man around my daughters age, who looked like he’d been pulled under a few times in the current of life. He was bruised and cut and as the distance between us shortened rather than turning away in fear my energy expanded and when we met eyes the words just flowed, “How can I help?” He was someone’s child… Continue reading

What is your Vision Plan for Recovery as an Adult Child of an Alcoholic? – Christine Beck

Adult Children of Alcoholics’ first promise states that “We will discover our real identities [our True Self] by loving and accepting ourselves.” Many of the other promises contain qualities that our True Self will attain, such as being playful and fun or learning how to be both vulnerable and intimate. These and other program promises sound wonderful, but how do we attain them? For me, the answer is much more than going to meetings and working the steps.  I need to carry program principles into specific actions in every area of my life, including my work, family and relationships. And I need to write down action steps, to keep myself accountable. I looked at my life and wrote a personal vision statement for how to become my True Self in ACA, but also at home, with family and friends and with the work I do in the world: I will… Continue reading

Recovery: Children, Adolescents, Transition Age Youth, & Families – By Bill White

Considerable efforts are underway at federal, state, and local levels to extend acute and palliative care models of addiction treatment to models of assertive and sustained recovery management (RM) nested within larger recovery orientated systems of care (ROSC). As that work proceeds, a critical question has emerged about the application of RM and ROSC to the design, delivery, and evaluation of services for children, adolescents, transition age youth, and families (CATAYF). A seminal paper on this question was developed by the City of Philadelphia as part of its systems transformation process (See HERE). Further work in this area is underway in Ohio through the efforts of the Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services with funding support from a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration System of Care Grant. A critical step in the effort to extend ROSC implementation to youth and their families was the… Continue reading

Days in The Life of An Adult Child – Mistakes

I was working in a new situation and was asked to sort out and manage a large backlog of paperwork. It was a stack at least two feet high; a mountain of dusty paper reflecting all kinds of transactions and data in jargon I could only guess at. Although the task wasn’t as challenging as puzzle-solving, or as creative as re-engineering, I welcomed it. The environment was a tidy, modern office with a cheerful employee. The work required focus and concentration. I missed that kind of nimble mental aerobics and I dove in with gusto. It brought back a similar experience when I was no more than a tot when my mother brought me along to do some grocery shopping. In those days the local groceries were smallish with dull-grey walls of shelves, cans and jars with colorful labels and no flank of gleaming, scanning, beeping cashiering stations. The store… Continue reading