Preparing our Relationships for the Holidays – Jackie Stein, BALM Family Recovery Life Coach

    The Norman Rockwell version of the family holiday party exudes warmth, peace and connection. In a family with a loved one in early recovery, the mere idea of a family gathering can cause enormous stress. Before our loved one entered recovery, their method for dealing with this stress likely involved drinking or drugging. While intoxicated they could deal with the insanity surrounding preparation for and engaging in holiday parties. For those who are now in the early stages of recovery, especially in the first year, attending these functions will likely involve a great of fear, regarding how they can manage these festivities and stay clean and sober, while still enjoying the family time together. Several ideas come to mind. First, both the person in recovery and the family need to have a plan for how they will handle the holidays for themselves and for the family as a… Continue reading

The Peaks and Valleys of Mental Illness; let me count the ways – By Jeanne Foot

  As a regular monthly contributor of I love Recovery Café, I had promised to submit a blog about Addiction Recovery and how sobriety is the doorway to the discovery of you! I have a unique role as a mother of a young adult who has severe mental illnesses, and must manage his care plan as well as my own for my recovery from substance abuse, depression, trauma and family dysfunction. My son has struggled since the age of 14 and I have also addressed the impact of having a loved one who struggles with mental illness in a previous blog called “no one brings you casseroles when you’re loved one is mentally ill”. So what does this have to do with Addiction and Recovery, and why have I chosen to write about this topic again? As I write this blog, I am required to stay home as my sons’… Continue reading

Parenthood – by Andrew Ahmad Cooke

“Parenthood remains the greatest single preserve of the amateur.” Alvin Toffler My daughter is everything to me. Smudge is now ten years old. Being her father has brought meaning to my life. Parenthood is a certain role in an uncertain universe. One of the most wonderful things about my recovery is the transformation of our relationship. We have always been very close but my behaviour in my descent into heavy addiction scared her at times, or should I say often. Towards the end she did not want to be left alone with me, whenever my wife did try to get out for an evening she would be tearfully begged not to go; once when she was on a day out in London with her mother, she didn’t even want to come home. The fear of not knowing what state they would find me in was becoming ingrained in both of… Continue reading

The Top 5 Things I’ve Learned Through My Sons Recovery – By Amy Tompkins Albanese

We bond in groups through the similarities in our loved ones as they go through the many stages of addiction: detox, rehab, relapse, homelessness, incarceration, overdose. We get to know the look, the actions, the talk, the walk…our instincts and intuition become hyper-sensitive and fine-tuned to every phase of addiction. We speak a language that few of our friends could ever comprehend. We are educated about subjects that we never wanted to know about. Addiction is a beast of a disease and we share every gruesome moment of it with one another. We all want the same thing – recovery. So why is it so difficult to share about recovery? Is it possible to jinx someone? To tempt fate to step in and ruin it all? Do we feel guilty for our good fortune when so many others are still suffering? Shouldn’t we be giving hope and spreading the word… Continue reading