Memorial Day always has been one of my favorite holidays.
It’s the first holiday of summer, even though the change of seasons doesn’t occur for nearly a month. That means it’s time to enjoy those warm-weather activities.
Of course, in Oklahoma, warm weather sometimes arrives early, which can sure play havoc with those of us who have allergies.
Memorial Day is a confirmation in many communities that school is — or nearly is — out. Like most people, when I was a student, I looked forward to those weeks when I got a break from the books and assignments.
I also enjoyed my summer job, earning a little money while spending time with people I knew well. I was lucky in having that opportunity.
Much of time in the summers was spent playing baseball. The older I got, the more fun it became. Again, it was spending time with people I knew well, traveling to ballparks and working together.
I always enjoyed watching the Indianapolis 500, from the prerace pageantry to the dueling on the track to the final lap. When I got to take a lap around the Brickyard while on vacation one year, I thought about all those drivers I had seen competing on that very same track.
That also made watching the race on TV more enjoyable because I was able to recall certain areas of the race course.
Taking a trip, even a short venture to the lake, to relax and check out the scenery or play in the water also has been something I have tried to do.
And I always remember those who no longer are with us, including those who gave their lives in service to our country so that we might have those opportunities such as I mentioned above. “Thank you” never could adequately cover that debt.
We should all remember them … always.
See more about those in our armed forces in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MILITARY-OKLAHOMA, as well as in The Oklahoman.
The Edmond Chapter of Parents Helping Parents has just completed a short video of what parents can expect by attending a Parents Helping Parents meeting.
I encourage you to review this video as it makes some powerful statements concerning how parents are affected by addiction. Please pass it on to others who may also benefit.
The video is posted on Utube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0ccV5TPQqw
I believe this video does a wonderful job of letting extended family members and friends of parents who have an addicted child better understand what the family is truly up against.
With a new understanding of the impact addiction has on the parents, everyone will be better prepared to be a real help to the family.
Parents heap a ton of needless blame and shame on themselves. They need to hear the truth: they are not to blame.
I look forward to your responses.
Why, even in the face of the most devastating consequences, can’t our children stop abusing alcohol or other drugs?
And if addiction is a disease, a brain disease, is it conceivable that science might someday find a cure?
I encourage you to watch the explanation from Dr. Nora Volkow on a segment of 60 Minutes which aired April, 29, 2012, titled, “Hooked: Why bad habit are hard to break.”
Volkow is the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She has revolutionized how science and medicine view addiction as a disease, not a character defect.
Here is a special song for parents of chronically addicted children written and performed by Steve Dan Mills about parents agonizing over the whereabouts and well being of their alcohol/drug addicted children.
It’s called “Where Is My Child Tonight?”
“Have I got news for you.”
Ever heard that phrase? Most of us either have said that, heard it, or done both during our lives. There’s always something we think is important enough to share with others and they with us.
A few years ago, when we established our “know it” communities we offered readers a chance to share news releases, alerts, recognitions and other information (including photos) by sending their items by email to any or all of the five sites:
Many groups and individuals have participated. You can see what they are sending by going to the reader-submitted area (upper right) of each community:
(Note: You can see all of them by going to: http://knowit.newsok.com/)
The instructions also advise that editors at The Oklahoman will consider items submitted for publication in the newspaper. That has happened.
But now, that has been enhanced by using a page, labeled News From You, each Saturday in the Local/State section of the newspaper.
We even include posted blog material.
So how can you get your information to us for consideration?
You can send to the communities, as mentioned above, by following the directions for emailing.
Or, you can send email to Metro reporters Vallery Brown (email@example.com), Matt Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jane Glenn Cannon in Norman (email@example.com), or Diana Baldwin in Edmond (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It’s your news to share and be shared.
The Edmond Chapter of Parents Helping Parents recently received a grant. The funds from the grant were used to create video testimonies from parents and professional cousnelors who attend the Edmond Chapter parent support meetings.
Following are comments you may find very helpful:
“As a person in recovery, it was vital for me to have one or two people who I knew were there for me. You know, healthy people who were ready for me when I went into recovery. That’s the first place I went when I needed help to find recovery. If I would not have had that support then, I would have just gave up and stayed out there using.” — CJ (daughter)
“After attending our first meeting, we then realized how long we had been steeped in denial and that denial allowed the addiction to progress and that was a dangerous place.” — Paula (Mom)
“My greatest satisfaction when speaking at the Edmond chapter meetings is when I see the light bulb go off; you can see it in the parents’ eyes.” — Patty Gail Patten PLC, LMFT, LADC
“At my first meeting, I felt a lot of despair, no hope. Today, I don’t feel that way and I give the meetings I attended the majority of the credit.” — Doug (Dad)
“I can see how some parents might think this is a very private matter if their child or loved one has a drug problem but they need to understand that by going to the Edmond chapter meetings everyone there is in the same position and you will never find a better support group.” — Julie (Mom)
“The meetings became such a reassuring and comfortable place for my husband and I.” — Leslie (Mom)
For more information about the Edmond Chapter of Parents helping Parents, please go to www.parentshelpingparents.info and click on “Chapters.”
I believe one of the most difficult terms to understand when dealing with an addicted child is acceptance.
My experience has lead me to accept the fact that our children are not at fault. They did not choose to become addicted.
Here are other things I have come to accept:
* I have accepted that I did not cause the disease of addiction.
* I have accepted that I have absolutely no power to control the future actions of another person.
* I have learned that my own peace and serenity only can be restored and maintained if I accept addiction as a disease — a primary disease, a brain disease.
* I have accepted that I can trust God and through my trust in Him I can maintain a loving and caring detachment from the chaos that addiction creates.
* I have accepted the suffering that addiction has caused our family and our loved one. It is through this suffering that God now uses me for His purposes.
* I have accepted that there will be others who do not understand my pain but that my healing was made possible by those who do.
* I have accepted that I will not do for my child what he can do for himself.
* I have accepted that my own recovery is not completed. I will improve with each new day.
The worst of it may still be to come, but the annual storm season has arrived in Oklahoma and the region. Are you prepared?
Thunderstorms Monday brought heavy rain, thunder, lightning, high winds and hail to parts of Oklahoma and Texas. But storms were stronger and more violent on Tuesday, when at least two tornadoes struck the Dallas area, causing damage.
On the heels of a mild, warm winter, Oklahoma got an early taste of summer, with temperatures climbing into the 80s as winter wound down, then into the 90s within the first week of spring.
A question on the minds of many Oklahomans and a hot topic of conversation is just how hot will it get this summer? With that comes the thought of how stormy will it be?
So can we prepare for warmer, potentially stormy weather? Absolutely, say weather forecasters and other climatological experts. To that end, we’re put together a package of resource information for just about any related topic you want.
Go to HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/SEVERE-WEATHER-OKLAHOMA/TORNADO-STORM-HEAT-WAVE-INFORMATION and check out the facts, figures, guidelines and historical data on Oklahoma’s weather conditions.
You’ll find such topics as:
* Severe thunderstorms safety rules.
* Protective actions during a thunderstorm.
* What to do in a storm.
* How do thunderstorms form?
* Lightning safety.
* Keeping pets safe.
* Keeping yourself and your family safe.
* Surviving hail.
* Surviving high wind.
* Surviving high heat.
* Tornado facts.
* Myths about tornadoes.
And much, much more.
It’s all in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/SEVERE-WEATHER-OKLAHOMA. You can use the link above, or just click on the INFORMATION button.
It can help you stay informed and stay safe.
Have you noticed how so many things are on the rise these days? We definitely seem to be in an increase mode.
Start with the weather. Here it is mid-March and we’re experiencing temperatures you would expect in late spring or early summer. Pushing — or passing — 80 degrees. We’ve seen little of the normal winter weather conditions, such as snow or bitter-cold temperatures.
I’m not complaining, you understand. Last year’s January-February snow created some significant problems and I’m happy we didn’t have the same this year. Could this be a start to an extremely hot summer?
So with warmer weather, many people feel like doing a little traveling. But current economic conditions may cause them to do a little thinking before setting out. The increase continues at the gas pump and it doesn’t appear to be slowing.
Many times recently I’ve had to make a trip to a pharmacy, a grocery store, or another such location, only to find on my return that the price board at the filling station has new, higher numbers than were there when I first passed by it. And if you dream that you saw a big jump at the pump, it might be more true than you think. Jumps of a dime or more overnight have not been unusual.
With higher gas prices come higher costs for many other items, such as many of our food products. The experts remind us that the costs of many items are “connected” through transportation expenses. That’s one reason alternative fuels are a hot topic.
If you’re a cable TV subscriber, you may have seen an increase in your bill recently. Someone has to pay for all those major technological breakthroughs and excellent service. Right? Paying more to hear experts say you’re paying more.
As an aside here, you might ask that if you pay less, do you hear less of such expertise? The answer is “yes,” but only because you will lose your service when it’s disconnected.
I mentioned the pharmacy. There actually have been some moves to reduce costs for some prescriptions. In some instances, there have been major moves resulting in substantial reductions in cost. Generic medicines have spurred some strong competition.
Obviously, these and many other price increases hitting at the same time put a strain on our personal finances. We realize prices do go up over time, but how much and how soon they do has a great effect on our lives.
Meanwhile, we’ll have to do some comparative shopping. And you can check out the experts in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MONEY-OKLAHOMA for information on how to reduce the effects of price increases. They just might save you a few bucks.
I want to share with you an email I received from a mom who responded to my question of how she is able to stay strong when dealing with the constant insanity and heartbreak of an addicted daughter.
“How did I get so strong? I suppose from paying the dues that come from loving an addict. Learning the definition of insanity … Expecting different results from the same actions. Seeking help from wonderful mentors such as yourself. Reading, Googling, talking, walking the floors, crying, forgiving, and most importantly of course praying. Like I’ve never prayed before. For my child, our family and families like yours.
“It seems so clear to me now, somehow. she will have to save herself. She desperately needs to be humbled. That won’t happen if I am not strong. I haven’t abandoned her. I have put her in touch with everything she needs to fight her battle. She has to reach out and embrace it. I’m praying she, and your son both, will reach out accept the help that is available to them.”
My prayer is for all parents to find that which makes them strong.
The following is Part 2 of my responses from parents on what they have learned from their experiences with addiction and their child.
“I learned that I can only control how I react to a person, a situation or a comment.”
“I have learned not to engage in arguments with my child. Disengage!”
“I have learned my daughter’s addiction is not my fault.”
“I have learned that a relapse starts well before an addict actually engages in substance abuse.”
“I have learned It is a disease and that is cunning, baffling and powerful. ”
“I have learned It is so much more powerful than I am.”
“I have learned I am powerless over my daughter and her choices.”
“I have learned that powerlessness does not mean helpless or weakness.”
“I learned the more I try to control another person place or thing the less peace I have in my life.”
“I have learned that consequences do not matter to addicts.”
“I learned that my daughter is a sick kid trying to get better and not a bad kid trying to get good.”
“I learned to ask for help.”
“I have learned that 12-step programs work.”
“I learned to trust the process. ”
“I learned to let my son suffer his own consequences.”
“I learned that there is hope.”
What parent’s have learned through their own personal recovery:
“I learned that there is a God and it is not me.”
“I learned that I did the very best I could with what I had … and that was enough.”
“I learned that I love my daughter with all my heart but I have my own life to live.”
“I learned to save myself and let my family watch.”
“To live in the present moment.”
“I learned to be grateful for everything.”
“I learned that there are miracles.”
“I learned that I am worthy of love and have a tremendous capacity to love other people.”
“I learned that prayer is powerful.”
“I learned to experience all there is in this life.”
“I have learned about accepting the things I cannot change and learned to have courage to change the things I can. ”
“I have learned to forgive myself.”
“I learned that fear is selfish.”
“I learned to trust.”
“I learned to laugh again.”
“I learned how to have my head, my heart and my body in the same place at the same time.”
I learned to love this life I am living one day at a time.”