#TBT – In Hard Times, Siblings Will Ask … And Deserve to Know – Truth about Addiction

There’s no hiding the fact that a sibling is struggling with addiction, so it’s important to include and involve the other siblings. In this 2012 column, Midwestern Mama embraces a #NoMoreStigma approach.

Real Mom_ In hard times, siblings will ask — and deserve to know – Minnmoms

#TBT – Tips for a Strong Marriage When Pareting a Young Addict

Recently, Midwestern Mama penned an article for In Recovery magazine about the impact of a child’s addiction and recovery on the parents’ marriage, so it’s only fitting that for #TBT that we rerun a 2012 column on a similar topic. It seems the principles stand the test of time regardless of the scenario.

A Real Mom 1-23-12_ Tips for a strong marriage while dealing with addiction – Minnmoms

#TBT – Do “All The Right Things” But Kids Can Still Lose Their Way – Addiction Happens

In 2012, Midwestern Mama contemplated the dichotomy of doing “all the right things” but still having a kid who was struggling with addiction. It seemed to run counter to the recovery principles of “you didn’t cause it, you can’t change it, you can’t control it, you can’t cure it …” Which is it, she wondered? (And still does wonder.)

A Real Mom 5-7-12 – All the Right Things

To me, this is where parents and professionals need to come together for the sake of family consensus, treatment and recovery – for ourselves and our young addicts.

#TBT – Keeping In Touch No Matter What is What Matters Most

Throughout my son’s addiction, we made every effort to stay in touch and we worked at understanding the complexity of addiction and its grips. In this 2012 column, Midwestern Mama talks about why this is important an even shares an insight from Chicago Bears player Erik Kramer. These strategies made a big difference for our son and our family.

A Real Mom_ Keeping in Touch, No Matter What is What Matters – Minnmoms

#TBT – Travel & The Baggage of Remote Parenting

It always seemed like the few times I was out of town for business would be when the dreaded phone calls would come. The ones about an incident with my chemically dependent son.

Midwestern Mama wrote in 2012 about a recent trip that actually went smoothly.

A Real Mom – Travel and the Baggage of Remote Parenting 3-27-11

What a relief!

#TBT – Not Using is Not the Same as Recovering – Relapse in the Making

In spring 2012, Midwestern Mama’s son was not using, but he wasn’t exactly embracing treatment, sobriety or recovery. Here is a column where she explores the concerning pattern, which repeated itself many times through many relapses.

A Real Mom – Not using isn’t same as recovering 3-19-12

Fortunately, in 2014 and continuing forward, my son has embraced sobriety and recovery in a much more encouraging way. We have transitioned from hope to belief!

#TBT – Making Peace With Patterns – Addiction is a Series of Patterns

Early on, Midwestern Mama relied on her “Mom Radar,” which often revealed patterns of addiction. In this column from 2012, she writes about how patterns emerge and change for her young addict.

Real Mom_ Making Peace with Patterns – 3-13-12

Fast forward to August 2015, I must say, I much prefer the positive patterns of my son’s recovery.

#TBT – No Car, No Way – What My Young Addict Wanted

Having a car was a privilege – until Midwestern Mama’s son began using drugs and driving under the influence. It was a turning point when we finally took away the privilege. In this 2012 column, read about the impact of having, or not having, a car during my son’s addiction.

A Real Mom 3-6-12 No car, no way

Three years later, now sober and in recovery, Midwestern Mama’s son is now in his 20s and has regained driving privileges. He’s saving money from his part-time job to buy his own car in the future.

#TBT – Sappy Greeting Cards – For & From Our Young Addict

Throughout our son’s addiction, we made every effort to remain in contact with him and to celebrate family holidays. Often, greeting cards expressed the ideas that we had a hard time saying directly. Midwestern Mama wrote a column in 2012 about some of these cards and the heartwarming, encouraging messages that we exchanged with our son during his addiction.

A Real Mom – Sappy Greetig Cards 2-29-12

How it all began. A parent’s journey through her kid’s addiction. #TBT

There’s always a back story. The story behind the story. In many ways this is key to understanding the current situation.

When my son was struggling and after we confirmed that he was using drugs, I started keeping notes: What we discovered, what we talked about and who we talked to. There was so much going on and the lies were flying fast and furiously, so my black-and-white composition notebooks helped me keep it all straight.

Midwestern Mama kept track on details in the early days of her son's addiction by taking notes in black-and-white composition notebooks. These became the origin of her articles, columns and blog posts.
Midwestern Mama kept track on details in the early days of her son’s addiction by taking notes in black-and-white composition notebooks. These became the origin of her articles, columns and blog posts.

Also, as I found resources, I would make note about these: phone numbers, website addresses and information on what was offered. Later, this saved time when we needed to make contact.

Along with all of this, I also subscribed to a number of online newsletters. These helped me become educated on addiction, treatment and recovery. One day, I read a press release published by Renew magazine; it was from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.  

The report had to do with current statistics on young adult substance use and also highlighted its impact on brain development. Although I knew in my heart that all this was true – we were witnessing it first hand with our high school son — it was the first time that I had validation of our experience. Only, there was something missing.

Immediately, I whipped off two emails. One to the magazine and the other to one of my local newspapers, the St. Paul Pioneer Press. I ask the editors where was the parents’ perspective in reporting this news. Within a few minutes, I received messages back from both publications asking if I would write about this.

That’s how this flurry of writing began. First as a magazine article offering tips for parents experiencing exactly what I was experiencing, and secondly as a biweekly column in the newspaper that chronicled our family’s journey.

1201 – Renew Magazine Article

Instead of the heroic story of overcoming addiction and succeeding in recovery, the newspaper column was a real-time, real-life account of parenting a young addict. In no way was it a sad, woe is me diatribe; it was a hopeful yet realistic account giving other families a touch point.

Eventually, all that writing manifested as the Our Young Addicts community including this blog.

As a tribute to the back story, it is rewarding to share those early columns from 2011 – 2013 as part of #TBT (Throw Back Thursday). Each time I reread these columns, I gain new insight into my son’s addiction and it further allows me to celebrate his recent one-year sober anniversary. From these, I am inspired by his future, and I truly hope it instills hope in our readers that there are good days ahead.

Click through our blog archives to read these past columns, categorized as #TBT, and check here on Thursdays for another blast-from-the-past installment.

Midwestern Mama

#TBT – Maybe Today Will Be The Day

In today’s #TBT column, Midwestern Mama writes about the guiding, calling HOPE that “Maybe today will be the day,” that her son would choose sobriety and recovery.

Every parent of a young addict hopes and prays that TODAY will be the day that addiction ends and sobriety and recovery begins. None of is knows how long the journey will go on. All along though, we must maintain hope – for ourselves and for our young addicts.

A Real Mom – Maybe today will be the day 1-31-12

Several years after writing this column, after lots and lots of hoping (and other things), that day came. My son made that choice on July 11, 2014, and I’ve never been so grateful.

Midwestern Mama

#TBT – Where Will He Sleep Tonight? A Homeless Young Addict

One of the most difficult and saddest aspects of Midwestern Mama’s experience with a young addict was her son’s homelessness. Nothing in this experience broke her heart more.

wanderer-814222_640

As we head into the Independence Day weekend, I remember how chained my son was to his addiction. Just a few years back, my son was homeless. I wrote about this for the Pioneer Press in January 2012.A Real Mom 1-6-12 Where Will He Sleep Tonight?

Each day, I would pray for his freedom from chemical dependency and for his choice to become sober. For me, and I think for him, the homelessness was the most devastating part of the addiction experience. I wish it on no one.

Today, I am grateful that he is sober – one year on July 11, 2015, and successfully living at home with our family.

Midwestern Mama

New Content Debuts – The week ahead on Our Young Addicts

We’re getting exceptional feedback about Our Young Addicts, and it has spurred Midwestern Mama to create and curate additional content for parents and professionals who care and are concerned about young people in their lives who are using drugs and alcohol.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s coming up this week, and in the weeks ahead, for Our Young Addicts on the blog and on Twitter.

Mondays or Tuesdays will generally feature an update from Midwestern Mama

I’ll continue to share with you what’s going on in our family as our son nears his 11th month of sobriety and recovery.

Wednesdays will now feature Guest Blog posts

On Wednesday, we will kick off a weekly series of Guest Blog posts from parents, addiction professionals and young people in recovery.

  • Wednesday, June 10: Our first guest blogger is a dad with a son in recovery. He’ll share what he’s learned through this experience and the changes he learned to make as part of it.
  • Wednesday, June 17: Next up, our guest blogger is a young man in recovery from opiate addiction that started as a result of  a high school sports injury. Now, this young man is back in college and has a job he enjoys.
  • Wednesday, June 24: We’ll start a three-part series with a professional who works with families through their kids’ treatment and recovery.

Thursdays are #TBT – Throw Back Thursday

Thursdays, we’ll continue with #TBT – Throw Back Thursday – featuring a previous column from the St. Paul Pioneer Press or from this blog. There is merit in looking back and realizing the extent of this journey, including its ups and downs. It really provides perspective on where we are today and what’s possible tomorrow.

 #SoberSummer Continues Daily on Twitter

On Twitter, we’ll continue our #SoberSummer tips, and I encourage you to share some tips of your own as well as checking out our Resource pages. Click around on the site to find resources for parents and professionals on a growing number of topics.

Thanks for reading, commenting and most importantly for being part of the #OYACommunity.

Midwestern Mama

©2015 Our Young Addicts            All Rights Reserved