What Good Are Those Slogans, Anyway? (Part 2)

If you’ve spent any time around Al-Anon, Alcoholics Anonymous, or other recovery-oriented groups, you’ve heard at least a few slogans and acronyms. Most of them seem to fall into one of three categories, and they include our relationship with: Our addicted loved one. Ourselves. Our Higher Power. This month, we’ll look at a few of my favorites that can help us handle seemingly overwhelming circumstances. Is everything okay right now? I woke up night after night and lay sleepless, worrying about my alcoholic son, wondering if he was okay. I often texted him just to see if he would respond. […]

Little Fish In A Big Pond

Growing up as a little southern girl Growing up as a little southern girl in South Georgia, I sure never dreamed I would be traveling so far away to the land of kangaroos, koalas, and crocodiles. Oh, and of course Crocodile Dundee! Before we left for Australia, Linda Alcantara, the sweet lady that helps me take care of my home and family remarked to my husband, “Take care of Marsha down there, she is so little!” On the first leg of the journey we landed at LAX airport for our layover. It was about midnight. Groggy and disoriented, we stumbled […]

For the Family: Harmony…

Orchestra The word itself reminds me of an orchestra and the way each person, instrument and note is important to the overall sound. Each tiny piece plays a great part in the whole and without the cooperation of them all the masterpiece would be lost. The synchronicity is vital to the result and no matter what genre of music we all listen to, we can agree that the result is powerful. Music can speak words we otherwise could not find, create emotion we didn’t realize was within us and change the entire dynamic of any setting. The way we individually […]


What are the facts? When is the last time in the midst of an emotional crisis you stopped to ponder the question, “What are the facts?” I can tell you in all honesty that it has taken years of practice to be able to pause with enough clarity and force myself to answer. Why is that? Perhaps because it is so much more satisfying to concoct the story in accordance with how I feel at any given moment rather than consider how my emotions may be potentially driving the drama. Feelings are often what we cling to first because they […]

Take Off the Training Wheels

TRAINING WHEELS One of the most nerve-wracking times for a family during the recovery journey is when your loved one moves from the treatment center to sober living and then to an apartment or house. At this time, managing your own recovery becomes critical, because doing so will help you take the training wheels off your loved one and allow them to begin riding their recovery journey without your interference. One thing that will help you let go of managing your loved one’s life is working to improve communication, because many families suffer from dysfunctional communication. As your loved one […]

It’s Kindergarten Every Day

A couple of years ago A couple of years ago I was approached about joining a Steel on Steel group, and exchanging Evening Reviews with two women in my recovery group. I knew these women casually, and liked them, but we weren’t super close. I was a tad hesitant; however, something in me felt drawn to them and intuitively I trusted them immediately so I agreed. My oh my, would that decision have impact on my life! And, so we began. We would meet every other Sunday night at a local church and go through the process of self-examination through […]

The Gift of Presence

Regret Of The Past Have you ever wondered what it would be like to not live in fear of the future or regret of the past? Where would your mind wander and where would your focus land if not in front of you or behind you? The answer is simple. You would live in the here and now which is the ultimate goal of the awakened spirit. It sounds so simple anyway. Everywhere we look are beautifully written poems hung with fancy frames in the hallways of homes or inspiring sayings sewn into throw pillows on the couches. They encourage […]

Finding Hope and Help in the Midst of Addiction: Healing Your Family

Deathiversary of my son’s death Yesterday was the fifth anniversary (deathiversary?) of my son’s death of a drug overdose. Brandon was one of those people who are larger than life. He was the life of the party. He had a loud voice, a lot of friends, an infectious smile, and he enveloped people with his bear hugs. He befriended the underdog and defended the helpless. He was intense; he loved and hated with his whole heart. He was the glue that held our family relationships together. He constantly reached out to each person in our family to spend time with […]