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September 19, 2005

Here's What We've Learned

David12_1

In the years since David's death from substance abuse the love and support of many has sustained us as we redefine our world without him.  Prominent among them have been his many friends who continue to call, write, email and stop by to see us....often unannounced.  Their loss and the lessons they learned from his death are poignantly inventoried in this entry of the 2002 Lawrence Central High School Yearbook:

David,

Words cannot express the grief that we have felt since losing you.  The void you left in our hearts can only be surpassed by the joy you brought to our lives.  In your life, you made us laugh to the point of tears; in your death the tears we cried for you have been a painful reminder of a lesson that could only be learned at the expense of an insufferable loss.

David_prom

You have taught us to live everyday as though it could be our last and to love those close to us with a passion we never knew existed.  We reveled in your smile and your endearing eyes, never thinking it could be the last time we saw them.  However, the memory of your smile is enough to help us survive everyday without you.  Whether it be a vivid dream, a brief memory of your laugh, or the slighted tug at our hearts, we are constantly reminded that you are with us always.  We love you David.

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September 19, 2005 at 05:41 PM in The Journey | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 16, 2005

The DUI Debate

Indianapolis is currently in the midst of one of those debates on how the judicial system and the  community at large should respond to the continuing problem of those who abuse and drive.  While opinions and potential solutions are wide and varied, consensus is harder to come by.  Most agree with the severity of the problem and that penalties are often too lenient for first and sometimes second offenders, but the path to solving the problem divides us and renders society impotent in the face of the continued death and mayhem. 

Many are quick to demand more and longer jail sentences but what is usually missing from the discussion is treatment.  Not just the requirement that the offender serve jail time or attend 12 Step meetings, but treatment as well, in a facility that will educate as well as prevent.  12 step programs without contextual information about the disease of addiction are like trying to find your way through a maze without a map.

Unfortunately today our society relies on our Jails to be the waiting rooms for the disease of addiction, Courts the Assessment Centers for the disease, and Prisons the Treatment Centers.  In the recovery community insanity is defined as "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results".  Until we break this cycle and put Treatment Centers at the forefront of our efforts our insanity will continue.

September 16, 2005 at 12:25 PM in The Journey | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 15, 2005

Three DUIs???

Periodically there is a public outcry against those who USE drugs and alcohol and then drive that understandable turns to outrage when a death of a passenger or an innocent bystander occurs.  The din is fueled by calls for reform of Drunk Driving laws from the public and the assertion that Judges and the court systems are too soft on first time offenders. 

As a recovering alcoholic myself who works many nights each week with men and women who are in treatment for substance abuse, I hear the same mournful refrain over and over from them....

"I didn't realize I had a problem until I got my THIRD DUI". 

My response is always the same...wasn't the first DUI a pretty good indication that there might be a problem???  Don't you think that your life might be a bit unmanageable when you get even the first one???

September 15, 2005 at 05:06 PM in The Journey | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 06, 2005

Conflicted

I feel so conflicted at times.  Since David's death from substance abuse we have met so many wonderful people who are as passionate about the prevention and education of addiction as we are.  We have discovered a thousand kindred spirits who understand our pain and have shared our suffering as they too do battle with their own adolescents drug demons.  In a few short years we have formed friendships that are deeper than friends we have known for decades.  They have formed a family of understanding that surrounds us which own extended families can never understand or match.  They are friends that have enriched our lives, warmed our souls and will be in our hearts forever.

And yet...I would trade all of them in a heartbeat if I could have my David back.  Addicted or incarcerated...it would not matter...I would give it all away if I could hug my boy one more time.

September 6, 2005 at 05:28 PM in The Journey | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 02, 2005

With Hope

The events of this past week surrounding the destruction and despair wrought by Hurricane Katrina has brought into sharper focus for all of us the role that HOPE plays in our lives when we enter the heart of darkness that is tragic loss.  For some of us it is the tragic loss of innocence we cling so tenaciously to, for others it is the catastrophic loss of all the material things we hold dear, and for still others it is the loss of the shining light of a loved one that is ripped away from us sometimes brutally and sometimes not....but always unexpectedly. 

In times such as these, many say that we have lost or are without... HOPE...as if HOPE were some tangible object that could be momentarily or permanently hidden from all of our senses.  But I think that feelings are never lost...they are only transiently overshadowed by the veil of other emotions like anger, or denial, or loss.

This blog is really about HOPE...I didn't know that when I started it last month but I do now.

So, if you are inclined, leave a short story of your HOPE... and if you are not so inclined, know that you are never without HOPE, it is as much a part of you as the beating of your heart, the warmth of your smile, and the fond memory of a loved one.

September 2, 2005 at 06:04 PM in The Journey | Permalink | Comments (1)