Day #3 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

by Karla Helbert

For those of us in grief, the holidays are most definitely not the most wonderful time of the year. No matter how long it has been since your beloved died.

It has been nearly 13 years since my son, Theo, died of a brain tumor when he was just a baby and the holidays continue to read more

Depression and addiction do not discriminate

by Tiffani Borello

Trigger warning: Suicide method mentioned briefly

On the left: When I was using. On the right, me in recovery.

As I’m writing this, I have tears falling down my face. I lost my best friend, Charles Rogers, to suicide while he was withdrawing from opiates. It’s been a little over three years since Charles died and it still eats me up inside read more

Over a year after my son’s suicide, I no longer hate being alive

by Christine Dudek

There’s something about the light piercing through the clouds at 30,000 feet when I’m lucky enough to get a window seat. It looks like every picture of heaven I’ve ever imagined since I was a little kid and so it makes me feel closer to Tyler.

Flying has gone from the read more

Jared’s last words

by Jared Murphy

Note from his mother: “This is a letter my son Jared wrote to his friends before he died. He died from accidental overdose. Jared had given me the note a while back. He asked that I post it to his Facebook page. Through tears, I am sharing and awe fills my heart to have had the read more

My boyfriend died from a drug overdose

by Victoria Kiarsis

Billy Derr and Victoria Kiarsis

I met Billy Derr at a 12-step meeting in Boston in the fall of 2014.

Although I didn’t think much about him at the time and was even dating someone else, Billy had different ideas. He told me later that when he saw me for the first time, in my burgundy pants, tan booties, and leather read more

Regrets and my son Billy’s relapse

by Jenny Derr

Jordan, Jenny and Billy

October is a hard month, and the past couple of weeks even more so. Three years ago, Billy relapsed after seventeen months of sobriety.  I was in my Wednesday Nar-Anon meeting when I got the call.

I remember vividly sitting in that room in shock and disbelief

We thought we were done with the craziness of active addiction. I just couldn’t believe read more

Illusions of shiny-accomplished-contented familyhood

by Lynda Hatcher

The perfect, shiny family

“We cast away priceless time in dreams, born of imagination, fed upon illusion, and put to death by reality.” —Judy Garland

Pat, my counselor for over twenty years, helped me to understand the psychological concept of illusions and how they can box us in to a way of thinking read more

My Son’s Gift of Tranquility and Hope

by Brooke D

When your child is an addict in and out of recovery, you low expectations.

Holidays, birthdays and family events are unpredictable. You never can be certain the child will be present and if he is, he may or may not be sober. For several years, my oldest son created drama at family gatherings, read more

Even when your child is in recovery, it’s still hard

by Brooke

types of grief

My kid has nearly 11 months clean and sober. For over a year he has been living in a long-term residential treatment center for homeless addicts. For 4 years he has struggled with substance abuse disorder and has sometimes made my life feel like a rollercoaster.

Right now, he is doing read more

Drug addiction was never in our family plan

by Braxton Collier

Stephen Boyd Collier died from overdose
Stephen Boyd Collier

My wife and I were married in 1973 and started off with all kinds of dreams of how we were going to live our lives, how many children we wanted to have, where we would like to live and many other things just like most all couples in middle class America.

In January 1976, our first read more