4 Things You Think During Your Six-Week-Old Baby's Unexpected Hospital Stay

When you’re sitting in the ER waiting on your baby’s test results, your mind becomes a dangerous thing.

Here’s the thing about new babies: When they show even the slightest sign of sickness, things can get serious fast – very, very fast.
When my six-week-old son, Jake, spiked a 102 fever, my wife called me at work to let me know she was taking him to Dr. Evans. Dr. Evans is a small, frail, instantly likeable man who looks like he would struggle mightily with a baby-weighted car seat.
Any time we had brought our kids to Dr. Evans, he’d say, “This baby looks great! Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
While I appreciated the good doctor’s optimism, sometimes I questioned whether he was actually looking at our children or simply offering the stock phrases new parents needed to hear. If I substituted my Boston Terrier for my son during a visit, how overworked would Dr. Evans need to be to say, “This baby looks great! Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
I felt certain Dr. Evans would assure my wife there was nothing wrong with our son. After all, I’d read somewhere that babies spike fevers all the time, and it’s generally nothing to worry about – unless the baby is under two months of age.
When a baby falls into the under-two-months category, all bets are off and even the most seemingly innocuous symptoms can lead terrified new parents straight to the emergency room. And that’s exactly where Dr. Evans sent us.
That’s exactly where Dr. Evans sent us.
By the time I got to the hospital, Jake was hooked up to a heart monitor, an oxygen monitor, and IV fluids – an IV they finally got in after seven unsuccessful needle sticks. Nurses were prepping him for a spinal tap, and I was told the doctor suspected meningitis, but they needed to see what variety of meningitis it was, viral or bacterial.
All we could do was wait. When you’re sitting in the ER waiting on your baby’s test results, your mind becomes a dangerous thing. Here are five thoughts that ran through my mind during my son’s hospital stay:

1 | This must be a mistake

As an avid “Grey’s Anatomy” fan, I always scoffed at the show’s portrayal of the family members’ reactions to bad news. On virtually every episode, there’s some sad sap who can’t seem to comprehend the very clear facts a doctor is offering about their husband, wife, son, daughter, mom, dad, etc.
Dozens of times, I’ve put my wine glass down, stood up and yelled, “Come on! Nobody would act like that!”
But after Jake’s hospital stay, I think Shonda Rhimes may have gotten it right.
When a doctor explained a bacterial meningitis diagnosis would require a minimum seven to 10-day hospital stay, adding complications could arise, I started questioning the reality of the situation. At one point, I actually thought, “This has to be a mistake.”
I think time has a lot to with the irrational reaction. I just couldn’t comprehend how, in a few short hours, the seemingly healthy baby I’d kissed goodbye before leaving for work was now looking at the prospect of at least a week’s stay in the hospital. This wasn’t a life and death situation, and it certainly wasn’t the worst medical news I’ve ever received (I listened to a doctor tell me my father was going to die), but something changes when your own child is involved.
And that brings me to another thought….

2 | How do parents of sick children do it?

I’m fully aware of how dramatic I sound talking about what happened to my son. In the end, he was okay and, even though there are some complications we have to watch out for, things could’ve been so much worse. Things are so much worse for so many parents – and I thought about those parents a lot.
While waiting for Jake to get discharged, I found myself devouring Facebook posts involving GoFundMes for people struggling with the financial burden of caring for a sick child and parents’ harrowing personal essays about life with children suffering from rare, life-threatening diseases.
I can’t imagine the toll caring for a truly sick child takes on a parent. I only know how helpless I felt throughout the entire experience with my own son. I think that helplessness made me a little more empathetic toward others, that my tiny glimpse into what life with a sick child could entail made me a little less likely to judge others too harshly for their actions.
After all, you never know if that dick who just cut you off and gave you the finger might have been a burnt-out dad, who, between the constant trips back and forth to see his daughter in the hospital added to the stress of trying to hold down a desperately needed job, was simply at his wits’ end.

3 | The Internet is a horrible place

Anytime I noticed my wife crying, all I had to do was glance down at the cell phone she stared at to determine the cause. With the intent of educating herself about what our son was facing, my wife took to the Internet. Like all concerned parents who brave the world of Google-based medical research, eventually the road led directly to terror and tears.
When I asked to see what she was looking at – medical websites listing after-effects ranging from memory loss and developmental disabilities to epilepsy and loss of sight – I, too, wound up crying. Some well-meaning relatives who dropped in to see how we were doing had the misfortune of walking into the hospital room during one of our teary research sessions. Luckily, all I had to say was “We were looking up meningitis online…” and they understood.

4 | How much is everything going to cost?

We’re fortunate enough to have health insurance through my employer, yet I still worried about how much everything would cost, what would or wouldn’t be covered, and what type of expensive follow-up care would be required.
Families without healthcare coverage have to deal with the stress of a sick child as well as the knowledge that the treatment for said child will likely put them in debt for the rest of their lives, completely destroy their credit, or both. In the grand scheme of things, my family and I are lucky.

How You Can Wholly Support Someone Who’s Infertile or Has Experienced Pregnancy Loss

Second to the pain of infertility or pregnancy loss, the most painful part of losing a child or not being able to have one is dealing with people’s comments, questions, and well-intentioned advice. Even though most comments or questions are meant to be helpful or uplifting, they can actually seem insensitive and naïve.
In 2011, I learned firsthand how hurtful loved ones and complete strangers could accidentally be.
November 30th began like any other work day. I got up and got in the shower. That’s where the normalcy ended.
As I flipped a towel over my wet hair, I heard and felt something pop inside my body. I was overcome with instant pain, not too dissimilar from excruciating menstrual cramps. At first I thought I had pulled something. I tried stretching it out, laying down, using a heating pad. The pain only intensified. I called my husband in tears, knowing I needed help, knowing that something was wrong.
After many painful tests at the hospital, a vaginal ultrasound included, I learned that I was pregnant. We had been trying to conceive for two months and had no idea we had been somewhat successful. I had been blacking out and moaning in pain, but I forgot all that and sat up and reached for the doctor.
“Can you save the baby?” I pleaded. I didn’t care about my own body in that moment. I only cared about my baby, the baby I didn’t even know existed until that moment. But that didn’t matter. My only wish was to save my baby.
The doctor promised to do what he could, but it was out of his hands. It turns out I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Not only could I not save my baby, but she almost took me with her.
I marveled at the whiteness and starkness of the operating room as they wheeled me in, just like in the movies.
“This is going to be painful,” one of the nurses said as they turned me on my side and moved me to the operating table.
Painful didn’t begin to describe it. The weight of the blood in my abdomen crushed my internal organs. I felt my eyes bulge out of my head, and in the moment, I prayed for death. I begged for it. I knew I was dying, and I just wanted it all to end, to find relief.
While they strapped a mask over my face, I remember screaming “NO!” over and over again until the drugs mercifully kicked in.
Emergency surgery, a removed fallopian tube, and four blood transfusions later, I was once again childless and full of physical and emotional pain.
About six months later, I took the precautionary measure of getting a hysterosalpingogram, which consists of dye being pushed into my cervix to see if my remaining fallopian tube was open. Once again, I was met with heartbreak.
My remaining tube was blocked with thick scar tissue that could not be removed without risking even more damage. Even if it could, my uterus was misshapen, so additional surgery would be required to make my uterus baby-ready. At that time, pregnancy wasn’t an option for us.
The comments poured in, from both the inexperienced and the experienced, from everyone from my fellow church members to my own mother. Most people were simply trying to help, and they didn’t know how to respond to the gravity of the situation or the emotional torment I felt. Even their good intentions couldn’t take the pain and trauma away.
In fact, most times, it only amplified it.
If you’ve experienced hurtful comments after pregnancy loss or infertility, the most important thing to remember is that they aren’t meant to be hurtful, even if they do cause emotional harm. If you know someone who has experienced this loss, and you’re not sure what to say or if what you want to say will be hurtful, the best thing to do is to be mindful, considerate, and empathetic.
Here are some comments I received that did more harm than good, why they don’t help, and what to do or say instead:

Silver lining comments to uplift or minimize pain

“At least you know you can get pregnant now!”
“You didn’t even know you were pregnant? Oh, then that loss isn’t so bad.”
“You could always just use a turkey baster.”
“You’re lucky that you’ll never have to go through childbirth,” or “You’re lucky you won’t have to worry about your body and stretch marks after having kids.”

How they’re meant to help

It can be difficult to see a loved one going through a painful experience. These types of comments are meant to be upbeat, happy, funny, or help the person see their experience from a new perspective.

But even though comments like these are meant to minimize emotional pain, it can actually feel like the person is trying to minimize the experience itself and the grief that comes along with it. This makes the person in pain feel as though they’re not allowed to grieve deeply because they should be looking at the silver linings instead.

What to do instead

Sometimes allowing yourself to grieve is one of the hardest parts of infertility or miscarriage. Grief is a natural part of these experiences. It’s a natural – and healthy – part of life. If you’re the one that needs to grieve, let yourself.

Write out your feelings or find someone you can talk to, someone who won’t judge you when you say shocking or alarming things as part of your grieving process (like a faith-based crisis or simply feeling hatred or bitterness toward those around you who aren’t going through it).

If your loved one is going through this, be there for her. Lend her your listening ear. Let her get it all out, unfiltered and raw. Sometimes that alone can lift a portion of the weight off her shoulders.

Remind her that she doesn’t have to look at the silver linings yet and to take the grieving process one step at a time. Most importantly, tell her that you’re there to listen whenever she needs to talk.

Comments meant to give hope

“God has His reasons,” or “Everything happens for a reason.”
“Time heals all.”
“I know exactly how you feel.”
“There’s always adoption.”

How they’re meant to help

Part of the grieving and healing processes requires finding hope in the future. It may not be the hope of having children, but it can be a hope to feel whole again, to feel happy, or even simply content. Many people who say these types of comments are trying to make the person feel better by offering hopeful statements.

The problem is that they are shared when the person is still in the thick of grief. They haven’t gotten to the stage yet where they can even begin to feel hope in the future. Hope is powerful. But it has its own place and time during emotional trauma and healing. In the heart of my trauma, it was nearly impossible to focus on the future.

What to do instead

It’s okay to be happy and hopeful around the person grieving, but let yourself exude it in your actions rather than your words. You don’t have to say anything about hope. When they’re ready, they’ll feel it from you, and then they’ll know you’re a safe harbor for them when they start exploring the new stage of healing.

Once they start talking about the future with hope, you can help it grow into something more stable by simply listening and encouraging them softly.

Comments meant to shorten the grieving process

“Don’t worry. Soon you’ll be back to your old self again.”
“You’re not over it yet? It’s been weeks/months/years.”

How they’re meant to help

Going through the grieving process is hard, and so is watching someone you love go through it. From the other side of the experience, you want your loved one to heal and be alright again, but chances are your loved one is still processing and trying to heal.

Comments like these may be meant to shorten the grieving process, but they can actually add more time to it.

What to do instead

Ask them what they need from you. Ask them how you can help, and if they don’t give you an answer (it’s hard to do when in emotional distress), give suggestions on how you’d love to help.

It can be as simple as doing the dishes, dropping off a dinner, or even buying them some beautiful flowers. The most important thing is to remind them they’re loved, no matter what.

Questions about the future

“When are you two going to have kids?”
“So, what are you going to do now?”

How they’re meant to help

These questions can range from someone being curious to a simple, innocent getting-to-know-you question. No matter how innocent, they can hurt when in the middle of dealing with the emotional pain of losing a baby or not being able to get pregnant.

Sometimes they’re just conversation starters, and the other person doesn’t realize that they’re being hurtful and opening an emotional wound.

What to do instead

Instead of asking questions like this, allow the person in emotional pain to talk about it first. Let them guide the conversation. This will let you know what they want to talk about and what they’re comfortable discussing.

Look for cues in their body language and what they say. It’s okay to ask follow-up questions if they bring up the topic on their own. If they don’t want to talk about it anymore, it will most likely be clear in their body language. Or, they may tell you it’s a sensitive topic. Either way, respect their need for privacy during such a difficult time.

For those of you going through the pain, remember that these comments aren’t meant to harm. They come from people who are concerned and who love you. If from strangers, they simply don’t understand the depth of your situation and your grief. Be patient and kind. It’s also perfectly acceptable to turn them into teaching moments.
If you’re outside the experience and watching a loved one go through it, also employ patience and kindness. Be understanding. Be empathetic. Be aware.
When it comes down to it, we can all do a little better and be a little kinder. It can make a world of difference to those who need it the most.

This Place Sucks! My Newborn Son’s First Diary Entries

Dear Diary, It finally happened. I got evicted. Don’t get me wrong, I had a feeling my days in that sweet pad were numbered.

May 27, 2017
Dear Diary,
It finally happened. I got evicted. Don’t get me wrong, I had a feeling my days in that sweet pad were numbered. For starters, the place that was once so spacious just seemed to be getting smaller and smaller. Plus, that crazy neighbor lady who called herself “Mommy” kept saying things like, “Mommy and Daddy can’t wait to meet you, Jake. Any day now.”
For a while, I thought she was talking to some guy on the other side. I mean, there was a dude there every now and then. Sometimes he pressed himself right up to my wall and shouted these ridiculous things about Stone Temple Pilots being the greatest rock band of the last 20 years. But most of the time he played songs on his guitar – badly. I figured the lady was having a fling with some wannabe musician.
Then one day it clicked, and I was like, “Dude, you’re Jake, that lady is your ‘Mommy,’ and you’re about to get KTFO!” Deep down, I guess I knew I couldn’t live here forever. I knew I’d have to do something with my life eventually.
I just never expected the moving process to be so damn uncivilized. When it all went down, I was ripped through a non-existent doorway and thrust out into a cold, loud, overly bright world with a bunch of giants scurrying about and grinning like simpletons.
I tried to explain that there must’ve been some type of mistake, that I couldn’t possibly belong in this place, but these morons couldn’t understand what I was trying to say. They just went about poking and prodding and snipping and tagging me until I blacked out for a while.
When I came to they had me flopped on top of this lady who looked the way I felt – like she had just gone through hell. It was Mommy. At least she had food. These two giant sippy cups were attached right to her body, and they seemed to have an endless supply of this magical elixir. I couldn’t get enough. That shitty musician was there, too. I recognized his annoying voice.
May 28, 2017
Dear Diary,
Day Two was another nightmare. There was an endless parade of giants popping in to “get a look at the little guy.” These strangers took turns making obnoxious faces, asking asinine questions (“Why so sad little fella?”), and holding me as awkwardly as they might hold an ancient artifact.
The louder I screamed for them to give me back to the lady with the sippy cups the harder they tried to console me. “Wait, now let me just try one thing real quick,” they would say before changing up the way they held, rocked, or talked at me. These people simply couldn’t believe their little tricks didn’t work. They reminded me of those clueless college boys who are genuinely shocked when the “Rock Star Sex Tip” they read in Maxim doesn’t work as advertised.
When the visiting hours were finally over, I was looking forward to some much-needed alone time with Mom and her sippy cups, but “Daddy” – aka the failed musician – had different ideas. “Let’s send him down to the nursery so we can a little bit of sleep. We can use the rest,” the deadbeat said to my reluctant mommy.
That’s when the real nightmare began. My tormentors wheeled me and my little bucket into a room filled with people who were exactly like me. There must’ve been at least 15 or 20 of us in there screaming our little lungs out – a cacophony of anguished cries for help.
During the rare moments when our captors were out of earshot, we exchanged information with one another. It was the same for each of us. One minute we were sitting comfortably in our beloved one-bedroom paradise, the next we were being dragged out into the hell where we currently reside. What does it mean? Why are we here? What do these people want from us? Are we destined to live out the rest of our days as medical test subjects? Slaves to the giants? Were we abducted by aliens? These were some of the many questions I pondered as I waited in terror with my comrades for the next phase of the nightmare to unfold.
Eventually, I was returned to my mommy and “daddy” (dude was still asleep when they wheeled me in!), but I’ll never be able to forget the horror I experienced in that room. There’s an epidemic of little people being taken right from their very homes, and as soon as I get a handle on my situation, you can bet your sweet ass I’m going to find out what the hell is going on with my people.
May 29, 2017
Dear Diary,
I was thrilled to finely be getting released from that torture chamber they call the hospital…until my ride arrived. When a dirty, dented, and gold 2005 Toyota Camry pulled up, I said a little prayer to Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad that it was just an Uber. But somehow, I knew better.
As soon as the squeaky breaks finally brought that bomb of car to a halt, out hopped the shitty musician. “Hey buddy, your Dad’s here to take you home,” he said to me with his horrible coffee breath. I remember thinking, “Great I live with this loser, too. Looks like I hit life’s anti-lottery.”
We hadn’t even pulled out of the parking lot when the failed musician turned the car stereo up to 11. “Hope you like the Stone Temple Pilots, Jake, cause you’re going to be hearing a lot of it.”
At that moment, I started wailing – for the loss of my old life, the horror of my new one, and the unfairness of it all – and I haven’t stopped since.

Teenage Tales of Love and Trust in an Ugly Orange Hoodie

Friendship and security showed up at our house in the form of an ugly orange hoodie this year. At first it was worn by a teenage boy.

Friendship and security showed up at our house in the form of an ugly orange hoodie this year. At first it was worn by a teenage boy. That boy became my daughter’s best friend.

It just happened, he just happened, and the ugly orange hoodie was along for the ride.

My daughter deals with severe anxiety. She also has an intense fear of abandonment due to early childhood trauma that occurred before her father and I were lucky enough to adopt her. Getting close to people is scary for her. Letting people in gives them the power to hurt her and she’s been through that way too many times.

The boy in the orange hoodie got close. She let him really see her – all of her, everything she fights so hard to keep below the surface. She was surprised he wanted to be her friend anyway.

She tried pushing him away, sometimes literally. He didn’t let her. She screamed she never wanted to see him again, and he said, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

He was there for her, day after day, and the orange hoodie was too.

She sought out the ugly orange hoodie at school when she was anxious. The boy couldn’t follow her from class to class, but the hoodie could. She loved that it smelled like him. It comforted her and made her feel safe, because he made her feel comfortable and safe.

He started leaving the hoodie with her after they hung out. He’d wear it when they were together and then take it off and leave it in the car when they parted. He told her it was his way of saying, “I’ll be back.”

This went on for a couple weeks, and then she had a really bad day. She was in a pit of anxiety and depression. She had multiple panic attacks and lashed out at the boy in the orange hoodie.

She blew her snotty nose into the hoodie.

“That’s okay,” he said, “I’ve blown my nose on it, too.”

And at the end of the day he hugged her and told her he cares about her. Then he told her he wanted her to have the hoodie, his very favorite jacket. The jacket he’d been wearing daily all school year. He said he wanted her to know he’d always be there for her and that he wants to be in her life for a long time.

That ugly orange hoodie is filled with so much love (and snot.)

She’s worn it during exams and to scary doctor appointments. She puts it on when she’s tired or stressed. We went away for a weekend and she had him douse it with his cologne so it kept the comforting scent despite the distance.

She threw the cherished hoodie in the trash can outside recently when her anxiety picked up and manifested in anger. She wanted him to see her cast it out. She wanted to see if that was what it took for him to throw up his hands and say, “Enough! I’m done with you!”

Instead, he grabbed her and twirled her around our driveway in a dance with no music. Then I helped her rescue the ugly orange hoodie from the bottom of the smelly trash bin and put it right in the washing machine.

Being a teenager is hard. Being a teenager with anxiety disorders and a traumatic history is super hard. Having a friend to count on makes everything easier, especially when that friend will wrap you up in his favorite hoodie so you feel safe and valued.

I don’t know what will happen to the ugly orange hoodie – love and snot can only hold fabric together for so long. I don’t know what will happen to its former owner, but I am oh-so-very-grateful for the comfort and security they both have given my daughter, snot and all.

What My Daughter Taught Me About Addiction

No parent ever wants to think that drug use might explain their child’s upsetting behavior. If only I had known how to spot it and what would help her most.

“I don’t want to come to dinner. I’m not hungry. Just leave me alone!” She slams her door in my face.
I lean against it, listening to her cry. I don’t know what’s gotten into my bright, sociable teenager, besides the fact that something is very wrong. No parent ever wants to think that drug use might explain their child’s upsetting behavior. If only I had known how to spot it and what would help her most.
In a nationwide survey of parents of high schoolers, most said they would know if their kids were using drugs, yet failed to recognize most of the warning signs. Nor did they know that young women are at high risk.
In fact, girls 13 and up is the fastest-growing group of illicit drug users, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It’s more important than ever for parents to know the signs.
 
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Know the signs

Of the dozens of tip-offs to possibly risky drug use in teens, two especially set off warning bells about young women. Is her hair unwashed or messy, her clothing rumpled or stained? Has she switched her group of friends? Do you know who she is hanging out with?
Adolescent girls who lack concern about their appearance and stop seeing their friends tend to be depressed and isolated, which puts them at risk of using drugs.

What you can do

Use the experience of other parents of girls with drug dependency. We all wish we’d trusted our intuition that something significant was wrong sooner. If she won’t talk to you, find a therapist trained in adolescent behavior.

Know the why

Depression goes up for both genders when puberty hits, but it’s nearly three times higher in girls, according to Anita Gurian in the study “Depression in Adolescence: Does Gender Matter?”
A major factor: Estrogen levels spike during her menstrual cycle and cause dopamine, a mood balancer, to plummet. That’s when she’s more likely to self-medicate, and if she does, she may feel better – for a little while. But if she continues to self-medicate with illicit drugs, she’ll feel worse.
This is partly because serotonin, another feel-good chemical, decreases with the input of artificial highs in the brain. She’s left feeling worse than ever and needs more of the substance just to feel “normal.” It turns into a vicious cycle.

What you can do

Use carrots, not sticks. Suggest stress-busting activities that stimulate feel-good brain chemicals, such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, creative expression, and physical exercise.
Trauma can occur after a deeply disturbing or distressing experience. As many as 80 percent of women seeking treatment for drug abuse report histories of sexual and/or physical assault, including young women who’ve undergone date rape – a significant risk for young women.
When highly stressed, her brain produces more of the stress hormone cortisol, which lingers longer in women’s bodies than men’s and leads to the depletion of oxytocin, often called the “love hormone.” Her altered brain chemistry tends to pull her away from relationships, leading to isolation and the risk of self-medicating.

What you can do

Again, find a good therapist. Experts say it takes time, in particular for women, to be able to open up and talk about trauma. But therapy can help rebuild her sense of safety and trust and reach out.

Know the talk

Talk to her when you’re both calm. Not, for example, at the end of a long school day or three in the morning when she’s broken curfew. Approach her with kindness, but be firm.
Instead of asking “What’s wrong with you?”, try “What’s troubling you?” Give her choices to get help: “Do you want to go to a therapist or outpatient treatment?” But allow her to face the consequences of her actions: “Do you want to give up your cellphone for a week or miss the party next weekend?”
Don’t stop talking to her. Young women who are stressed, depressed, and/or using drugs can be masters of manipulation and denial. Know that these are symptoms of the brain disorder of addiction. The goal is to get her healthy, so stick to your bottom line.
Mine came when I found drug paraphernalia in my daughter’s room after I thought she had stopped using. I knew that relapse is especially frequent for young women, and it can take more than one try. I framed my ultimatum as a choice: You can go to a recovery center or I’ll help you find a new place to live.
She chose treatment again at a women-centered program, and after a lot of help from addiction counselors, therapists, a peer recovery group, and Medicine Assisted Therapy, she became the vibrant, sociable, productive young woman I knew she could be.

Know the walk

Practically the first thing I learned about dealing with addiction in a child was to lock up medications or dispose of them safely. Many parents also remove alcohol from the home while their child is abusing it or in new recovery.
It was suggested that I needed to model a healthy lifestyle for my children as I am their main female role model. Or, as another mom put it, if we want them to get healthy, we have to walk the walk.
That’s when I heard the phrase “extreme self-care.” During the years of my daughter’s addiction, I came to see that I needed “me time” more than ever: bubble baths, chocolates, old friends, walks with my lug-head of a dog, quiet moments to focus on what I was grateful for – this precious life.

Know you don’t have to do it alone

I never imagined that I’d become part of a very large club that nobody ever wanted to join: the legion of parents of children with addiction, some in recovery, many not yet.
Between 1991 and 2015, the last year official figures are available, over 61,000 young people from 12 to 25 died from a drug overdose (Centers for Disease Control, 2017). The number of parents and other loved ones who have joined together to share support and resources to fight the worst health epidemic in our nation’s history is growing exponentially.
Being with other people who are dealing with a loved one’s addiction cuts down shame and emotional pain. Being able to talk honestly without being judged is a huge relief. I have met so many good, loving parents struggling as I did to accept, understand, and effectively address their children’s disease.
I take comfort now in being part of the solution, of being one more advocate for those who suffer indirectly from the chronic mental disorder that is addiction. Our children deserve nothing less.