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Donna M.

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Peeling The Onion
by Donna M.   

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Category: 

Action/Thriller

Publisher:  self published ISBN-10:  1467511986
Pages: 

69

Copyright:  August 2010 ISBN-13:  9781467511988

A Mother's journey of what she leanred and how she healed through the years of her son's drug addiction and recovery.

Peeling The Onion
Peeling The Onion

                  

                               Sick As My Secret

Oh how emotionally sick I got while loving the addict in my family.   I remember one day feeling that I should stand naked in front of my home to let everyone who knew me, know that my life is a lie.  “Oh, but I can’t”, I thought to myself, and in that pivotal moment, I also realized that I have a secret and I felt in my gut that you don’t share these kinds of secrets with just anyone.  I thought to myself, “Oh, my God! What the hell am I going to do now?” The tears began to flow; and the gut wrenching pain in my stomach was unbearable, I felt like I was going to die.  Off I went into the fetal position,  I felt depressed, defeated,  and  then there were days, I didn’t even know if I had a feeling inside of me, because I felt numb.  There were days that I truly felt that if I didn’t die from a broken heart I was going to end up on some Psychiatric ward.

My thoughts became tormented, if I reach out for help, people would know my secret and if I continued to keep my secret, I risked staying stuck on my emotional roller coaster ride to hell.

For years, I only told two good friends and a few family members about my son’s drug addiction.  I didn’t want anyone to know that my son was a so called drug addict. Why?  Because I was ashamed and embarrassed that I had a drug addict in my family and more importantly and painfully, it was my son.  When I first learned that my son was abusing drugs, all I did for hours, days and months was cry, and if I wasn’t crying I was researching drug addiction, I was constantly looking for answers.  I wanted answers that would explain my son’s behavior or how I could save him from drugs.  I was so pre-occupied with saving my son, that I was slowly losing myself.

When the depression set in, I would go from my bed to the living room couch to the family room couch. I went round and round for hours, days and months.  I couldn’t control my pain, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t concentrate on anything but my child.  In other words, I became addicted to saving my son; and he became my drug of choice.

When I finally got off the couch and out of my bed, I figured I’d research his behavior.  My computer became my new best friend.  I would be on it for hours upon hours researching drugs and addiction.

Did you know that you can buy clean urine on-line?  Wow!  That was amazing to me not only was I educating myself, I could not believe the drug paraphernalia that is sold legally in stores or on-line.  There are items designed specifically to look like every day ordinary items. I found high-lighters that hide a small pipe, a lipstick tube, where the ends come off and it becomes a pipe and a fake cigarette that hides a pipe.  Who the heck thinks of these things?

I was hoping that my new best friend (my computer) would help me find information that would explain my son’s behavior. It began to dawn on me that the child I thought I knew wasn’t who I thought he was.   I was so obsessed with saving my son from drugs that he became my drug of choice, in other words I became addicted to saving him. 

I learned the Serenity Prayer:      

                                 “God, grant me the serenity

                          to accept the things I cannot change;

                           courage to change the things I can;

                          and wisdom to know the difference.”      

                                                                        Reinhold Niebuhr


Excerpt

I'm As Sick As My Secret

Oh how emotionally sick I got while loving the addict in my family. I remember one day feeling that I should stand naked in front of my home to let everyone who knew me, know that my life is a lie. “Oh, but I can’t”, I thought to myself, and in that pivotal moment, I also realized that I have a secret and I felt in my gut that you don’t share these kinds of secrets with just anyone. I thought to myself, “Oh, my God! What the hell am I going to do now?” The tears began to flow; and the gut wrenching pain in my stomach was unbearable, I felt like I was going to die. Off I went into the fetal position, I felt depressed, defeated, and then there were days, I didn’t even know if I had a feeling inside of me, because I felt numb. There were days that I truly felt that if I didn’t die from a broken heart I was going to end up on some Psychiatric ward.

My thoughts became tormented, if I reach out for help, people would know my secret and if I continued to keep my secret, I risked staying stuck on my emotional roller coaster ride to hell.

For years, I only told two good friends and a few family members about my son’s drug addiction. I didn’t want anyone to know that my son was a so called drug addict. Why? Because I was ashamed and embarrassed that I had a drug addict in my family and more importantly and painfully, it was my son. When I first learned that my son was abusing drugs, all I did for hours, days and months was cry, and if I wasn’t crying I was researching drug addiction, I was constantly looking for answers. I wanted answers that would explain my son’s behavior or how I could save him from drugs. I was so pre-occupied with saving my son, that I was slowly losing myself.

When the depression set in, I would go from my bed to the living room couch to the family room couch. I went round and round for hours, days and months. I couldn’t control my pain, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t concentrate on anything but my child. In other words, I became addicted to saving my son; and he became my drug of choice.

When I finally got off the couch and out of my bed, I figured I’d research his behavior. My computer became my new best friend. I would be on it for hours upon hours researching drugs and addiction.

Did you know that you can buy clean urine on-line? Wow! That was amazing to me not only was I educating myself, I could not believe the drug paraphernalia that is sold legally in stores or on-line. There are items designed specifically to look like every day ordinary items. I found high-lighters that hide a small pipe, a lipstick tube, where the ends come off and it becomes a pipe and a fake cigarette that hides a pipe. Who the heck thinks of these things?

I was hoping that my new best friend (my computer) would help me find information that would explain my son’s behavior. It began to dawn on me that the child I thought I knew wasn’t who I thought he was. I was so obsessed with saving my son from drugs that he became my drug of choice, in other words I became addicted to saving him.

I learned the Serenity Prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference."


Reinhold Niebuhr




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Reader Reviews for "Peeling The Onion"

Reviewed by Joe Herzanek 7/22/2013
Packed with Gems of Wisdom and Unexpected Information, Brutally Honest and Direct

"Peeling the Onion: A mother's journey of healing and learning through the years of my son's drug addiction and recovery" is the story of one mom who candidly shares her struggles and personal triumph as she navigates the lonely world of dealing with her child's addiction.

Donna’s book is not professionally edited and is written much like a journal or series of letters to friends and family members. At the beginning of the book she wisely states: “I want to make one thing perfectly clear; I’m not your typical author; I’m not a philosopher, psychiatrist, psychologist or a drug and alcohol counselor; I’m a Mom who had a broken heart and who found my passion and my voice.

This book contains many valuable “nuggets” of information and insights—which I have not found in any other addiction recovery books. Written in brief vignettes, “Peeling the Onion” can be read in short bits of time—picked up and set back down, in order to process and ponder thoughts, underline, highlight words and mark pages.

Donna M. shares some of her “aha moments” with us. My favorite is from a documentary called “The Sleeping Tiger” which she viewed at her son’s first rehab center while attending the parent’s session. This was the first time she was able to understand her son’s addiction as a disease.

“The film describes addiction as a sleeping tiger cub that resides in each of us. It grows as we grow, through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. The tiger sleeps within us until that one day we decide to take a drink or experiment with drugs. If we are vulnerable to the disease, we wake the tiger. The more the substance abuser drinks or uses drugs, the bigger the tiger becomes until the tiger is in control and the person is lost somewhere within. The tiger is the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction.”

She writes, “I also learned that every time a substance user decides to stop abusing drugs or alcohol and enters into recovery, the tiger goes back to sleep.”

Donna learned many difficult lessons firsthand and she openly shares her experiences with us. Learning from her wise words can spare families time, money and heartache: “I learned that when a person is active in their disease, they have no boundaries when it comes to taking our belongings. I don’t believe their intent is to hurt us; they are sick and need to self-medicate and they will take from us whatever they can to sell in order to get money to feed their addiction.”

“I learned that my son didn’t have to live up to my expectations. My hopes and dreams for my son are my expectations that I put on him. My son can only live up to his own expectations.”

“I learned that my son’s recovery was his full-time job and none of my business. Every time my son came home from a facility, I would be on him about getting a job, owing me money, going to meetings. I was toxic to my son and he could use me as a reason or justification in his mind as to why he relapsed.”

“I learned to “Let go and let God” because this disease was bigger then anything I had ever experienced in my life.”

“Peeling the Onion” is loaded with insights from a mom who has been there. I thank Donna M. for sharing her thoughts and firsthand learning in such a direct, clear and to-the-point manner.

Her words shed light on an extremely complex, dark and stigma-filled area in the lives of so many families. Parents will take comfort in realizing that they are not alone, there are solutions and recovery is possible—for the addict and the entire family.

Donna outlines how to “trust your gut” when making decisions as a parent, what to look for/signs of relapse and a wonderful sample letter to family and friends that is filled with brutally honest, hard-to-hear words laying out her boundaries regarding her son’s addiction (page 33).

"Peeling the Onion" gives family and friends tools to maintain control of their lives, to cope with inevitable situations parents and family members face and equips readers to bypass many of the common and damaging mistakes so many parents and family members unwittingly make.

I strongly recommend adding this to any person's library--for helping yourself or in order to understand a family member or friend who is struggling with addiction.


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