Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Dear Members: Friday, March 31, is the 2nd anniversary of the death of Barbara's beloved boy, Daniel. I am planning to post several tributes to him and his mom, and a few pieces of his poetry. Let us take a moment to reflect upon Daniel's short and tragic life, and to thank his mother for allowing us the opportunities to "Share Without Shame."
A Tribute to Daniel Francis Montalbano, beloved son of “The Addict’s Mom” Founder, Barbara Theodosiou
Essay written by Sherry Schlenke, the mother of a boy, now deceased from the disease of addiction.
Everyone’s Child: Daniel Francis Montalbano
March 31, 2015 marks the passing of an exceptional young man. Daniel Montalbano, the son of “The Addict’s Mom” founder, Barbara Theodosiou, was a brilliant, handsome, talented, compassionate young man, with a loving family, and a bright future.
However, Daniel, like so many other young people in our nation and across the world, when he was young, far too young to make such a life-changing decision, fell victim to drug addiction. From the time he entered pre-school, Daniel, likely a child with Autism, was shunned and mocked by his peers for his ritualistic, odd behaviors. He was bullied and beaten. He grew angry and bitter; his was a troubled soul. Drugs were his way of coping with his inner turmoil.
His mother, a devoted, and determined mother, tried everything within her power to cure him, and to save him, but she could not. She, like all loving mothers, became desperate to save her child; unfortunately, the bonds of addiction were too powerful. Barbara remembers her feelings of loneliness and desperation:
“I knew that there had to be other mothers who felt as I did. Sitting alone, in the dark, with tears running down her cheeks. She feels broken.”
Ten years ago, together, Barbara and Daniel created “The Addict’s Mom,” (TAM) a forum where mothers and other family members have the opportunity for open, honest sharing of their experiences, sorrows, challenges and victories with their addicted children. Their damaged spirits find understanding, support and comfort in the devastation of addiction.
Recognizing the shame and embarrassment that a mother of an addicted child feels, Daniel envisioned the TAM mission: “Share Without Shame.” Beginning with a few mothers who preferred to remain anonymous due to the stigma of addiction, TAM has grown in the last 10 years to a membership of 85,000. Daniel’s wishes have come true: TAM unites shattered mothers and helps them heal.
Today, Barbara continues the work of TAM so that Daniel’s brief, tragic life of only 23 years was not lived in vain. Displaying extraordinary bravery and fortitude, Barbara stands as a role model for all addict’s moms: she inspires us, uplifts us, and gives us hope as Daniel’s vision lives on in each and every TAM mom.
For the first time in the history of our nation, mothers of addicted children are emerging from the shadows, speaking their names, and sharing their stories. These mothers are conducting candle-lighting ceremonies to commemorate their lost children, marching at community and national rallies and appearing in the media: television, Facebook, online and print magazines, and newspapers. They are invited to share their experiences and opinions with representatives from the legislative, law enforcement, judicial, and medical communities in order to effect reforms in medical treatment, in funding treatment, in the prison system, and in the insurance industry. Daniel and Barbara have given voice to these desperate mothers who previously went unheard.
Daniel Montalbano’s life was not lived in vain as is evident from the extraordinary feats of members of TAM:
visiting a child in the hospital, because his own mother is unable to travel
sending money to another mom for an airline ticket to visit her child
attending the funeral of another mother’s child
standing vigil at a child’s hospital bed; a child not her own, of a mother she has never previously met
administering to her child a life-saving anti-opioid medication available due to the efforts of her fellow TAM moms
providing a wheelchair to an impoverished mom for her addicted, quadriplegic child
facing a judge, begging for her child to be spared a jail sentence and instead be permitted to undergo treatment
raising one’s grandchildren because their parents cannot
This week, Barbara will visit Daniel’s gravesite, remembering her beloved boy. She will weep, and she will feel regret and guilt for the “could haves” and the “should haves.” She will not be alone. The mothers of “The Addict’s Mom” will be with her in love, and in sisterhood. Daniel leaves a long-lasting and important legacy; his life and death have united the mothers of addicted children in a permanent bond. That is quite an accomplishment indeed.
Please take a moment to reflect upon this exceptional young man and his loving and compassionate mother.
Daniel Francis Montalbano: Everyone’s Child.
Visit The Addict's Mom at: http://addictsmom.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network
The Addict’s Mom Race Car
By Sherry Schlenke
March 2017
TAM is off to the races! As a child, TAM member Sherry McKnight spent hours watching her father speed around the track in his race car at historic Bowman Grey Stadium in Winston Salem, North Carolina. When Sherry learned that family friend Billy Gregg, an expert short track driver, needed a sponsor, she decided to contribute the fee. TAM founder, Barbara Theodosiou, gladly gave permission for Bi...lly to display “The Addict’s Mom” logo on the hood of his sleek car!
Billy and his TAM car kicked off the racing season on Sunday, March 19 at Bowman Gray Stadium, which is the first NASCAR- sanctioned venue. Since 1949, drivers in their cars have been pursuing each other around the 1/4 mile asphalt flat oval short track at Bowman. Now, the TAM car will become part of the most popular sport in the country, at one of the most popular venues.
For every green flag to signal the start of the race, some 17,000 screaming fans are present. Drivers report that the crowd, who begin lining up for tickets 12 hours before the start of the race, is so enthusiastic and loud, that one cannot hear the announcements on the public address system!
With huge tires and wheels, the gleaming 2,000 pound machines are like rocket ships on wheels! The TAM car is no exception, with its huge carburetor and 360 horse power capable of passing the fastest competitors!
Throughout this summer, Billy will also drive the TAM car in races in Virginia, thus disseminating the TAM message even further!
Barbara Theodosiou is very thankful for the tremendous publicity and exposure that Sherry McKnight, who has been with TAM for 2 years, is providing to TAM. Under Barbara’s guidance, 85,000 TAM members have worked tirelessly, educating, informing, supporting, and advocating for families whose lives have been devastated by addiction.
As the head driver of “The Addict’s Mom,” Barbara recognizes that it takes a full pit crew of dedicated volunteer administrators and members to gain the attention of the public and educate them about the deadly drug epidemic that is racing across our nation, killing our children and destroying our families. TAM moms resemble the screaming race fans, who want their voices to be heard.
So, let us send a huge thank-you to Sherry McKnight and cheer for Billy and the TAM car as it reaches the w.inner’s circle!
Visit The Addict's Mom at: http://addictsmom.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network
Top News of the Week
teens in high school hallway 3-23-17.jpg
Opioid Use Among Teens Decreasing, Studies Suggest
Opioid use is declining among high school seniors, a new study suggests.
Help Us Continue to Empower Families:
pills, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes 3-23-17.jpg
Bleak Job Outlook for Less-Educated Whites Leads to Death by Drugs, Alcohol, Suicide
A new study concludes a lack of steady, well-paying jobs for whites who don’t have college degrees has led to an increase in deaths by drugs, alcohol and suicide.
Xanax 3-23-17.jpg
Pill Disguised as Xanax Has Killed Nine People in Florida County
Pills that look like Xanax but contain the powerful opioid fentanyl have been linked to nine deaths in Pinellas County, Florida in recent weeks.
Border Officers Seizing Record Number of Pill Presses Used to Make Fake Drugs
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are seizing a record number of pill presses used to make counterfeit drugs, CNN reports.
One-Fourth of U.S. Teens Report Exposure to Secondhand E-Cigarette Vapors
One in four American teens say they have been exposed to secondhand e-cigarette vapors, according to a new government study.
Other Headlines of Interest
Parent Toll-Free Helpline1-855-DRUGFREE

© Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
352 Park Ave South | 9th Floor | New York, NY 10010

Pill Disguised as Xanax Has Killed Nine People in Florida County - Partnership for Drug-Free Kids - Where Families Find Answers

Pill Disguised as Xanax Has Killed Nine People in Florida County - Partnership for Drug-Free Kids - Where Families Find Answers: Pills that look like Xanax but contain the powerful opioid fentanyl have been linked to nine deaths in Pinellas County, Florida in recent weeks.
"The goal has its importance.  But the doing is what is truly fulfilling.  Every enthusiastic person has a goal that may be important, but the doing is intensely fulfilling, and it is the essence of enthusiasm."  -Eckhart Tolle

“Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch." -Ivern Ball

“Live your truth.  Express your love.  Share your enthusiasm.  Take action towards your dreams.  Walk your talk.  Dance and sing to your music.  Embrace your blessings.  Make today worth remembering.” -Steve Maraboli 
This past weekend I listened and watched in awe as a young woman showered the audience with enthusiasm.  Quickly her fingers danced on the taut strings of her cherished violin, filling every open space with uplifting notes of joy.  The violin became an extension of her spirit and love, with my enthusiasm rising with every change of tempo.  This talented young lady looked skyward with each high note, her eyes lost in sweet emotion and I felt my spirit soaring.

Before sobriety and my New Life, this moment would not have been possible.  My mind and body could not comprehend this feeling, this deep connection to the moment, to life.  Oftentimes, I had overlooked the present to get to the next, which today I understand, created and multiplied feelings of lack.

Statement #11 in action is a portal to purpose, and for me it rides like a wave.  I felt enthusiasm run through me as I listened during the concerto and my skin tingled with goose bumps as my ears absorbed the melodies.  Drawing, painting, or writing, I am aware of enthusiasm but curiously only afterwards.  Maybe because I am so connected to what I am doing that I can only become aware afterwards.  No matter how or when I recognize it, I am grateful to be able live in enthusiasm.

Are you able to recall a time when you felt enthusiasm?  If you are having trouble identifying this feeling in your New Life, what small action can you take to create enthusiasm?
Hugzzz, Karen
I’m taking a class at church with the title, “Fight Back with Joy.”  It seems like an odd choice of words yet I have come to understand that just because I stopped drinking, it did not guarantee me a problem-free life but rather the tools to handle life’s challenges.  Statement 11 has awakened me to the fact it is awareness of the joy in life that requires our attention.

One of the exercises in this class was to identify what we would do if we were given a certain amount of time.  After I made my list, I realized that there was actually nothing stopping me from doing any of the things I listed except now I had a time line.  It’s not as though I didn’t really know this already but seeing it in writing, made it so much clearer.

Statement 11 is about celebrating more, regretting less and DOING.  It is all of the quotes at the beginning of this message.  I made a list of regrets a while ago and, again, seeing it in writing helped me to realize that I was still holding on to things that could not be changed rather than using that energy to add enthusiasm to my life, to search for what brings me joy today.

Perhaps starting with simple joys is a way to start.  The chirping of birds in the early morning, the sound of waves or rain on the roof.  It is the awareness that leads us further into appreciation, action, and treasuring those moments.

How about starting with answering these “sensory” questions:
I love the taste of:
I love the sight of:
I love the feel of:
I love the smell of:
I love the sound of:
-WFS Member
Do you read from the WFS Program Booklet?
Yes, I own a personal copy.
I don't own a copy but we read it during WFS meetings.
No, I don't own a copy.
I haven't read it in a long time.
Women for Sobriety, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Your Donations Help Support WFS's Ongoing Services. Thank you!
100% of your donation reaches WFS and contributes to our mission.
Buy or Sell Items on Ebay and Help Support Women for Sobriety.
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates to WFS.
Check out Women for Sobriety's Blog Site.
If you received this from a friend, we welcome you to JOIN our email list.
Copyright © Women for Sobriety, Inc. | All rights reserved | Federal ID # 23-1972763
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org | Ph: 215-536-8026 | Fax: 215-538-9026
Women for Sobriety, Inc. | P.O. Box 618Quakertown, PA 18951-0618
Unsubscribe recoveryfriends@gmail.com
Update Profile | About our service provider
Sent by contact@womenforsobriety.org in collaboration with
Trusted Email from Constant Contact - Try it FREE today.
Try it free today