Saturday, April 9, 2011

Moms on a Mission

On March 7th the Mother's Council celebrated their first anniversary. The Mother's Council was organized to raise awareness about the disease of addiction, diminish the stigma associated with the disease and raise funds for the Center for Chemical Addiction Treatment (CCAT). I was very honored to be asked to speak at this 1st anniversary celebration and to be among a group of fifty or more people who are committed to making a difference. The audience was comprised not only of moms who have children still living with the disease but also moms who have lost their children to the disease. In fact, a name change was suggested to encompass all the other family members in attendance, including dads, brothers and sisters, who are also committed to the cause. The group has accomplished a lot in one short year. Regardless of the name, who knows what will be achieved by these individuals on a mission. For some, the need to become involved comes after the death of a child. With the death comes a compelling need, the need to have their child remembered, the need to let others know that their child was here and that they mattered. It is that very need that can keep the parent(s) living, living passionately on purpose. For me, Casey's Law was a result of that passion. Casey died and an advocate was born. I became a 'mom on a mission', a loose cannon, shooting off in all directions, hoping I would hit something. Being a 'mom on a mission' is not for the faint of heart and can be painfully daunting. However, when I receive a call or an email from a family who has used Casey's Law to intervene on their loved one, that purpose is affirmed and my strength is renewed. Sharon Blair and Kathy Sturwold are other moms who are also on a mission. You can follow their efforts to get involuntary treatment laws passed in Indiana and Ohio (respectively) on links found on the home page. Whether you consider yourself a 'mom on a mission' or not, I hope that you will find your own way of advocating for recovery from the disease of addiction. I am firmly convinced that, more than anything else, it will be families who will make a difference in how this disease is treated. It will be us who will make it OK to talk about this disease so that someday soon, people with addiction will be treated as anyone else who has a chronic, progressive, potentially fatal illness. Remember what happened when people started talking openly about cancer. Just imagine. . . . Until next time. . . . Casey's mom