“…..get up, stand up, stand up for your right!”

What does your bedtime routine look like? Personally, I prefer to read for a bit then go to bed early.  Geez though, you have be careful what you read as the day’s headlines are so damn depressing.

I was too lazy to get out of bed and walk twenty feet to the living room where I’d left my magazine so I picked up my phone.  The phone at bedtime! BIG MISTAKE. I made the all too familiar mistake of looking at my email and two hours later I was too worked up to sleep.

To educate myself about the Opioid Epidemic, I have Google alerts which provide me links to daily news articles.  Tragically there are so many daily alerts that’s it’s hard to keep up.  So why do I put myself there? Because I chose to and because I’m a Fierce Mama turned Advocate. I will advocate to reduce the stigma of substance use disorders and influence policy makers to provide more effective and affordable treatment options. Incarceration is not the answer.Just like Bob Marley said, “get up, stand up, stand up for your right.”  I have a right to be me and follow my passion just like you have a right to be you.

 I’m exercising my right to speak up. I believe one person can make a difference.

So why opioids? My family has been and continues to be impacted or shall I say devastated by my son’s misuse of opioids. It’s hell. Actually hell sounds nice compared to our story. It’s impossible to describe the gut wrenching nightmare we’ve endured. The pain has sent me to my knees a million times over.

Please note. I do NOT want your pity.  This is NOT why I’m writing about my experience.

I write because it helps me cope. It grounds me. Writing heals me.

“My Girlfriend Voice” arose from my frantic attempt to survive the chronic stress of my life. Not only did I have a child suffering from substance use and mental illness, I had another child who desperately needed his Mother’s attention and love.  I was depressed and ending a long term marriage. I dreamt of running away.

Now while I don’t claim to know everything, I know I am resilient. I am wise because I learn from my experiences. Yes, I make mistakes. I cry big ugly snotty cries and I swear like a sailor. I rage, although not as often. I have bad days just like everyone.

Despite all of “this crap”,  I’m happy and optimistic. It’s hard work but a terrific return on my investment. I am grateful for my deep compassion and perspective.

Thank goodness we gain wisdom as we experience pain!!

I’m willing to let you witness to my process. I’m willing to share my thoughts and my tools in hopes that these stories will help you. I don’t want you to ever feel alone and hopeless.

Do you think this is weird? Narcisitic? You have a right to your opinion! I respect that! I don’t have to defend my motives or intentions.

In the spirit of sharing, here is a post I wrote last week. (Pasted below) “My Girlfriend Voice” encouraged me to show up strong and empowered. Finally I am comfortable accepting the consequences of who I am!!!!!!! It’s the only way I want to live. Free and open hearted. Get up, stand up! Don’t give up the fight!

I’d love to hear from you. Have you made contact with your Girlfriend Voice? What’s she telling you?

Are you ready to accept the consequences of who you are?

From the heart,

Cara

No parent EVER believes that they may someday need drug treatment for their child. Why does Trump propose such nonsense with his health care proposal? It will be even more difficult and much more expensive to obtain medical assistance.


What if only 10% of cancer patients got treatment? I’m serious. I’m real serious because I’m livid.

Drug overdose is now the LEADING cause of death for 50 year olds and under yet no one wants to talk about it . We MUST talk about it!

1. I don’t want to hear from you if you accuse me of trying to take pain pills away from those patients in need. I’M NOT!

2. Don’t bother saying addiction is a choice. It is a disease of the brain! Would anyone want the life of an addict? Would you want to watch your child slowly self-destruct and then bury them?

3.  Addiction is NOT a moral failing. Period.

Pharma companies manipulated us into believing opioids were safe. It’s atrocious.  Despite the tragic numbers, and by the way there were more deaths last year than lived lost in the Vietnam War, there is too little regulation regarding writing opioid prescriptions.
While I’ve been writing this post 4 people have died of an over dose. 4 people!! That’s 91 people dying every day. It’s senseless.
We incarcerate instead of rehabilitate.
We shame and isolate addicts and their families. It’s cruel.
We look the other way instead of shouting enough is enough!

“As of 2014, Medicaid picked up the tab for 21 percent of substance-abuse treatment spending and covered roughly one-quarter of medication-assisted treatments. Democrats have said that Medicaid rollbacks that would follow a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act could strip access to services that patients use to combat drug addiction.”

Please help me take stand.

1. Please call your senators and say no to HCA. (202) 224-3121 is the US Capital Switchboard

2. Please use social media to express your concerns.

3. Feel free to share this post.

If you’ve read this far, I thank you. I thank you for your willingness to understand this urgent medical crisis.

#opioids #heroin #painkillers #SUD #ServicesNotCells #DualDiagnosis #91DeathsADay #OpioidEpidemic #Fentanyl #Narcan #Suboxone #Methadone #BlackTar #MAT

©2011-2017MyGirlfriendVoice

Some Things Never Change!!!!

Some things don’t change and in this case, it’s a good thing!

My friend Simone and I were sifting through a box of old photos and memorabilia this weekend.  There in a wrinkled envelope, written on index cards, was a speech I wrote when I was eighteen years old.  Of course, Simone couldn’t resist a reading it through it.  Yes, reading it, in full character voice as well pointing out each one of my spelling errors!  (Spell check hadn’t been invented yet—dare I date myself?)

In the speech, I shared my wishes for my classmates, friends and family.  

to find a career filled with passion while leaving time to play and rest   (did you notice that CAREER was the first thing on the list? I was a product of the times—ready to take on a man’s world.)

to practice patience, especially during the most trying times (overrated; nothing more to say.  Next!)

-to understand the importance of a sense of humor (absolutely – how wonderful it is to laugh so hard you snort or squizzle)

and finally, friendships are the key to living a long healthy life (AMEN! Enough said)

I have a hard time connecting to the person I embodied at eighteen but it is pretty cool to see I was already inspiring people to find happiness and live with passion!   The words may have sounded foreign but they served as a compass for my life.  I still follow this compass but now I call it, “My Girlfriend Voice”. 

And by the way, this photo shows that some of my best times were in my robe and PJ’s.  Some things never change! (me at 18 in red bandana)

From the heart,

CaraW

©2012MyGirlfriendVoice