Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Catching Up

It's been a week since my last post, and some stuff has been going on. So I thought I'd stop by and give you an update.

First of all, I've had two new pieces published in the past week over at the Heroes in Recovery website.

The first piece is a blog post entitled "Being Transparent to Help Break the Stigma." It talks about how sharing my experiences with my sons addiction is therapeutic to me, and about how sharing helps bring addiction out of the shadows and into the light.

The second piece is a story I wrote in the aftermath of one of the best Thanksgivings ever. "The Greatest Gift I Could Ask For: My Son's Sobriety" let's people know what an amazing thing my son's recovery has been, and that they should never give up if they, or someone they love, are struggling with addiction.

I hope you'll take the time to read both pieces. And feel free to leave comments on them at the Heroes website. I always like to know what people think about the topics I write about.

The other stuff going on in my life has to do with facing the ugly reality of unemployment. Without going into detail, I was being compensated for a while (with health insurance), but that has now run out. I am doing some freelance work, and my wife is working; but having a major chunk of our household's cash flow disappear has been pretty eye-opening.

Here are some random thoughts that have kept popping into my head over the last week or so:

*Paying the bills is tough when you lose your largest, steadiest source of income. It's certainly a wake-up call, and things will no doubt be incredibly challenging for me and my family going forward.

*When your health insurance benefits go away, you realize how important they actually were to you. It was kind of easy to take them for granted. Now I'm trying to decide whether to go on COBRA for a while--at a cost of nearly $1,600.00 a month--or if I should just take the plunge directly into the world of Obamacare.

*Something else you take for granted when it's included in your employer's benefits package: life insurance. You cruise along for years with ridiculously affordable life insurance--again, taking it for granted--then all of a sudden it disappears. If you don't know this already, trying to find life insurance that won't break your bank account is a pain in the ass. Especially when you're in your fifties and have some minor health issues. My advice to younger folks out there who are blessed with having life insurance through their employer: Go buy some life insurance from another source while you can do so at a decent rate. It'll save you a lot of hassle later on.

*I need a job. So if you know someone who might know someone...

I guess that's about it for now. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and wish you a very happy holiday season. Remember to take time daily to be grateful for the little things in your life. Some of the greatest gifts we have in life are things we tend to take for granted. Live in the moment and appreciate everything each day brings you. There are no guarantees for tomorrow.

In the same vein, there's a fabulous quote in the new Anne Lamott book (Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace) that I've fallen in love with. This quote hit me so hard that I printed it out and hung it up on my dining room wall. And I've used it as "grace" for the last two dinner gatherings I've hosted with my entire family.

"Right this minute, we understand that this is all there is, so let's really be together."

Amen, Anne. I think that line sums up life perfectly.


P.S. Here are direct links to my newest pieces on the Heroes in Recovery site:

"Being Transparent to Help Break the Stigma":

"The Greatest Gift I Could Ask For: My Son's Sobriety":


  1. Dean, you have authentically and honestly put yourself out there. Like you, I have faith that something good is in store for you. One suggestion, find a way to let us know what you are looking for besides a "job." It might generate a pull towards what you desire in direction. Peace!

  2. I'm so glad to hear that you had a special Thanksgiving, Dean. Being able to celebrate your son's sobriety is priceless. Best of luck with your challenges. I know looking for a job is never easy. I hope that you can find what you are looking for. You have so many gifts to share in the addiction realm. I wonder if it would be possible for you to use those skills for employment in some way. Best of luck!!

  3. Hey, Dean! Well, rather a good news/bad news piece, huh. Your Thanksgiving news is so heartening. And, of course, the employment news is - well - not so hot. Not that you need it, but I'm sorry, man. You nailed it with those "taken-for-granted's," especially for folks our age. And your advice to the youngins is right on the mark.

    Thank you for sharing such personal news, Dean...

  4. I feel for you. Hope you'll get a job soon, Dean.I understand that what you are in right now is not easy, I'm glad I can feel positivism in your words, and that is a great thing. Hope it will be soon that you will recover and adjust with your current finances. I agree with you, you will never know the importance of something, until you need it and life insurance is one of it. If you are looking for one that you can afford at the moment, I think you can get insurance quotes from different companies online. Try checking them out and see if one of them will fit your budget and needs.
    Regards to your son, hope he too will be able to recover successfully in his addiction. I believe that family support still plays the best role in recovery, just continue to be with him and make him feel accepted.