by Mary Cucarola – 12/27/17
“You are in the seat beside me, you are in my dreams at night, you are in my grandmother’s wisdom, you are in your grandfather’s charm.” The Head and the Heart, Josh McBride
I listened to the song, Josh McBride, by the Seattle Indie Band, The Head and the Heart, no less than 100 times, while I was staying on the island of Patmos, Greece at the writing workshop taught by author Cheryl Strayed and others in July of 2015. I sat out on my little white stucco sundeck, overlooking the gorgeous blue Aegean Sea, with my ear buds in, playing the song over and over, replacing the word “seat” with “sea”, so I could feel my son’s presence. The song brings up good memories of one of the most unique experiences I’ve had in my life, and at the same time sad memories because I was deep in my grief over Cody’s death.
Ultimately, the Patmos experience inspired me to write my story, ramp up my work in Cody’s Fresh Start, and start my own blog, One Mother’s Perspective. It was definitely a valuable experience.
I’ve given considerable thought to how to make my blogs a little more cohesive, relevant, and appeal to additional readers in 2018. I’ve come up with a plan to write them from two different perspectives, alternating each time between them. The perspectives will either be written with my head guiding me or my heart guiding me, since addiction precipitates both voices needing to be heard – the science of addiction and the stigma of shame.
On the one hand, there is the disease of addiction to write about in hopes of educating others, and on the other hand, the accompanying shame surrounding it to write about in ending the stigma. This will tie in well with our mission at Cody’s Fresh Start, where our ultimate goal is to help loved ones recover from addiction and end the stigma.
These two perspectives of addiction, education and stigma, are essentially what motivate me to write in the first place and will help further our mission.
If I write with my head guiding me, the blog will be informative about the disease of addiction, such as current events, legislative updates, new statistics, scientific research, opioid epidemic, prevention, treatment, recovery, and so on. If I write with my heart guiding me, the blog will be about my experience of having an addicted son, such as the shame I felt, enabling I did, heartache I endured, forgiveness, change, compassion, strength, and so on. My goal will be to write both perspectives each month, but I will have to see if I can get it done. I could make them shorter – 500-750 words instead of 1200-1500 words.
In any case, it will still be, at the minimum, a monthly blog, and hoping for bi-monthly, depending on my discipline in writing (which is always a little questionable) and my time constraints.
There will be people who better relate to the head-guided informative blogs and people who better relate to the heart-guided experiential blogs, and my hope is they will reach more people. My first one will be published next week and be an informative blog.
One of the original band members of The Head and the Heart, Josiah Johnson, has been battling addiction and on hiatus since March 2016 from the band. The band has played at Red Rocks the past couple of years to a sold out crowd. I hope he has success in his recovery from this challenging disease – it seems to affect our best and most talented artists, as they battle it in silence and shame.
Here is to new beginnings and fresh starts in 2018,
Mary Cucarola – 12/27/17