In the Spirit of the Truth: What I Wish I Knew Then Blogs

By Mary Cucarola – 9/22/23

“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”  ~John 8:32

Things are looking up. My knee injury is much better, and I am rested after nine months off. I have some promising new resources and ideas for Cody’s Fresh Start. I see a new way to go forward that will make it easier for me.

This fall, I plan to start a new series of blogs about things I wish I knew then, when my son was in active addiction, that I know now.  It is what I’ve purposely and passionately studied and learned in the past ten years since I lost him to an overdose on September 25, 2013.

The blogs will be based on my journey with my son and his ten years of struggling with ADHD, depression, and addiction, and my part in it, mostly because I didn’t know a better way to deal with it then. Like most parents, I wasn’t prepared for this kind of journey.

I get it now. I didn’t then. I wish I could have a do over, but I can’t. When you know better, you do better.

My blogs will feature several topics, including these:

  • Addiction is about brain chemistry and dopamine.
  • There are risk factors for addiction.
  • The younger you start, the easier it is to become addicted and the harder it is to stop.
  • You can’t treat an addicted child the same as a normal child.
  • Addiction causes shame, guilt, and trauma.
  • Love doesn’t conquer all.
  • Helping and enabling are two different things.
  • Setting boundaries is the hardest thing to do, but necessary.
  • It is dangerous to use tough love with an opiate user. Tough love can make things worse.
  • Acceptance is about coming out of denial.
  • Addiction is a disease of many losses.
  • Self-care is essential.

Most of the material will come from my presentations for our CFS family program and the rest from my reflections on losing an addicted son. I love to write, and this will give me a new direction.

Will I ever give up my relentless need to know?  Probably not. I would never have chosen this rollercoaster of grief, hurt, and introspection, but it chose me and somehow, I find meaning and purpose in it.

After ten years, I still long to understand why this happened, but for now I will celebrate my not so simple findings, in the spirit of the truth, as tattooed on my son’s shoulder – John 8:32.

I miss him. I love him. He is such a good soul.

By Mary Cucarola – 9/22/23