Quote of the Week

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted by:Rocco--Tuesday, August 23, 2011


This week’s PSST Meeting was held in Wexford at Trinity Lutheran Church. We had the expertise of Val and Lloyd of Allegheny Juvenile Probation and Kathie T and “The New Look” Justin of Wesley-Spectrum.

There was also a roomful of understanding and compassion with the presence of 17 concerned parents.

ROCCO & SALLY'S DISCLAIMER: This is an attempt to summarize our latest PSST meeting. We don’t always have the chance to get it done quickly and we sometimes cannot read Rocco’s handwriting [or even imagine what it was he was trying to write] so: Please feel free to edit, elucidate, correct, amend or add to our summary as required in the comment section below. We will not be offended.

Joan did an excellent job at keeping the meeting on track as our group leader this week.


Max reminded the group that the S.0.S. Chapter of Families Anonymous meets on Tuesday evening from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at Gateway Squirrel Hill. (Forbes Ave.) This twelve-step program focuses on helping parents become less co-dependent. All are welcome to attend these helpful meetings. There is No Cost and No Commitment.


Joan spoke about her daughter Melissa who is living at a ¾ house and has 90 days clean. Joan has been trying to concentrate on her own life but is not having an easy time of it.

Keep working your recovery Joan. You have worked hard for and you deserve a stress free home.

Jim and Cheryl are dealing with their 18 year old son, Andy, who is currently in the County Jail for car thefts and a few other related charges. He walked out of his Adult Halfway House. Apparently he went to Rave where he got high on ecstasy.

He drove away in cars that had keys in the ignition to escape from the police. We were all relieved to hear that nobody was hurt and we all understand that any of us at PSST could easily be in their shoes.

Please note that prior to this incident, Jim and Cheryl stood up in court to fight to get their child the help he needs and deserves. He had eleven months clean through their commendable efforts.

Jim and Cheryl expressed that they will continue to fight against their son’s addiction. I marvel at the strength and resolve that draw from each other and from their faith.

Lindy Lou has been attending meetings probably as long as Rocco and I have. She was busy lately with other endeavors while her son, Drew, 19, was away for seven months at an inpatient recovery facility (IRF). Drew did well there and liked the physical aspect it offered.

Lindy Lou also noted that after five years, eight schools and three placements he has earned his high school diploma. He graduated and is ready for college. Lindy Lou is feeling that natural touch of anxiety as she contemplates his return into their home.

We wish Lindy Lou and Drew and their family well.

Max took the floor next and spoke about her 16 year old son, David, who has been away at an out-of-state therapeutic boarding school. He has thirteen months clean not only from drugs and alcohol but also clean from tobacco. He is now coming home and Max expressed thankfulness that she and Mel took the measure to send him out of town and away from persons, places and things at an early age.

Their older son Michael, 19, has completed his G.E.D., his juvenile probation and is currently living at home and working part time. He is supposed to be looking for a full time job so that he can eventually get his own apartment. Max said that they have informed him that as of September 1 he is expected to start paying rent to live at home.

Max mentioned that it may be time to revisit Michael’s home contract but that as of this time his worst offense appears to be laziness.

Good luck Max and thanks for reminding us that our children’s recovery does not end when they get out of a program; it does not end when they get off of probation; it does not end when they get a diploma or a G.E.D.; in fact our child’s recovery does not end. It is something that they will need to work on for the rest of their lives. We can be there to support them but we cannot work their recovery for them.

Tess and Danny’s 18 year old son Linus has been in an IRF for about a month so he has his 30 days of clean time. He has not quite adjusted and talks about leaving [as most of our kids do]. He has hearings on 3 different charges pending.

Tess and Danny hope to take a vacation this week – We all hope they can do it and have some quiet time for themselves. While our kids are clean and safe in an IRF, it is a good time to relax and begin our own recovery.

Gracie and George have a son Ronnie, 19, who has returned home from an adult IRF and has 60 days of clean time. Ronnie wants to live at home.

George sent a very powerful message to Ronnie by nailing shut his 3rd floor room and letting him know that he will be sleeping in the basement in the open. This sends a couple of messages to Ronnie: he cannot return to his familiar “places”; he have very little privacy; but most of all that George and Gracie are in charge.

When Ronnie got angry about his living arrangements George locked him out on the front porch until he was ready to accept his terms.

Gracie and George, None of this is easy but we as parents need to establish that we have the power in own home. You guys have done a good job with your son and we hope he continues well in his recovery.

Lloyd reminded us that, as much as most of want it, it is not a good sign when our children over 18 years old want to live at home. It is normal for adolescents to want to move away from their parents. If they do want to stay home you need to establish standards for them to follow including not using any drugs or alcohol, attending school or having a full time job or both.

Sally and Rocco’s 19 year old son Cisco is working his recovery and is currently in an adult halfway house. Cisco wants to get an apartment; Sally and Rocco want him to get the skills for a good job; and “The Counselor” wants us all to slow down, take it easy, take it “One Day at a Time” and let Cisco work his recovery first.

Cisco is now doing well with his weekend passes and is attending one or two meetings every day. We occasionally have that dream of Cisco returning home and being the “Old Cisco” but we realize that this will probably never happen.

But just in case he does return, even temporarily, we are taking back and converting Cisco’s former downstairs bedroom (with its own entrance and bathroom) into Rocco’s office and model train room [minus the purple walls and posters of course].

Jenn and Brad’s son Dylan has been in an IRF since the end of April. He is in better shape both physically and mentally with almost 4 months of clean time. He is doing pretty well at managing his anger - never the less - he missed his home pass do to behavioral issues. On the good side he showed some maturity in accepting the blame and taking the consequence (working with the other boys involved on some manual labor).

Jenn and Brad first came to PSST in January and weren't sure what to do with Dylan or themselves. Now Dylan, Jenn and Brad are well into their recovery. It is still a long road but all of us at PSST will be here to support you.

Brigitte and Francois’ 17 year old son Pierre successfully completed his and came home form his IRF with 100 days clean. His first day home went well and then his anxiety hit him.

Like almost all of our kids in recovery the realization that they need to change people, places and things is very tough to accept, especially "people". Even though they managed very well on their own to dump their "clean" friends for their "using" friends they swear there is no way they can go on without their "using" friends.

Anyway Pierre argued that he had no desire to get high but he needed to be back with his old friends. Despite Brigitte and Francois’ objections he went out at 11:00 at night and drove around for 2-1/2 hours. When he came back home he appeared to be clean but was agitated and argumentative. Brigitte said it was too late at night and she was too tired to handle this. She had the feeling that she was right back where they had left off prior to Pierre's program and just wanted to go to bed.

We discussed this a while and will discuss the role play later in this post but basically it came down to the consequence of Pierre losing his driving privileges, indefinitely, Brigitte and Francois are comfortable with his recovery.

Brigitte and Francois have done a great job not just with Pierre but with their other two boys. But like many of us with our families in recovery they hit a wall and need a break. Hang in there guys we at PSST are here to support and listen to you.

Kitty has two sons in recovery, Carlyle is 18 and Cat is 22. Cat is a heroin addict who is 7-1/2 months clean, attending meetings and living in the basement. Unfortunately he is not motivated to do much else at this time.

Talking while driving him to a meeting recently Cat said Kitty was to blame for his problems. Kitty told him “Your right, but I did the best that I could at the time.”

Carlyle had a hearing last week and is on house arrest. He is now attending an I.O.P. (Intensive Outpatient Therapy). He told Kitty that he has enrolled in Community College but she has not seen any evidence of it (i.e. bill, schedule, etc.) in the mail.

On a good note, Carlyle took the blame for violating his probation and did not blame his mom for turning him in.

Kitty you have a way of appearing “Calm in the storm” and have been a good ear for the rest of us at PSST. Thanks for being there and for the delivery of the beautiful flowers.


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