Secrets and Half Truths

It takes a lot of energy to keep secrets.

In fact, it can be all consuming and render you prostrate with exhaustion. I’m not talking about confidentiality in a job context or between friends. That’s professional or personal diplomacy.

I’m talking about secrets – things going on under your own roof, behind closed doors, within your family unit – that you desperately keep from others. Your intention is not to be misleading, but you try at all costs to act as though everything is copacetic. You attempt to maintain a stiff upper lip at work, church or at lunch with a friend. You put on your party mask and try to be your darling self at social events.

The lion’s share of secrets I had to keep over the years, I was keeping from my own family – my parents, my brother and his family, my extended family. Secrets about my son and daily life with his addiction.

A big part of keeping secrets is making excuses, justifying why he isn’t playing a sport, why he is transferring to a different school, why he can’t go to church on Easter Sunday, why he is attending a wilderness program, why he couldn’t attend his sister’s graduation, why he is urgently flown to an expensive rehab in Utah and why he hasn’t visited his grandparents in a number of years.

Unfortunately, communication with family and friends consisted of countless whys and a string of half-truths. My parents taught me about half truths. They can be as flagrant as the whole lie.

JHW Foundation

The Watkins family is working tirelessly to launch this new organization in a continuing effort to raise awareness about a pervasive issue facing our “children”.

A human life is a story told by God.
Hans Christian Andersen

The JHW Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation aimed at combating substance abuse and addiction in young people. The Foundation, named in honor of John Henry Watkins, III, aims to aid in the rehabilitation of youth by donation to existing treatment facilities, the sponsoring of individuals through all steps of the rehabilitative process, and the implementation of an educational program to be administered at the high school level. We are happy to say that 100% of donations to The JHW Foundation will go to helping these young men and women in a full recovery. We feel that our mission is vital to addressing a growing problem in our community’s youth, and that our Foundation can help a multitude of people.

Henry had grown accustomed to winning. He was a leader in academics, in athletics and in relationships. He had a team spirit and a sharp wit about him and often encouraged others to achieve their best. Henry’s close-knit family also offered him stability socially and financially. After successfully completing his studies at St. Christopher’s, Henry enrolled at James Madison University with a bright future in view.  But Henry discovered one challenge that he had never anticipated: addiction to pain medication. He never suspected that he was “hard wired” for this disease. With the love and support of family and friends, Henry fought diligently toward recovery. But on September 19, 2010, alcohol and pain killers won the battle. Henry left his family and friends behind to sort out what could have been a quite preventable death. 
What would you be willing to do to keep your child or a loved one from the fate that claimed Henry?

The JHW Foundation was established in memory of our son, John Henry Watkins, by one of his close friends, Kevin Meyer. The JHW Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to the aid of young men and women facing substance abuse problems.

Company Overview
The purpose of The JHW Foundation is to advance education regarding substance abuse addiction, assist in the rehabilitation, and to promote healthy living by aiding individuals and establishments that help young men and women, between the ages of 14 and 25, who suffer from addiction to alcohol and other substances; facilitate their acceptance of sobriety and foster recovery.

Taboo Topics

Last week, “Fifty Shades” Author, E L James, made her first public appearance on Katie.  In case you haven’t read this fictional trilogy, the subject matter is titillating and controversial, to say the least.  Like it or not, she has woven her way into the psyche of millions of people, worldwide.  
She had the nerve to write about a taboo topic.  
James acknowledges that there are those who are criticizing her writing. 
She tries to ignore the critics and write for herself …

I decided to open up a can of worms, myself, and expose what mothering addiction is like from an emotional perspective.  There are those out there who might not understand why I would feel the need to “put my business on the street”.  

I own my own truth and I want to relate this truth.  There are many others who are struggling and I want to put a voice to this pervasive pain.

Addiction is still a stigma, even though most of the medical world considers it a disease.  No one ever brings you a casserole when your child is an addict.  

My son is NOT his addiction. He’s a work in progress, just like the rest of us.    
I am not writing to sell him out, but to set the record straight.

In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott says:  “Writing can be a pretty desperate endeavor, because it is about some of our deepest needs; our need to be visible, to be heard, our need to make sense of our lives, to wake up and grow and belong….”  

It’s not the problem that will destroy you, it’s keeping the secret.