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Publisher's Summary

There can be recovery, even if it doesn't happen within the addict. Sandy lives where love and addiction meet - a place where help enables and hope hurts. When addiction steals her son, Sandy fights for his survival, trying to stay on the right side of an invisible line between helping him to live and helping him to die. By age 20, Joey overdoses, attempts suicide, quits college, survives a near-fatal car accident, does time behind bars, and is kicked out of rehab more than once. Increasingly manipulative, delusional, and hateful, the sweet Joey from childhood is lost to the addict wearing his face.

Working with an interventionist, a judge, and tracking Joey's movements online, Sandy does what she can to save Joey from himself until it hurts more to hang on than it hurts to let go. Through Family Programs, Al-Anon, reading, and learning from her mistakes, Sandy discovers that sometimes love means doing nothing, and that letting go is not the same thing as giving up. She also learns that she needs to work on surviving her son's addiction while coming to terms with the fact that he may not.

Years pass. Friends and family no longer ask about Joey; they no longer know what to say. Joey is not in recovery, but Sandy works on hers, trying to keep the poison that is consuming Joey from destroying the rest of her family and her life. She starts a program to teach young men living in a group home how to budget, grocery shop, and cook, hoping that someone will someday help her own son in some way that she cannot. As in the song she sang to him so many times, Sandy keeps Joey down in her heart to stay. There is a place in her life that is exactly his size. One she hopes he will someday want to fill.

This is the poignant story of a defiant addict and the mother who won't give up on him. She finally realizes that it hurts more to hang on than to let go, and that letting go is not the same thing as giving up.

©2014 Central Recovery Press (P)2017 Central Recovery Press

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This book has given me strength and courage

Sandy's story is wonderfully told from a mother's point of view of addiction. I too have a son who is an addict and is in recovery at the moment. She has given me the strength and encouragement to be strong and say No More!
Thank you Sandy for sharing your story and Joey's story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A must

As the mother of an addict who is learning to heal herself and to love without enabling, this story has helped me realize that I am not the only one who has felt and thought the things I have, and that I am right in doing what I’m doing. Thank you Sandra Swenson for sharing your story. Thank you for helping me not feel so alone. May God give those who want sobriety the strength they need to reach it.

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excellent I will listetn over and over

I feel less alone This made me feel like my experience with my addict son is not unique

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A Must Listen for ANY Addicts Mom

If you are an Addict's Mom - I recommend this book a million times.
If you are someone who loves and Addict's Mom - I recommend this book a million times.
It's RAW, POWERFUL, TRUTHFUL and INSIGHTFUL.
I cannot say enough about the power of Sandra's story, and the tears I've cried listening to this book. As an Addict's Mom I can related to the craziness, the struggle, the heartache and the feelings she faced. My heart broke with her and my heart could relate to the pain she felt. It also gave me hope to see her come out of the craziness and start taking care of herself. A mother's love is never ending, a mother's pain watching her child go through addiction is truly unexplainable. This audio book has been the closest I've felt to realizing I'm not the only one who's dealt with this or feels this way.
Again.... I'd recommend this book a million times and then a million more.

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Highly Recommend

I felt like Sandy was telling my story. This book helped me to detach with love.

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Thanks for Your Courage

I am a widow of an Addict as well as the mother of an Addict in recovery. Your words hit so close to my heart! Thank you for your courage in sharing this book! I too feel the need to share wherever & whenever I have the opportunity. only in our sharing do we have the hope to help some other parent be more equipped to help their child before it's too late. thank you again!!! You are in my prayers as well as your son!!!

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Hoping for a happier ending

This is really good book with really good advice. The story is tragic, but clearly captures what most of us Mothers are going through. I chose this book because I wanted to read something positive about someone going through addiction. I Haven’t found that book yet.