Wednesday, May 10 7-9 p.m. at Church of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Parish, 175 Oaklawn Ave, Cranston; and Thursday, May 11, 7-9 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 50 Park Place, Pawtucket. The Samaritans of Rhode Island is offering two opportunities to hear author Anita Baglaneas Devlin tell a mother's story of her son's recovery. Devlin, a Pawtucket native, and her son, Michael, wrote the memoir titled "S.O.B.E.R.*" to express how Devlin felt during the experience of helping her son navigate addiction and eventual recovery. Visit samaritansri.org or call 721-5220 for more information.
-- GateHouse Media staff
Click on title above for full article..........
PAWTUCKET – Anita Baglaneas Devlin never imagined she’d be returning to Rhode Island under such circumstances, the mother of a son addicted to opiate pills and heroin.
Equally far-fetched to the Pawtucket native was the thought of letting go of the façade of the perfect Greek family, especially one strongly rooted in religious faith. After all, her father was a Greek orthodox priest.
The Samaritans of Rhode Island is offering two pre-Mother’s Day opportunities tonight, May 10, and Thursday, May 11, to hear Devlin tell a mother’s story of heartache, anger and, eventually, hope. Her presentation will be more than a story of drug addiction and recovery. Two free public events will happen Wednesday at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 175 Oaklawn Ave. in Cranston, and St. Paul Episcopal Church, 50 Park Place, Pawtucket, both from 7 to 9 p.m. They will include a lecture, book sale and signing.
Organizers say the events will speak to all caretakers, especially women, no matter the caregiving challenges they face.
Holy Cross is pleased to welcome Anita Baglaneas Devlin to campus to speak on the opioid addiction crisis currently facing American society. Her talk will be held on Monday, May 8, 2017 from 7:00-8:30pm in the Archbishop Iakovos Library Reading Room.
The daughter of the late Fr. Theodore Baglaneas (Holy Cross, 1951), she is co-author, along with her son, Michael Devlin, Jr, of “S.O.B.E.R.*." This is a personal account of Michael’s long, hard, journey from drug addiction to sobriety which has received rave reviews by addiction professionals across the country.
Anita’s lecture will draw upon the content of the book and will provide you with her personal account of her family’s pain; the initial denial and embarrassment they faced, their overriding endurance and their eventual growth and healing. The story substantiates the overriding power of love, commitment and faith that allows us to successfully, and repeatedly, face and conquer the hardships none of us expect.
Anita now serves as a recovery advocate and is a member of the “Speakers for Change” bureau. She is on the advisory board of Magnolia New Beginnings, an organization that supports those seeking addiction recovery. She travels the country speaking about drug addiction, recovery, and her personal experience. She was awarded the Woman of the Year award in 2013 by the National Association of Professional Women.
Please join us for this very intimate exchange.
"The pages of this book are like looking into a mirror for all those who have struggled with life's obstacles, whether addiction in all its forms or sexual abuse or bullying. Ultimately it is the story of the liberating power of faith, hope and love."
Click here to read more on PAGE 36.
Anita Devlin recalls a moment of clarity as she and her husband Michael drove their son Mike to treatment.
She describes a quiet car ride on a bleak, rainy day. Mike was asleep in the backseat as she stared, exhausted, out the window.
During those moments, Devlin suddenly realized that everything was real; all her attempts to manage the unmanageability of addiction had failed. In fact, for the very first time, she knew with gut-wrenching certainty that she was walking a parallel destructive path with her son Mike.
Mike was hiding behind a wall of drugs while she hid behind a forced-facade of denial.
Discussing her book S.O.B.E.R.* and the "beauty of recovery."
An awesome day of education and conversation with the Rye High School faculty and superintendent #S.O.B.E.R.*
Recovery is possible.
For many churches, 12-step meetings held in basements or parish halls draw more of a crowd than Sunday services.
The Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at Falmouth Lutheran Church each draw 75 to 100 people. But only 50 to 75 attend the Sunday service, said the Rev. Carl Evans. And while the crowd at the Narcotics Anonymous meetings are young, the faithful attendees on Sunday are over 60, the pastor said.
The Hyannis Federated Church hosts from six to a dozen 12-step recovery meetings each week, drawing more than 100 people, said the Rev. Dr. John Terry. But on Sunday, only about 75 to 80 attend the service, with an average age of 75 or older, the senior minister said.
When parents finally realize (or admit to themselves) that their child is an addict, they will often experience worry along with feelings of anger and bitterness about being played by their child.
"Sibling resentment toward an addict can be just as sharp, if not worse. It’s a hugely underestimated dynamic, said Anita Devlin, mother of Mike Devlin Jr., soon to be five years sober from a painkiller addiction. Together, they have written “S.O.B.E.R.” which they say stands for “Son of a Bitch, Everything’s Real.”
Addiction is like a cancer that usually metastasizes beyond the addict himself. Its toxic effects end up spreading to other members of the family, as Anita puts it, like an octopus with tentacles."
“’What in the hell are you waiting for?’ should be the title of your article,” Anita Devlin said in an exclusive interview with OpiateAddictionTreatment.com. “And as I tell the other mothers, if you want to keep it a secret, they are going to die.”
Devlin authored a book with her son, Mike, called “S.O.B.E.R.,” which is short for “son of a bitch, everything is real.” The book shows how Devlin and her son both swallowed their pride and got Mike treatment for his opioid addiction. As a result, Mike is alive today. And Anita is a happy mother again enjoying life with her children.
On Thursday, Anita Devlin told the audience her son entered Barnstable High School as a freshman with a shoulder injury that left him in a sling.
“A guy approached my son like a moth and asked if he had any pain medicine,” she said.
That gave Michael the idea to take opiates recreationally, leading to years of addiction that culminated with him sitting in a bathtub at a Vermont motel, popping pills and waiting to die. A text from his mother that day may have saved his life, he said.
“I was a very busy mother who was busy talking (judgmentally) about everyone else’s children and the worst part is my son heard it all,” Anita said. “I wonder if he didn’t come to me because he was worried about my judgment.”