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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Family Circle And The Disease of Addiction

Have you ever looked up the definition of the phrase "family circle"?  You might be surprised to learn that while Family Circle is the name of a magazine that dates back to 1932, continuing in publication with a circulation in excess of 3 million, the actual definition(s) of "family circle" dating back to the 1800s is as follows:
  1. the closely related member of a family as a group
  2. a section in the theater containing less expensive seats, as the topmost gallery
Many families have a family circle, some circles include monthly or quarterly meetings and members are even elected to be president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer of the family circle. The family circle is really a social group, probably more common when most of the immediate family lives in a certain geographical area, but can reach out beyond for family reunions, etc.  Families now can enjoy virtual family circles via the internet and social media platforms for community, friendship and moral support.

Last week we wrote about addiction being a family disease.  We talked about the recent death of Garrett William Reid and the intense pain that his parents and family member were experiencing. Late last week it was reported that Kathie Lee Gifford was interviewed by Family Circle magazine. The interview is in the September 2012 issue of the magazine and is currently available on line. Here is one of the questions posed to Ms. Gifford about her children and her answer:

Q. Got a family tradition you'd like the kids to pass down?
A. We had a sunset alert at home where we stopped everything to watch it. After I'm gone, I hope my kids and their kids will keep watching the sun go down and think of me every time.
I'm not a perfect mom, but my kids haven't been arrested, in rehab or kicked out of school, so I must be doing something right!

Many parents who have lost their children to the disease of addiction are struck by Gifford's statement. They are visiting her Facebook page and leaving comments and telling their stories.  Many of these comments are difficult to read, as these parents and family members feel that Ms. Gifford's statement implies that children turn to drugs and alcohol because of bad parenting and that the parents are failures.

Your thoughts?

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