Healing Scarred Hearts: A Family’s Story of Addiction, Loss, and Finding Light
In October I had the chance to read a little more often than I normally do. I found my hands on a great book called Healing Scarred Hearts: A Family’s Story of Addiction, Loss, and Finding Light, by mother, activist and author Susan Hoemke. I am always on the lookout for good books and resources for teen addiction and this one fit the bill perfectly.
This one is for sure going onto my list of book recommendations to families I work with. I find this book an open, honest account of how addiction harms not only the addict, but the one’s they love.
In this emotional memoir, Susan tells the heart-wrenching story of her son Hayden’’s eight-year battle with drug addiction, and of his tragic death at age twenty-two. Susan’s memoir inspires critical open dialogue on oft-avoided topics of drug and alcohol abuse.
I can’t imagine losing my child at such a young age from something so devastating as addiction but I can relate to the loss of family due to addiction. And that is why this book holds a special place in my heart. Hoemke is using her family’s painful experience as a way to help prevent other young deaths by addiction. Her advocacy goes beyond the written words in her memoir, the purpose of this book is to help others prevent the loss of life.
Healing Scarred Hearts is an honest first-hand account of the trials and tribulations of motherhood. Susan wrote the book not only to bring about discussion and awareness about addiction, but to inspire hope and healing. Susan urges young parents to get educated on substance abuse so as to better understand the risks and struggles children face when dealing with addiction.
As a family therapist I frequently work with young people in varying stages of their addiction. An addict learns the varying ways to get their needs met. So often the addict will manipulate their family members to feed their addiction, eventually burning bridges with those who love them dearly. Hoemke discusses the enabling behaviors, the desperation to “fix” her child and the feelings of hopelessness as she watched her first born son spiral out of control and her family being ripped apart from the inside. Her courage, humility and love for her son is overwhelming to read at times. It is clear she tried everything she could. Unfortunately his addiction ran deep and tragically ended his life.
Hayden’s family went above and beyond to help him in his treatment and sobriety. There’s good learning material in this story and I can see how a family being effected by their loved ones addiction could benefit from reading it. I can think a few client’s I’ve had recently who could have benefited from reading Healing Scarred Hearts had I known about it a few months ago. The author goes into detail about the classic red flags the family missed and the enabling behaviors their able to recognize today.
You can go to your nearest book store to order this or purchase it right on Amazon.