We would like to welcome our newest blogger to our pages, a friend, member and writer.
Writer Annie Highwater, Author of "Unhooked, a Mother's Story of Unhitching from the Roller Coaster of Her Son's Addiction" is a long distance runner, health and wellness advocate and researcher of behavioral science; specifically including family pathology and concepts of dysfunction and conflict. Annie resides in Columbus, Ohio where she has worked in the insurance industry. She also enjoys writing, yoga, hiking, the great outdoors and visiting her son in Southern California as often as possible.
I grew up in the culture of New England in a small Massachusetts town. How I got from there to the desert Southwest is an interesting story.
For a number of years I was an ESL teacher in northern Virginia. And before that, in a former life, I lived overseas in the Foreign Service. Just as I provided “springboards” for my students in writing class, my travels provide the backdrop for my second book, a memoir full of humor and pathos, on how I’ve overcome my lifelong depression and found the key to being happy.
For the past five years my partner, Gene, and I have lived quietly in New Mexico where we grow fruit on our orchard for sale at the local markets. When I’m not writing, I wear my teacher hat in the local schools. And I do volunteer work in twelve-step organizations. We still get away whenever we can to enjoy hiking and backpacking all over the United States.
Toward the end of my teaching career, I earned my Master of Arts in Teaching. That journey was critical for me because it was a Master’s in Reflective Practice. Now that I’m retired, I have time to reflect back on my fortunate life. But it’s an inward journey I’ve been on for the past few years. My bittersweet mother/daughter memoir about generational addiction in my family has been published in New Mexico. (A Mother’s Story: Angie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, by Maggie C. Romero, my pseudonym).
Marilea’s story is an intimate portrait of addiction and how it has been passed down in her family from generation to generation. Marilea herself has struggled with addiction, and when her daughter’s drug addiction, at age twenty-one, became apparent to her, she jumped into a recovery program to cope with Angie’s illness. The subsequent fifteen years have proven to be a powerful and poignant redemption journey, as she has gradually come to claim recovery for herself even as she has watched her beautiful daughter continue to struggle. Marilea’s is a story of hope and recovery that will resonate with many people, as epidemic as addiction is in our society.
A Mother’s Story: Angie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is an International Book Awards Winner, a Finalist in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards, and a Finalist in the USA Best Book Awards.
She can be found at www.recoveryofthespirit.com
S.O.B.E.R.* is uniquely written from two perspectives, simultaneously: Anita, grappling with the stigma of her son’s addiction, fearing for her son’s life and struggling to understand the disease of addiction; alongside Michael, suffering emotionally and physically while in the grips of the disease, and his empowering message of recovery after months in treatment. Theirs is a story of struggle, hope and faith that has been called by many “a family love story.” Addiction professionals have raved about the book, which aims to put real faces to the disease.
Anita is represented by the SAMSHA approved speakers bureau, Speakers For Change. She offers support and advice by speaking about her faith, family and recovery all over the country. She also makes the time to speak to any mom around the country who needs her support, aiming to make them understand that they are not alone. Anita’s message always includes that addiction is a family disease: the whole family needs to be in recovery/therapy in order for everyone to heal.
Anita was awarded the Woman of The Year award in 2013 by the National Association of Professional Women. Professionally, she has worked as a producer and casting director for more than 20 years and currently has four shows in development, one of which focuses on helping mothers of children suffering from substance use disorder.
Anita lives in Rye, New York with her husband, Michael.
Anita Baglaneas Devlin
Anita Devlin is a recovery advocate and co-author of a compelling new memoir entitled S.O.B.E.R.*, an acronym for Son Of a Bitch Everything’s Real. In a phrase, that’s how Anita felt during the harrowing experience of helping her son navigate his addiction, which eventually led to his recovery and the recovery of her entire family. Her son & co-author, Michael Devlin Jr., has been sober for six years.