March 11, 2020 (7:00pm)
GRASP support group meeting
Mt. Zion Church
1643 Churchville Road
Bel Air, MD 21015
March 14, 2020 (9:00am to 3:00pm)
Ashley Addiction Treatment Child and Youth Program
Ashley Addiction Main Campus
800 Tydings Lane
Havre De Grace, MD 21078
March 14, 2020 (12:00pm to 2:00pm)
Rage Club Art Therapy
5 Bel Air South Pkwy.
Bel Air, MD 21015
*Children who are affected by addiction can create a project and hear an art therapist talk about the ways art can help us understand our emotions and feelings. Please RSVP here.
March 23, 2020 (6:00pm)
Rage Against Addiction Fundraiser Paint Night
Main Street Tower
29 South Main Street
Bel Air, MD 21014
*Join us for an evening of mess, fun, and good company as we paint a beautiful field of tulips. Tickets can be purchased here. Proceeds benefit RAA.
April 4, 2020 (8:00am)
Rage Against Addiction Memory Walk / Recovery Run
Cedar Lane Regional Park
1100 Cedar Lane
Bel Air, MD 21015
*Registration begins at 8:00 am. Walking and running start at 9:00 am.
Calendar of Events:
Calendar of Events:
Grief Doesn't Have To Feel Lonely
When a loved one passes away, whether it was expected or sudden, you may immediately feel a thousand emotions or nothing at all. No two people grieve the same way. And those who haven’t lost a loved one may not know what to say. According to the Center for Loss and Life Transition website, “… grief is what you feel on the inside [and] mourning is what you do when you express your grief on the outside. Crying is mourning. Attending the funeral is mourning. Talking to others about the death is mourning….”
If you’ve lost someone due to alcohol or drug use, your grief will have many complex layers to it and may not be fully understood by those who are lucky enough not to have experienced addiction. Because alcoholism and drug use cause significant negative effects on a loved one’s behavior, thought process, appearance, and lifestyle, many families typically start grieving their loved one long before he/she passes away as they helplessly watch these brutal changes occur. Some people may find a sense of relief after a loss because they are no longer living in the chaos of addiction and they know their loved one is no longer fighting it. Family members are often judged and the one who struggled with addiction is often shamed; the stigma of addiction is rampant in our society, and this can add to the heavy and exhausting feelings you are carrying.
Often times, people will support you immediately after your loss: they will attend the funeral, check in on you, make you dinner, offer to watch your children, or otherwise help you through the couple of weeks after. But then they go back to their lives while your life has now taken a new turn. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, in her 1969 book called ‘On Death and Dying’, Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross described five stages of grief:
Denial – the loss is new and does not make sense. You may be numb or in shock.
Anger – you may feel angry at the person who died and/or you may lash out at family members or friends. You may feel irritated, frustrated, and overwhelmed.
Bargaining – you want control by trying to find out what you could have/should have done; the “What Ifs” begin; you make promises to a higher power in exchange for relief from your hurt.
Depression – your attention moves into the present. You may feel empty and/or alone; you may withdraw from social situations and you may stop enjoying your hobbies.
Acceptance – this stage is typically confused with “getting over” your loss, but instead it’s forming a new normal for your life; you will have to re-adjust your thoughts and roles, without your loved one. You will learn to move forward and take one day at a time.
However scientifically-based these stages are, the reality is that you will experience these, along with multiple other emotions and thoughts, several times a day in any random order. There is no correct sequence in which to go through these.
When you are grieving, you may feel lonely, but you are not alone. It is important that you find support, whether it’s going to a therapist or grief support group, or researching about grief. It’s equally as important that you find healthy ways to take care of yourself, such as exercising, meditating, or taking up a new hobby. Talking with a friend or doing things in honor of your loved one are also positive steps in moving through grief. Be patient with yourself and remember that grief has no timeline, despite what others may think. Trying to ignore your pain or pretend that you are okay is not beneficial and can harm you in the long run. As uncomfortable as it is, you must face the emotions when they come in order to move forward.
If you have experienced a loss, whether recent or years ago, and are looking for support, please consider contacting your local church, doctor’s office / hospital, health insurance company, or health department. And remember that “the pain of grief is just as much a part of life as the joy of love; it is perhaps the price we pay for love…” (Dr. Colin Murray Parkes).
In Loving Memory Of:
March 7, 1987 - March 7, 2018
My sister Dana was so much more than her addiction and how she passed away. She was a free spirit with a unique sense of style. She was creative and compassionate; she had an interest in making beads with rocks, crystals, and gems, and hoped to be an EMT one day. When she put her mind to it, she had a wonderful talent for writing. She cared about others, probably too much, and wanted to help those who had their own struggles. She used to volunteer at our local humane society many years ago where she adopted her cat.
Dana taught me to never give up on someone. Even when they feel unworthy and when everyone else thinks they are undeserving of love, giving up should never be an option. Dana did not give up on anyone. And we never gave up on her. We loved her hard. We prayed for her all the time. She made me realize that everyone is battling something, and no one is perfect and no one is hopeless. Everyone matters to someone. Behind the struggles is a person like you and like me. A person who has feelings and who is someone's child, someone's sister, someone's family member or someone's friend.
Mia Ellis (Fallston, MD)
Ashley Addiction Treatment: An inpatient treatment center that personalizes clinical programs based on individual need. Located in Havre De Grace, MD. Please visit here to learn more or call 800-799-4673.
Christian Counselor Directory: An online database of board certified or state licensed therapists who have a Christian based background. Please visit here to search within your zip code.
Celebrate Recovery: a local support group for those with addictive behaviors. (The group is held at Mt. Zion Church at 5:45pm on Thursdays and at Mountain Christian Church at 6pm on Fridays.) Please click the links for more details.
GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing): A local support group for those who have lost someone to addiction. (The group meets at 7pm on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at Mt. Zion Church in Bel Air, MD.) Please visit here to ask to join the private national Facebook group. To register for the monthly Harford County, MD chapter support group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center: A clinic that provides immediate care for mental health and addiction. Located in Bel Air, MD. Please visit here to learn more or call 410-874-0711.
Loving An Addict: A local support group for family and friends of those in active addiction. (The group meets every Saturday at 7pm at Mt. Zion Church in Bel Air, MD) Please call 410-836-7444 for more information.
Psychology Today: A national online database of bereavement therapists listed by state. Please visit here to search in your area.
We serve locally but think globally. For counseling, or for addiction, substance abuse disorder, or mental illness treatment, please contact your area’s health department, county government, hospital, or law enforcement agency.
Rage Against Addiction Programs:
2020 Recovery Run / Memory Walk: A 5K fundraiser to benefit Rage’s various programs, and to support those in recovery as well as remember those lost to addiction. Click here to register and make a team. Click here to create a personal fundraiser.
Daughter's House: A local sober living house designed to assist women who are transitioning from substance abuse treatment. Click here to visit the Facebook page.
HALO (How to Live Without Our Addicted Loved One): An online grief support group. Click here to ask to join the private Facebook page.
RAA ABC (After Baby Care): A program that provides newborn-care items to mothers in recovery. Please send monetary donations to:
Rage Against Addiction (Rage ABC)
PO Box 1
Forest Hill, MD 21050
Rage Club: A program offered for children who are touched by substance abuse disorder. Click here to register.
Rage Against Addiction Team:
Wendy Beck Messner
Founder and Executive Director
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Recovery Coach and Daughter’s House Program Director
Family and Recovery Resources and Support
Rage Against Addiction
P.O. Box 1
Forest Hill, MD 21050
If you are interested in submitting a photo and story of your recovery, or a photo and a story of your lost loved one, please contact Mia Ellis at email@example.com. (Please keep your story between 350 and 450 words. We reserve the right to edit your content for spelling, punctuation, etc.)