Mary Fran Bontempo

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Self-Preservation for the New Year
Self-Preservation for the New Year Charge!!! That’s the attitude most of us hold towards a new year full of the promise of change. Out with the old,…
When It All Falls Apart
The other day, my website crashed. All I could do was stare in horror at the jumble of words, code and images that had once…
Questions
So many questions. When dealing with a loved one’s addiction, particularly if the addict is your child, the list of questions is endless. How did…
Finding Peace in Service
What does peace look like? When you’re trying to support someone in active addiction, it’s a question that’s impossible to answer. There is no peace,…
The Blessing of Forgetfulness
What a luxury. This past week, I was blessed to spend several days at the Jersey shore. But that wasn’t the luxury. At the week’s…
Summertime, But is the Living Easy?
Isn’t summer wonderful? Long, warm, light-filled days meant for relaxing and recharging after a dark, cold winter. There’s little more delightful than a summer day…
The Risks of Freedom
As I write this post, it is the day before July 4th, our nation’s Independence Day. On Independence Day of 2020, freedom is a hot…
Three Little Words
Words are kind of my thing. As a writer, teacher, and English major, I love playing around with language, finding just the right word to…
Letting Go of Dreams
My friend, Kristin, has two blind sons. Both boys were born blind due to a rare genetic defect.  Kristin often tells the story of how…
Rebuilding the Trust Factor
Lies. Theft. Manipulation.  How do you trust someone who has embodied not just one of those elements, but all of them?  It’s a question faced…
Simple Wisdom: It is What it is
It is what it is.   What a simple, yet infuriating statement. It expresses the obvious—of course something is what it is; how could it be…
“Just Visiting” Crisis
With every crisis, you’ve got a decision to make: Are you going to live there, or are you just visiting? Since the descent upon us of…
When Rules Bind Too Tightly
These days, it seems like we’re all just making up the rules as we go along. During this global pandemic, virtually every aspect of life…
The Role of Play During Isolation
I think it’s time to play. During this global pandemic, the world has been in some state of lockdown for weeks, sometimes months now, meaning…
Hitting Rock Bottom During Addiction
Have you hit rock bottom yet? What exactly is rock bottom when dealing with addiction? Is rock bottom the day you learn your loved one…
Ugly Little Lies
I’m a pretty good liar. At least when I lie to myself, which I did often while my son was in active heroin addiction. I…
Controlling the “Control-ables”
How do we function in a world that seems to be spinning out of control? For anyone dealing with addiction, either personally or through a…
Navigating a Loved One’s Addiction During a Pandemic
As if dealing with addiction wasn’t challenging enough, now it seems the world is imploding.  When hit with a loved one’s addiction, your world already…
Fractured Families and Addiction
Don’t force it. As a mother, seeing your family torn apart by the drug use of one of your children is wrenching in more ways…
Finding Your Happy Place During Addiction
I’ve always loved the beach. There’s something about chilling on the sand, watching the waves hypnotically make their way in and out as they touch…