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One of the most common questions I have heard through my decades of working with people impacted by the disease of addiction is, “why is my love not enough?”  I have heard this from parents, partners, children, and siblings. The person with the disease asks, “Why is my love for ——- not enough to keep me clean?”
Today Madeleine Dean and Harry Cunnane, the authors of ‘Under Our Roof,‘ share more about their story and the importance of giving back, how powerful this disease is, and that there are no lost causes. Hope is vital and sometimes feels evasive.
Another exciting part of this episode is learning about the Children’s Book, ‘You Are Always Loved‘ they wrote and how it came to be created! I am a huge advocate for educating our children, and this book offers a fantastic opportunity for adults to have conversations about difficult things and emotions.

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See full transcript below.


You’re listening to The Embrace Family Recovery Podcast, a place for real conversations with people who love someone with the disease of addiction. Now here is your host, Margaret Swift Thompson. 

Intro:  Welcome back! Today Harry and Mad return and read an excerpt from their magnificent book, ‘Under Our Roof.’ In this episode they share about how important services in their family, and the beautiful children’s book they created together. Mad and Harry also tackled the concept of love and family recovery. Let’s hear more from them now.

The Embrace Family Recovery Podcast

Margaret  01:15

So, is there a favorite part of the book where you both read it when you came together? Because I love that you wrote it separate? And then you came together and read it? Because you did it, like Mad’s side of it, Harry’s side of it and kind of that mirror of each other? Is there one part of the book where you’d be willing to read each of yours just a little paragraph that is kind of like the same part of the coin? I know, I should have warned you ahead of time to pick it. I’m sorry. While he’s looking Mad, how was it for you in your work? Because you’re very much in the public world to do the book. What was the reaction of people around you were mainly people supportive and complimentary of the courage and the gratitude of you putting your story out? Or was it mixed?

Madeleine Dean:  02:00

I was a state representative for six and a half years. So during Harry’s early recovery, and I’ve been in Congress now for not quite four years. So, we literally were asked to write the book, the summer of 2018, when I was running for Congress.

I think for a nanosecond, I thought, oh, is this a good idea? To be this public? I didn’t hold on to that. For even beyond that. I just checked with Harry, was he in a place where this was good. When we put the book out? I actually don’t remember a bad reaction. I was stunned. Was there some and I missed it? Did I have an opponent use it? No. (laughter)

I remember I had given the book when we were you know, this was COVID. I called it art COVID book tour. It was COVID. And we had some very nice interviews. But I handed the book to a few of my closest friends in the house. And to a person, they came back, or maybe some colleagues found it on their own, came back and said, thank you for writing it. I can’t believe that you were so honest. And your son was so honest, I have a sister in recovery or another person, I lost my brother to the disease. 

A family came to us who had lost someone to say that it helps them understand more of what that person was going through and what the family was going through. 

You know, a lot of times families are blamed and demonized. And why can’t you get control over this and must be something wrong with you. So, the reaction has only been thank you for being so honest, revealing yourself, warts and all. 

And so, to me, it was very powerful, very liberating, to say, you know, we’re all in flawed places. But if we can lift somebody else up, it’s been worth it. But I don’t remember negative reaction, did you get a negative reaction from anybody?

Harry Cunnane  03:55

It was overwhelmingly positive, to say that, at the time that it was sort of put out there and more so because I think in a vacuum, that’s what I would expect. You know, I think as a society, we’ve made a lot of progress on stigma, it’s still there without a doubt. But given my mom’s line of work, I mean, you can’t wear something without someone pointing it out. And giving you a hard time. 

But you know, what, I think is so important. And with that is it’s the reminder that everybody’s been touched by this somehow. There may be some distance. And I think when someone does have a negative reaction to not us, but anybody who’s talking about this, it just shows there’s probably a lot of pain there. They’ve probably been touched in a really painful way and don’t understand it and and that’s okay. You know, my hope is that, you know, through that understanding, through the continuing of just people talking about this openly that everyone might be able to sort of get that same sense of not just is it a disease, because I think that’s a foundation that we need to get to to recognize that, you know, it’s not the person is a bad person, if they have a disease. There’s an expression that I was told when I went into treatment that was so simple but changed my perception dramatically. And it was when someone said, Harry, you’re not a bad person trying to be good. You’re a sick person trying to get well. And maybe I had heard that before, but I think people can’t hear that enough. 

Margaret:  Agreed. 

Harry:  So, I opened up sort of randomly here, 

Margaret:  Love that. 

Harry:  And I think this is really just open to it. And this passage, so my mom’s gonna see it for first time, but we’ll just read a little bit. This was around when I had one year in recovery. So, it was really just like what we were just talking about, some of that rawness had finally started to dissipate. And we were both recognizing that.

Margaret:  Love that!

Madeleine Dean  06:07

This is from the chapter called ‘The Miracle.’ So, begins with my portion. 

One morning Harry asked me where he could buy a birthday cake. What for I asked. A celebration he said. Tonight, is the first anniversary of our Roslyn home group meeting. I did not speak it out loud to Harry, but I smiled, amazed by the meaning of that sweet, ordinary gesture, buying a cake to share a moment and mark a milestone for himself and others. He has started something and followed through. Try Weinrich’s Bakery, I suggested. I couldn’t believe it had already been a year. As he walked out of the room, I was filled with hope and joy for him. The next day, I followed up how was the meeting, the cake, the celebration? Really good. Harry said we had more than 50 people. 

As much as I wanted to share Harry’s road to recovery. I knew I could not. I couldn’t walk through his step work with him, couldn’t attend meetings and hear his conversations with his mentors. But I could ask little questions and try to share in the small moments of accomplishment on the periphery of his journey. I wanted him to know I cared that I was standing by so glad to see him looking well and happy. It was over the phone a year earlier that PJ and I had heard life coming back into Harry’s voice. Now a year later, I saw firsthand, the brightness returned to his handsome yes. Eyes seem to permanently reflect the glow of birthday candles on a cake. If I couldn’t accompany him on his journey, his bright eyes and healthy looking skin would be the report card for now.

Harry Cunnane  07:47

I can see now that not all had been lost. In meetings I grew accustomed to talking to people of all walks of life, forming genuine friendships with men and women of all ages and races. Despite our differences, we all have something in common. A shared disease, the firsthand experience of humanity’s imperfection. The experience had made me more open minded. Watching your worldview, your entire belief system shatter will do that to you. 

I learned that asking for help was more valuable than trying to man up. As my life improved. I saw how my family thrived without the constant worry I had caused in the past. My mom growing in politics, diving into her work that she loved so much. She could focus more fully on passing laws and helping the community. 

My dad working hard and mentoring me in the bicycle industry. My brother Pat promoted to senior writer and Deputy Director of Messaging for President Obama, working just feet away from the Oval Office, and Alex making progress as an engineering major at the University of Miami. 

I was making progress to work I moved up from customer service to sales. Turns out not being higher in the throes of withdrawals made the job much more bearable. I loved developing trust with our customers fixing problems when a shipment went wrong or when something was out of stock. I made deals, negotiated prices, payment terms and showed empathy when there was a problem. I rebuilt my reputation, working hard until the rumors and the truth of my past were overshadowed by the reality of the present.

Margaret  09:24

I have no doubt that my listeners will value your book so much and I thank you for reading those parts. The single greatest gift of recovery. I believe, my bias is a sense of integrity. That is destroyed by this disease. And that is so beautifully articulated and what you just read. You also do a lot of work for people in recovery, Harry, in your job, don’t you?

Harry Cunnane  09:54

Yes. When we wrote the book, I was in the bicycle industry. And you know, as we were going through the writing process, again, I was living this sort of transition at that time where I hadn’t been comfortable in the past being open about my recovery. But I recognized when I started writing that I wanted to do more, that I wanted to more fully align my work, my passions, my life, with my whole self, recovery included. And what I ended up doing was I didn’t know what I could do. But I reached out to Caron Treatment Centers where I had been a patient, some six or so years before. And I found them, and I sent them my resume and said, look, I don’t know what I can do for you. But I want to be involved, I want to get involved with this organization that truly changed my life, that saved my life. I think that writing the book, just the process of writing, before it even came out, gave me the courage. 

And this is what I think is one of the incredible gifts of recovery is that we can continue to transform, being able to look back at my story and see that I did something that was in my eyes completely impossible to stop using drugs. If I could do that, then I could continue to evolve and transform. And, and that’s sort of a long way to say that writing this book gave me the courage to change what I wanted to do with my life. 

So today, I get to work for Caron Treatment Centers, the regional vice president for our Washington DC region, and through that I have an opportunity to help raise money for scholarships for people who can’t afford treatment, and really connect with our alumni. 

But you know, in so many ways, it doesn’t feel like work, and that I have a life today where when I’m working, I get to have conversations with people in recovery, but also have a lot of conversations with parents and with people who aren’t there yet, and are looking for guidance and, and looking for help. So to say that it’s fulfilling would be an understatement. But it feels like for me just a perfect extension of the work that I’ve done sort of, in my own recovery. To try to give some of that back to share my recovery with anybody who might listen to again, if I can help one person through this book, through meetings, through work, then it’s all worth it. Because I know how much that one person means to somebody.


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Bumper: It’s Margaret Swift Thompson of Embrace Family Recovery. Yes I have the privilege of hosting this podcast and I also offer coaching and education whether in seminar or in individual or family sessions with me virtually. If you’re interested in learning more about recovery, this family disease or the impacts of growing up in it still may hold over you as an adult today, please reach out to me on my website 

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Madeleine Dean  14:03

And alongside all of that he’s built a very beautiful family.

Margaret  14:06

Which leads us so beautifully into your other gorgeous book.

Madeleine Dean  14:12

Oh, thank you.

Margaret  14:14

‘You are always loved. A story of hope.’ I bought it because I love children’s books. Mine are grown; they don’t need it. But maybe one day grandkids who knows. 

Tell us a little about your family because your family started, if I recall in your story before you engaged in your recovery journey. And one of the things I was reading right before we spoke because I’ve just picked up the book and looked at some things again, was on page 127.

Harry, you wrote, ‘as I packed that day, the reality of leaving for a month began to set in. What had I agreed to? Could I really leave my daughter, her mother, my family, and my job for 30 days. What would people think? Surely, they would notice I was gone. In hindsight, there was never a perfect time to go to rehab. But in that moment, the fear was overwhelming. Would my daughter be, okay? Would my relationship with her mother last? The hypotheticals were endless. And the more I played them out in my imagination, the more afraid I became. Questions like these had kept me from asking for help for a long time. But now it wasn’t up to me, I had to go.’ 

I get emotional reading that, because I think that that is one of the things that so traps people stuck in their disease. The fear that if I asked for help the judgment, or what if I can’t get well, even though we hate the life we’re living in, in our disease, we know it. The unfamiliar of recovery is sometimes overwhelming and keeps us stuck in our illness. So obviously, those fears were unfounded, because your life went on and has flourished. And some of those promises have come true for you, Harry, which is what we hope for everybody in recovery. But tell us a little bit about your family, and what led you to write this gorgeous children’s book, ‘You are always loved.’

Harry Cunnane  16:06

And thank you for reading that. I think back to those fears that I had, on my way to treatment, when I was in treatment, and early on. But most of the fears that I had before even agreed to treatment. My daughter was born almost exactly a year before I went to treatment. And I’ll tell this part quickly. But for me, I was 20 years old, when I found out I was going to become a father, I was in sort of the lowest parts of my substance use disorder and just active addiction. But being as unprepared as that sounds, I had this sense of hope that having a child would be enough to pull me out, right, because I knew I didn’t want to live the way that I was living I knew I wasn’t happy. So to really gloss over that. It didn’t work. That was not enough for me. And the realization that that wasn’t enough, for me was devastating.

Margaret  17:05

And I want to put a point on that. Having worked in the Family Program at Hazelden Betty Ford for decades and working in this work that I do; the number one thing I hear is “why is my love, not enough.” From partners, from children from parents. And I think what you just described and the truth of the power of this disease being more. 

It’s a pathological relationship with a substance or behavior that supersedes every other human need we have. And that it is not a lack of love, or that your love isn’t valuable enough. It is because the disease is more powerful. So I wanted to just add that because I think that’s such a struggle for people.

Harry Cunnane  17:46

Thank you. And that’s why we named it ‘You are always loved.’ Because you know if I thought back to my infant daughter, although I may have been incapable of showing love; changing at the time of stopping what I was doing. The love was there. 

Margaret:  Yeah, 

Harry:  always there. But I couldn’t show it. But to fast forward to where we are sort of now and where we were before we wrote the children’s book. you know, 

I’m married to an incredible woman Juliet, who I met in recovery. My oldest daughter, Aubrey, and I have an incredible, incredible relationship. We’re actually, we’re in Cape May, for the week this week. So the whole family is on vacation. And my oldest is, in many ways, sort of like my best friend. She’s just been with me through it all. 

To think back. It’s surreal to think back to where I was nine and a half years ago. But now I have two other beautiful, amazing children Sawyer and Scotty to the three of us, Aubrey’s 10, Sawyer’s 2, and Scottie’s 1. But how this book came about really was again, we were, I guess we’re not that creative, because it was not our idea. (laughter)

Margaret  19:06

You are very creative. You just need inspiration from somewhere else 

Harry:  you need a nudge

Mad: shove

Harry Cunnane  19:09

We were approached with, from Penguin Publishing Company. They wanted to do a book on substance use for children. And they wanted it to be a children’s picture book. And our agent connected the dots. And it was very much like with the other book, it was, in some ways self serving, recognizing that I have these children at the time I had Aubrey, and I wasn’t sure how do I have that conversation with my own kids? I live in recovery. I now work in recovery. My life is surrounded by this. But how do I talk to my kids? How do I give them a platform to ask questions and talk about it and understand it in a way that’s not threatening that doesn’t have the specific language because it’s not about that, it’s about the feelings. 

So, for me, the most important thing was realisation that, and I’m not comfortable talking about this. And I’m willing to put a book out there into to the public, how hard is this conversation for others, and I wanted to write this book. And we named it ‘You Are Always Loved,’ as a nod to that, and really to just give parents a platform to talk about it. And the last thing, and I know my mom has a different perspective on this. But right around the time that we were doing this, just before, I lost one of my dearest, dearest friends who had a son, who is my oldest, Aubrey’s age, he passed away from this disease, he had been in recovery for a long time and sadly passed away. And I thought about his son. 

Margaret:  Yeah, 

Harry:  and the loss and the pain that’s just horrific of losing your dad at that age. And so, if anything, just to continue that message of like, I know, John loved his son

Margaret:  absolutely

Harry:  More than anything in this world. And like you said, it wasn’t for a lack of love that this disease took him.

Margaret:  not at all. 

Harry:  So, I just think that message is important for all kids out there that no matter what’s going on in their world, it’s not their fault. They are loved. And they’re surrounded by love, and they need to feel that from within. And know that.

Madeleine Dean  21:40

And when we were approached to participate in this, we had the real joy of interviewing writers and taking a look at illustrators. And there’s a nice Paul Williams piece of it. But I came at it from a little bit of a different lens, thinking of the early days of recovery and how Harry was fitful, and “how can I be away from my daughter. She’s one year old, she needs me by her side.”

 And when we were transitioning from the first month at Karen to aftercare, how we battled against that,” no, I must get home. After all, I’m a dad.” And I kept saying, or at least I thought, I said it out loud, I knew I thought it over and over, that you won’t have a chance to be a dad, if you don’t get yourself right. If you can’t get yourself, well, with all of this good work, and support that you might never have the chance to really let her see your love. So, I kept sort of battling with him. 

But I also thought about it from the perspective of a child whose parent maybe wanders off, because of the disease of addiction is on a path and for example, goes into recovery, it goes into treatment. And how does the child interpret that? Is it something I did it sent him away? 

Margaret:  Number one thought, 

Mad:  number one, it must be because your universe as a child is you everything spins around you. And so part of the message I wanted this to say was, there’s nothing in you that is causing the storm that might be in your house, whether it is addiction or something else. It is not within you, you are always loved. And if you can have that confidence, you’ll grow eventually, in an understanding of what the turmoil is, and hopefully what the healing of that turmoil is. 

So, I thought about it from sort of the lens of the child, nothing in this is you nothing, this is your fault. Nothing here is something you can fix. To your point you thought maybe the love enough would be enough. 

Children probably think if I were doing something better, this whole thing would feel better in our house. And then a very sweet thing happened. As we were asked to write this book, and we were doing all this. And in the end, they said oh, it will also be an audio book. So we’ll set some music behind it. And they had a narrator read the book. And I had had the chance to meet the singer songwriter, composer, Paul Williams, and early on in Congress. And he’s somebody who is in recovery for a very long time. I don’t even know the decades. But he’s passionate about the world of recovery. And so, I told him about our little book, send him the words, and he voluntarily wrote, and recorded a song about ‘You Are Always Loved’. Just so generous. So, audiobook actually has his song.

Margaret  24:36

Really, how wonderful. It is something about recovering folks, the service piece and the generosity of giving it away blows my mind it’s over and over,

And I was listening to Mad share about your desire for the book to come from the place of the child and what they may experience, what they may not. And I find close my eyes and listen to you. I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought a lot of those things as his mother just as a child, might. It’s amazing. It’s so universal. 

Mad:  Yeah. 

Margaret:  I think that it’s devastating to witness people in recovery, who are keeping their recovery secret from their children. 

Because children are intuitive, and they pick up on emotions, nuances, moods, rhythms faster than we adults do. And they don’t have the academic or the capacity to identify what is going on. But they know. 

And so, when families get into recovery, I feel so sad when there is not a way to give those children the relief of knowing that mommy or daddy are doing exactly what is treatment and getting well for them, so that they don’t have to see weird rhythms and behaviors happening and not know that mommy and daddy have resources. 

So, I just think anything we can put out there to help children understand this. 

Obviously, one of my favorite people is Jerry Moe. I don’t know if you’ve ever met Jerry or her Jerry speak, but he is, in my opinion, the children whisperer from Betty Ford, He’s now retired. But he created The Children’s Program. And he worked with Sesame Street to create a character and a storyline which I think of little ones sitting in front of a TV while maybe mom or dad is struggling with their illness, and it’s quiet, but that’s their safe place. And they hear Elmo asking about meetings with this beautiful character. And I think oh my gosh, what that must feel like for that child who knows that? Wow. Their mom or dad has problems like my mom or like, just gives me the chills. I think it’s wonderful that you added this piece to your writing. That you gave the children something. 

Have you read Hot Dogs Anonymous with Aubrey?

Harry Cunnane  26:50


Margaret  26:51

Oh, are you kidding?

Harry Cunnane  26:52

I’ve got to check it out. 

Mad  26:54

Oh, oh, 

Margaret:  She’s the perfect age for Hot dogs Anonymous. And why I love that book is they use a dog that’s addicted to hot dogs. It’s a riot. But the language in it is all actually meeting recovery based language. He goes to a Hot dogs Anonymous meeting. It’s just fabulous. So she hears you saying these things? She’ll be like, Oh, got it.


Harry:  I’ll pick that up? 

Mad:  Oh, my gosh. 

Margaret  27:19

Unbelievable. Love it. It’s a lot like yours, but in a different way, giving them some of the language that they may hear in the home when someone’s engaged in 12 step recovery

Madeleine Dean  27:27

That’s funny.

Margaret  27:30

Anything you haven’t shared, you really want to share? Either of you.

Madeleine Dean  27:35

I always think we go through these interviews. And sometimes it seems like it was just Harry and me, Harry and me. And of course it wasn’t. This is a family affair. And so, we had written the book, rewritten the book, re edited, re edited. And my husband, his dad read every chapter along with us, day after day, month after month. And he then one day submitted to Harry and me his own chapter entitled ‘I was there too.’ And to reflect sort of what had he experienced? And what did his own upbringing affect his attitude on what was going on? We offered it to our editor, maybe as an afterword, a final afterward chapter, they rejected it. But if we ever get a paper back, apparently, they’re going to put it in, 

Margaret:  I think that would be wonderful to have in there. 

Mad:  Yeah. And so I always want to lift up that this, of course, was a battle of wits here, but obviously a story of great hope and in recovery, but it obviously affects the whole family. And so his brothers, his now sisters in law, of course, PJ and me, it is a family affair. And we’re very fortunate that his brothers surrounded him. They hated the fighting. They hated the turmoil in the house. And once they saw what he was dealing with, they were willing to learn about it. We were all, you know, ignorant. I thought I knew something about addiction. It turns out, I didn’t know much at all. So just that notion, if you feel like you’re in this alone, you’re not. It’s impacting everybody, but it also can be a place of great healing for the whole family.

Margaret  29:13

Agreed. Did your whole family go through like a family program together?

Madeleine Dean  29:16

We did. Yeah. 

Margaret:  Beautiful. 

Mad:  Yeah. And it was very eye opening. But it was also just really heartening to see because we had been through such turmoil for so long. To see his brothers, you know, they’re 10 years older than they were at that time. Young as they were say, Yeah, we got to be with you and we have to learn about this ourselves.

Margaret  29:39

Fantastic. How did that feel when they were all willing to go to that family program, for them and supportive you?

Harry Cunnane  29:46

At the time horrifying?

Margaret  29:48

Yeah. I appreciate the honesty, Harry.

Harry Cunnane  29:53

When that was happening. Yes, I have said yes to treatment, but I was not ready to let everybody in to know what that meant or where I was or why I was there, my parents included. I was horrified that they were at that program. But I think that is something that, again, is just critical as a foundation for family members to get an opportunity to get really thorough education, whether they get their own support through groups, through therapy, through whatever it is, but recognize that once the identified patient, you know, sort of getting help, there’s a lot of help that parents may need, that siblings may need that. Once that attention comes off of that one person, it’s really time to look within what healing you might need, because you’re worthy of it. And it’s critical for the whole system, that we all do what we can to recover. 

Margaret  31:00

Yeah, Anything you wanted to add that you didn’t get to say?

Harry Cunnane  31:03

I think, knowing the audience of parents, I always like to just point out that if you’ve heard our story, if you’ve read the book, if you know about sort of my recovery, that I always say this is not a how to, this is our experience, and everybody’s recovery is going to look different. And there’s a lot of different pathways, because I’ve had parents sort of asked me, well you do this, and my son’s doing this is that the goal is just for people to get better writing and whatever works, we should celebrate that. 

And I think that there’s certainly some things that are viewed as best practices. But I think just to always recognize that if we keep that in mind, the goal is just to help our loved ones heal and get better. That can look very, very different. 

And I think it’s just important that whatever stage that loved one is in, don’t lose hope, and never feel like you have to feel that shame, it may be there. But you can expose it. 

What I’ll end with, again, in terms of sort of the stigma that we get any negative comments, what I found, personally, for us through going through this experience of sharing our story, in a broader way, was that I’ve had people come up to me, recovery or not, and share something really vulnerable and honest. Because no matter what it is, everybody is going through something. And if you can be the example and lead by example of getting honest, getting vulnerable. There’s so much healing that can happen between two people, if they can get that level of vulnerability and honesty. 

Again, doesn’t have to be about substance use or recovery. I just think that humanity is there. And I think as a society, if we look at people in recovery, and just remember that all of those people that are sort of actively struggling have that same potential, that same hope. There’s so much more as a society we can and should be doing to help everyone. And not see anyone as a hopeless cause, because if you saw me 10 years ago, a lot of people might have thought I was a hopeless cause. 

Margaret:  Right. 

Harry:  And we need to treat everybody with that same level of compassion and empathy, 

Margaret:  And dignity, 

Harry:  And dignity, absolutely dignity

Margaret  33:40

The dignity of there is a human in there who’s struggling and to see the struggle and offer the hand. We can’t make them take it. And I want to do a shout out to Mad. 

I think also, Mad, I’d like to just say that the fact that you found resources to help you before Harry got into treatment. Like you went to friends, you went to meetings, you did that, that takes tremendous guts, and also, I’d say a level of desperation. And I wish family members would afford themselves that grace. And that willingness to reach out whether their loved one is accepting help or even acknowledging they have a problem. Because I have seen amazing things happen when families get into recovery around the person who’s the identified person with the illness. That can really help the family and the person get to where they deserve to be in their own recovery. So I think it’s a wonderful you did that. What a gift you gave Harry by doing that for yourself.

Madeleine Dean  34:38

I think it was in part desperation. But people should know. There are groups out there. You don’t have to have somebody fully identified or seeking help. You can try to figure out what am I living through, these support groups, these parents support groups or others. It did help me see with greater clarity what we were doing and what he was possibly and turned out actually going through. That patterns are so the same the behaviors, but there’s a lot of resources out there. And to Harry’s point, there’s no one path. So people should not beat themselves up if it didn’t work this way, it didn’t work that way. There’s no one path and to the other sort of secondary final point, which was, we’re all struggling with something. And so if people see in our struggles, a little bit of themselves, and how life is lived, imperfectly, but hopefully always striving for something better for one another. Then we’re really happy about that. But I just have to say the whole experience of being able to write the book with Harry was an extraordinary gift. We would have been in a great place anyway. But yeah,

Margaret  35:48

Well, for a reader, I’m so tremendously grateful you both took the risk, had the courage to put the whole story out there in the beautiful way that you did. And I’m going to encourage people to go out and buy Under Our Roof, and I will have it in the show notes. I want to just close, I don’t know why the story keeps popping up. So, I believe in saying what comes? 

Maybe because Aubrey’s around the same age as my daughter was when she said this to me. She came into the kitchen one day and said, Mommy, do you think I’m going to be an addict? Great. How do you answer that? Right? And I said, you know, honey, what makes you ask? I don’t know, I was just thinking about it. I said, I hope not. But you know, we have this genetic predisposition. It’s in the family, we have the history. And it could be the case. But hopefully, my wish for you is you never have to suffer with the disease of addiction, but we don’t really know. And she looked at me and she said, I guess the good news is, if I do, I know there’s help because you found your way to get help.

Mad:  Wow!

Margaret:  And I want that for children. In this family system. I want people to live their recovery out loud, because there is no way I would have found my recovery without people in front of me having the willingness to be at a meeting and share their story or talk about it like Tennie McCarty is a huge role model for me, I’ve out of shades of hope. Because she told her story to convention on I lost my crap cried all over the place, I was a mess, because she was telling my story as a professional, and around food addiction. And so I just thank you.

I thank you both. I thank you for your honesty, your humility, your vulnerability. And what gives me great comfort, Matt is to know you’re in the house, and you’re doing work. But this is a big component of how you do your work, and how you serve the people. And I just think if we could have more people living a recovery way, in that arena, we’d probably get much more traction. 

But I thank you for your service and Harry for you, continuing to share your message and help so many through Caron Foundation and the work you do there.

Harry Cunnane  38:07

Thank you so much.

Madeleine Dean  38:08

Thank you, Margaret. This has been a privilege and to the point of my work, there are people all over the House in the Senate who care about this it knows no party bounds. 

Margaret:  I love that. 

Mad:  It’s a rich place and we’re learning and hopefully growing in what we do there.

Outro:  When we begin our recovery journey, we hear a lot about the promises, and they seem so unattainable when we’re in the depths of this disease and in early recovery. I believe hearing from Mad and Harry during these three episodes we’ll have left you feeling there is hope for recovery for any of us. And as Harry said if you saw me 10 years ago a lot of people might have thought I was a lost cause there are no lost causes and I thank Harry and Mad for their willingness to share their story of experience strength and hope with us.

Margaret  39:00

I want to thank my guest for their courage and vulnerability and sharing parts of their story. 

Please find resources on my website. 

This is Margaret Swift Thompson. 

Until next time, please take care of you!