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Anita Devlin



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While laying in an empty bathtub in a Motel 6 in Vermont, Mike takes a handful of OxyContin and waits for the heart palpitations to kill him. As he starts to fade he reads a text on his phone, "Son, I love you and I need to know that you're OK." Struggling to understand why anyone would care about him because of his years of drug abuse, he responds, "Mom, no one can help me." Then, in a moment of clarity, he decides he wants there to be a tomorrow and to be a part of his family again. He makes the call for help to his mother; the call that saves his life.

S.O.B.E.R.*, an acronym for "Son Of a Bitch Everything's Real" describes the moment Anita Devlin and her son Mike realize that denying his addiction to pain pills is destroying him. It is the defining moment when they commit to the courageous fight to get their lives back. This is when their family's road to recovery begins. S.O.B.E.R.* offers a rare glimpse at the daily, all consuming relationship between family and addiction, told simultaneously from a mother's view and an addict's perspective.

Everyone thinks Mike has it all because he is a star varsity lacrosse player, does well in school and is popular with the girls. However, Mike feels completely alone on the inside. When sports related surgeries introduce him to the world of pain pills, he uses them to mask his insecurities and spirals downward. Once in treatment, he learns that drugs are the least of his problems. The real problem is his mind. The drugs aren't making his demons disappear, they are only masking them and burying them down deeper. Mike is confident that he can be sober but he is not convinced that he can be sober and happy.

Anita thinks that being a mother gives her the right to negotiate with God for her child. She sits in church and pleads, "God, I don't care what happens to me, please just take care of my son." She lets go of everything that makes her strong until she has nothing to hold on to but fear. She is afraid of what will happen if she focuses on anything but her son. This is an addiction itself. Anita becomes sick physically and spiritually. She is ashamed that she is afraid of what people will think instead of helping her only son, and she is faced with yet another hurdle... a confrontation with the truth that she herself needs to get healthy and learn to let go.

We are allowed a glimpse into the family's recovery through powerful "cost" letters including one from Mike's sister and from the innocent voice of the family dog.

Despite an avalanche of life's misfortunes, nothing else matters as long as they don't lose Mike. Anita, her husband Michael and their daughter Alex join forces with the Caron Treatment Center where "the patient is the family, and the family is the patient." "Addiction is an octopus" says Anita, "Whose tentacles wrap tightly around us all choking the life out of everyone in its way. The whole family needs to recover together."

Author: Michael Devlin Jr, Anita Baglaneas Devlin
Publisher: Anita Devlin
Published: 01/14/2015
Pages: 246
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.54lbs
Size: 7.99h x 5.00w x 0.52d
ISBN: 9780692331477

About the Author
To read more about Anita and Michael's family story You can visit their PRESS page on There you will find articles and interviews written about their book S.O.B.E.R.* in WEB MD, Renew magazine, Huffington Post, Oprah Huffington Post, US News and World Report, Sports Illustrated, NCAA Champion Magazine, Cape Cod Times, Lacrosse Magazine, Break The Stigma, 100 Pedals Podcast, The Doctors Radio Show, My Life As 3D, Barnstable Patriot, MASS APPEAL, Momentumnation and numerous live radio interviews.

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