Archives for January 2012

Can Something Good Come from an Adult Child’s Drug Addiction?

The Blessings of Boundaries

My husband and I were in a 12-week SANITY Support group, and it made quite a difference in our lives. At the first meeting I started to have a glimmer of hope, first time in years of watching and enabling my son as he continued to struggle with addiction and bad behavior. Not always easy or steady, though. At about the 5th meeting, things in our home got quite a bit worse…

But we leaned on others in the group as they shared stories that were so similar to ours. Evidently there are a lot of us sharing this agony, and it breaks it down as we share each others’ burdens and lift each other up in prayer.

A huge blessing in this, also, was that my husband has now been in a real church, something I had never thought would happen… Such evidence of God’s love and grace… to take something as awful as a child’s addiction and use it for some good!

Thank you for hosting this at the church, giving us a place to learn about the program and to support each other. – D.

Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children and finding SANITY Support


A Note from Allison

The 12-week SANITY Support Group program is being revised to an 8-week program. Please contact me if you would like to host an 8-week program in your home or church.

My son turned 40 this past year and is drug-free and living in his own apartment. Is everything always hunky-dory and peachy-keen? Hardly. Has the journey to setting boundaries suddenly become this smooth ride to joy, hope, and peace?

I wish.

But I will tell you this…without applying the Six Steps to SANITY each and every day I would not have made it this far.

The cry of my heart is to help every parent or grandparent who feels the anguish of watching someone they love self-destruct with drugs or alcohol….

Join Allison in Fort Worth for Free SANITY Support Info Meeting on Sat. Jan 28

Join me at Harvest Church in Fort Worth on Saturday, January 28 from 10:00 – 11:00 AM.

Are you a parent who keeps trying to pick up the pieces of your adult child’s out of control life? Is the never-ending stream of drama, chaos, and crisis tearing you and your family apart? Have you ever said the words, “I can’t take this anymore?” If so, you are not alone in your struggle.

Parents around the world are finding hope, healing, and freedom as they participate in SANITY Support groups and begin to set healthy boundaries with their adult children.

If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area join bestselling author and SANITY Support founderAllison Bottke and Bernis Riley, Founder of  the SoulCare Counseling Center, LIVE for a 60-min FREE information session on Saturday, January 28 from 10-11:00 AM at Harvest Churxch in Fort Worth to find out more about the program that is changing lives around the world.


What the New! SANITY Support Blog is All About

What the SANITY Support Blog is All About

As the author of the Setting Boundaries ™ book series, a day seldom goes by when I don’t hear from someone who has read one of my books or has heard me interviewed on a radio talk show or television program.

 Folks contact me for several reasons:

  • To share their Setting Boundaries success stories
  • To learn more about the 6-Steps to SANITY, or about setting boundaries in general
  • To ask my advice in dealing with their challenging adult children, difficult people, or toxic parents
  • To inquire about starting a SANITY Support group in their home, church, or community
  • To find out where they can get my books
  • Because someone referred them to my books, website, or blog
  • To cry out for help in desperate situations concerning their adult sons, daughters, and/or grandchildren

Why have you stopped by today?

It’s exciting to hear from readers who have found SANITY and are experiencing life-changing transformation in their relationships. On the other hand, it’s often heart breaking to hear from so many people who have reached the end of their rope and are crying out for help—especially concerning relationships with their adult children.

I want to hug each one of you and let you know that you’re not alone.

  • If you are searching for hope and healing today, my prayer is that you will find it when you find SANITY Support, and that you’ll allow me and our growing blogging community to help on your journey.
  • If you know someone who desperately needs to set healthy boundaries and are looking for resources to share with them, God bless you for caring.

Who will find the SANITY Support blog helpful?

1. Parents and Grandparents who have challenging relationships w/ adult children

2. Adult children who have challenging relationships w/ toxic parents

3. Anyone who has challenging relationships with difficult people

4. Men and women readers who desire to set healthy boundaries and live a more sane life

5. Anyone living with the insanity of drama, chaos, crisis, and stress because of the poor choices someone else is making (i.e. drugs, alcohol, unemployment, crime, etc.)

6. People who have weight issues and need to set boundaries w/ food

7. Anyone who has had or is considering WLS (weight loss surgery)

8. Stressed out people looking for hope, healing and SANITY

God will always make a way when there seems to be no way, and it’s no accident you are reading this now. Stay strong, faithful and focused as you travel the journey to set healthy boundaries and find SANITY in your life.

You’ll often hear me say that the choices we make can change the story of our life.

Some of the boundary setting choices we face will be life changing. Yet it’s not just about the monumental choices we make that dramatically change the course of our life, but the individual choices we make in the everyday moments of life as well. Combined they make us who we are, a rich tapestry of experience woven together with choice.

Thank you for making the choice to visit my blog and I hope you’ll make the choice to return and participate in our community by sharing your thoughts, feelings, opinions, and insight via the comment sections after each posting. Please subscribe to the RSS blog feed on the right side of your screen, and feel free to share this link with friends and family.

What primary issues will the SANITY Support blog address?

The enabling of adult children is an epidemic issue in our society. Parents and grandparents around the country are dealing with situations that range from adult kids who simply cannot “launch,” to adult kids who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, have been in and out of rehabilitation centers, jail, and/or prison, and whose lives create an ongoing source of drama, chaos and crisis for the entire family.

Typically, these parents and grandparents have reached the end of their rope emotionally, financially, and spiritually, and are in desperate need of “sanity” in an “insane situation.” They are looking for guidance and reassurance to make choices that will change their lives (and hopefully the lives of their loved ones).

However, it’s not just about setting boundaries with adult children. More and more people are finding increasing challenges in their relationships with “Difficult People.” This could be a spouse or ex-spouse, siblings or other relatives, in-laws, neighbors, bosses and co-workers, church members, and the list goes on.

Setting boundaries and finding SANITY is quite literally for everyone who wants healthier and happier relationships.

Once again, welcome to the SANITY Support blog, I look forward to communicating with you as we strive to set healthy boundaries in all of our relationships and bring glory and honor to God.

Blessings and God’s peace,






Set Boundaries and Lose Weight with SANITY Support!

Guest VIP Blogger,

Bev Eden

Setting Boundaries with Food, WLS News and SANITY Support

Welcome to the brand new SANITY Support blog! As someone who has lost 120 pounds (and kept it off for ten years) I’m especially excited about Weight Watching Wednesday! I’m even more excited that I get to introduce you to a very special woman.

At 50-years-young, Beverly Eden has lots going on in her life, but there are three things she keeps prioritized at the top of her list. First and foremost is her relationship with God. She is a Christian who loves the Lord with all her might. Secondly, she is married to the love of her life, Paddy. Thirdly, she is a mother of five and grandmother of 10 and counting! Beverly has been working for the same school district as an office manager/secretary for 27 years. She has struggled with her weight all of her adult life. In fact, she has lost and found the same 100 pounds (or more) three different times before deciding to have weight loss surgery. In January of 2010, Bev had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, and to date, she has lost 150 pounds. Beverly is passionate about exercising for the first time in her life and watching her diet, and she wants to share her journey and encourage you to share yours.

Bev will be hosting Weight Watching Wednesday here on the SANITY Support blog, responding to your comments and posting relevant topics weekly. Way to go, Bev! (Can we get a collective yahoo?!) Make sure to subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog so you can read her Wednesday posts.)

Without further ado…may I introduce you to the wonderful, fun, fabulous, and FIT, Beverly Eden!


Greetings to all on the first official posting on SANITY Support’s Weight Watching Wednesday!

I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. I know that sounds like just another cliché’, but it’s one about which I feel very passionately. I also believe that God allows us to go through trials in our lives to not only mold and teach us, but for us to be able to help one another.

Many people think of support as something you get. It is also something that you give. I have never had cancer and I pray that I never will. I can sympathize with people who are going through it, but I don’t know exactly how they feel. I do; however; know what it is like to struggle with weight problems and all of the issues that go with it. Having lost 150 pounds after weight loss surgery (WLS), I can offer support to people who struggle with those same issues.

Allison Bottke Plus Size Model Levi

Allison has also had weight loss surgery; she’s lost 120 pounds (check out her before and after photos! And, did any of you know Allison was one of the first plus-size models with the Wilhelmina Agency in the early 80‘s? I remember seeing her Levi Strauss ad and the Pendleton Knitwear ad as well!)

But it’s important to know that here on the SANITY Support blog, Weight Watching Wednesday is NOT only for those who have had or are considering WLS. Please join our blogging community if you want to find SANITY in the insane situations that often characterize the lives of people who struggle with any kind of weight-related issues, not just WLS issues. We’ll discuss yo-yo dieting, the fast food habit, emotional eating, fad diets, and a host of issues.

In Allison’s Setting Boundaries book series, the Six-Step SANITY acronym is a key component. The “A“ stands for, ASSEMBLE a Support Group. Studies show that next to journaling, a strong support group is the key to achieving and maintaining sustained weight loss. One way that I choose to give back to the WLS community is by blogging here and talking to everyone I meet about the benefits of losing weight.  Another way I both give and receive help is by being a part of support groups. Having others who totally understand what I am going through makes my journey so much easier! I believe that reading and discussing good books pertaining to my life’s situations are also wonderful ways of coping.

The newest book in Allison’s popular series from Harvest House Publishing is Setting Boundaries with Difficult People, and there’s no doubt in my mind that many of us who struggle with weight-related issues have more than a few difficult people in our lives (including ourselves at times!) I’d love to start a discussion group here about this new book.

(Although it’s not mandatory that you read the newest Setting Boundaries book to participate in our online community, I’d like to encourage you to pick up a copy, it could change your life!)

Hope, healing, and freedom is possible when we follow the Six-Steps to SANITY in our everyday journey through life! Let’s take that journey together here, what do you say?

Allison is just completing the fourth book in the Setting Boundaries series and I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Setting Boundaries with Food will release next year (2012) but I’ve got exciting news to share…here on Weight Watching Wednesday we’ll be getting sneak peeks at the manuscript over the next several months! Plus, we’ll be able to participate in some pre-publishing aspects AND get early access to the book before the public.

But that’s not all…we’re going to have opportunities to win free copies of Setting Boundaries with Food AND copies of the first three books in the series; Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children, Setting Boundaries with Aging Parents and Setting Boundaries with Difficult People, as well as copies of Allison’s contemporary fiction for Boomer Babes!

AND….DRUM ROLL PLEASE… for those who live in the DFW area (or wish to travel here) Allison will be hosting a special invitation-only book release party next year SPECIFICALLY FOR THE WEIGHT WATCHING WEDNESDAY COMMUNITY! We’re going to have a blast and you won’t want to miss it. (I’ve already told Allison she’s going to need a really big room to hold all of us because we’re going to have a whole lot of folks communicating in our community!)

And that’s not all…throughout the year we’ll be announcing other times when we can all get together for last-minute impromptu lunches, afternoon tea parties, or day-trip excursions with Allison. We’re going to rock this Wednesday party!

All that said, I’m excited and blessed to have the opportunity to be the official Weight Watching Wednesday Blog Hostess on the new SANITY Support blog! (Hey Allison, do I get a tiara?)

Between you and me folks, what do you say we show the other day-of-the-week blog hosts what it means to build an online community and get the comments started!

If you’ve read any of Allison’s books, please share your thoughts and feelings on the Six-Steps to SANITY. Perhaps you could visit some of the pages on the new website, read other posts on the SANITY Support blog, and maybe watch a few of the You Tube video clips posted and share your thought.

What are some of the ways that you have found hope and healing by applying the “A” step in your life? Would you be willing to open up to others to share your experiences? And last but not least, do your relationships with difficult people affect your relationship with food? Let’s discuss relationships in general, the first chapters in Setting Boundaries with Difficult People, and how this can apply to our struggles with food and weight. Please let me know your thoughts.

Oh! There’s one more thing I want to quickly mention before I sign off. There’s an amazing online resource for anyone who has had WLS or is considering WLS, it’s called With an online community of thousands, this website has more information than you can shake a stick at, including a glossy hard cover magazine.

I encourage you to check out this informative website, including the two featured cover stories Obesity Help Magazine has done on Allison over the past decade.

Until the comments start flowing and we get to chatting…God bless!


SANITY Support Blog Launched – Welcome from Author Allison Bottke

Welcome to the NEW Setting Boundaries Books Website and the SANITY Support Blog

Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children and finding SANITY Support

Welcome to the first “official” post on the new SANITY Support blog!

After a great deal of prayer and planning, I’m excited to announce the launch of the brand new Setting Boundaries Books website and blog, designed to communicate with readers and help spread the message of SANITY. In addition to sharing my perspective on boundaries, I’ll be posting a lot of content directly from the hundreds of email letters I’ve received, and I hope you’ll join me in sharing your thoughts, feelings, insight, and opinions about this hot-button topic of setting boundaries. We’ll build our SANITY Support community via the comment section at the end of every post.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for my blog at the right side of this page so you won’t miss a thing!

Many of you know that it’s been a season of changes and challenges in my life these past few years. I’m not going to belabor you with all the details of my journey since I moved to Texas from Minnesota back in August of 2007, but suffice it to say that life today is nothing like I expected it to be. But hey, whose life hasn’t been changing and challenging? It seems virtually everyone I know has been going through some type of significant trial or tribulation, can you relate? Does it seem that way to you as well?

Issues concerning the economy, jobs, and financial security (or insecurity in many instances) abound. Our relationships are being tested tremendously, and in many cases our emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual health has been compromised.

And then there’s the growing concern about our adult children…and grandchildren…or about other difficult people in our lives. It seems everywhere we turn we are being faced with boundary-setting choices.

Join me in making 2012 the year that SANITY makes a comeback in our lives!


Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children and finding SANITY Support

Allison and Chris on Christmas Day, 2011 at church!

The photo above was taken two weeks ago on Christmas Day when my son and I attended church together. Many of you have read about Chris in the first book in the Setting Boundaries™ series, Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children-Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents, a book that was born from years of painful valley experiences. This past year I’ve seen Chris continue to stay drug-free, complete his 18-month parole, and move into his own apartment this past October. Setting healthy boundaries with our adult kids does not mean we give up on them! It means we change the way we respond to their choices. It means we find SANITY and take back our own lives. It means we learn to love our adult children with open arms.

I’m excited to see what God is going to do as we begin to build a community of readers who will support, encourage, and empower one another on the journey to set healthy boundaries and find SANITY!

Thousands of people around the world have embraced the Six Steps to SANITY. You can read some of their true story testimonials here.


Books by Allison Bottke

If you’ve read any of the books I’ve written in the Setting Boundaries ™ series from Harvest House Publishers over the past several years, you already know quite a bit about me. Even more so if we go back to the days I was writing and editing books in my God Allows U-Turns anthology. However, if this is our first meeting you can read more about me and the books I’ve written by clicking on my photo below, there’s also a You Tube video clip from my interview on the 700 Club that encapsulates my testimony.

But reading about me isn’t About Allison Bottkewhat this new blog is all about.

SANITY is Making a Comeback!

The issue of setting healthy boundaries touches every one of us every single day of our lives.

We all struggle at one time or another with challenging relationships that have weak or non-existent boundaries at their roots, and we can all use the Six Steps to SANITY to find hope, healing, and freedom in any of those relationships.


SANITY is possible, and I want to help you find it!

I just finished writing the 4th book in the series; Setting Boundaries with Food, talk about a challenging relationship! Who doesn’t struggle with what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and why the heck are we eating again?

Setting Boundaries with Food will release this summer, and we’ll be talking more about this topic and about weight every Wednesday here on the SANITY Support blog. Make sure to check out the mind-boggling before and after photos of Beverly Eden our VIP guest blogger! My before and after photos are also online, did you know that I lost 120 pounds?


If you’re in the DFW area of Texas we’ll be starting three SANITY Support groups in February! Come say hello to me in Fort Worth at a FREE informational meeting on Saturday, January 28!

In closing, what is your setting boundaries story? I’d love to hear what you think and feel about this topic, and what you’d like to see on the SANITY Support blog. Please introduce yourself and share your opinions and insight in the comment section below.

God bless and keep you,