Ann Bennett Cookson, Author
Hi! I'm Ann, those closest to me sometimes call me Annie. Thank you for stopping by.
Life sure can be messy sometimes, so that's probably why I try so hard to live my life simply, which is decidedly challenging because I am a writer, mother, grandmother, literacy volunteer, and a grieving mom. My first book was born through loss and grief. My second book was born through healing and love for children. My third book, currently in the works is born through the need to continue my fight for awareness and to reduce the stigma attached to addiction and to offer hope.
I am a mother of a child who died by overdose, but I refuse to allow grief and loss to define me.
My Life Philosophy
Be open to possibilities, willing to forgive, cultivate love rather than hate, listen more, judge less, be curious about everything, learn acceptance, and fill your life with people and activities that bring you joy!
"Writing is just something one does. Living your life joyfully is who you are." Ann Bennett Cookson
Secrets: A Story of Addiction, Grief & Healing
Breaking the silence! Using Sarah's journals, our words mingled as one. Her voice would be heard!
When a child dies, no matter what the cause, grief can be paralyzing, overwhelming. However, with an overdose death, the stigma attached to addiction often induces emotions that a grieving parent should not have to experience. Slowly, I came to realize it is possible to survive heartrending loss such as this. A memoir of loss and the journey towards healing.
Available here and on Amazon.
Addiction is not a dirty word and the words we choose to use to define it matter.
Finding purpose and fueling one’s passion is hard after child loss, especially when a parent feels the loss may have been preventable. In our case, we did not understand addiction, and why would we? Most people do not! At the time of my daughter’s death, appropriate treatment was not readily accessible. With the loss of my daughter, I was driven to educate myself about substance use disorder. The more I learned, the less I felt I knew. It is incredibly complicated. It is often shrouded in secrecy and shame by the addict as well as by their family. The nasty little secret in a family's attic. Addiction is often misunderstood. If we do not understand, it is much easier to become judgmental. Those who struggle with addiction live in fear. Fear of judgement and stigmatization by misguided and misinformed others. I know this because my daughter lived it and paid the ultimate price. Addiction is not a dirty word and the words we choose to define it matter. It is a condition, a brain hijacked and altered by chemicals. It is my life passion to continue the fight against stigma in any way I can. We all are fueled by life experiences, but to keep our fires burning, we must not neglect ourselves and self-care. The quiet moments, reflective moments, the energizing moments provide strength to continue on. But even more, we must do what we love becoming the person we were meant to be.
This book is being written by parents who have experienced firsthand the devastating effects on their families surrounding substance use and mental health disorders.
You Are Not Alone: Offering Hope
Substance Use Disorder-The Family Connection
We are two moms who have been profoundly impacted by addiction. The stirrings of writing this book together emerged as our friendship strengthened. We each felt the need to voice our convictions, to speak out to a broader audience the truths we have experienced regarding addiction. We realized the importance of offering a text that enlarged upon the problems that families and those in the active throes of addiction face. We desired to write a book that not just spoke clinically or shared dreadful stories, but also offered hope and solace.
Taking Care of Our Health
Addiction is complicated and does not discriminate Regardless of financial status, race, gender or age, the harmful effects of trauma and mental health challenges are real. But that does not mean it is hopeless. We do have the power to manage lifestyles while seeking methods to manage stress and life challenges. It is okay to reach out for help.
Check back regularly for added information, links, videos, the importance of self-care, and more.
Become a member of Mainely Writing’s forum as we work together to build connections and community. As a member you can ask questions, share your experiences, thoughts, and ideas. Proposed topics for conversation will include issues and experiences surrounding addiction. But we will also talk about all things writing. This is an opportunity to discuss possible solutions to shared problems and to garner support. Join the forum by becoming a member and share your voice!
Get in touch if have questions about our literary endeavors, for updates on new releases, or if you'd like to share your story. I also offer proofreading services. Include your name, email and a brief message explaining your reason for contacting Mainely Writing. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for visiting Mainely Writing!