Works

Secrets: A Story of Addiction, Grief & Healing

May 2018

A mother's powerful portrayal of a daughter swept away by addiction and the secrets they all kept. Losing a daughter to overdose is tragic. Finding her is traumatic. How does one heal from this? Written after my daughter, Sarah's death by overdose with the intent to present awareness, address the stigma attached to addiction, and to give my daughter a voice as I merged my words with her own.

For your convenience, you may order here. A link is provided above.

Also a paperback available on Amazon Kindle, Bibliotheca, Baker&Taylor, Over Drive.

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A Magical Adventure Into the Forest

January 15, 2022

Emma's adventure into the unknown would guide her to a place of personal discovery. Everyone needs someone to talk to, to share their heart, fears, and dreams with. Especially when life does not go as smoothly as you would like it to go.


We all have good days and bad days. Do you ever have one of those days when everything seems to go wrong? Well, for Emma, this was one of those days, leading Emma towards making a momentous decision.

 

Testimonials

Secrets: A Story of Addiction, Grief, & Healing

It's important that I express my gratitude and warm appreciation to my readers. Their heartfelt responses can clearly be seen by their words below.

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L. Hermans, M.D.

A Gift to Everyone

"What a beautiful book and so sad, but so well-written and full of wisdom. It is a gift to everyone. People who are helping people with addiction, people struggling with addiction, and people who have lost someone to addiction. It should be read by everyone."

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Kathy M.

Lasting Impact

"This book touched home for me since I recently lost my son to an accidental drug overdose. It is beautifully written and highlighted the complexity of addiction. It shows how this epidemic can impact anyone. The negative stigma needs to be removed from this disease. Thank you for this beautiful book. Hopefully, it will help start the conversations and help end this epidemic!"

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Joy A.

A Must Read

"A must read! A mother's love brings an addict to life. Sarah is no longer another sad statistic. She is a loving human being caught in the throes of a terrible disease. Anyone dealing with any form of addiction should read this book. This book may help others to recognize the signs and symptoms to be aware of. It may also help others to heal and forgive themselves and others."

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Doug's Mom

Inspiring and True

"After losing my son Doug to an Opiate Overdose, I found this book to be inspiring and true to the throws of addiction and the families who go through this. Sarah's Mom's gives her a voice as she becomes gone inside herself. I loved the beautiful additions of Sarah's journals and that it shows she was just a normal daughter trying to find her way. Also, being a Mom who lost her son, I realize I am never alone and our lives are forever changed. Thank you for this beautiful book of love and loss and families in turmoil. Healing comes as we forgive and learn to remember the beautiful memories we had before the disease of addiction takes over. Remembering my son in love and light!"

 

An Interview with Diane Atwood

Catching Health With Diane Atwood


Podcast: Secrets: A Story of Addiction, Grief, and Healing

Sarah Cookson 1986-2016

On Friday, December 16, 2016, Sarah Cookson died. She was only 30 years old. Sarah had struggled for a long time with a substance use disorder that likely began when she was given a prescription for painkillers after major surgery. At the time of her death, she had an addiction to heroin.

It was a dose of heroin laced with Fentanyl that took her life and also made her a statistic. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times more powerful than heroin.

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Sarah fatally overdosed 12/16/2016. She was a complicated woman with lifelong struggles, including social anxiety, lowered self-esteem, and depression. But she was much more that that! Sarah started keeping journals when she was 12 years old. Some entries were funny, some incredibly sad. Sarah's birthday was in April, and this was her mindset. 


April, 2016

"So I made it to thirty. Woohoo! For a couple of years, I didn't know if I would. What was the point? Struggling hard. I feel like I've forgotten all that made me happy-lost my reason to wake up in the morning-to have a voice-to care about anything!" Sarah

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Diane Atwood's introduction: "Imagine that your adult child has died from a drug overdose, and you are the one who finds her. That is what happened to Ann Cookson. The grief never goes away, but Ann has been able to turn her pain into something positive. She wrote a book called Secrets: A Story of Addiction, Grief, and Healing. Listen to her story and how writing the book has transformed her thinking about drug addiction, as well as her entire life."

 

Newly Released

January, 2022

“Taking for granted the world she knew, she left behind those who loved her true.”


Emma's adventure into the unknown would guide her to a place of personal discovery. Everyone needs someone to talk to, to share their heart, fears, and dreams with. Especially when life does not go as smoothly as you would like it to go.

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A MAGICAL ADVENTURE INTO THE FOREST

Newly Released January 2022

Emma’s family life was changing, and she did not like it. Her dad was not home very much anymore. Her mother was so busy, she had little time to spend with Emma like she once did. She and her brother, Alex were not getting along well and were bickering more often. Emma wished that things were different and that she could turn the clock back to what it was like before. But in our world, we cannot go back in time, can we? All the adults in her life told her so. There is no looking back, only forward. Only, Emma was not so sure. She began to daydream more and more. Her thoughts wandered toward the forest. There were mysterious things happening out there. She could feel it.

 

An Amazing Adventure Into the Forest

 
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A Magical Adventure Into the Forest

January 15, 2022

Emma’s family life was changing, and she did not like it. Her dad was not home very much anymore. Her mother was so busy, she had little time to spend with Emma like she once did. She and her brother, Alex were not getting along well and were bickering more often. Emma wished that things were different and that she could turn the clock back to what it was like before. But there is no such thing as time reversal or any other magical events. At least, that is what her mom told her. Emma was not so sure. She began to daydream more and more.

Her thoughts wandered toward the forest. There were mysterious things happening out there. She could feel it. Her dad described her feelings as her mystery radar. It was her dad who she usually talked to about her mystery radar though. Although, her mom used to listen to her heart when her dad was not around, lately she was way too busy.

Emma wanted to explore the mysterious world that waited just beyond the apple orchard. She wanted to know many things! Where did the owl go when it flew away into the darkness?  What caused the rustling sounds in the bushes? What caused the trees to sway with the wind? What secrets did the forest hold? Before she fell asleep, Emma came up with a plan.

 
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A Magical Story for Sure !

February 25, 2022

Verified Purchase

"This book was well written in beautiful verse. All children will love the wistful, magical story of exploring the woods. It’s a flash back to my childhood when my sister and I used to play in the apple orchard. Beautiful characters and verse. Loved the story. Highly recommend it." - Kristen Niedzielski