Meet Christine Naman… Founder and Author of About Natalie Hi! My name is Christine Naman. I’m a wife, a mother and a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My husband Peter is a physician and we’ve been married for 26 years. Peter is the true love of my life. He is smart and kind. He’s sensitive and supportive and kind. He believes in me and all of my ideas. But what is really incredible is that he believes in my dreams even when he doesn’t understand them. And what is really, really incredible is that he believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself. He is a gentleman and I haven’t opened a door for myself in twenty-six years. I am also the mom to three wonderful grown children. Jason, my oldest is twenty-five. Jason is smart, kind, loyal and so hard-working. Jason is liked by everyone and likes everyone. He has hit some bumps, but is regrouping and on his way to a good life. My youngest, Trevor is eighteen: smart and mature, confident and funny. He’s doing well and his growing up has been good. My daughter Natalie—my only girl, and my middle child—is twenty-three. Natalie is brilliantly smart, witty, creative, beautiful. She is also an addict who has given me insights into surviving, picking up the pieces, focusing on our family, and even following my own dreams in the face of addiction. I am also a writer. I have dabbled in writing since I was a little girl. First, writing stories about the chipmunks living under our porch. Throughout the years, I have written fiction, short stories (and even a Christmas novel), plus non-fiction works about my experiences teaching preschool, motherhood and, most recently and appropriately, a book entitled About Natalie—the ultimate guide to staying sane, believing in the future, and pursuing your own dreams while loving (and sometimes wanting to clobber) an addict. Let’s get to work on your best life! Connect with me via email or Facebook private message. Or…share your story with me. [INSERT FB LOGO & EMAIL ADDRESS, THEN LINK TO FB ACCOUNT]
About Natalie Naman… She’s amazing! She’s incredible! Beautiful, bright, brilliant and talented in too many ways to count. And she is also an addict. Sometimes this means that she is less than she was supposed to be. When she is struggling, she is impaired and unreliable, desperate and manipulative. At these times, she is not trustworthy and very often frustrating. She’s an unrecognizable person when she is under the influence of substances. But she is my daughter. She is always the best thing that ever happened to me. She is my most cherished blessing. And I will always be her mother. By definition, that means I could never love anyone more, I will always be by her side, I will stand beside her when she fights for herself, and I will fight for her when she is too weak to battle on her own. I will defend her when she is indefensible, explain her when she behaves unexplainably, and forgive her when she is clearly wrong. I will also get up the next day, and do it all over again. I will love her every moment of her life, even when she doesn’t love herself. I will be by her side, just as I have been since the day she was born. I will never give up. And I will never leave. Because that is what mothers do.
My daughter, Natalie Naman, inspired the upcoming book, About Natalie (Spring 2021 from HCI Books) which, in turn, inspired this gathering of people who want to live their best life—even though they’re facing addiction. It’s a book that reveals what it feels like to be the mother of an addict. It is not a fact book, a medical book or an advice book. But instead, it details how I cope, including the crazy emotions and other feelings that can’t help but surface when you’re trying your best to love an addict. It offers a hand and a hug to others whose loved one is struggling with addiction—which, in reality, means everyone struggles. The opioid crisis is epidemic: virtually no one exists who doesn’t at least know an addict or family of addiction. With so many touchpoints, we’re all struggling with addiction to some degree. About Natalie, the book, will offer support and understanding. I want people to feel comforted and not alone. I want people to read it and think “Wow, I didn’t know that!” I hope About Natalie provides knowledge. But not facts and figures or graphs. You won’t find the results of any medical studies in this book. But you will find a lot of heart—“all the feels,” as they say in this book. If you look closely, you will find the pages of About Natalie are teared stained. The pages are marked with tears of joy and hope and sadness and heartbreak. While I was raising my children, I would always tell them that while you can’t always control where you are, you can make the best of being wherever you are. And you can still be the best that you can be. I would never have chosen to be the parent of an addict. It is hard and it hurts. But the reality is that even though this where I am, hopefully, this is not where I’ll be forever. But while I am here, I should make myself of use and help someone else. About Natalie is that outreach. Read more of the story behind the book, then post your own story of surviving and thriving in the face of addiction.