Know You Are Loved is a touching, graphically-illustrated, biographical memoir of inspirational quotes, coupled with the author’s own motivational messages, that stress the importance of self-love and personal empowerment. The author made each of these messages into cards that she mailed daily to her daughter who had been court-ordered to spend nine months in a residential alcoholic/drug-abuse rehab facility. For the first few months in rehab, her daughter was not allowed to have any outside contact, with one exception: she could receive letters. Sending a daily inspirational message of love was the author’s way of supporting her daughter during her rehabilitation and recovery process by letting her know that she was loved. This book explains the author's process and includes 230 inspirational graphics she designed.
Although these cards were specifically made for her daughter in rehab, each message has a universal appeal: that self-love is a necessary component of personal empowerment. It is hoped that this book will be an inspiration to everyone who needs to incorporate the self-love messages into their own life. It is also hoped it will inspire those who have a loved one in rehab or prison with ideas of how they can support their loved one through some simple reminders that they are loved and not forgotten. Simply being reminded of the love and support of family and friends can make a huge difference in their rehabilitation, recovery and journey toward self-love and empowerment.
Foreword: Letter to Mom
It's Sunday the 26th – in two days I get to leave Rehab. What a long nine months it has been – definitely the hardest thing I have ever gone through and accomplished! Never in my whole life did I think I would end up in a court-ordered rehab facility, away from my kids, my husband, my mom, my life. I had really lost my passion to live.
The only thing I ever wanted in life was to be a good mom and I was at the point where I didn't even care about that anymore. Alcohol had consumed my life. I am so grateful today that I was sent here. I am so excited to be moving on to the next journey in my life. I am so happy that I have absolutely NO desire to ever drink again — well at least today I don't. (One day at a time!)
I have self-worth again. I have energy, enthusiasm, hope and faith again. I feel AMAZING! I really want to thank you for all of your encouraging words and all the faith you have in me. I could never have made it through this place without you. I am so blessed to have you as my mom.
I am very sorry for making you worry when I was drinking. I can't even imagine how you must have felt. I know that I would feel so much pain and sorrow if one of my boys were suffering from an addiction. I hope I never have to deal with that, but if I do, I will stand by their sides, giving them words of encouragement and love, just as you have done for me.
Thank you, Mom!
I love you so much!
Now on to the next chapter of my life!
Collage made by Liz of Mom's Love Notes she received while in rehab.
Preface by Carol Hansen Grey
My youngest daughter, Liz, and I have always been close even though we are separated by many miles, she in Texas and I in California. In 2006 she and her husband decided to move from their home in California and make a new life in Texas. I hated to see them go and for the first time I really understood how saddened my father was when I decided to relocate with my children many years prior from my home in Wisconsin to California.
After Liz moved, we stayed close, talking on the phone almost every day and visiting in person a couple times a year. After the birth of her fourth baby, she went through a difficult postpartum depression and that’s when her excessive drinking began. I really didn’t know how to help her except to be loving and supportive via long distance. But I realize now that she needed much more help than I was able to give her over the phone.
When I received the call that she had been charged with a second DUI and court-ordered to spend up to nine months in a residential drug and alcohol rehab facility located four hours from her home in Texas, I felt devastated for her. I knew she needed help, but this ruling was unexpected and felt overly harsh. In the rehab facility she was not allowed to receive phone calls or have outside contact for the first several months. She was only allowed to get letters. It was very much like a prison.
So, I meditated on what I could do while she was in the facility that would let her know how much she was loved. I got the idea to send her a postcard-sized inspirational/motivational quote every day. I went online and downloaded several hundred graphical quotes from the Internet, resized them to fit 4-up on a piece of cardstock, printed and cut them out. I ended up with over 300 inspirational cards that I kept in a stack by my rocking chair. Every morning I would wake up at 5AM, pick a card and hand write her a personal note on the back. Often I wrote several notes a day. I bought a large box of 4”x 5” envelopes that I pre-addressed and hand-decorated in cheery designs with colorful pens in which to mail the notes. Included in the back of this book is a link to a few samples of my decorated envelopes. I made a point to number each card I sent with a corresponding number on the envelope so Liz could easily see if there were any cards missing. (Somehow I didn’t trust that she would receive all my mail, but it turns out that she did!)
My husband suggested that I set up a database with a scan of the front of each card and a field where I could record what I had handwritten on the back. In total, I mailed her 255 cards. It is because of my husband’s suggestion that I am actually able to write this book and share my process with you.
In order to create this self-help, graphical memoir of Liz’s journey to recovery, I redesigned 230 of the inspirational/motivational quotes I sent her with my own collection of commercial-use graphics and fonts. Embedded in each graphic, I have included the name(s) of the fonts I used to create the graphic. Because the original quotes I had printed out often didn’t list the author, I diligently searched to see if I could attribute each quote accurately. I was able to find many of the authors, but unfortunately not all. So, those I couldn’t find I have simply indicated “author unknown.” (If any readers of this book can supply me with the accurate name(s) of the “unknown authors,” I would be most appreciative and will include them in a subsequent printing.)
My hope is that the quotes and personal messages in this book will serve as a guide in helping the reader understand the importance of self-love, how it is a necessary component of personal empowerment and how you can achieve it in your own life. I also hope that it will inspire those who have a loved one in rehab or prison with a way to help them know that they are loved and not forgotten. Simply being reminded of your love and support can make a huge difference in their rehabilitation, recovery and journey toward self-love and empowerment.