Meet Jodi Dale, a creative woman who enjoys writing, boxing, working out, wine, ‘therapy sessions’ with her girlfriends, traveling, and a passion for the Florida Keys. Raised near Alpena, Jodi says, “my roots are country but I have enjoyed living outside of Detroit for the past 20 years.”
Jodi is also a mother who lost her beautiful son, Dane, to mental illness and heroin addiction. His struggle and death brought her soul’s work sharply into focus.
For 12 years, they struggled together to find therapy and medication for his severe mental illnesses. “Five years into this struggle, Dane began self medicating with heroin so I had to scramble to learn everything I could about this horrifying development. Dane and I were in most every mental and rehab facility in Macomb and Wayne County as we searched for the right path to help him.”
Soon they learned ‘everybody knows somebody’ struggling with drug addiction and mental illness. “The commonality is universal. No one is immune and navigating the red tape involved in getting treatment is very frustrating.” They decided to tell their story in hopes of helping others and removing the stigma associated with these diseases.
The title, ‘Love is the Drug’ refers to how Jodi’s love for Dane created her own battle as she became addicted to the addict.
“The book was born of my grief for my son. My therapist suggested that I pick up where Dane and I left off when he died and finish the story to help me sort out my grief. We endeavored to make our memoir as absolutely frank as possible. Although he got only four chapters complete before his passing, his words help you to get to know him. I then finished the rest of the story.”
On the advice of her editor, she did not use traditional chapter titles. The book is broken up into Dane’s ages and what he was experiencing at that time. What the reader experiences then is the fast timeline of addiction. Powerful!
Jodi is now deeply involved with Families Against Narcotics (FAN), seated on the Board of Advisors and speaking to those suffering from addiction and their families.
Like Jodi and Dane, most families struggle behind the closed doors of shame without support from family and friends. Now she advocates for them, speaks to and for them, and continues to seek out additional resources and funding.
“It’s my hope to educate in a different way,” she said. Reducing the stigma “only comes with awareness, when people realize this can happen to anybody, this can happen in Middle America. Until we take away that stigma, (sadly) there’s not going to be as much funding or attention to solving mental illness and drug addiction.”
Jodi sees herself as the most encouraging, positive and supportive person she can be to everybody. She loves to listen and has a reputation of being a woman who can be trusted with a secret. “I am becoming an expert on addiction as well as mental illness and how to direct those in need of help to the appropriate resources. I am also an advocate for the homeless.”
“Writing the book has been such a positive experience for me. Remembering my son and all the love we shared is now captured in a story as well as my heart.”
In addition to her work with FAN, Jodi has in the works a designer resale store called The Saucy Mermaid.
Her favorite quote: “At any given moment you have the power to say: this is not how my story is going to end.”
To buy a copy of Jodi Dale & Dane Jacobs’ book, Love is the Drug: A Mother and Son Memoir
($21.00 including tax and shipping), contact her at: j[email protected]
A Kindle edition is available at: Amazon.com
Contact Jodi to address your group or for a book signing at: (586)854-7330