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If You Love Me: A Mother's Journey Through Her Daughter's Addiction and Recovery
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If You Love Me: A Mother's Journey Through Her Daughter's Addiction and Recovery

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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  596 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Maureen Cavanagh's gripping memoir If You Love Me is the story of a mother who suddenly finds herself on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic as her daughter battles--and ultimately confronts--substance use disorder.

Fast-paced and heartwarming, devastating and redemptive, Maureen's incredible odyssey into the opioid crisis--first as a parent, then as an advocate--is
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Henry Holt & Company (first published September 4th 2018)
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Ashley Jacobs Im not the author so I can only make an educated guess, but Im guessing her mind was in another place when she saw the article. Another possibility is…moreI’m not the author so I can only make an educated guess, but I’m guessing her mind was in another place when she saw the article. Another possibility is that she’s so used to referring to Kaitlin as her daughter or as Kate that it took a second to make the association. Maureen Cavanagh used to be married to Mike Harvey, Kaitlin’s father. Kaitlin must have taken her father’s surname at birth (as is tradition in the US) and Maureen kept it this way even after the divorce. (less)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
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Diane S ☔
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book got to me, and in a big way. I don't think one can be a parent, or any kind of caring person and not feel a deep connection, sympathy with this woman as she travels the emotional roads of her daughters heroin addiction. Not that this is written in a over dramatic fashion, but her love and pain can be felt on every page.

I have raised seven children, and we have dealt with many issues, but I feel so fortunate that none have been drug related, legal or otherwise. Not that we haven't been
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Tammy
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of hope steeped in unconditional love and focuses on a mothers never ending anxiety, helplessness and utter devotion that leads her to become an advocate for her addicted daughter and the addicted children of others. Its the brain not the upbringing that causes addiction. I can sum this up by saying that this is an account that needed to be told, a stigma that needs to be erased and an epidemic that needs to be solved. Unfortunately, I dont have the answers but this narrative ...more
Valerity (Val)
This is an on point and important read about a womans story of having a daughter with a serious addiction problem. The mother got totally submerged in her daughter's addiction to the point that it was taking over her life and overwhelming her. It was affecting her relationship with her other children and the man she was dating and making her an anxious mess and she needed to get help to stop it from ruining her life.

She shares how she handled it, and how she became an advocate helping other
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Elyse  Walters
Audiobook... read by the author.

A nightmare story for any parent.

This is the mothers story....a very harrowing- agonizing story - glad its written- hope its helpful to anyone who needs it.

I tried and tried to feel an emotional connection to the mother.
For some reason - it didnt happen. Intellectually: yes, of course!
And thats ok! I still have much compassion for any parent with an addicted child. Im especially deeply sad for the child who is addicted.

I was actually a little bored with the
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Kelli
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, memoirs
Angels walk among us. If you have ever doubted this, read this heart-shattering memoir. Raw and honest, yet seeped in strength and hope.

Its every parents nightmare: the story of a mother blindsided by her daughters heroin addiction and hellbent on doing everything in her power to fight to save her daughters life. As she navigates the unfamiliar territory that is now daily life for her child: homelessness, addiction, withdrawal, detox, relapse; as she scours the streets, parks, hospitals, police
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Michelle
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After returning to her home near Salem, MA following a sunny winter vacation get away in Puerto Rico with her partner Peter, author activist Maureen Cavanaugh had no idea how drastically her life would change. It seemed to happen in an instantright after she discovered all her treasured (heirloom) jewelry was gone. If You Love Me: A Mothers Memoir of a Daughters Opioid Addiction is a powerful must- read of a mothers powerful and unconditional love for her child and refusal to stop battling her ...more
Bernadette
4.5 Stars, rounded up.

If You Love Me: A Mothers Journey Through Her Daughters Opioid Addiction by Maureen Cavanagh is a memoir of the authors daughters addiction to heroin and alcohol. Katie has been in countless detoxes, rehabs and halfway houses but continues to relapse. Ms. Cavanagh is relentless in her efforts to help Katie. The mother relates, in searing detail, the things that her daughter experienced and did to get drugs while on the streets. The author also shares some of her own
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Christi
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2018
The bond that a mother shares with her child is unspeakable. For most mothers there is nothing their child can do that will break that bond. Moms stand with their child, through thick and thin, even if it kills them. You don't ask a mom if she loves her child, you as a mom how much she loves them.

Maureen Cavanagh is a divorced mother of four, adjusting to the life of an empty nester. Her youngest child is off to college and Maureen is trying to figure out the next phase of her life. It takes one
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Sandra Swenson
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW. So powerful. So heartbreaking. So many similarities. And so much power in turning her pain into purpose through her organization Magnolia New Beginnings. As a mom on the same journey, I could relate to every word.
Brenda
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love me Maureen Cavanagh
This book is long OVERDUE. A powerful, educational, enlightening document that pulls us in and holds us captive in the trenches of the heroin epidemic raging in this country. We all know someone battling with this disease or who have buried a child under the age of 25 because of this disease. This is an account of the authors personal journey with her own child and how she and so many others have turned their journey (the good, the bad and the ugly) into something
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G
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, reviewed
What a FANTASTIC bookit grabbed me and did not let me go!!!

Addiction isn't an issue that has necessarily played a role in my life, but I identified so much with Cavanagh as someone desperate to help the person she loves most. She's the perfect guide to take someone on this harrowing, troubling journey and her insights, fears, and anxieties are so real and so relatable. I loved, loved, loved it. A hard read, but a hopeful one too.
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Janet C-B
This is a powerful account of a mom's experience trying to belp her daughter who developed a problem with addiction to opiods at a young age. The mom goes to extraordinary lengths to help her daughter, which expanded to her work helping any local addicted person who contacted her help & also founding a non profit. This mom made mistakes along the way. She has her flaws, as all humans do.

I have read a non-fiction book about the opiod crisis, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company
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Mel
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
Quite moving. I'm lucky to have received a free copy from NetGalley on behalf of Henry Holt, because otherwise this book may not have been on my radar. Though I have several "academic" books on my to-be-read shelf about America's opioid crisis, I liked reading a firsthand account of a mother in the trenches fighting for her daughter Katie's survival and coming close to losing her own well-being in the process. Maureen has done so much good for so many other young adults (and their parents) ...more
Sharon Gilreath
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life with a person who suffers with subuse disorder is hard. This is a story worth reading.
Kathleen Kline
This is a sad book. It is an inside look at the life of those dealing with the opioid epidemic. And yet it is a hopeful book when you see how those whose lives have been touched and even devastated by it are stepping forward to help those in need, bringing their knowledge and experience to aid others. "Substance abuse disorder is like being denied the right to vote: it's very hard for most people to imagine or care about it unless it affects them personally." Sad, but very true. Hopefully, this ...more
Jill
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
"Fast-paced and heartwarming, devastating and redemptive, Maureens incredible odyssey into the opioid crisisfirst as a parent, then as an advocateis ultimately a deeply moving mother-daughter story. When Maureen and her ex-husband Mike see their daughter Katies needle track marks for the first time, it is a complete shock."

As a mother of a child with similar issues as Katie, this book hit me hard. I could identify very strongly with every word she wrote and every emotion she felt. This
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Amy Monks
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably one of the best books Ive read about what its really like to have a loved one with an opioid addiction.
It is at times hilarious and heartbreaking.
Maureen doesnt pull punches and lets you fully into her world, it is a brutally honest account of her experiences and I am grateful it was recommended to me.
It is very seldom I find a book that can make me laugh and cry but this book did both.
This is a book that is in my top ten picks and I highly encourage everyone, whether you have
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Christina
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An important read! Ive learned so much from this story of hope, heartbreak, a mothers love and a relentless spirit. ...more
Tina
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
A truly inspiring read of a mother's love for her daughter and and the horrors of addiction and the ravages of causes. I highly recommend this book. It is a true inspiration
Michelle
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, addiction, 2019
The title of this book pretty much sums it up. A gripping, heartbreaking read of one mother's desperate attempts to help her daughter fight an addiction. I listened to this on audio and enjoyed hearing the author's voice (and Boston accent!) and she imbues it with some dark humor. Her love is clear, and she is very self-aware about the mistakes she made along the way. Early on, she found a lack of resources and formed an organization to help other kids/parents with the things she wishes she'd ...more
Chance Ashman
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must read for anyone who has ever been personally affected by a loved one's substance abuse. Ms. Cavanagh has clearly opened her life to share her personal journey through her daughter's addiction and I suspect that every reader will see something of themselves in her thoughts and experiences. Ms. Cavanagh is to be commended for bringing to light the true, raw feelings and actions associated with substance abuse disorder.
Amy Albanese
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No parent can ever prepare themselves for the range of emotions and utter fear they experience when a child suffers from a substance use disorder. By sharing her story, Maureen Cavanagh has reminded parents that we are not alone and that love for a child is unconditional even through the worst of times. I am in awe of, and inspired by, Maureen and Katies bravery in sharing their story. This book, written from the heart, is a must read. It evokes every possible emotion and you will be rooting ...more
Jill Dobbe
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maureen Cavanagh has written a book that is personal, heart wrenching, and yet, hopeful.

Her very personal story comes to light as she tries over and over again to help her daughter who can't seem to get away from her dependence on opioids. Cavanagh details what she and her daughter go through as she bounces around from one treatment center to the next (up to 40 times). It was more than heart wrenching to read what was happening to her daughter, physically, emotionally, and mentally, and how
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Lori Casanova
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Courage... pain... fear... heartache... HOPE. Maureen and her daughter, Katie, are intimately acquainted with all of these feelings as they have lived the horror of addiction. Katie suffers from the disease and Maureen is the loving mother who suffers alongside her daughter as she struggles with her illness. As a mother who is intimately acquainted with the addiction of a child, I devoured this book. It is brilliantly written... the story of a family taken by storm with a deluge of pain, ...more
Ashley Jacobs
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
4.5 stars, rounded down

Such a moving tale of heartbreak, strength, hope, loss and redemption. Im so grateful that the author had the courage to share her story. I cant imagine the enormous strength it took to even do that. Whats more though, the author has founded a nonprofit called Magnolia New Beginnings that provides support and educational information for families that are suffering from substance use disorder (SUD). This book is a must read for anyone. Even if you dont know anyone
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Colleen
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
This book really means a lot to me. Maureen writes from the heart and is so real about a topic that is not easy for people to talk about. I found her story to be one that could happen to any family. It happened to mine. The timing of this book was very helpful for me even in my grief. Knowing that there are people who recover makes me hopeful. I wish I had known about some of the resources mentioned earlier in my life. However, I will pass this information on to anyone I meet who might need it ...more
Kathryn Downes
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put this book down. Maureen's memoir brings you up close and personal to the opioid epidemic and shines a glaring light on what it means to have a substance use disorder and what it means to be a caregiver for someone battling such a horrendous sickness.
Mrs. Europaea
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This surprised me! In a good way!

I have been disappointed by a lot of similar books written by parents of addicts but Maureen Cavanagh has a writing style that draws you into her struggle. She doesn't just tell you about the events she goes through trying to save her daughter, she takes you on the soul wrenching journey to experience the heartache yourself.
Cristie Underwood
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
The author did a brilliant job of writing a raw account of what it was like to watch her daughter battle an opioid addiction and then become an advocate for other families fighting similar battles. I could feel the frustration and hope that she felt at different points of this battle and felt for her, as her pain was coming through the pages.
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