Hello Everyone, Yesterday the world lost a great women who demonstrated to all of us how to have "Grace Under Fire". Although her legacy included advocating for many causes. I will always be grateful to her for her advocacy for recovery. By having the courage to speak out about her story, she helped pave the way for women like me and so many others who suffered with addiction to Alcohol and drugs. She gave us all back our Grace and Dignity! Thank you Betty, Thank you.
Have a Great Saturday,
Betty Ford proved to be a very atypical First Lady. She wore a mood ring and spoke openly about very controversial issues such as premarital sex, experimentation with drugs and alcohol, the Equal Rights Amendment and feminism, and gun control. She openly supported a woman's right to choose, and raised awareness about breast cancer when she had a mastectomy in 1974.
When the Fords retired to Rancho Mirage, a golf community. Gerald Ford spent much of his time away, giving speeches and playing in golf tournaments. Home alone, deprived of her exciting and purposeful life in the White House, Mrs. Ford drank.
By 1978 her secret was obvious to those closest to her. "As I got sicker," she recalled, "I gradually stopped going to lunch. I wouldn't see friends. I was putting everyone out of my life." Her children recalled her living in a stupor, shuffling around in her bathrobe, refusing meals in favor of a drink.
Her family finally confronted her and insisted she seek treatment. "I was stunned at what they were trying to tell me about how I disappointed them and let them down," she said in a 1994 Associated Press interview. "I was terribly hurt – after I had spent all those years trying to be the best mother, wife I could be. ... Luckily, I was able to hear them saying that I needed help and they cared too much about me to let it go on."
She credited their "intervention" with saving her life.
Mrs. Ford entered Long Beach Naval Hospital and, alongside alcoholic young sailors and officers, underwent a grim detoxification that became the model for therapy at the Betty Ford Center. In her book "A Glad Awakening," she described her recovery as a second chance at life. And in that second chance, she found a new purpose.
"There is joy in recovery," she wrote, "and in helping others discover that joy."
In her elder years Betty continued to lobby for the issues she cared about, which included the ERA, the feminist movement. In 1991, President George H. R. Bush presented Ford with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and she also received a Congressional Gold Medal in 1998. In 2003, Betty Ford received the Woodrow Wilson Award for public service