Sandy Swenson is the mother of two sons—one of whom struggles with addiction. She lives in the place where love and addiction meet—a place where help enables and hope hurts–and has become a powerful voice for moms with addicted children, putting their thoughts and feeling into words.
Sandy first documented her experiences with her son’s addiction in the critically-acclaimed book The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction, followed by Tending Dandelions: Honest Meditations for Mothers With Addicted Children [Hazelden 2017] and a companion collection of ponderments in her app, Readings for Moms of Addicts, [Hazelden 2018]. In her latest book, Just Dandy: Living with Heartache and Wishes [Hazelden 2020], Sandy shares her heartache and her journey of courage, resiliency, and acceptance, inspiring us to believe that no matter what comes our way, it is possible to say we’re “just dandy” and (usually) mean it.
Sandy’s latest project is MomPower.org. By moms and for moms, MomPower.org is the place for moms with addicted children to turn when life and love meet addiction. A place where empowerment blooms from helplessness and pain. MomPower is mom-driven and created out of recognition that a healthy mom can change the dynamic of the place where love and addiction meet.
An advocate for acceptance, education, healing, and recovery, Sandy can frequently be found sharing her journey through the place where love and addiction meet.
Sandy lives in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. She enjoys gardening, writing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
“Scatter seeds of kindness.” ~George Ade
A vagabond since college, Sandy has found community service opportunities wherever she moved. Between unpacking boxes, hanging curtains, and figuring out where her kids would attend school, Sandy has volunteered as a first grade teacher in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia; co-founded a volunteer group dedicated to providing life-altering medical care to orphans in India; photographed cleft surgery patients for Operation Smile in Dharamsala; founded the Bistro Boyz program where she and a flock of Bistro Galz would shop, cook, and dine with the young men at the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland each week; and founded a weekly cooking class with the girls at Annunciation Maternity Home in Georgetown, TX.
“Maybe someday, the ripple-effect of kindness, tumbling like leaves caught in the wind, will tumble along until they reach the people we moms cannot. My child. And theirs.” ~Sandy Swenson, Tending Dandelions