By LORRIE WISEMAN
When I first started writing these columns, I never imagined that I would enjoy it so much. I have had several people come up to me and tell me they look forward to reading my articles every week and that makes me so happy. I really try to write stories that we all can relate to. It seems like every week, I find myself wondering if I will come up with anything to write. Just when I think I am not going to be able to come up with something, an idea comes floating into my brain. Maybe I do have a knack for this writing thing after all! I have had something on my heart for a while that I thought I needed to put into words. A while back, I wrote an article about addiction. It was brutal and honest and straight to the point. The majority of that article was about how addition affects everyone, not only the addict. While that is very true, I wanted to take the time in this article to give some words of encouragement to those in recovery and focus on the positive things. From what I know, recovery is a difficult process. I have witnessed that no matter how long somebody has been sober, they can still relapse. Whether it is alcohol or drugs, the process of sobriety is slow, painful, and sometimes life-threatening. That is what makes some continue the cycle of addiction because the withdrawals are physically and mentally just too much to handle. Also, the fear of not knowing what will happen next is so very scary. If you are anything like me, you want to FIX things. I know that addiction is a family disease and that is where the support system comes in. Relapse is much more likely for those without a support system. I have also found that forgiveness goes a long way in dealing with an addict. Just imagine how you would feel if all anyone sees when they look at you is the mistakes you have made. It is not fair to continue to beat someone up over the past. Every day is another chance to do the right thing and that can be applied to both addicts and families. Those of us who love with any ounce of our heart should be supportive of someone who is working hard to beat the odds and continues to try to do the right thing. We all make choices that we wish we could change looking back, but there is a reason it is called the past…..we don’t live there anymore. I think we all should take the time to congratulate those who have been working hard to overcome their addiction and taking the right steps to try to rise above the very thing that can destroy their whole life. We have to be supportive and loving and encourage those who are traveling the rocky road to sobriety. There is no need to be negative and say hurtful things no matter how much pain they have caused you. They are just trying to find a way to get back to some sense of normalcy. Of course, there are those who will relapse and even then, they still need support. There will be times when lines have to be drawn, but as long as someone is aware of their mistakes and taking the initiative to try to get better, we have to be vigilant and encouraging. So, with all that being said, again I want to give a huge shout out to the people who are overcoming, working hard, and realizing their potential. You are worthy! You are loved and you should believe that the people that truly love you want you to be sober and happy. I hope we all as a community can remove the stigma that surrounds addicts and embrace them as the people that they are. Always remember to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and also keep in mind that at some point, we all are broken. Even just the tiniest gesture or words of encouragement could change someone’s life. I think I can speak for most of us when I say we are proud of those in recovery, and from the bottom of our hearts we hope that you never give up!