Tag Archives: Addiction

Starting the Conversation

For those who don’t know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. An entire month is dedicated to these debilitating diseases that impact approximately 57.7 million Americans over the age of 18. The first step is truly generating that awareness and starting the conversation.

The problem we face today is the stigma around mental illness. It should be treated like any other disease. Just because the symptoms aren’t always visible doesn’t mean they aren’t real. Anxiety, addiction and others paralyze people in ways that are indescribable. Unless you’ve experienced it, you should not judge.

I apologize if this post sounds like a rant; that’s not my intent. I know too many people who suffer in silence from mental illness. Mental health is just as important as physical health and people should realize that. Without your mind, you’re just a body wandering around. Talking about it will ultimately help save lives.

Over the weekend, a Temple alum and successful professional athlete, died at the age of 25. The cause of death was confirmed as a suicide yesterday. This was someone who had everything going for him. What could have possibly been that bad?! We will never know. If he only would have talked to someone and been vulnerable enough to admit something was wrong, could that have saved his life?

kindnessI think about him and others and wonder: If we as a society embraced mental wellness more, would people suffering be more comfortable talking about it? Today, I am inviting you to start that conversation with me – share experiences, offer advice or just listen. The quote to the left is our reminder that you just don’t know what people are experiencing. Approach your day with empathy and a smile – it could change someone’s world.

Family Fridays: Opposing Views

The older I get, the more distinct my views become on certain topics. These views changed over time and can be influenced by the life phase I am currently in: young adult just starting her career with a significant other or children. I’ve also noticed that my views, at times, conflict with what my family believes or has taught me. The next three Truth Challenge prompts address some of these views:
Marriage-Equality-Words
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Marriage is a commitment between two people in love, regardless of their gender, race or anything else.  No one has the right to dictate who you should love, marry or spend the rest of your life with. I have met plenty of gay couples who support one another, have completely healthy relationships and are raising children better than some heterosexual couples. I firmly believe in marriage equality for all.

Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Have you heard of the phrase, “Religion and politics are the two things never to discuss at the dinner table?” Well, my family has broken that rule multiple times. Religion and politics are two very personal, sensitive topics. Again, no one has the right to judge your personal choice like how you practice your religion or who you vote for. I was raised Roman Catholic but have an issue with the man-made rules of the church, like annulments. However, I do believe in God, who has blessed me with all of the amazing things and people in my life. Because of this, I try to go to church as much as possible to say thank you.

My interest in politics has grown immensely over the last couple of years. I think this is partly becausevote I’ve been able to vote during the elections. I enjoy watching the debates, hearing the proposed plans of candidates and educating myself on our nation’s issues. My biggest issue with people and politics is that people will vote just based on opinions or appearances rather than facts. Please educate yourself before voting!


Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
My views on drugs and alcohol has changed drastically in the last year since my family has been personally affected by addiction. I try not to judge people because addiction is a sickness that requires medical help just like any other disease. I do have a hard time with people who don’t take accountability for their sickness and do not fully grasp how their actions affect other people. That being said, it is your body so do with it what you’d like. Since alcohol is a legal substance once you are 21, I am all for enjoying a cocktail every now and then. Everything in moderation!
One challenge of growing up and forming my own opinions is that my family members don’t always agree with me. Some can still have intelligent conversations even though our views are different. Others are so militant and stubborn that it becomes a streaming match when any of the above are discussed. In the end, everyone, including family, needs to respect one another’s differing viewpoints.
How do you handle opposing viewpoints with your family? Is it a challenge?

Just Give Me A Reason

It looks like Thursdays are quickly becoming Truth Challenge days. I can promise you it is totally by accident! So let’s get to it, here is the eighth prompt of the challenge:
 

Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

I don’t like calling people out, especially on a public forum like a blog. But, this is a truth challenge so I’ll answer the question without using any names. My family has gone through hell in the last year because of addiction. It’s one of those situations that you think will never happen to your family until it does. Until the day when your 7 and 8-year-old siblings are put at risk, when the police show up to your house and when you realize that person you love so much is gone forever. No matter what happens, that person is changed by their addiction.

The stress and anguish my family has gone through in the last year is insane. The tension in some instances is palpable and some of the people I love the most won’t even sit in the same room together. It’s a hard pill to swallow: you want to be so angry with the addict but also must somehow understand that this person is sick. Their brain is controlled by drugs and the ramifications can be felt long after the user becomes clean. In the last year, there were moments that felt like hell on Earth. Thankfully, things have improved but so much damage has been done that some relationships will be forever tarnished.

For so long, I was searching for a reason as to why all of this happened. Fingers could be pointed at a lot of people. We could all play the blame game for hours. But, the one person responsible won’t admit to their shortcomings or problems. Everyone else doesn’t hold this individual accountable so fight after fight ensues and more damage is done.

As always, I managed to find a song that I can relate to. In this case, P!nk’s Just Give Me A Reason speaks volumes. While my situation doesn’t involve a romantic relationship, the song searches for a reason as to why things changed and the love went away. I pray every night that we are not broken just bent. Have a listen to get a better understanding of what I’m saying.

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