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the daily reprieve

With the news of Whitney Houston passing, I am reminded once again of how lucky I am. Addiction knows no boundaries. Color, gender, and creed have no power over the substance. I need this reminder. I am sad about the passing of a woman who clearly found at a young age what she was born to do. For a time, she was an example of how one person could shine so brightly without compromising their dignity. Although I was never a huge fan of Whitney’s, I always appreciated her amazing talent. And as someone who grew up in the 80s, her music is part of the soundtrack to my life. The disease of addiction doesn’t care. It shows no favoritism or partiality. Addiction doesn’t take into consideration a loving family or good job. Left alone, addiction leads to jails, institutions or death. The only escape that has worked for me so far is to not take a drink or a drug, one day at a time, for the past 15 years. It is not a cure. Just a daily reprieve. Alcoholics Anonymous has taught me that I can do anything for one day. This has not always been easy or fun. I wasn’t promised fun. I was promised, if I followed the suggestions, to never again have to feel desperation over a substance controlling my life. That is what I have received.

I remember feeling like I had no options. That people must have been lying when they said they hadn’t had a drink in 5 years. How could that be? Did they ever have fun? There must be something wrong with them. Little did I know just how much was wrong with me. I found in Alcoholics Anonymous what I have never been able to find anywhere else: a community of people who understand who I am and loved me anyway, a group that loved me when I wasn’t able to love myself, strangers that became friends and carried me through the first little while when I didn’t think I could stand on my own. To this day, I count on A.A. to be there when I need them and they have never let me down. I am a little ashamed to say that over the years, I have stopped giving back as much as I did before. I am hoping that in sharing this here, I will be able to possibly plant a seed for someone who may need it. There are always options.

It seems odd to now give a nutritional tip, but here it is: Tip #4-try something new! Next time you are in the produce section, pick up something that you have never tried before. Maybe some kind of squash or different green than you usually buy. We get into habits with our food and there is a whole world of fruits and vegetables waiting to be discovered. It doesn’t matter if you end up liking it or not. The point is to bring awareness to your food choices. Many of us operate on autopilot and miss the magic of appreciating what nature so freely provides.

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