By Rikki Schwab,
As we go into the holiday season it is important to remember that not everyone is thankful for their personal situations. As we give thanks for the many things we have this month, it’s important to remember that there are those around us who struggle with addiction.
Often times it is hard for us to understand what brought a person to this point in their life and how we can take them from there. This is not something that is easy and it is a process that starts with the addict. When they are ready, they will reach out and make changes.
Imagine the holiday season with everyone dressed up and joyful for gifts and family, and being someone who feels unhappy for not having these things. Throughout my schooling I have attended meetings with individuals who suffer from addiction, heard their stories and provided counsel. Some were devastated over their situations and it was hard to understand why individuals had to deal with such pain in their lives.
Last month I discussed not ‘feeding the deer,’ thereby enabling those who are trying to survive on us as a community. However, that does not mean for us to lack compassion and empathy for others. We do not have to understand why people suffer from addiction or other illnesses, but it is important to remember they are human just like everyone else.
Sometimes a kind smile can change a person’s day, or life. If you are reading this and you are suffering from addiction, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and there is help for you. As a community we must embrace our members, but this does not mean enabling our members. When we create difficulty in accessing things that are not positive or do not have a positive outcome, this encourages change to stop the discomfort. You can be kind and not be victimized. We are moving forward and there are brighter days ahead. Have a safe holiday season.