There is hope....Recovery Day.
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There is hope....Recovery Day.
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There is hope....Recovery Day.

Did you know that 1 in 10 people in Canada are affected by addictions? Today I listened to several speakers at Recovery Day event at Giovanni Capoto Park in Little Italy speak about their recoveries. As they spoke I looked around at the people in the audience, and saw many heads nodding yes to the comments on recovery. I could see the pain still looming in the eyes of some who sat on the fringes.

I grew up in a family that alcohol and drug use was common. As a teenager I clung to the edges of alcohol addiction, as that was what was normal. Every weekend, it was expected to party and drink until you got sick. Luckily my body did not like drinking, so I managed to not fall into that pit and drugs did not appeal to me at all. But for many years, drinking was how I coped. I was more fun, more outgoing, and lost any inhibitions I had. I was a shy girl, so drinking certainly helped me be more outgoing. I was lucky I did not get pregnant or worse. We did not always make wise decisions.

Buy the time I was 16, I realized I did not want to walk the road of my family, and set my limit. I was fortunate that I was not one of the many that addiction grabbed by the throat. But even though I had broke the chain of addiction to me, I was still was affected by my families drinking and violence, and then I married an alcohol. No surprise! His drinking created so much anger in me, that I could hardly speak to him. This affected my mental and physical health, my children's lives and of course, my relationship with him. He was dragged down from smoking, drinking, gambling and drugs. There was nothing I could do to help him.

I still feel that terrible feeling in my gut, when I am someplace that people are drinking heavily. Worry, fear, anxiety and stress hits my body and I have to leave.

I feel very blessed to have a life free of addictions, but I do have compassion for those that struggle with their demons. And most of all I admire the courage it takes to tell the world that they are addicts and deal with it each and every day. We don’t know their stories, but I can guarantee, it would be heart-breaking.

One of the speakers today, Dean Lonsdale, a well known musician and actor, spoke of his addiction and how even after he was in recovery, he found the best way to deal with his life was by giving back to the common man. He stopped thinking of himself and served food to the homeless at several downtown shelters.

Kudos to the organizers of this event in Edmonton and Canada wide. The more we talk about these issues, the more we can help those who need it. Addictions can hit any of us, young, old, rich or poor, it does not discriminate.

 

Dianna Bowes is the creative director of Fabulous@50 and editor of Be Fabulous! Dianna is also the author of The Fabulous@50 Re-Experience - Refresh your mind, body and spirit. Available here

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