Saturday, November 24, 2007

Most wonderful time of the year?

Ordinarily I might have been happy that Thanksgiving came early this year and we have an extra week between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s because I always thought Christmas was a magical time and enjoyed everything about it—decorating, baking, shopping and wrapping, sending and receiving Christmas cards. And the music—especially the music.

Life was simpler then, even those years as a single mother. This weekend, I can’t stand to listen to those songs that bring back memories of simpler, happier times. I’m heading right down the road to Grinchville where, most days, I feel I could become the queen Grinch!

It’s been a tough year for me in many ways, for many reasons. But my own problems pale beside those of an alcoholic struggling not to take that drink, the addict fighting not to relapse, or someone with a serious mental illness trying to stay on their medicine and be their best.

It’s the season when depression is prevalent, alcohol and drug binges are up, domestic abuse increases. Not so joyful.

But I’ve done a reality check and I know I have a choice. I can choose to be grateful, pray for my loved ones who are struggling, do something for someone less fortunate. Remind myself I cannot control anyone else but I can control my own thoughts and actions.

When it’s all said and done, maybe it won’t be such a bad holiday season after all.

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The Disease of Addiction

Five young people died of drug abuse during the last year in a small community outside Austin, Texas. The mother of 25-year-old Travis Morford, who died of an overdose of Xanax and alcohol, knew she had to do something.

So she and four other mothers founded Disease of Addiction, or DOA, to help people in their community think about underage drinking and drug use, and the risk of addiction. Kudos to them!

Their first public event, a town hall meeting at a local high school, was titled “I’m Your Disease” and drew 400 people. A great start . . . but can they really change the culture? Can they make a dent in the thinking that brought about the deaths of five young people in just one year? What do you think?

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