Today, my family is finishing a long weekend. We really needed the time to stop and reflect and just enjoy each other. Everyone is going through struggles in their lives, some are much worse than others. We never know what a person is going through and how much a simple smile or hello can do for a person.
At the start of the weekend I was so excited to be able to meet both Antonio and Alexis, two new friends and fellow hope warriors. Antonio (TeeLow) was performing at a Teen Challenge in Sandusky, Ohio. Please check out some of his music here, it is motivational and inspirational. His words touch me and I became a fan and friend instantly. Alexis is just as amazing, she did a project last Sunday in Philly to raise awareness and promote ENDING THE HATE. It was very powerful and I am excited to do something with them and just see them again.
Yesterday morning, I was looking at my Facebook feed and the video below was shared from Alexis. Gratitude is so important in any person's live. I believe that we should stop and think about what we are grateful for. I have a reminder in my journal to prompt me with the question "What I am grateful for today?". Even on a tough day there are things to be grateful for, it may just be waking up. It may be meeting a person, having a job, or having people who care about you. There are so many things to be grateful for.
If we are not grateful, then we take things granted and expect things.
I have been around people in active addiction and recovery for most of my life. I have seen the torment and sadness in the eyes of people in active addiction. I have also seen the HOPE and SHINE of people in recovery.
Recovery to me can be from many parts of a person's life. I am someone with chronic depression and panic and anxiety attacks.I also know that I have addictive personality. I have to be very careful when participating in certain things so they don't take control of my life. I was blessed that I did NOT spiral in drug addiction like so many of my family and friends. I think back and ask myself why I was able to change my way of life and Amber was not. Why did she have to pass away. I think back and wonder why my family had to go through so much. Then, I stop and think of other people and the struggles they have.
When Amber passed I lost my faith. I have been trying to regain it over the past 2 years and it is difficult. But, I am very grateful for the people I have met during this time. Wonderful people who are battle to stay in recovery while helping others to start their journey. People who have lost their loved ones also and are now speaking out to help others. People who have loved ones in recovery or active addiction and are trying to help fight this horrible epidemic.
I am grateful for my supportive family. Without them I don't know what I would have done. I hope and pray that I am as supportive to them as they are to me. My wife is my rock, she is there for me 100% and I know that I am blessed to have her. So many others would have walked away long ago because of how addiction affects the whole family. But she stayed, she was there to help Amber. She was there to help me and my family. She is a wonderful mother and wife.
Please visit the above Facebook link and leave a comment of what you are grateful for.