Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Last April A-Z Blog Challenge Update

I thought I would give one last update to the April A-Z Blogging Challenge today. If you have been reading here you know I will be participating in a huge blog challenge in April which starts next Saturday, April 1st. The object of the challenge is based on the alphabet. We are to post a subject each day in April (except on Sunday). The countdown has started.

I announced last week that my theme for this April Challenge will be about Addiction, Recovery, Hope and Healing. I hope that you tune in starting next Saturday to read my April postings. This week I have finished all of my first week of posts. They have been edited and pre-scheduled. This week the challenge is working my full-time job and getting the second week of posts ready. I still have a few letter days I am working on.

As I continue working on the posts I feel so honored to be sharing personal stories from those in my community as well as outside of my community who put in tireless hours reaching out and helping those with substance abuse problems. There are also a few stories in April of personal recovery that I will be sharing. Thank you to all who have gotten back to me and those allowing me to share your personal stories on my blog.

One of the biggest goals for April is to hopefully shine more public awareness on substance abuse. I hope that the personal stories that I will be sharing will show you that people can and do recover from this disease. With the proper pillars of treatment in place, they can and do heal and they go on to do some of greatest things in life.

The stigma relating to substance abuse and addiction does no one good. In fact, it only harms those who are working hard and trying to recover. So many mistakes have been made for instance incarceration of those who are only guilty of having an addiction to a powerful drug. To be truthful handcuffs helped no one except those who own the jails and prisons.

Sending those with substance abuse problems "out of here" is not the answer. There are only roughly 144 beds available across the state on any given day. If you have had any dealing with that you know it's like a lottery or game of BINGO when it is someone you love. Many have died while waiting on a bed. Many others have died because they didn't have transportation to one of those beds.

When I came out of the shadows of stigma last year and decided to hold a memorial and vigil I was tired. I was tired of seeing the many young people dying. Many families that I know. Some that I am related to. I was tired of running into brick walls with my own children who have addiction problems. When the news came out about the plans for 750 Baltimore St. to become a treatment facility I danced with joy. It is about time. Then of course within a few days and weeks, the fight began with zoning and all the other bureaucratic mess surrounding it meanwhile the numbers of overdoses only climbed higher. The number of those losing their fight with this disease continued climbing.

I didn't come out of the stigma of shame to lay down and surrender. I came out with a purpose and a goal that included Hope and Healing. I have met many along the way. Our bond is so great that we are held by the thread of addiction. We scream loudly, no more lives lost. We even locked arms across the Heroin Highway to say, no more!

We on this side know there is so much more work to be done in this fight against addiction and substance abuse. The fight I have in me I credit to my grandchildren whose biggest fear is that they will lose their dad. That he will die. I knew then that I had to do something. I could not live the rest of my life with those kids thinking I did nothing. One of them found their mother overdosed about a year ago in the bathroom. So no. I have to do something. All of those children just like my own grandchildren are the future of Martinsburg, WV and Berkeley County!

For those who have lost their loved ones to this disease, I am saddened. I pray for those families every day. I cannot let their loved ones be forgotten. They did not die in vain. I will always speak their names. Their memories should go on forever, and they will.Their memories will live on forever.  Never Forget Them. I hope that you stick around to read some very exciting posts coming in April.

Thank you. You are amazing!

© 2017 Gossip Girl

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so so much. I am so glad you are participating in the challenge.