This is an emotionally difficult blog for me to be posting and I have sadly been procrastinating and dawdling around doing it because of this…………so I am just going to rip the band-aid off and get right down to it.
*tear* *sigh* *tear*
Back in December, I posted this post on my Being the hands & feet of Jesus page, here…..
which is where I keep you all informed about what my current “Give Back Mission” is each month…….This was our “Give Back Mission” in December, check out the original post below…
My husband and I have decided that this will be our mission to give back this holiday season. A good friend of ours is involved in coordinating this. Our lives have been touched by a number of different loved ones who have fought this battle and therefore it is a cause near to our heart. If your family is looking for a way to give back this season feel free to reach out to me and I can help arrange to pick up from locals to help with drop off. I can also provide shipping information for anyone not local looking to support……..or better yet for those of you that live elsewhere, look into starting something like this near your neighborhood to give back locally!!! Thanks! God Bless and have a blessed Christmas Season! Happy Holidays!!!
Now, this blog post was planned by me initially upon launching the original post with the intention to be solely a celebration of everything we were able to accomplish, packed with pictures of all that was collected through our efforts for this cause and I still plan to do that,………..
Together we gathered a dozen of full-sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body washes, shaving creams & toothpaste tubes! We also gathered personal care items in bulk like toothbrushes, feminine products, combs, brushes, and socks in addition to a whole box of various sample sized toiletries and a grocery bag filled with Coffee & creamer! All in all, it was a HUGE success and our friend who was part of coordinating this effort was beyond thrilled at our group contribution and more than that he was genuinely thankful beyond words for so many people being willing to donate to help addicts in recovery……..
……..but this post will also serve as a public service announcement of sorts about the SERIOUS EPIDEMIC THAT HEROIN IS BECOMING. Addiction is a terrible thing, any kind of addiction is terrible and the worst thing about addiction is those suffering from it legitimately feel like they can never escape or aren’t worthy of escaping it. With Heroin becoming more and more easily available and predominant in my region of the United States, we have overwhelmingly more addicts than ever which means more people in detox facilities trying to break free from their addiction.
My husbands extended family has been affected by addiction, heroin specifically. My extended family has been affected by addiction, heroin specifically among other things and my husband and I have watched more friends than I’d like to count that have battled or been affected by that same addiction, HEROIN.
It’s pure evil disguised to the addict as pure bliss and because of this, it takes ahold of the user so easily, after just one use, at a depth one can’t begin to understand if not a user themselves. Aside from the mental addiction, the body quickly becomes physically addicted creating an insatiable hunger that when not fed causes the body to endure withdrawal, extreme physical discomfort & illness.
Every year around the holidays I try to come up with a way for our family to give back. To do something to give back to my community, near or far. In years past we have packed shoe boxes for kids in need, contributed to Angel Tree, made cards for soldiers, filled stockings for low-income families and supported Toys for Tots. This year, my husband and I chose to give back towards the Heroin & Addiction epidemic because we feel it is one more frequently overlooked due to lack of understanding.
When a friend who was more like family to us showed up with this Stockings from Victor project I knew it was the one. It would become our one way to be sure to give back to the world around us……..
Finally, this post will become a tribute to my sweet, dear friend who was apart of coordinating this effort as a positive step in his recovery, because sadly, with my heart breaking, I must type that he has become a statistic of this epidemic….. less than 2 weeks after he completed the delivery of these stockings on Christmas Eve, he fell victim to his disease one final time. You can read about my raw, emotional reaction in my post Heartbroken…. that I wrote the evening he passed as my first attempt at grasping it to be the reality. However the long and short of his specific journey don’t really matter.
After a long holiday season that left him drained from reliving the grief of his previous losses…..
….and after an emotionally overwhelming day which provided him more grief to add to what he was already fighting to manage……..
….he made his way home hoping to fight the already raging hunger in him for that poison and while actively trying to fight the urge to use, his previous dealer reached out to him…….fresh out of jail himself he sold a $60 bag to my friend and valued that $60 over the life of a broken man that was in front of him fighting to stay alive……..and fighting to stay clean. That dealer went out of his way to contact my friend and knew he was handing my friend his last “fix” and in that moment (and honestly probably every selling moment) he valued the money more than the life……..and he gets to keep walking free, until his next “bust”.
So to finish this I will say again, this post has sadly turned into a tribute for my friend, and THIS mission will be our “Give Back Mission” every holiday season until Heroin is wiped from the streets, in honor of my sweet Joe Dear…..
…RIP my dear friend, rest free from your pain, free from your heartbreak, and free from that evil addiction. In your name, I will fight to help keep another family from starting a new year only to have to bury a loved one stricken by this disease because they were too ashamed, weak or tired to fight through another long “happy” holiday season. RIP my sweet friend, and to those still fighting the fight, PLEASE KEEP FIGHTING, SEEK OUT SOURCES THAT CAN HELP, CALL YOUR SPONSOR, CALL A FRIEND, just please, please, please DON’T CALL YOUR DEALER!!! Stay #StroginStrong!