2016 has been a very pivotal year.

Most would say it has been a year of tremendous loss, myself included. However, in reflecting on the year as a whole here’s what I have learned and experienced first hand:

Many of the fervent advocates fighting this epidemic are the moms of active substance users, moms of children in recovery and grieving moms. There is a ocean of committed mothers fighting to save just one family from the grief and torment of this disease and they are fierce!

While this is community is not a place any of us ever wanted to be a part of or would wish anyone else be a part of, it is without a doubt the most committed community I have ever been in. You see, when someone we know is suffering, there is always someone there to step up and let you know you are not alone.

When one of us are attacked, we are all attacked. And that doesn’t go over well because the mama bears will rise up and come to each other’s aid on a moment’s notice.  I have experienced it first hand, many times throughout 2016, and I will forever be grateful for the support I received from these quiet, yet fiercely loyal warriors.

There is something to be said for how this disease changes the family and community dynamics and while we each suffer from our own stressors and triggers in our own way, at the end of the day, we are never alone in any of this fight.

This is not to diminish many of the dads out there fighting, but from my perspetive, I am attuned with all of the mom groups and so I write from this point. I am sure that the dads are just as fierce. Two men come to mind, William Scannell  and Cris Fiore are on the forefront and we value and appreciate all that they do. As well as the many other warrior dads out there fighting.

Yet, when it comes to the many moms that I have encountered over the last 2 years, I can attest, that when you mess with one mama bear, you get them alland there are tens of thousands of us. Who knew?

The women of this community are strong, seasoned, and steadfast in their resolve to put an end to this suffering. And though we may get weary at times, you can rest assured that in times of crisis, one or 1000 of them, will be by your side, lending you their strength to continue your fight, regardless of whatever it is you are facing. 

So while this year has brought untold grief and left many bereft, it has also shined an enormous light on the true meaning of community. And with that, I thank each of you for your good work and commitment and bid 2016 goodbye.

May your 2017 be better than the last.

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!


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