I was listening to the radio the other day and the sports talk hosts were blasting a football player seeking reinstatement after a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The player was a former all star who had failed multiple drug tests and had not played football in over three years due to the suspension. The hosts I am sure have never struggled with anything in life and believe that their opinion was right when it comes to addiction and the ability to overcome the struggle many of us face daily. They said it is just a choice. Many of us know that it is more than that. Whether it is a food, drugs, sex, gambling, or another addiction, it is genetic, psychological, environmental, and physical. It is far more than a choice. It is a brain disorder that once it becomes hardwired into us, it is almost impossible to manage without help and treatment. Addiction is so complicated that most researchers cannot fully explain it. But so many people judge it. How we coped with life in puberty, genetics, our home growing up, and many other factors play a role in the choice. Many of us are given a hand genetically that automatically will create an addiction if all of the cards are placed right in our young lives. The brain is such a powerful force that when it becomes hardwired into an addiction, it does not matter whether you are an all star athlete or day laborer. It will overtake you, keep you hostage, and cause you shame, guilt, loss of loved ones, and terrible internal and physical pain. It becomes not a choice but something that we cannot control and wished in every way that we could. Please understand that no one shames, judges, or hates the addiction more than the person going through the struggle. It takes a complete rewiring of the brain, the body, and environments. If you are struggling in addiction and sincerely want to overcome it, seek treatment. It takes some work but you can recover and ultimately live a life that is happy, healthy, and fulfilled. Be resilient and surround yourself with people who understand, love and challenge you. Begin as soon as possible to get healthy in every way you can. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!



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