“We should never doubt the potency of compassion.”  ~Molly Fumia, Safe Passage

More than anything, I thank you for listening to me rant all year about addiction and recovery.  I certainly had my ups and downs in 2017, and my blogs reflect those attitudes and feelings.

There were some months I had to force the writing and others it seemed to flow.  I can tell when I re-read them, which ones flowed and which ones didn’t.   My favorite blog of the year was my music blog – it flowed easily from my heart.  I remember writing it in an hour, while some of my other blogs painfully took me all day. My intention with my blog is mostly to raise addiction awareness, but occasionally it is about my own grief and recovery process – thus the “A Journey in a Blog” sub-title.

If I had a wish for 2018 and beyond, it would be to alleviate the suffering caused by addiction, keeping in mind the potency of compassion.  I believe, in our current climate, compassion is being replaced by harshness, bordering on cruelty at times – it troubles me.  It seems like some of humanity has taken a step backwards.

There are people who truly need help, regardless if they deserve it or not. Grace isn’t earned by good behavior – only God is the judge of who deserves grace. I believe compassion and understanding are a big part of overcoming the stigma of addiction.  Most people only understand from their level of perception, and a lack of understanding usually motivates their harshness.

Stigma is based on preconceptions instead of facts – the facts say addiction is a disease.

Compassion doesn’t mean cleaning up the consequences of addictive behavior.  It means understanding it is not a moral failure. The moral failure is merely a symptom of the disease, not an explanation of what’s wrong with the addicted person.  It is a fact addicts exhibit bad behavior while they are under the influence that they would not otherwise do.  It is not a fact they are choosing to be addicted.

We are dealing with a sick person, not a bad person – a person who needs treatment like any other disease.  

I sound like a broken record, don’t I?

By God’s grace, some of you have not been afflicted or impacted by addiction.  Count your blessings.  I don’t think every little thing in life can be explained, and grace is one of those things.  It is in this mystery that I find meaning and gratitude.

I look at every addict and I see my son.  Where once it was just him, he is now many.  I look at every parent and I see myself.  Where once it was just me, I am now many.

Thank you for being here with me on my journey in a blog.  You give me strength to move forward in doing my small part in alleviating the suffering caused by addiction, and I am encouraged by the progress being made in ending the stigma and in treating addiction as an illness.

I wish you all a meaningful New Year that opens your heart to compassion and understanding in all areas of your life.

Mary Cucarola – December 6, 2017

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