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April 16, 2021

3/23/2021 9:56:00 AM
Stories have been shared, don't doubt them
Last week in our paper, there was information brought forth to our news team about an individual who had relapsed and had been arrested for drug possession in the presence of a minor. Reading it at first glance, it can be easy to make assumptions on the type of person they may be perceived to be. However I encourage all to dig deeper when viewing it.
This individual had graduated the Iowa County Drug Treatment Court Program, a program that has still been very successful, regardless of this unfortunate outcome.
It's important to remember the COVID-19 pandemic is not the only one. It is one of many pandemics piled onto another, causing elevated stress levels, job loss, a perfect storm for anyone to lose control.
On Sunday night, I watched Meghan Markle, wife of Prince Harry, speak with Oprah Winfrey. The discussion was thought-provoking, heartbreaking, and aired situations where Markle felt invalidated by her life experiences. It also shed light on very dark moments for Markle-so dark that she felt that her life was no longer worth living. It was a grim reminder that depression and suicide hold no boundaries and can affect anyone-regardless of their stature in life.
It's important to remember that anyone who relapses in drugs is not a lost cause, a person wanting to end their life is not "attention seeking" or "dramatic." This is a reminder that there are many pandemics that we need to address. They cannot be addressed alone and it is never wise to question someone's experience from being impacted by these pandemics. Questioning and doubting someone stems from narrowmindedness, and a scarcity mindset. The definition of insanity is "doing or thinking the same thing, expecting different results." Change doesn't come from simply speaking about change-it starts with sharing stories of people with real life experiences and how they can be heard to be the catapult for change. Many times, those stories are uncomfortable but necessary components towards change. Change won't happen when we spend our energy criticizing others simply because we don't understand what they've gone through.
The best advice I can tell you is this: let people share their stories uninterrupted, sit with whatever feelings may show up, and take action that doesn't cause harm. If you are struggling, seek help, and most importantly take care of yourself while on the journey.

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