from HER

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - NEWS - Lindsey Wells, As­so­ci­ate Ed­i­tor

Well, that was fast. Just yes­ter­day we were get­ting ready for the hol­i­days and now an­other year is upon us. It’s not as if it snuck up on me; I knew it was com­ing. I do own a cal­en­dar. Life just flies when you’re hav­ing fun.

I hope every­one had a lovely hol­i­day season and may you all have a pros­per­ous 2018 filled with hap­pi­ness, op­por­tu­nity, and kept New Year’s res­o­lu­tions.

As the per­son mostly in charge of choos­ing the sub­jects we cover in HER, peo­ple of­ten ask me how we choose our sub­jects. Of course we heav­ily con­sider what we think you, the read­ers, want to see, but the an­swer is pretty straight­for­ward: we choose women we ad­mire and sub­jects that make an im­pact.

The theme of this is­sue of HER is new begin­nings. A re­cur­ring sub­ject in this is­sue is sub­stance abuse and ad­dic­tion, and the re­al­ity is that this sub­ject has touched most of us, whether per­son­ally or through friends or fam­ily. This sub­ject is near and dear to my heart, as it’s touched my life, too. The men and women you will meet in this is­sue are ei­ther sur­vivors of ad­dic­tion or have joined the fight against it through their pro­fes­sions and vol­un­teerism, or both, and I ad­mire each and ev­ery one of them.

This isn’t a com­fort­able sub­ject. It’s not some­thing peo­ple like to talk about, but I think it’s some­thing that war­rants way more at­ten­tion that it’s re­ceiv­ing. Be­cause, be­hind ev­ery addict is a per­son who would give any­thing to be freed from the chains of ad­dic­tion. Sadly, most don’t have the re­sources or ed­u­ca­tion to do so.

Af­ter talk­ing to these in­di­vid­u­als this month, and through my own ob­ser­va­tions and ex­pe­ri­ences, I can tell you one thing I have learned to be ab­so­lutely true: The stigma at­tached to ad­dic­tion is, and al­ways has been, wrong. Ad­dic­tion doesn’t just af­fect “bad peo­ple.” There is no dis­crim­i­na­tion; it doesn’t mat­ter if you’re rich or poor, black or white, fa­mous or un­known, man or woman. It doesn’t mat­ter what age you are, what kind of fam­ily you were raised in, whether you at­tend church on Sun­days or what your bank ac­count looks like. Ad­dic­tion is an equal op­por­tu­nity destroyer.

On the front cover is Lind­say Mulkey, the new sub­stance use preven­tion spe­cial­ist at CHI St. Vincent who aims to ed­u­cate Gar­land and sur­round­ing coun­ties on the dan­gers and re­al­i­ties of all types of sub­stance abuse, in­clud­ing nico­tine, al­co­hol, and il­le­gal and pre­scrip­tion drugs. Lind­say is fo­cused on get­ting to the root of the prob­lem and pre­vent­ing this prob­lem from spread­ing further.

At the be­gin­ning of ev­ery year, I briefly think about what my New Year’s res­o­lu­tions should be be­fore promptly erad­i­cat­ing the thought from my mind com­pletely. It’s not en­tirely be­cause I think New Year’s res­o­lu­tions are point­less; it’s just that I don’t have the best record at keep­ing them. “More ex­er­cise,” I’ll say, or, “Less Dr Pep­per,” be­fore re­mem­ber­ing that I can’t live with­out Dr Pep­per and giv­ing up all to­gether. Also, I think we should strive for growth and im­prove­ment through­out the en­tire year, not just at the be­gin­ning of it.

Happy New Year to all of you from all of us here at HER Mag­a­zine.

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