|The power of addiction is real. The media will tell you so. Presidential candidates will say so. Moms and dads agree. So do brothers and sisters. Probation officers are on board. Doctors, nurses, therapists and school counselors will stamp their credentials on it. And some of the most amazing athletes whom God has created to wow the world with their superhero abilities fall victim to this power. Their families on the line, their careers, their health, their freedom…….all of it can vanish in what seems to be the blink of an eye. One day they are throwing for 500 yards or breaking homerun derby records on national TV and the next their personal lives and fall from grace are blasted online for millions of people who don’t understand addiction to judge.
Fortunately through experience, education and the wisdom that follows, familiar organizations in the public eye will open their hearts and minds (and sacred baseball diamond) to embrace not only the throws of such an ailment but the true power of recovery, rehabilitation and second chances.
On March 3, 2016, Globe Life Park in Arlington, Tx hosted the first annual ‘semi-exclusive’ Softball Exhibition game between like-minded, although competitive, addiction treatment center representatives from around the country. The goal was to have fun, but the meaning was so much more. We honored our gracious hosts for the integrity and compassion they show the treatment industry without even realizing it. Stigma only exists if you tell it to.
Representatives networked with one another to discuss where addiction treatment has been and where it is going. We ran slow, we pulled hamstrings, we laughed, we played. Some of us updated our bucket list. Others took pictures to make friends and co-workers jealous. And as we wrapped up over a good ballpark meal of hotdogs and hamburgers, we celebrated the other side of addiction. We celebrated the healthy living, the sober days, the smiling families and happy employers, the winning team, the freedom from bondage and the victory that addiction treatment can so powerfully bring. We accept that addiction is real and thank God that recovery is so much more than just possible.
As 2016 marches on, La Hacienda treatment center will spend a lot of time in Arlington, Tx with our new partners. As leaders in our respective industries known for never quitting, we vow to keep healthy living, a healthy workforce and a healthy team as more than an agenda item. To families, professionals and sports fans everywhere, don’t stop shining the light. We’ll see you at the ballpark.