I was talking to Dr. Smith today about Thanksgiving plans and his remembrance of the Grateful Dead seemed fitting. He was a personal friend of Jerry Garcia and the whole bunch, so I guess when he talks about being a fan, different images come to mind than when others do. For me, Thanksgiving reminds me to be grateful I am not dead. Like so many other recovering people, I easily could have been. I believe that addiction is a brain disease. If you are in disagreement I will happily point you to the supporting research and look forward to another convert. Thinking of myself and the days when I was sick with the illness of addiction seems so long ago. I haven’t used a drink or a drug since 1996 and I have a very different life today than the one I seemed predestined for back in those days. Like many people, I am very human and life could be a lot different than it is today. I could have easily been imprisoned or died had I continued to stay sick with this disease of addiction.

Of course if you are reading this and considering getting help, don’t let my view of myself as having recovered from a disease deter you. How you view it or what you call it is of little consequence. What really matters are the things in life that matter and you decide that just as I have decided it for myself. We all have our nuanced ways of looking at the world. What really matters, at least today, is whether or not we have a lot to be grateful for. I know that today I do.