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When She Decided To Have Some Fun In Her Friend's Basement, She Had No Idea What She'd Lose

She's tired of the way we think of some people, and I don't blame her.

When She Decided To Have Some Fun In Her Friend's Basement, She Had No Idea What She'd Lose

Addicts don't start with needles in their arms.

Most of us realize that addiction is a disease. But we seem to be less understanding or willing to acknowledge that fact when an addict dies of an overdose. And that's what this is about: Drug addicts don't start with needles in their arms. Their path to addiction begins in a seemingly innocuous place.


Addiction is a progressive disease.

As Janelle says, most people don't just decide out of the blue to get themselves a bag of heroin and a needle. They progress to that point after doing what many kids or young adults do — trying something new, like alcohol or pot.

It's fine. Until it's a problem.

For an addict, knowing they need to stop and being able to stop are two different things.

Addiction costs people everything.

She lost her kids, her stability, and nearly her life (several times). Who'd put themselves in that position knowingly?

Addiction is hard to overcome. And remember: It's a disease.

When someone dies of cancer, we don't assume they didn't try hard enough. So why, when someone dies of addiction, do we point a judgmental finger and ask why they did that to themselves?

What we need: more empathy, less judgment.

Instead of asking, "Well, what did you expect?" when an addict loses their battle, we could try to find some empathy. And we can do that by learning how it happens and how that person got there. Listen to Janelle's talk on addiction for a better understanding.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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Eight months into the pandemic, you'd think people would have the basics figured out. Sure, there was some confusion in the beginning as to whether or not masks were going to help, but that was months ago (which might as well be years in pandemic time). Plenty of studies have shown that face masks are an effective way to limit the spread of the virus and public health officials say universal masking is one of the keys to being able to safely resume some normal activities.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Pete Buttigieg is having a moment. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana keeps trending on social media for his incredibly eloquent explanations of issues—so much so that L.A. Times columnist Mary McNamara has dubbed him "Slayer Pete," who excels in "the five-minute, remote-feed evisceration." From his old-but-newly-viral explanation of late-term abortion to his calm calling out of Mike Pence's hypocrisy, Buttigieg is making a name for himself as Biden's "secret weapon" and "rhetorical assassin."

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