oh boy, i've come down with a cold today & have a pretty bad headache. hopefully the flu jab i had earlier in the year will mean that it's not too severe. i've had a couple of sleepless nights, which have probably led to this. but only a few days to go. the end of ramadan will either be on friday or saturday, depending on when the moon is sighted.
in other news, i've just put up a post at the hand mirror re the australian elections finally being resolved & julia gillard being confirmed as the new prime minister. given that it's been a pretty sad week in nz, what with earthquakes, flooding & a major plane crash, it's nice to have some positive news.
the topic for today is another one of those where i'm thankful for the absence of something. in this case, i'm extremely thankful that i've never been addicted to anything. it helps that i follow a religion that prohibits substances which lead to intoxication. so i've never been drunk, never smoked cigarettes, nor taken any other stronger substance. i've never gambled - i don't even buy raffle tickets. i don't have a serious addiction to food. i'm lucky that i've never even felt the slightest bit of temptation to do any of these things.
i'm grateful for all the things that this has protected me from. it means that i save heaps of money, and haven't been in the position of using money needed for essentials to feed my addiction. it means that my family hasn't had to suffer as a result, by going without. it means that i haven't given birth to a child suffering from fetal alchohol syndrome nor any other type of addiction. i've avoided any number of health issues that arise from addictions, although it's more true that health issues cause addictions.
which is why i'm not meaning to judge people who do suffer from addictions, which can arise from any number of reasons - perhaps a response to childhood sexual abuse, trauma, or peer pressure as teen. whatever the reason, addictions require a supportive response from society rather than condemnation. many addictions leave people weak and vulnerable to exploitation, and it's sad to see so many who are ready to exploit that vulnerability. pokies for example, especially placed in large numbers in poor neighbourhoods.
causes to support in this area are the problem gambling foundation, alchoholics anonymous, the life education trust, and smokefree. in amongst the cuts made by our (not so) wonderful government, funding for anti-smoking initiatives has been cut by $12 million, even though the tax take from cigarettes has gone up. really clever, people.
for those who suffer from addictions that hamper their ability to lead a full life, and for the families of those who struggle to deal with a person suffering from a serious addiction, my thoughts & prayers are with you.