Jocelyn DeWalle, middle, gathers before the recent Vancouver BMO with friends Kristine Ewald, Brenna Sterner, Trish Nicoli, and Raina Trappl (L-R) Running is one of the tools DeWalle uses to maintain a healthy lifestyle after battling through years of drug addiction. Photo contributed

Terrace Standard story found uplifting

“I hope Jocelyn DeWalle’s story inspires and educates those that don’t struggle with addiction to learn more about it, not judge and be empathetic.”

Dear Sir:

A big thank you to Jocelyn DeWalle for sharing her story in the May 24 issue of The Terrace Standard.

Addiction is very common, whether it be with drugs, alcohol, food, etc. It can also affect anyone.

Addiction has nothing to do with willpower; researchers actually classify it as a complex disease.

Unfortunately, many people hide their addiction issues because of stigma and shame – even if they are now clean and sober. This is just one of the many factors in why addiction is highly misunderstood – similar to mental illness.

A close family member of mine was an addict for many years. Until her problems got really bad, we didn’t even realize. She is sober now; she has been for more than 15 years. But her struggle continues daily.

The hard work really begins once a person makes the decision to become sober and conquer their demons. It can be a lonely battle and support from loved ones, like DeWalle’s running friends and husband, play a huge part. As they say, once an addict, always an addict, even if you are sober.

It’s for this reason, consistent ways of managing your issues, such as running, are so important.

I truly commend DeWalle for doing the hard work, for her own sake and for those around her. I hope her story brings hope to others with similar issues and shows them that they too can get sober and live a good, healthy life.

I also hope DeWalle’s story inspires and educates those that don’t struggle with addiction to learn more about it, not judge and be empathetic.

Sarah Artis,

Terrace, B.C.

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