Two words that are similar and yet so far apart.

“Nothing is more powerful than custom or habit.”
– Ovid

“People who have never had an addiction don’t understand how hard it can be.”
– Payne Stewart

Anyone who knows me knows that I love shoes. Not all shoes of course. They have to have that certain instep, that certain quality, that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’. When Saks Fifth Avenue was still in the Stamford mall here in New England, the shoe department manager and staff knew me well. I was like a kid in a candy shop. We had such a great time. They knew that I never bought on my first visit to a new pair of shoes. They even let me know when the deepest of sales were going to begin. And sometimes they went a little further and ‘hid’ the pair that I had visited half a dozen times in case I wanted them. It could be several months before I might buy.. Was it a habit of mine? Or was I addicted?

Seems silly that I would even ask the question. Addiction though, is not something to be laughed at or shrugged away. Habits and routines can turn into addiction.  So many use the guise of routine or habit as an excuse to continue the doing. And for many, that habit can turn into addiction. Addictive behavior can come in many forms, eating, drinking, drugs and gambling are just some. Usually addiction is used as a coping method. It can be destructive and often times, deadly. And it’s not easy to break. For so many, they see it as an impossibility.  Lucky for me, it was a habit or even a ritual and not an addiction.

How can a recovering addict finally get and keep the sparkle in her eye? You may remember Wendy Kaufman as the face of Snapple Beverage during the 1990’s. What would you do if your job gave you so much free time that you were bored? How about replying to every single piece of fan mail that was addressed to the company? That’s how Wendy got to be ‘The Snapple Lady’.

But how did Wendy get there? She was an addict, drugs, drinking and food. She was 13 when the addictions started. Wendy, now 30 years sober, takes us back to the beginning and boldly and openly speaks about addiction, self-worth, recovery and that sparkle that she finally saw in her eyes. A sparkle that she has never lost. Hear her story on this week’s podcast, ‘Sylvia & Me’. I could not ask for a better woman to start off our 2nd season.

Cheers to all, Sylvia