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Daddy Yankee is going to have a stellar 2020.

Or at least according to the legendary Puerto Rican astrologer Walter Mercado he will.

There are few things more vital to a recovering addict’s journey than friends, family, and traditions – both new and old. At this time of year here in Miami, and throughout most of South Florida, and even beyond, many New Year’s Eve parties would typically culminate with a gathering around the TV to view the iconic, and always entertaining, Walter. His predictions for the coming year would set the stage for many groups of families and friends. His voice and visage were more a harbinger of the New Year than any firework could ever hope to be. His aire was love, compassion, and light. He never brought a cross word or any ill intent. As 2019 came into being, he predicted that it would be a year of transitions that required strength. And now as 2020 knocks on the door, we understand a bit more about why his prediction for 2019 was true. 

Walter passed away in early November of 2019. His 2020 predictions, taken down from his bedside by his ever present niece (who will carry on his mission), will be his final drop of love and knowledge to the world. He predicts a year that will be tough, but one that will teach us important things and will open our eyes.

Now, whether you believe in what Walter made his life about or not really shouldn’t matter. The big picture of Walter is love. He was a trendsetter in that department. 50 years worth of love and acceptance. He was a groundbreaking force in accepting people for who they are on the inside, not what they looked like, who they loved, what color their skin was, or what they believed. If you were a beautiful human, you were Walter’s kind of people!

And that is where Walter’s life and lessons cross over into the world of addiction and recovery.

Without acceptance, love, and forgiveness, addiction cannot transition into recovery. Without care for the individual who is suffering, that individual may never see the other side of addiction. It takes a lot to love yourself enough to fight for recovery. And it takes just as much to put the past behind you and fight for a loved one’s sobriety as well.

The world of addiction is a messy place. It can turn you into something that is so far removed from who you truly are, you won’t even recognize yourself in the mirror. The desperate acts that seem normal, the lies, the hurt, it all piles up in that world. And without unconditional love from those around you, and from yourself, recovery and sobriety can seem like an unachievable goal, one that will never be reached, so why even try?

There’s a much mocked and maligned adage that seems to pop up at the beginning of every new year – “New Year, New Me.” The mockery comes from a place of failure and distrust, of short lived resolutions and commitment. And while that line is the butt of many a joke, it carries within it real hope. Real achievable hope.

2020 is almost upon us. An entire new calendar is about to hit. A literal clean slate stretches out before you. There’s no predicting what will happen for you this year. Your 2020 story will unfold with every decision, every success, every failure, every triumph, and every stumble. How will you handle it? What will you do? If the road becomes too rough, know that we’ll be here for you at Compass, because we believe what Walter believed – that a human is more than their tragedies and their fails, and that everyone deserves support, hope, encouragement, and love. 

Predicting the future is a tricky business! But ensuring that the future is bright is not. That happens in every moment and every decision. In 2020, give yourself every chance to succeed, and your future is certain to be bright!

Brooks V.
Brooks V.
Brooks has been a freelance journalist for the better part of two decades, as well as spending a decade as a crisis intervention counselor. Through his own work and researching the work of others throughout the many facets of the detox, crisis intervention, and mental health worlds he has been able to tell the stories of those worlds in an effort to help addicts and those with mental illnesses understand and navigate them.