Family and friendship feeds my soul. Healthy, loving relationships are known as “primary nutrition.” Even if we are eating the right foods, exercising and getting enough sleep, if our relationships are unhealthy, we cannot thrive in wellness.

In my nearly 8 years of recovery from Substance Use Disorder, I have been blessed to rebuild my relationships with my children. This “primary nutrition” is what feeds my heart and soul each and every day on a cellular level.

I have also rebuilt my friendships with my nearest and dearest friends of 30, (Miriam) and even 40 plus years (Bill, Vicky, and my nephew, 17 year old Joey). We grew up together with our children. They too feed my heart and soul. I have also built new friendships that feed my heart and soul, and all provide me with a “full meal.”

David is my bestie who lives in England, and is one of my dearest friends, my colleague, and my confidante. We talk every day via text, all throughout the day sharing information, supporting each other’s work and events, laughter, and we have at least a once a week FaceTime or a phone conversation. With us, conversations can last for hours. We have so much in common, are passionate about the same things, love the same hobbies such as music and reading, we’re both foodies, coffee connoisseurs, exercise lovers, wellness junkies, and I always come away with pearls of wisdom, a light heart, and feeling understood, valued, and loved.

David and I “get each other,” and never have to explain the meaning behind our words. This relationship flows, and it fills my heart with joy. We are always truthful, respectful, and value the others input. We support each other unconditionally both professionally, and personally. To me, this is the meaning of friendship.

Today my daughter Sarah, and David, knew I was going to get my hair done. Not really an important event. Yet, almost at the same time, they both texted me and said, “Send pics!” When I responded to David, “It feels so nice to be cared about,” he immediately sent me an audio response that said, “Of course you’re cared about, of course. And that is what family and good friends do. They consistently care throughout their lives.” His words dove deep into my heart. Yes, consistency. Something that everyone looks for in relationships…consistency and continuity, but many times, others become so involved in all they themselves are doing, or are knee deep in their own lives, they are not “consistent.” In my opinion, consistency is the key to ongoing communication, and communication is the foundation of a relationship.

I needed that “primary nutrition” to feed my hunger today, and Sarah and David filled my plate with love, with caring, with joy, and with selflessness that made my heart soar, and reminded me that I am never alone, and that I am loved. Yesterday, it was my loving son, Matthew, who checked in, as usual, to exchange a loving connection, as well as my daughter, Olivia.

David always says, “I love you,” at the end of our conversations, as do all of my children, and my two best girlfriends, Vicky and Miriam, without whom I would be lost. Miriam and I talk almost every day, and Vicky and I have a standing “self care” girl’s day together every other Saturday, and we keep in touch throughout the week. My children and I stay connected ongoing throughout the week via texts, calls, and FaceTime, and once a week my son and I enjoy an in person, socially distant short visit for a coffee, and a walk through the local farmer’s market where we catch up, laugh, and enjoy some quality time.

These healthy, loving relationships, which are considered our “primary nutrition,” feed my heart and soul, my spiritual thirst, and promotes wellness on a cellular level.

Science has shown us that the relationships that we choose to engage in will either promote inflammation, if they are of a toxic nature, on a cellular level, or promote wellness on a cellular level, when these relationships are healthy, loving, and fulfilling.

Wellness is a choice.

Love and blessings,



Wendy Blanchard, M.S., INHC, NYCPS