No One Chooses to be an Addict

My heart started to ache so badly last night, when I browsed through the internet looking for details of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, and I can’t even grasp the horrible comments that people are leaving. The public is so damn mean, there are so many haters out there, and it is just hard to believe! It is sooo overwhelming to say the least. He was someone’s son, someone’s father and someone’s loved one. He was an amazing actor! He was a human being!
Black ribbon

There is so much judgment. It’s wretched. There are millions of us out there and I am one of them! My heart goes out to his family, friends and fans. This is such an insidious disease! It robs us of all will to have any say about anything. No one chooses to be an addict or alcoholic! It sure was not my childhood dream!

Coming to terms with my alcoholism was grueling, and getting sober was the toughest thing that I have ever done in my entire life! I spent four years relapsing. I should have died many times over! Why not me??? I don’t know. But I know I had no control over my addiction to alcohol, and I sure did not select this route for my life. I had never, ever dreamed of being an alcoholic!

It is hard for me to believe that the stigma of addiction/alcoholism is still so paramount. It is everywhere! It keeps us away from searching out help and treatment. It confides us to a life of loneliness, shame and then death.

Junkie! Drugie! Looser! Better off dead! – The comments scream all over the place.

I read this now and I am so disturbed. Yet, I know that I used to be that person – I used to judge this way. I never got into drugs because my dad would always talk down about people using drugs; those were the ones that had no morals what so ever! But drinking was, for the most part, OK. Drugs were not at all. That’s what I believed, for many years. Then come to find out that my bio mom was an alcoholic! My entire family hated her and never had anything good to say about her, ever! And then, my uncle, alcoholic and addict, who sold off most of my grandmother’s antiques to support his habit. Oh yes! These were the losers in my family, and everyone knew about them.

Then me. Me!? Really?! Me?! Not possible!

It was absolutely excruciating to find out that I was one of them! But I was. I am. That is when I realized that people do not choose to be addicts. I did NOT choose to be an alcoholic, as a matter of fact I would have done anything in this world just not to be an alcoholic, like them, like my mom! But I am. And I know now that there is hope. There is sobriety!

The stigmas are alive and well, all around us! The shame seems to further damage those of us who have recovered and continue to feel the need to remain silent so we too don’t get stereotyped – because by getting sober we are admitting that we had a problem! Addiction/alcoholism awareness is greatly hindered when those in recovery are virtually invisible.  I must speak up, we must!

Another one of us did not make it…

Rest in peace Phillip Seymour. May your legacy stand as another reminder to all of us that this disease KILLS!

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at sobercourage@gmail.com.

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. Maggie, people are going to hate on anything and everyone. The internet especially is rife with trolls and ignorant folks just looking to stir up hatred and drama wherever they go. Don’t let it pull you down–that means they win. Stigmas are still out there, but they are much fewer than they were and, like I wrote before, nearly all of us can relate to addiction in one way or another. Very few are untouched. Don’t let the rude voices of a few drown out the majority. Most people are good and understanding, don’t listen to the haters. Keep doing your thing. You’re awesome.
    xoxo, C

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  2. Thanks Christy! I really appreciate your comment. I have to remember that this is not the majority of people. It just saddens me. And yet I feel more empowered to speak up, to share my story, to help others. I know there is hope… there is always hope.

    Thank you again. Sending many hugs.

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  3. mishedup says:

    ..and there is the take-away, the gift “I feel more empowered to speak up, to help others. I know there’s hope there is always hope”.
    Yes,maggie, yes!
    we know there is hope and we must raise our voices and be honest about our own struggles wight his insidious disease. WE know we are everywhere…and WE know the truth. Whenever I can I feel compelled to say what I can to counter the stigma, because the stigma is what keeps people from getting help. I know I didn’t believe I was an alcoholic, sitting in the office of my lovely home drinking jack I was pouring from a bottle hid in the desk drawer. I had a life, a job, a house, no DUI…but I tell you what, I am one needle away from an overdose, one drink away from never coming back.
    And I have hope and am grateful to know who I am, because I can change and I can be useful in helping others change.
    xo

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    1. Hi Mished Up! Thanks for the great comment. I totally agree, the stigma keeps people from getting help. Oh and me too! I can so relate to your line “I am one needle away from an overdose, one drink away from never coming back.” Plus fro me I had a DUI, and why a survived all those crazy situations I put myself in… no clue. But not, that I am sober, I can share my story be helpful to others who are still struggling. There is hope, there is always hope!

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  4. HighOnHugs says:

    Well said Maggie! Just shared on my HOH FB page. I actually just wrote about his death yesterday. I did read what others were saying and it just pisses me off badly. Kinda like all the posts about coca-cola’s Super Bowl commercial, people where outraged at using other languages to sing our national anthem.

    Hello?! America the Beautiful is NOT our National Anthem!

    That alone made me realize that people have bad stuff to say on any topic out there. It somehow made me feel better about all the horrid comments about PSH’s death.

    Not to say that it still sucks big time that people just don’t get this is a disease. Just like cancer we didn’t choose to get it!

    I guess like racism still existing some things don’t go away fastest enough for me. All the more reason to practice love, tolerance, patience, trust, faith, and sharing our stories, our truths, solutions and hope!!

    I love you Maggie. You’re my cyber sister from another mister!!

    Hugs!
    Clairey

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    1. Hi Clairey! Thank you for the true reminder – love, tolerance and patience! And it starts with me. It starts with us! There are always going to be haters out there I guess. And I suppose that’s their problem, really. People find crap about anything. And complain about anything. I think this just feels so close to home, you know. Well, anyways, all I need to do is keep trudging forward, continue sober and help another alcoholic!

      Lol – sister from another mister – too funny! Love ya lots. Hugs.

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      1. HighOnHugs says:

        I’ll be trudging with you!!

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  5. Ooohhh what RoS said. I haven’t seen any negative comments but I can only imagine what they’re saying. It’s heartbreakingly sad.. xx

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    1. YES, it’s hard to believe, someone’s death can bring out so much hatred. Or maybe people don’t have anything else better to do with them selves! lol! I know how drugs and alcohol addictions are, I have seen many die. It just hurts a bit more when I see that crap. I guess I need to stay away from the internet feeds for a while.

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  6. Glenn says:

    It certainly is easy for anyone to express themselves with unbridled negativity when hidden behind a keyboard or even in what is presumed to be live, close, personal company after a shoulder or two has been peered over for safety’s sake. This form of misunderstanding and how it applies to the everyday common person alcoholic/addict has always made me smile; sardonically not with glee of course.

    I am confident that there are more than a few people who have held court over me without my knowledge due to my very low bottoms in substance abuse and due also to the fact that the products of those bottoms are public information and that I was a long-time bartender who had a rather visible lifestyle. So it goes. None of it bothers me in terms of being judged; only what my poor mother may have had to hear whispered in different circles.

    In an effort to humanize (for lack of a better word) my addictions and my past I am as transparent as I can be with it all. While I am confident it takes some people aback and makes some even bristle it is my hope to let people understand that I know I wasn’t a high quality character while active in addiction and I own up to it. I also take full credit for having come as far as I have and for having grown as much as I have.

    Everyone knows someone with an addiction. Whether they are aware of it or not, they quite possibly even love someone who has some sort of addiction. The addiction doesn’t make the person a bad human being but that person can be guilty of poor if not horrible decision making. There is however a person worth loving behind all the poor decisions, much like you have stated in the case of PSH.

    It is my hope that people, like you Maggie, who write about addiction and recovery help to open the eyes, directly or indirectly, of those who do not understand addictions of loved ones or of themselves. You do good work and I am glad to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What Glenn said. He said it all, pretty much.

      And the haters will hate, – that’s what they do. Ignorance of an issue is their own issue, not mine. I responded to someone the other day on a blog who said something like what you read…and I did it as diplomatically as i could, but then just almost regretted it. I am not sure how much I can change that opinion….I just let it go.

      Great post 🙂

      Paul

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      1. Hi Paul, thanks! Omg. I found myself replying to someone the other day too. It is actually how the tittle of this post came to, it was my reply to their comment about PSH being a junkie. They said something like “War is tragic, this is just another junkie gone.” There was many of those kind of comment out there. I am not sure how much I can change that thinking either… But I can always try, right? 🙂

        Thanks Paul, I hope you and the fam are doing well and staying warm!

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    2. What an awesome comment Glenn! And thank you for the kind words. I guess it is easier to blab hate from the keyboard, or are these people really that way anyways. Hmmm… That’s another post entirely. Lol.

      I love your honesty and openness. That is really courageously. I have parts of my not so pleasant past on this here blog, and geez, I have to say, I do wonder if that is going to bite me in the a$$ one day. I am sure there were people who read it and that said – good grief, what a _____. But hell, I am not that person anymore and that’s why I believe that it was important to put that out there. To show that we can change, that we can get sober and that we can have good, productive and happy lives. And thank you for being here and writing about recovery and for being a big part of the recovery world too!

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  7. it’s hard to understand an addicts mind…behavior..etc…unless you are an addict yourself. To feel that much internal pain. To feel the only solution is drugs or alcohol. To understand that, is to be an addict.

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    1. ” To understand that, is to be an addict.” oh…. this is so true isn’t it! Thank you!

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  8. Lisa Neumann says:

    That’s what I love about my cyber blogging friends. We just keep the love coming because we know that love is the answer. If negativity worked, if judgment worked the world wouldn’t be at war. My recovery friends are some of the best people I know on the planet. Great post. Lisa

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    1. Hi Lisa! Thank you for stopping by! I love the blogging community too and all the love; love is the answer for sure! We stick together, we support, we care and we find that we are all the same. We are joined by an addiction, no matter to what, and a common goal to live in sobriety!

      Like

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