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!
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.
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! Loser! 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 was addicted! My entire family hated her and never had anything good to say about her, ever! And then, my uncle was addicted, 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 chose to be was addicted as a matter of fact I would have done anything in this world just not to be was addicted, 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.
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 Use Disorder (AUD)*, please check out the Sober Courage menu at the top of this page for an extensive list of support groups and recovery related articles. You may also find some great inspiration, support and resources at the bottom of this page.
*Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of “alcohol use disorder” or AUD. AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using. (Ref: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders)