Lost and Never Found: An Alcoholics Untold Story

Posted: May 9, 2017 in addiction, Alcoholic, alcoholism, family, inequality, mental health, sobriety, stigma
Tags: ,

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Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared. You see you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love it’s will to reach the sun. Well, we are the rose – this is the concrete – and these are my damaged petals.” —Tupac Shakur

 

Parable of River Babies:

One summer in a small village, all the people gathered for a picnic. As they shared food and conversation, someone noticed a baby in the river, which was struggling and crying. It was clear
the baby was on the verge of drowning and facing imminent death if someone did not act swiftly.

Without thinking twice, someone promptly aborts everything to jump into the river and save the baby. Everyone’s heart had been racing in panic and confusion, rush to ensure the baby is safe. Just as things start to calm down, they notice another screaming baby in the river. Again, someone jumps in to pull the baby to safety.

Soon, more babies were seen drowning in the river and all the townspeople were pulling them out and the entire village was involved in many tasks of rescue work: pulling the poor children
from the stream, ensuring they were properly fed, clothed, housed, and integrated into life of the village. While not every baby could be saved, the entire village spent all their day trying to save as many as possible. As everyone kept busy in the recovery efforts, two townspeople started to run along the shore of the river.

“Where are you going!?” shouted one of the rescuers, “We need you here to help us save these babies!”

“Don’t you see?” They cried, “If we find out how they are getting into the river, we can stop the problem and no babies will drown! By going upstream we can eliminate the cause of the problem.”

“But it is too risky,” said the village elders, “It might fail. It is not for us to change the system. And besides, how would we occupy ourselves if we no longer had this to do all day?”

This parable explains the modern industry of human services. Another version would include someone jumping into the river and teaching the babies to swim. While it is fair to say that everyone in this situation is doing their absolute best to fight the problem, real change is only going to happen once we find out the core problem to eliminate more from falling into the river.

Is there some mysterious illness in these children? Had the shoreline been made unsafe by a natural disaster? Was some hateful person throwing them in deliberately? Or was there an even more exhausted village upstream that had been abandoning them out of hopelessness?

Just like with addiction and mental health, we can fix all the presenting symptoms, but there will never be long-lasting change until we can get to the root of the problem. Everyone is innocent and pure at their core.

The “Bad Person” Argument:

“She just pops them out and then we end up paying for them,” complains a clinician during a staffing session at a mental health facility.

“She just does this to get more drugs,” cries another in agreement.

This aforementioned client has just been admitted as mentally unstable and “just pops them out” refers to self-inflicted knife wounds in her abdomen in a desperate attempt to legally obtain
narcotics.

Without any background, experience, or education in this industry, any group of outsiders could unanimously agree that this behavior is not “normal.” But the behavior and actions are not the questions we need to ask in this industry; rather, the question should center around what is leading to this behavior?

Is it a choice? Is she just a bad person?

Would anyone, with a rational mind, “choose” to intentionally penetrate a sharp blade through their midsection just to score some drugs? Does anyone truly believe that jamming a knife in your stomach is the best available option?

This “choice” theory is still largely, and openly, debated in society. Despite the immense volumes of advanced evidence of addiction and mental illness, the stigma survives. The medical and scientific communities have proven these diseases through a plethora of research, studies, brain imaging technology, along with the work of the top neuroscientists in the world. Yet, the public disagrees.

Shall we debate whether or not the earth is round, the rotation, and how it orbits the sun? Shall we debate how fish do not need to be immersed in water to survive and that is their choice?

Why, as a society, can we not accept the overwhelming evidence regarding mental illness and substance abuse? This stigma we create and support is preventing people from receiving their inalienable human rights.

Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the declaration of Independence states:

“We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable,among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness”

 

I remember this woman’s funeral quite well. Her adult children all arrived from out of town, had not been around for years, but made their grand entrance for the spectacle. You could sense the anger and negative energy in the room.

“She is going to burn in hell,” was the common theme among these kids who had not seen her in years and never really took a peek behind the mask. They never really knew their own mother. They were all in foster care before they were five years old, but made an appearance at her funeral to wish her well spending eternity in flames.

But the oldest daughter always stuck around, caring for her mother as she watched her slowly drink herself to death. Continuing to care for her mother, no one quite understood what made her return day-after-day and take on the abuse. They questioned her mental stability, courage and strength.

While they thought she was weak and pathetic, they missed out on experiencing the strongest and most courageous person in their lives. This level of unconditional love could not be broken. She did not listen to what others said about her, no one could prevent her from loving this “monster.”

Every day, people would expect her to stop showing up, stop caring, stop loving and stop trying. She saw something no one else saw. And if you haven’t been there before, there are no words in the world that can be said to make you understand. And if you have been there before, no words are needed and you already fully understand everything.

The daughter never heard the words, “I love you,” or “I’m sorry.”

There is no storybook ending. The woman died without ever saying goodbye. But, this woman did get what she always desired—to believe she was a good, worthwhile human. She had finally received her life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. This woman finally felt loved for the first time in her life during the last few years.

While the daughter may not have noticed this new unconditional love was reciprocal, I did notice. And it changed me forever.

I saw it in the mother’s eyes and I know the daughter was right all along.

I know so because the drunk lady is my grandmother. And when I was nine-years-old and visiting, I was begging for a football. It’s all that mattered to me. I had to have it, I was impulsive,
I needed it. Now, remember, my grandmother is this same, nasty old drunk I’ve been talking about for the past few pages, but she saw that I truly needed to have this football.

My grandma saw I needed it and she understood. She didn’t drink that day for the first time in nearly 45 years, because she gave me her last seven dollars to buy that football, which I still
have today.

That was my Grandma. And the oldest daughter was my mother.

I love you Grandma. Mom, you are my hero.


Taking the Mask Off: Destroying the Stigmatic Barriers of Mental Health and Addiction Using a Spiritual Solution


taking-the-mask-off-stigma-barriers-mental-health-addiction-spiritual-solution

Taking the Mask Off” is the new book by Cortland Pfeffer and Irwin Ozborne. Cortland Pfeffer spent years as a patient in psychiatric hospitals, treatment centers, and jails before becoming a registered nurse and working in the same facilities. Based on his experience, this story is told from both sides of the desk. It offers a unique and valuable perspective into mental health and addiction, revealing the problems with the psychiatric industry while also providing the solution – one that brings together science, spirituality, philosophy, and personal experience.

“Taking the Mask Off: Destroying the Stigmatic Barriers of Mental Health and Addiction Using a Spiritual Solution” is available on Amazon, and Balboa Press



Comments
  1. revgerry says:

    Reblogged this on IMAGINE YOURSELF HAPPY™ and commented:
    This is a very powerful post about mental illness and addiction. I could not stop reading, tears streaming down my face, and I highly recommend it to you. Many, many thanks to takingthemaskoff for posting it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. shebenlee says:

    Wow! What a sad and beautiful story. There really is this awful black cloud that hangs over alcoholics,drug addicts, mentally ill people. They are all to often simply classed as bad people. People to be weary of, beyond help, undeserving of love or not worth our time. When reality is they are the ones who need it most. I am a drug addict. I have been addicted on various types for nearly 20yrs. Marajuana mostly and recently meth. I am hugely ashamed of this and have spent all my life hiding it from “decent people” No one in my family even knows I’m addicted to meth. I couldn’t bare for them to know, or acquaintances. Because of the stigma and attitude society has on addicts. The thing is I’m a good person. I know I do right by people, I am kind and loving. Be there to help if you need me. I’ve worked in various jobs for most if my adult life and I’m a top employee. And that’s who I am, the real me. Yet my life is tainted with a shameful addiction. I know I’m good yet I feel bad. My whole addiction I have struggled with thoughts that I must be a bad person because society tells us addicts are not worth anything. I was raised in an environment that made me feel like I was a bad person. I had a lot of not so great experiences growing up. All this lead to me believing I was bad, worthless and Unlovable. I guess being an addict was confirmation. I could say, well they are right and it must be true because look at what I became a drug addict. It had taken me 20 years but I am now in a place where I know they were not right. I am and always was a good person. Being an addict though does still make me feel less of a good person. I use drugs for many reason I guess. Mostly simply because I’m addicted, but also to forget. And it wasn’t untill I read your story that it became clear as day to me for another reason.
    ” For the first time in her life, she knew someone loved her, and that made her think that maybe she was ok. ”
    All I’ve ever wanted in life was to know someone really loved me. And then i would be able to think, well maybe I’m ok after all. It’s something for reasons unknown to me, that just never comes my way.
    Maybe I wasn’t ready. Like i mentioned I have done a lot of self help and have come a long way in personal growth and worked really hard to change the way I think about myself and the world around me. So maybe I’m nearly ready to receive the gift of love.
    Your story has made a difference in my life. Knowing that I’m not a bad person because I’m a drug addict helps to lighten the load a bit. I am a good person who unfortunately became addicted and is now putting all her might and will into fighting that addiction.
    Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • you ae not a bad person. you know in native amerian culture that being mentlal ill means you are a healer awaiting to be born, it is all based on perception and our xulture loves to tell people what is “wrong” wiht them. It is a form of control.
      I think the addicts and mentally ill are the wisest, gentles, and most complasionate people we have and we should be embracing them, not shaming them

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Mo Skiie says:

    What a brave story to share. What an eye opener and heart stirrer. Thank you…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear CP,

    I am crying as I write this, and trying not to wipe away my tears, because other people always hand me kleenex saying, “Don’t cry, don’t cry!” when sometimes the world has sad stories to tell and crying is a good good good way to deal with this and their kleenex is just a way of telling me of THEIR discomfort with my feelings.

    But I cry not only out of sadness but because you understood that 12 year old daughter’s undying loyalty and her love for her mother, and you also “got” her drunken abused mother so incredibly well. This has made you, Cortland, such an incredibly empathetic person, I feel honored and a bit safer in the world just knowing you are here in it with me.

    Thank you for feeling safe enough to share this story with us. You amaze me, constantly. I was unable to read this for the longest time, as it brought up difficult feelings but I am so very glad I did…It is an astonishing and uplifting story fundamentally, largely because of your attitude and what you learned from it all. AND because of what you insist on teaching us from it.

    Right on! and WRITE on, and fight the good fight because that is all any of us can do. And thank you Cortland, for being you. You give me hope beyond hope that there is good in the world.

    Love,

    Pamela Spiro Wagner

    Liked by 2 people

    • wow, that really just made my day. you keep the fight going as well. I really appreciate all the kind words. you are a very passionate and caring person as that comes off in all your posts and comments and you are someone that is going to do some real good in ths world, I can sense it.

      Like

    • pamela I also wanted to say I have been waiting for your comment on this one. I always look forward to your comments, and I had not heard from you so I was hoping to hear you liked it. I always get alot from your responses and your own posts on your page.

      This article got features on The Anonymous People Facebook page also so I am glad the sufferiung has hit home with so many people

      Like

  5. Reblogged this on WAGblog: Dum Spiro Spero and commented:
    Here is what I wrote in response to this amazing post on Taking the Mask Off. A difficult post to read but so very worthwhile: Dear CP,

    I am crying as I write this, and trying not to wipe away my tears, because other people always hand me kleenex saying, “Don’t cry, don’t cry!” when sometimes the world has sad stories to tell and crying is a good good good way to deal with this and their kleenex is just a way of telling me of THEIR discomfort with my feelings.

    But I cry not only out of sadness but because you understood that 12 year old daughter’s undying loyalty and her love for her mother, and you also “got” her drunken abused mother so incredibly well. This has made you, Cortland, such an incredibly empathetic person, I feel honored and a bit safer in the world just knowing you are here in it with me.

    Thank you for feeling safe enough to share this story with us. You amaze me, constantly. I was unable to read this for the longest time, as it brought up difficult feelings but I am so very glad I did…It is an astonishing and uplifting story fundamentally, largely because of your attitude and what you learned from it all. AND because of what you insist on teaching us from it.

    Right on! and WRITE on, and fight the good fight because that is all any of us can do. And thank you Cortland, for being you. You give me hope beyond hope that there is good in the world.

    Love,

    Pamela Spiro Wagner

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Wow! I am so moved by your story. Keep doing what you are doing so that others get to see behind the mask too. Powerful stuff! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I came over here because you liked a post of mine over on Fearsome Beard. Thanks for this post and taking off that mask. I am a recovering alcoholic myself. Sober almost three years now. The depths of addiction differ in the stories but they are the same in the disease. It is a disease and I reached a point where I decided to treat it, through sobriety, and not to exacerbate it any longer. Getting sober is not easy and not everyone can do it. I am grateful I can. Stories like yours help people like me, people who are not addicted and even those who are still active in the disease. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. You liked a post of mine and I’m grateful you did. Not for the like but because it brought me here.

    Reading this post brought me to tears. As someone who has lived with deep depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts (and attempts) for much of my life, and grown up in a family in pain, this post touched me. I understand from both being behind the mask and seeing behind the mask.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. createthinklive says:

    Reblogged this on createthinklive.

    Like

  10. Noelene says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. So very powerful.

    Like

  11. The Mama With Bipolar Disorder says:

    This brought me to tears ❤

    Like

  12. […] It is an incredibly well written piece and if you, or anyone you know, suffers from a mental illness or an addiction – depression, alcoholism, cutting, anorexia, gambling etc – this blog is definitely worth reading.  https://takingthemaskoff.com/2014/08/19/lost-and-never-found-an-alcoholics-unknown-story/comment-page… […]

    Like

  13. beebeesworld says:

    I willl follow your blog and invite you to follow mine. beebeesworld

    Like

  14. […] Lost and Never Found: An Alcoholic’s Unknown Story (takingthemaskoff.com) […]

    Like

  15. vitnesslive says:

    Jesus. Brought tears to my eyes for so many reasons, for the pain of generations riddled with this disease, for the painfully sensitive who turn to substances to deal (people like me), and because but for the grace of god there go I. I got sober young and I have a child of my own now and I know to my inner most soul that had I kept using I would’ve done unimaginable things in and to her life. No 1 can truly understand addiction (or mental illness- I have that too. Most of us addicts do) unless they have lived it. It’s cunning, baffling and powerful as we say. I’m so very grateful for the 12 step rooms and people in them who gave me a new life, not just me but my child and those to come. I didn’t come from an alcoholic home. I was not abused. But I am an alcoholic. Getting sober rewrites the story tho.
    You have a powerful story not only of your love and your understanding but of overcoming, of breaking the cycle. People like you will change the world. Thank you. Thank you.

    Like

  16. bijindigoth says:

    wow! thank you for so much details…you actually answered my “WHY’s” i’m a psychology student anyway, 1 year level… so i think this helped a lot.. 😀
    p.s. thank you for changing my perspective 😀

    Like

  17. My sister is a heroin addict. I have turned my back before (always going back because it is hard to watch). She lost her youngest three of five children because she couldn’t stay clean. When she is not using she can be awesome, but she is mentally ill even without the heroin. She is self medicating. I love her but it’s hard sometimes. I loved those children. She was a pretty good mom just couldn’t stay away from the drugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a very hard and painful thing. Sometimes a little love goes farther than we can ever imagine

      Like

    • johnsonmajor says:

      i have lost a friend from Heroin, he had a family(wife & son), job, House, Car, he had it all, he was a great person, gentle and kind, 2nd best drummer in a Country called Cyprus; then he landed in Jail for robbery,(he robbed to Support his expensive habit; then i had been babysitting his 1 1/2 year old son as his wife had been working, many hour shifts, as i had been in a Cast/plastered hand due to Surgery for 2 months. Those two months he away from substance, he imagined his wife and i making out, behind his back.. and i am the type who would rather be dead than to inflict pain on others, it would have to be a life & death situation-defense to hurt someone.., any ways, i hadn’t done such a thing, i probably would have had crazy thoughts of my friend finding the opportunity to seduce my wife too. besides, do you really know anybody in today’s society – who can you Trust?..
      He was later released, and he forced me to tell him how good his wife was and would not let me be Truthful with my denial of any such actions, and his wife promising to him that it hadn’t been so; I made sure when she would return home after work, i would get on my way home, and i did each night. i know who i am.. he wouldn’t believe us so he ordered out of his life, never to look his way again;
      2 weeks later i had received a phone call from his wife, stating that he was found dead outside a Cemetery in his car, with a Needle hanging from his arm, and Elastic round his Arm;
      I felt so guilty because, i always looked out for him, and kept in close friendship with him, though, i noticed weeks before he being arrested, his attitude changing, and knew something was up..
      So i buried my Best friend and still think i could have been their for him;
      But i could not be Close to the Heroin, reason of it’s addictive persuasions, and outcome seen on people, i hate the Dirty Drug.. if any drugs on earth, i believe Marijuana is a suitable drug, that Mother Nature has to Offer, from the ground, though, everything you do in moderation…

      i feel your story..

      Like

  18. Darell Grant says:

    I found it to be imperative that I reblogged this. Thank you thank you thank you for this read!

    Like

  19. Denise Hisey says:

    This was incredibly powerful…as I’ve gone through my own recovery from an abusive childhood, I’ve learned some of those types of difficult things in my abuser’s childhood too. It does give me compassion, and a reason for why he was so awful. We all react differently to our situations, and whether we choose to forgive, estrange, move on, repeat the pattern, etc. It’s tricky business, the legacy of alcoholism.

    Like

  20. Reblogged this on Athena's Wicked Owl and commented:
    Wow. I loved this.

    Like

  21. Bipolar1Blog says:

    Speechless! I’ll come back and comment.

    Like

  22. Pazlo says:

    Hello. My name is Scott, and I am an alcoholic. Enough about me.

    “You are never given a problem that does not bear a gift for you in its hands. You may have to work for it, however.”
    – Richard Bach, “Illusions”

    Cort:
    There is selfish love, given most often with an expectation of reward, such as reciprocity.
    There is selfless love, given with no thought of reward or return because the beings (people in this case) simply deserve and need to be loved without needing to “earn it”. A fine example is given in the Christian Bible, when Jesus walks among the lepers (outcasts).
    You honor your mother, and hers as well, by having become a person that understands and gives selfless love.
    Furthermore, you honor yourself and the rest of mankind by doing so.
    So few can come to understand, it is the only key.

    Be at peace,

    Paz

    Like

  23. ichibon says:

    Thank you. Not so much for following both of my pages, but, for sharing the story of your mom and grandmother, and I pray the richness of grace to light upon your life at this moment so you will realize the power of words, and circumstance, that cause even the worst of humans to their knees.
    I have an illness, I guess that is the appropriate terminology, yes, I’m most certain it is; however, it does not diminish me, it does not erase me, even though the medications taken are to do just that–erase my memory, that is the purpose of Neuroleptic medications, as they block “dopamine” a part of brain chemistry that you mentioned in your writing. It’s somewhat tragic, my illness in its initial diagnosis, because I was labeled by “modern psychiatry” due to lack of sleep. But, due to medications, ECT treatments, etc., I did and continue to most certainly have issues.
    Thanks again.

    ichibon

    Like

  24. thank you so much for having the courage to share this heartbreaking and blessing story! this perspective is beyond amazing and wise and I’ve definitely needed to hear things like this that showed understanding. From reading this I have learned about myself and my family and all the mental illness I am surrounded by and carry. I am also very sensitive by nature and this year started slowly caving into alcoholism and I am only in my 20s sad to say. But to see that there are people like you out there that are willing to truly understand is very inspirational thank you so much for sharing. i thought I was crazy and wrong for thinking things like the perspectives you wrote on because my family would tell me to just get over it and say I actually didn’t have a hard life and other manipulating statements that made me doubt myself and blame myself. I appreciate you pouring your heart out and I can’t say that enough and how emotional it got me to read it all.

    Like

  25. Reblogged this on Tiny Heart Beating Loud and commented:
    I had to repost for how amazing this story is and how much truth is revealed through the suffering.

    Like

  26. neighsayer says:

    You are the best! Amazing, as usual.
    Of course, you’ve put your finger on the function, the labelling, the blaming and the unproductiveness of it, the idea of “them” – this all applies to punishment of children too.
    And that smart, educated professionals get it, but that families, normal people do not and propagate the lies to each other, that also applies to parenting and “child discipline,” for politeness and an unwillingness to say it how I really think of it.

    Bravo.

    Like

  27. bjsscribbles says:

    That was an amazing read..Glad I found your blog and you found mine

    Like

  28. RVT says:

    Out of all medicines, I believe Love is the most powerful. And keeping Faith is what we can do…

    Like

  29. […] Lost and Never Found: An Alcoholic’s Unknown Story. […]

    Like

  30. ubenmaat says:

    I’m an addict. My ex girlfriend is also an addict. I have both experienced what it’s like to be addicted to a substance, and what it’s like to be abused by an addict. I don’t think addicts should be vilified, but where does their personal responsibilty come in?

    Like

    • your personal responsibility increases as you grow. its a fluid process. As you learn more and are educated more on the subject, an as your brain is required and healed you get more responsibility with each step. It is fluid.
      to can take up to 2 years for the brain to be re wired and that is not including the psychological damage you must overcome.

      so there is no answer to your question.
      every situation is different and every person is.

      the universal thing that works is love and acceptance

      Like

  31. Surly Girl says:

    The term ‘scandalous grace’ comes to mind. I have so many thoughts and emotions, but no other words other than it is an honor to hear this part of your story.

    Like

  32. Easy-Tee says:

    Ow! I didn’t cry, but I felt the warmth of the tears surrounding my eyes…it is so touching. It’s an amazing, heart-touching and heart-changing story!

    Like

  33. […] Lost and Never Found: An Alcoholic's Unknown Story. […]

    Like

  34. What a beautiful story – your Mom is a wonderful woman, and I expect you have learned a lot of good things from her. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  35. Thank you very much for writing this. We need to help others develop an understanding and compassion for people facing the challenge of mental illness and/or drug addiction. I have been a mental health counselor and drug rehab specialist for many years. Right now I work with mothers who are pregnant or have small children who suffer with drug addiction and various mental illness. Most of these cases stem from horrible childhood sexual abuse or mental and emotional trauma. It is time we care for each other and spread awareness as opposed to throwing them under the bus. Would we be so eager to throw them away if they were still that raped and traumatized little girl or boy of five? I think not. I appreciate your story! ❤

    Like

  36. richardlwiseman says:

    Your blog entry is truth and an education. Thank you. There are some heart rending life stories in the world that’s for sure, but there are no bad people. The world is what causes people to be unhappy and behave the way they do; the world has not been a friend to human beings for quite some time now. It is the world that is bad, not us.
    https://gnosticreason.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/we-are-not-born-sinful-people-are-naturally-good/

    Like

  37. A beautifully expressed and heart-warming story; thank you so much for sharing – jd

    Like

  38. Powerful story. Tears at the end. I’ve had a lot of those today because I’m in love with an alcoholic who keeps pushing me away. I will come back and read more later when I don’t have a throbbing headache . But thanks for this , which I needed and never would have found if you hadn’t liked my blog.

    Like

  39. Well. If this is a double post I apologize. I wrote something and it disappeared. This was a powerful story and left tears in my eyes. But I’ve been crying all day because I’m in love with an alcoholic who keeps pushing me away. Thanks for liking my blog. I needed this story today.

    Like

  40. Tom says:

    thanks for this. it made me cry. good tears though. feels good to feel. if only you could train all psychiatrists/counselors.

    Like

  41. Amazing post. I did not see the twist at the end coming. I battled alcoholism and addiction in my late 20’s and early 30’s. Once you have crossed that line from binge drinker to true alcoholic, there is no turning back even if a big part of you wants to. I went to rehab after my Mom died a horrible death of cancer. When 2 months after my 30 day rehab stint was over, I was diagnosed with cancer 2.at my 5 year “cure” check-up. I didn’t want to have a mastectomy or chemo at 34. I missed my Mom so much. I hooked up with a guy I met at rehab who was in there for a crack addiction. He would freely drink around me and then it became clear he was back on crack. During a depressed angry weak moment, I had a drink and then wanted to try crack to see what the big deal was all about. A few more times trying crack, and I was a full blown addict for the next 9 months. Those months are a blur of chemotherapy, cocaine, and ativan. Eventually the money ran out, I became suicidal, the guy left and I managed to get sober for real this time. I hit the 20 year sobriety mark last May. I am one of the lucky ones who got sober the second time and didn’t relapse again. Even at my worst, I knew what I was doing was self-destructive but I couldn’t stop the cycle on my own. It took a second stint of rehab for 6 weeks in an all female center to break the bonds of addiction once and for all. I am very aware that the horrible lady in the story was me for awhile and could have been me today had I not gotten the right help. There is no doubt it is a disease and it is a hard one to beat. Thanks for writing so compassionately about this topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have an inspiring story that should be shared with many. It is true, if we are lucky to survive, we know all to well how easily it could have ended poorly. So we have a different outlook on life, then it’s our responsibility to make the unknown known

      Liked by 1 person

  42. You are absolutely correct…..it is hard to have compassion for anyone who abuses, whether it is people, substances, or both. It is difficult, but I believe in one thing…..If God can forgive, so can we and so should we. However, it does not mean to live obliviously. It is important to protect ourselves and those who depend on us. Getting to that point, it takes time and there is a lot of emotional pulls with that choice. I also believe, that those who keep returning back to the abuse, get judged harshly by society as well, but people just don’t understand how it is not just a physical detachment that has to be made, it is mostly mental even over emotional. Thank you for inspiring me and many others.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Reblogged this on My Life, As A Human. and commented:
    Love the way this is written! As an ‘addict’ I could never have been able to write and get across such a clear insight to understanding. All of this mans posts are quite wonderfully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Amazing, thoughtful, and well written article. I LOVE it! Every addict, or person who knows an addict, should read this!
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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