Two years have passed since I last had a sip of alcohol. It’s truly remarkable to reflect on how far I’ve come in conquering my addiction. When I made the decision to quit, I was fully aware of the problem I had with excessive drinking. Every morning, I would remind myself of the need to change my ways. And now, here I am, standing strong and confident, amazed by the progress I’ve made.
I hadn’t anticipated writing about my two-year sobriety, but in response to the tragic passing of Mathew Perry, I feel compelled to express my thoughts. If you’ve been following the story, you may have encountered public sentiments that sound like this: “once an addict, always an addict” or “how foolish to spend $9 million on rehab.”
ADDICTION DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE
Count yourself extremely fortunate if you have never encountered the relentless grips of addiction, either firsthand or through someone near and dear to your heart. Addiction, without a shadow of a doubt, has the power to hijack lives and shatter dreams that were once filled with hope and aspirations. Regardless of the circumstances that led to its onset, addiction knows no bounds and can affect anyone, regardless of their background, upbringing, or social status.
It is crucial to recognize and emphasize the fact that addiction is not a personal choice that we consciously make. No one wakes up one morning and decides, “Yes, today I will allow addiction to take control of my life and ruin everything I hold dear.” Rather, addiction is a complex interplay of physiological, psychological, and environmental factors that can lead even the strongest individuals astray.
Addiction is an insidious force that slithers its way into one’s life, wrapping its tendrils around every aspect of their being. It can rob them of their physical health, mental well-being, and social connections. The person consumed by addiction becomes trapped in a never-ending cycle of dependence, where obtaining the substance or engaging in the behavior becomes the sole focus of their existence.
However, it is important to remember that addiction does not define a person’s worth. Beneath the surface of their affliction lies the same individual who once had dreams, aspirations, and talents. They are still someone’s child, someone with a unique story and the potential for growth and recovery.
COMPASSION IN ADDICTION
In these challenging times, it is crucial to approach addiction with compassion, understanding, and a willingness to support those affected. Instead of passing judgment, we can offer a helping hand, directing them towards the resources and treatment options that can aid in their journey towards recovery.
Let us foster a society that acknowledges addiction as a disease rather than a moral failing. By embracing empathy and promoting education, we can work towards creating a world where addiction prevention, treatment, and support are readily accessible, and where the stigma surrounding addiction is dismantled piece by piece.
Remember, we are all human beings, interconnected in this collective journey of life. Let us extend a hand to those battling addiction, reminding them that they are worthy of a hopeful future, free from the clutches of addiction.
Note: I highly recommend the movie Painkiller on Netflix. Additionally, if you require support with addiction, please seek assistance from a professional source or visit Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website to find services. If you are in need of immediate assistance, call or text 988 to access the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357)