I have been @ my parent's home for a while following the recent death of my brother and, I gotta tell you, I am ready to go back to my own damn home already.
If I have to hear how my brother "chose his life" one more time, it is likely that I may scream. I feel so stressed out from trying to suppress my emotions... because that is status quo in this family. Just stuff your feelings down inside and don't let anyone else know what going on. I have chomped more Tylenol this week that I should say.
The ignorance spoken by a number of my relatives just astounds me -- NO one would choose addiction because it is a living hell.
I tried to talk to one of my close relatives about how much this statement about 'choice' bothers me - it's like an accusation and a harshly critical judgement all rolled up into a single derisive comment that shoots like an arrow into the deepest part of my heart.
I attempted to draw this analogy for 'choice'...
Imagine that you are at the top of a steep mountain where looking down all you see is sunlight gleaming off the snow and your nose is filled with the clean scent of nature and you are filled with excitement and anticipation. You jump on your toboggan and push off with absolute glee.
At first, the ride is pure adrenalinized joy, but soon you realize that you cannot regulate the speed at which you are hurtling down a seemingly endless steep slope. What appeared to be a smooth surface of snow has just barely disguised dangerous jagged rocks and snarls of trees.
The ride has gone from fun to terrifying, and throwing yourself off the toboggan also seems like certain, painful death.
You regret starting the ride, but if you had the strength to safely stop and get off the toboggan you would - you don't. So you cling to the edges and try your best to avoid the worst while getting beaten from all sides by the bitter cold, the crushing jolts of pain from landing on rocks and bouncing off trees and being slashed with branches.
You're pretty sure you are going to die before this ride ends, but you can't see a way out of your predicament.
When you initially chose to jump on the toboggan you had no way to comprehend that a little sledding would turn into a terrifying, excruciating death or you wouldn't have grabbed the toboggan in the first place!
Regret is something you live and die with, but it changes little when death is immanent and no help is forthcoming.
No one chooses to become addicted; every addict starts out confident that they can control their usage (whether it's cigarettes or liquor or gambling or heroin) and becomes enslaved by it instead.
Addiction is a hellish life, and it is a disease!! For God's sake people, addiction is a disease. Would you cluck @ & judge a person with MS or Parkinsons?
Some addicts, my brother among them, never find the strength within themselves or the support to free themselves from their chains.
For the love of God - don't sit it judgement of addicts.
But for Grace, you or someone you love could be there too.
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