Friday, November 23, 2012

Choice?? Not Bloody Likely!

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.


  1. Exactly. There but for the grace of god go I


  2. A very good analogy and sadly true. I am sorry for your brother, but you need to get back to a more 'normal' life. Go Home!

  3. I am so sorry. Sorry for the pain and all the emotions you are feeling right now. I know that you must feel raw right now, and I understand how weary you must be of the category they seem to be placing your brother in. Don't judge too harshly. Some things are so hard to express. I am not just offering platitudes. My son died when he was 39. He was an addict. It is hard for a mother to wrap her mind around. Death and addiction. Because, a mother always wonders what role she played that led to the addiction and subsequent death. We all make choices that we later regret and there is no getting around that ever present guilt of a mother. People want to comfort and if making a mother feel less guilty is part of that comfort, then let it be for now.

    If you need to unload, feel free to e-mail me. I have thick skin and may be able to offer a little insight to something that is very complicated and painful.

  4. A heart-wrenching post, but very well put. I agree with Coffeypot...go home. Grieving is a very personal thing (going through it myself) and you need to take time for yourself otherwise the top of your head will blow off. I hope that you have good memories of your brother and are able to call on them to help buoy you through the sadness.

  5. I agree with Coffeypot. What happened is heart breaking, but you need to get back home and start to heal yourself.

    Relatives are stupid. I try to keep only the smallest amount of them around me at one time.

  6. Heck, nobody 'chooses' to exist.
    We ain't, then is, then ain't again.

  7. I am in agreement with the others. Grief is often something dealt with on a personal level. If the family won't listen, go home because a best friend will.

    Addiction, alcoholism and mental illness are nothing to be taken lightly or passed over with a 'devil may care' attitude. I lived with an alcoholic. It was tough on everyone. His mother was a nurse at a state run hospital and dealt with patients every day succumbing to the effects of their daily drinking. She was constantly after me to nag him to stop. I never did because I knew then, he never would until HE decided to.

    I was supportive as much as I could be until I felt it beginning to drag me under. My leaving was actually one of the best things to happen to and for him. I heard later on that he did stop drinking. If he did for sure or how long, if he is still sober? I don't know, but I hope for his sake that he is. I hope the best for him.

  8. I am so very saddened to learn this V. My deepest condolences to you and your family.


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