Addiction is a horrible nasty disease. It strikes without warning, and without prejudice. It does not care if you are young or old, sick or healthy, rich or poor. Everyone is a potential victim. I’ve watched many fall, and few climb their way out of the abyss. Once you become an addict, you are an addict for life. There is no cure. If you are lucky enough to find the right help, and have the willpower to kick your habit, you will spend the rest of your life battling to stay clean. If you’ve never personally battled addiction, it’s easy to pass judgement. It’s easy to write them off as junkies, scumbags, lowlifes, and losers. It’s easy to say that they will never amount to anything, to turn your back and walk away. But what do you do when it’s your own loved one? I myself have never personally dealt with drug addiction. However, I have watched several family members fight their demons. I’ve stepped in and tried to help. I’ve begged them to go to rehab. I’ve even reached the point where I simply sat back and waited for the inevitable. Over the years, the most important thing I have learned is, You can not help someone that is not ready to help themselves. You can not force an addict to see the error of their ways, and get the help that you, and everyone around them can clearly see that they need. They have to see it in their own time. They have to hit rock bottom first. And sometimes, they’ll hit rock bottom, grab a shovel, and start digging deeper. And all you can do, is sit by helplessly, and pray to whatever deity you believe in, that they’ll put the shovel down and stop fighting. Sometimes I think loving an addict is just as difficult as being an addict.
It’s important to remember that every life is worth saving. Everyone deserves that chance to turn things around. No one wakes up one day and just decides to throw their life in the garbage. They’re all fighting a battle that we know nothing about, so don’t be so quick to judge. Taking just a second out of your day, could be the difference between life and death. Sometimes all someone needs, is a kind word. A friendly face letting them know that they do matter. Knowing that in some way they have impacted your life. Knowing that without them, your life would not be the same. Sometimes, a person just needs to know that they are loved. To the addicts in my life: I love you. You are more important to me than you will ever know. I pray that you find the strength to pull yourself out, and make things better. I hope that one day you understand, we are not fighting against you, we are fighting for you.