The Demonizing of Addiction


Earlier today, I saw this image on my Facebook feed. Please excuse the colorful language in the image, it is not mine – I found it that way.

Addiction is one of those things I have seen, up close and personal the majority of my adult life. There were times I felt that if there were an addict within a 20 mile radius, I was going to attract them. It all goes back to the Florence Nightingale Syndrome I have spoken of before.

It’s taken me every bit of my 47 years to figure things out – here’s what I have learned.

We are ALL right where we are because of choices we have made.

There are FAR too many resources available for anyone who WANTS help. Otherwise they continue to make bad choices and as the result of those bad choices, they will suffer consequences for their actions. Some lose their family – some will end up in jail/prison and some will pay the price of their life. It’s sad, but that’s how it is.

It the responsibility of the addict to take the first step to recovery. No one else can force them to get treatment. If they refuse to take that first step, why should it be the responsibility of everyone else to support them and enable them to keep making poor decisions?

I’m all for helping those who help themselves but I’m sure as heck not going to support a plethora of excuses that enable them to stay an addict.

I should note that the father to my kids is now serving time in prison because of some very poor choices he made associated with his own addictions. During the time I was married to him, I found myself saying, often, “he’s a really great guy with three really bad habits, women, drugs and alcohol. Other than that, he is a very likeable guy.” Today, I feel sorry for him. I ache for my children who have to live knowing their father chose booze and drugs over them. I NEVER put him down to my boys when they were growing up – I knew when they became adults, they would develop their own opinion of him. But, there was the time he showed up at one of their baseball games, falling down drunk – embarrassed them to death in front of their friends. It was at that time, their own opinions began to form.

Unfortunately, it is a very sad reality that many kids face today. It’s only going to get worse, the more excuses we allow addicts to use and the longer we protect them from suffering their own consequences.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. This is one of those topics I feel I am in a constant learning mode over.

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