Written April 8, 2017
I’d like to take a few moments of your time if I may. Some of you know me, some of you don’t, and some of you who do know me…well, you don’t know me that well. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Stephanie and I am a grateful recovering addict. I’m writing this for a couple reasons, mainly because I’m pissed the hell off. I’m also grateful at the same time. There is a disease out there lurking in our communities. It’s cunning, baffling, and insidious. It’s called the disease of addiction.
There are those of us who are sick and want help but we don’t know where to find it or we can’t get access to it. Some of us wish there was a magic pill to make us better, but sadly there isn’t one. There is, however, a better way to live. I should know. I was you once upon a time and still am occasionally, but I’m no better and no worse than you. I’m always an arm’s length away from using again.
Then there are those of us who’ve found a new and better way to live. We have managed to live with our disease controlling our every waking moment. We want to help those people who are caught up in the disease, but sadly we can’t. It’s not that we necessarily don’t want to help, but we’ve seen to many addicts find that hope only to lose it again and oftentimes die. There are also the ones who want the help but don’t reach out. I know this too because I found a new and better way to live.
I am blessed with the fact I was not addicted to heroin and I thank my Higher Power for rescuing me before I gotten that bad. To many of my friends or their friends have sadly lost the fight.
I write this today because, sadly, the disease of addiction has struck in my life again. No, I haven’t used but something has happened that has solidified my resolve in staying clean. I lost someone I considered a brother. I lost him to this deadly disease of addiction. At one time I saw the light of hope and the love of life shine in this man’s eyes only for it to be dimmed again by this hideous monster…, this horrible demon…this deadly disease that’s got our communities by the balls. My heart aches like crazy right now as does many others who knew this addict.
I want you to know that if you’re an addict reading this, no matter where in the world you are, there IS hope for you. If you live in big city or little town America, France, China, India, Spain, Great Britain, or… well you know what I’m saying. There’s hope no matter where you live. All you need to do is reach out and ask for help.
I also want you to know that you are not as worthless or hopeless as you may think you are. Those of you who know me know I’ve had a hard time getting and staying clean. Since those days I’ve put together a few 24hrs and I am grateful for every minute – the good, the bad, the ugly, and the real befugly. I know if I can do it so can you.
One final note. We desperately need to change the stigma of this disease. Yes it is a disease. Look it up on the American Society of Addiction Medicine(ASAM), or the National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA) websites. There you will see that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. We are not bad people. We are sick people trying to get better.
Thought for the day: If you’re an addict, give yourself a break. There are others like you. I beg you to put down whatever drug you’re using and pick up a phone for help.