Have you ever watched any of those tv shows or movies about a zombie apocalypse? That’s kinda how our world is becoming with this disease called addiction. If you’re not familiar with either zombies or drug addiction allow me explain.
After watching a tv show about zombies, I realized that addicts are similar to zombies. We are infected with a disease. Yes I said disease. It’s a disease of the brain. This disease affects our rational thoughts, our impulses and our judgement. It makes us obsessed and we do impulsive things to feed that hunger, to get that next fix. We do things we normally wouldn’t do when we’re not using just like zombies do.
When you look into the eye of a zombie, or an addict, many people see a monster. A dead, soulless, monster. We’re still alive but we are brain dead, numb and many of us are spiritually dead. Our mind is fixated on one thing, and one thing only. Our next high. Many of us go crazy just to feed the monster within us. We are trying to chase that first high that we had when we started using but we cannot catch it. What you don’t understand is that we, those walking dead, are real people. We are all someone to somebody.
We are your brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, etc. We all have someone who loves us. We are your entertainment role models.
According to Hollywood, the only way to kill a zombie is a bullet to the head. They can never be saved or cured. However, unlike zombies, there is treatment for addiction. We can be saved, not cured, but our disease can be put into a remission of sorts. The problem is that we have to want it. We are not bad people who deserve a bullet in the head. We are sick people who need help.
Currently, addiction has touched everyone’s life in some way. Just about everyone either is an addict or knows an addict. The people who aren’t zombies – our families, friends and loved ones – want to help, want to save us, but there’s nothing they can do. They need to protect themselves so that they don’t become infected, rather sucked into our madness, or worse. They become addicted to drugs, themselves.
You may be wondering why addicts don’t get the help they need. Quite often we won’t get help because of the stigma. We hear things like, “You just choose to use/get high. Why don’t you just stop? Addicts are only poor uneducated people.” Statements like these are just a couple of reasons. Maybe we said them ourselves before we became addicted. We also tell ourselves that we don’t have a problem, that we can handle it and we can still make it to work.
Truth be told, we may be able to make it to work today, but eventually we won’t. Our performance will decline, then we’ll call in sick frequently. Ultimately we’ll stop going to work altogether.
When we think of an addict, we think of a dirty homeless person with a needle in their arm, a brown bag in hand, or a gangster slinging dope on the street or a sleazy dressed woman walking the streets looking to score. Truth is an addict can look like anyone we know. They can be a lawyer, a nurse, a police officer, an actor/actress, an athlete, or a store clerk. They can be your partner, your sibling, your parent, your cousin, or your grandparent. They can be rich, poor or somewhere in between.
My name is Anonymous and I’m a grateful recovering addict. It took me sometime to be able to say that I am an addict, let alone mean it. It took me even longer to accept it. I was one of those soulless monsters walking among the dead. I’ll bet if you saw me you wouldn’t think I was an addict. I don’t fit that picture I just painted of addicts in the first sentence in the above paragraph. Why am I grateful to be an addict? Read keep reading to find out.
My name is Anonymous because I am you and you are me. Plus my program has taught me about anonymity. Being anonymous means that I have no known name, identity or known source. I am nameless, unidentified and I am lacking marked individuality. I’m not white, black or brown. I’m not a Christian, Muslim, Jehovah witness or an atheist. I’m neither rich or poor. I am no better or worse than you.
My life as an addict was different from other addicts but one thing remains the same. You and I used for the same reasons. We wanted to feel something different, to not feel anything, to escape reality, or…well, I think you get the point.
Like I said, there’s a bit of you in me and a bit of me in you. All addicts, as you may see, have different details of the same story. Maybe any or all of these apply to you; you grew up in a drug or alcohol addicted family, you were abused at some point in your life or were raped, you began using because you wanted to to be cool, or whatever. We are the same because we used to change the way we felt.
If you’re an addict like me, give yourself a break. Maybe my story you will give you a message of hope that you can get and stay clean like millions of other addicts have. Don’t compare your story to mine because each addict has their own story. However, identify with me because we all used for the same reasons – to cover up our feelings or to escape reality.
If you’re a family member, friend or loved one, give yourself a break too. Maybe after reading this you’ll see some of the feelings and crazy thoughts that go thru an addict’s mind
***Please be sure to read more of my posts.