This month we heard the dreadfully sad news of another celebrity death to addiction. Cory Monteith was found dead in his hotel room from a heroin and cocaine overdose. Twitter and Facebook feeds lamented the loss of the Glee star, how would his absence be explained in story lines? His poor girlfriend, the very lovely Lea Michelle, how would she cope?
Lots of tabloid pages were taken up with pictures of Cory looking healthy and well, there were no tales of his falling out of clubs in the middle of the night or drunken rambles in interviews. He will however always be remembered for his death and its cause. Its what we do, he will always be defined by his drug use and ultimate passing.
I attended a funeral this week too, for a guy who had undertaken treatment with us and subsequently chose to check out whether he was truly addicted or not, resulting in an overdose. A devastated family and young son spoke about their shock at his death at this point, they’d feared it for years whilst he was in active addiction and were at last relieved he was in recovery.
Relapse happens, often. Complacency, negative thinking and wittingly not avoiding triggers will result in relapse and on occasions death. Lets not define them by their manner of death though, lets remember them as the lovely people they were, loved by family and friends and in Cory’s case many adoring fans. Their death is tragic not because of how they died but the fact they have.
Addiction is a killer, everyday unwitting victims are taken in its grasp and every day there are deaths. Don’t minimise the fact that addiction recovery is all about life and death. Recovery is not the destination, its a journey, defined by highs and lows, and for some lapse, relapse and death.