He who casts the first stone…. and all that. Those of you who’ve read this blog before will know how frustrated I get about stigma and discrimination regarding addicts, alcoholics, addiction, actually I hate Discrimination against anyone, but vulnerable people who are already struggling the pain of addiction and their families, really gets my goat.
So who’s life’s so perfect then? We all have something that is less than perfect in our lives. Many of us live or have lived with a close family member or friend who’s actively addicted whether it be to drugs, alcohol, gambling, gaming etc – if you haven’t experienced this, think about it for long enough and someone ’ll come to mind.
Alcohol is advertised as sunshine elixir, tropical beaches, sexy ladies, throbbing music and beautiful people. The reality of alcoholism is less than beautiful with rheumy eyes, yellow skin and advanced liver disease.
Prior to Amy Winehouse’s death, almost a year ago, the media reported every last staggering exit from a club, with snide remarks about her dishevelled state. Sadly she died, as do many and suddenly we have the media mourning her passing with glowing tributes of her talent and warm loving personality. I won’t even bother to comment on the remarks made when Whitney Houston died… OK, so they’re celebrities and we love to build them up and then knock them down. Their families aren’t and neither was my brother or my friend.
No one grows up eager to be an addict. No loving parent holds their baby in their arms and dreams of them one day being an addict. I often speak with parents bringing their son or daughter into treatment and know this is one of the worst days of their lives, no one aspires to have a rehab centre featuring in their future – until they acknowledge their addiction, that is.
The compulsivity of the act of continuing to drink, use drugs, gamble, purge or continue eating when you know it’s a destructive force in your life, cannot be comprehended by anyone who has never experienced addiction. Dont you think they would just stop if it was that easy? Eva Rausing apparently had it all, and yet her death on Tuesday (10 July 2012) is being linked to her heroin and cocaine habit – she tried on numerous occasions to attain recovery and yet it alluded her.
“Drug dependence is a complex mix of biology and environment…. there are genetic differences that can influence our susceptibility, including how we respond to a particular drug” Dr Glenys Dore, Clinical Director of the Northern Sydney Drug and Alcohol Service.
When you feel that irritated sigh coming on, or when you’re feeling like they’ve brought it all on themselves, think about how you’d feel it was your child, parent, spouse or friend. Try, really try to have some compassion, you never know when it may be you who’s affected in some way.