Does the substance kill the addict, or does the addict kill themselves? This very controversial question has become so common in 2017 that it’s scary.
In my opinion, you can’t help an addict who doesn’t want to help themselves first. Therefore, in that case, the addict kills themselves. However, could they even save themselves? Truth is, no, probably not unless they have the strength to beat it, which is hard for most of them.
The sad part is not only that they are no longer here with us anymore, but what they leave behind is truly haunting. Whether it be their kids, their horses, their dogs, their wives/husbands, whatever it may be that was theirs will always remind us of them and their last days. Their sluggishness, their lack of caring, their dependency on these worldly things.
It’s hard to remember their good days as it seems like the bad outweighs the good. It’s hard to remember the times when they weren’t dependent on something so small, but so deadly.
All we can think of is what we could have done differently when it truly wasn’t up to us whether they got up every morning and poured themselves another glass of wine, or whether they popped another pill to feel the high. It wasn’t our choice what they did, and it wasn’t up to us to help them to get better. You can’t help an addict who doesn’t 100 percent want to change and that’s the hardest part.
Being the witness can be just as hard as being the victim, but the selfish tendencies that an addict carries around with them gives them this mindset that tells them we don’t hurt like they do. It tells them that we don’t know what they’re going through. But is that really the truth? No, it’s not.
It’s extremely hard to watch a person you love go through addiction, just as it is hard to be the addict. Watching a person that you once looked up to fall to pieces all because of an inanimate evil. An evil with no living characteristics takes over a human body and controls its life.
It’s hard seeing the person you love put more effort into a bottle you can buy at the store, a bottle you received over the counter or a needle they got from the street, than the effort they put into their own family.
Coming back to where I started, the reason they can’t save themselves is because they must have the power to say, “not me, not today.” Every single one of them is capable, but often is blinded into believing it’s not possible.
I write this today in hopes of reaching an addict, to remind you that there is a light at the end of this big, long tunnel, and to also let you know that it hurts being an addict and having an addiction, but it also hurts to watch an addiction literally kill someone and not be able to do something about it.
We as witnesses can watch, but you as the addicts are the only ones who can act, the only ones who can wake up in the morning and say you don’t want to live that life anymore for the sake of your family and for the sake of your life.
Addicts, you know what it’s like to feel alone and how the addiction is consuming you alive, like it is the only thing that’s there for you, but instead think about what it is going to be like for your kids when you’re not here anymore; what it’s going to be like when they’re graduating high school, having their kids and getting married without the support of their parents.
Think about your parents and the things that they have been through to keep you alive and on this earth while every single day you abuse your body and your privilege to live. Your siblings have to deal with everything once you’re gone. The weight is thrown on them because now the only thing that matters is the child who is gone, not the child who is still on this Earth struggling.
Think about your grandkids, even if they’re little now, one day they will understand why you’re not there. But wait, it does not have to be this way.
You can live each day trying and fighting until one day you wake up and realize you’ve beat this. Then you can share your testimony with others who are facing the same evil and they will realize there is hope and begin their journey of being clean, too.
This all starts with you, and you can do it. Although you should remember, like I said, you can’t help an addict who doesn’t want to help themselves first. You must choose before anyone can choose for you.
Today, choose life, a good one at that. Choose to wake up every single day and not only breathe, but conquer your biggest setbacks. Believe in yourself and everyone else will, too.
Keilee Templeman is the summer intern for the Daily Record. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.