The girl who hangs her head over the toilet after each meal forcing herself to be sick. Is addicted.
The boy who watches porn every night. Is addicted.
The girl who runs on a treadmill every day. Is addicted.
The boy who places bets each weekend and spends most spare time in casinos. Is addicted.
The girl who uses prescription drugs even when she doesn’t need them. Is addicted.
The boy who decides cutting himself is the only method to reduce hidden pain. Is addicted.
The girl who steals things from shops and neighbours. Is addicted.
The boy who plays video games at every spare moment. Is addicted.
The girl who drinks alcohol. Is addicted.
The boy who takes opioids. Is addicted.
Stop the naivety, the judgement, the recklessness, the temporary concern and/or sympathy.
Addiction is not in the act, it’s the reliance. It’s not the enjoyment, it’s the dependence. It’s not just narcotics, it’s behavioural and impulse disorders, too.
If you’re reading the above and thinking “I do that, but I’m not addicted,” that’s the point – you might not be, but somebody else is. Somebody else relies on that thrill, that substance or that distraction; and it’s not the kind of reliance that can be stopped temporarily. It’s a mental withdrawal. You don’t get to choose whether or not your body or mind becomes dependent on something or not.
A person’s strength is not defined by the amount of weight a person can hold, but rather by how long they can hold that weight for.
Since the news of Demi Lovato’s relapse, I have read several misconceptions about addiction and I can’t sit still at the thought. When you think about all of the heightened awareness on mental health in recent years, it’s hard to comprehend a reluctance to accept or understand and assist addiction. It’s a worse thought that scientists have proven the same brain chemical imbalances that trigger depression, anxiety etc are the same imbalances that can lead to an addiction – that are sometimes genetically transferred.
My full story: click here.
I am 23. My dad has been an alcoholic for almost ten years. The only family we communicate with are those on my mum’s side, or my dad’s son and mum. The rest left. They gave up on him. They gave up on us.
Frankly, I’m lucky. Through all of the torture, the broken trust, the smashed hope, he has never been physically violent towards me nor my mum. I will never speak publicly about what – actually – goes on at home. It’s personal. I care. I love him unconditionally, he is family.
My dad is not the same person as the drunk. The person who overdoses on drugs, is not the same person sober. The person who gets carried away cutting themselves, is not the same person on the inside. The person who accidentally blows everything they own in a casino, is not the same as the person in control.
My heart breaks every time someone judges an addict. Inside that person is someone trapped within themselves. A personal prison. Everyone sympathises with those who suffer from depression because everyone (now) understands the darkness that depression can plague someone with. But what about the people who turn to alcohol to forget? Those who cut because physical pain is easier than mental? Those who run for hours to try and outrun their problems? Those who take pills to numb their pain? Do they not count?
As I have grown up I have become far more understanding of addiction. Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen it first-hand. Watching a person deteriorate and become a whole other person is one of the hardest things to process. You are at a constant war with yourself loving one half of this person and loathing the other half; but we all come with flaws, we all accept each other’s flaws, or so that’s what I was led to believe.
Last night my social feeds were plastered with opinions and several misconceptions. I bit my lip for so long but now I feel the need to speak up.
It’s as easy to come off (x) as it is to take (x) in the first place.
Your body rejects. Cold sweats, uncontrollable shaking, occasional seizures, clammy skin, indescribable headaches, severe dehydration, irritability, confusion, vomiting. There are some instances of death because of untreated withdrawal. Your hangover is nowhere near comparable.
You can stop whenever you want.
If it was that easy, everyone would be fine. Addiction is an uncontrollable desire matched with a loss of rationality. The people around you become unfamiliar and as (x) takes over, you become numb to your surroundings. It’s at that point, you lose control; of your body, your thoughts, your actions, your words, your behaviour. When your body and/or mind is physically dependent on something, it takes medication and a lot of mind coaching to become sober. Some people will be sober for years; some only a few months, or weeks.
Addiction doesn’t choose you, you choose addiction.
Just because you drank that one time, does not instantaneously mean you will be addicted to alcohol. Just because you tried weed that one time, does not mean you will become hooked to the high. Trying something does not lead to dependency. If you are reading this, you are not immune. Look to the people around you, they are not immune. Addiction blindsight’s you. It creeps up on you. You will not know when its got you under its spell. It does not discriminate. It does not care. Consequences come with everything. It’s easy to say “don’t light the cigarette,” but “don’t get in a car,” or “don’t go outside,” don’t have the same effect. There’s just as many dangers getting in a car, if not more, than there is in a taking a drag from a cigarette. Adrenaline, thrill seeking is addicting, too. Do you blame the person jumping out of the plane, or the parachute that failed to deploy?
They already have so much help.
The availability is group meetings, counselling or rehab with long waiting lists – if you’ve needed mental health help before, you know exactly how long those waiting lists can be. If they had all the help they needed, there wouldn’t be this stigma attached to them, that every addict is a cold-hearted, selfish manipulator. Or that most addicts are the people you see in city centres. It’s 2018 and if we can’t stereotype one thing, stereotyping an addict shouldn’t be an exception.
Staying with an addict, is a choice.
I wouldn’t have my dad any other way. My mum wouldn’t, either. Yes, I wish all the time that he wasn’t plagued with this addiction. I am who I am because of him. He is who is who he is and I would never change the person who he is. As mentioned, he is far different sober than drunk. It’s easy to say you’ll leave the addict, but would you leave the person trapped inside? My strength solely comes from him. I’ve watched his struggles, I’ve lived through my own, he’s been there for me through everything, I will not leave him. I’m no quitter. “Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” He’s got my back, I will always have his.
This article is not meant for awareness, but moreso a plea to those in a position of making a change. Stop sweeping addiction under the carpet after every warning. Celebrities shouldn’t have to be the ones that trigger the movement to act now. If you’re still reading to this point, you have surely become aware that there are children coping with this right now. They don’t have a voice. They don’t have protection. I was that child. I needed that help. I am here, not asking, but telling you they need help. Don’t wait before it’s too late.
Stop the temporary concern. Addiction is real. And it could happen to any one of us.