Monday, June 6, 2011
Addiction Permeates All
And there really is no escaping addiction...no matter how hard we try. It permeates every corner of life.
A friend of a friend of mine has been drinking excessively, and maybe taking pills too. Things have gotten out of control for this young man...and everyone sees it. Talking my friend...I am moved, once again, to write about addiction.
I think about the way addiction permeates so much of who some of us are. One of my best friends, Natalie, was touched by the addiction of her mother. Her mother's addiction eventually took her life, but Natalie had been missing her mother for much longer than that. Natalie watched her mother die, climbing up into bed with her ghost, crying like the little girl she felt she was. Natalie's mother's addiction is one of the main things that has made Natalie the person she is today. I think about this sometimes from an addict's perspective. And also from a mother's perspective. All Natalie needed was a mother...it is all we all really need, isn't it?
Speaking with this friend of mine today, regarding addiction and the predicament with our friend...he mentioned that his parents also died from pills and drinking. And I think about it all again. I think about it from an addict's perspective. And I think about it from a mother's perspective. And I think about Natalie. I think about so many addicts I knew with kids...
As an addict, I never thought about how this disease really permeates everything...and no one is immune, really. I had friends, also addicted, who had kids. It never phased me...I did not have kids and I did know anything about it. But, now...I look back, horrified for some of those poor kids. Everyone knows someone who drinks too much...or gambles too much...or watches too much porn, or...is addicted to heroin. I thought a lot in those days about how it affected me. But, I never really thought about how others may have spent days and nights worried about me. And I am mostly thankful that I was not a mother back then.
I look at my beautiful little boy, as his blue eyes look over the top of the computer, just now. As he asks me to close the computer, he holds out his finger, scolding when I ask for ten more minutes. "No ten minutes," he tells me, eyes looking down upset. And I think about how I could never do that to him. I have this responsibility to that little face. And that little face has changed my life.
As an addict, I know how easy it can happen. But, as a mother...I hope it is not possible. And then, I look back at these adult children of addicts who are no longer with us. I look at Natalie. I look at the friend I spoke with today. And I realize what strength it must take to overcome something like that....and to keep caring, to keep being passionate about things and people.
Addiction permeates all our lives. Some of our lives are so saturated in it that it seems we are drowning at times, and some of us only see it in a friend of a friend. But, it is there...in each and every one of our lives. The experience is more universal than we think...some of us just come much, much closer to the core.
Now, I must go, because it has been about five minutes...and I have been instructed that I do not have ten minutes...