In order to understand addiction and the way it has been allowed to consume so many American lives, you must understand that addicts use when they don’t want to.
We have been invited to grab ahold of a new idea that is gaining momentum. And as passionate as many of us are about decriminalization and ending the war on drugs, it is no surprise that someone came up with such a far-out proposal. It makes sense that this nonsensical idea would make sense to some people who have no real-life experience with addiction. But to anyone who has treaded the waters of opiate addiction, it is a baffling idea to consider.
She may not have it beat yet, but she would, the mother told herself. She knew she would find the solution — she just hadn’t yet. She knew she could get better, she just wasn’t better yet. As squelched were the screams of her soul, there was something she could hear. No, she couldn’t hear her soul at all. But this she could feel.
Jillian’s peers had made it out like the world ended when you used any substance, but the world hadn’t ended at all. In fact, it felt exactly the same. She still had no desire to use it and was looking forward to doing step work with Jen that evening. Even more, after the magic of last night, she was looking forward to it more than the day before.
When she had first arrived to the rooms, one of the first things Jillian heard was that she had to change her people, places and things. Which made sense because like they always say, “If you keep going to the barbershop, you are going to get a haircut.” But when her old friend Sarah called, she was delighted to hear from her. Sarah wasn’t around during the years Jillian spent curled up into a miserable ball at the feet of addiction.
She was 16 years old when she shot dope for the first time. Drugs had never been around much for most of her childhood, but she had been dating this mega-hot senior, and she was head over heels.
When I walked in, they asked me to place all my bags on the counter for inspection. I was nervous, even though I knew I didn’t have any contraband. I pointed to my tiny glass animals from Texas — that were folded inside some clothes — so the intake nurse wouldn’t drop them as she searched my things. They were, after all, the only thing I had.
How could someone so full of love, light and life not have the will to live? How could those who improve the lives of so many other people not be capable of creating a life for themselves that is good enough to live?
Maybe there was a fire and you barely got out in time. Or maybe, you got T-boned at an intersection and as that car slammed into you in slow motion, your life flashed before your eyes. Some people have drowned and survived. Many have gone to war. Some victims of abuse face fear of death or severe harm on a daily basis. The list goes on.
The anonymous nature of 12-step programs, coupled with blind loyalty towards esteemed members, has created an environment where sexual predators abuse their community-given authority to prey upon vulnerable people — people who are desperately running into the rooms looking for someone to help them save their life.