Words from a suffering addict:
“Chemical Dependency created a darkness and sense of confusion in me that few understand. Self-torment, shame and loneliness often found an unwelcome home where it seems that my best efforts to stop were fruitless. In my heart, I know I am a good person, I know my own wishes and dreams; yet, I watch them slip away day after day, given over to a problem that I certainly did not intend to have. Repeated promises to myself or others just get broken. Eventually I gave up making them anymore. It did not happen overnight and I even made a vow in my youth, I’d never let anything like this happen to me. Yet, it did and along with the problem came an erosion of self-esteem and being able to live in my own skin. Deep inside a corrosive problem is threatening to dissolve my sense of self, remove loved ones and very possibly take my life. Probably no one really knows how I feel; I am not even sure myself. I just know something needs to be done. This isn’t how I want to live my life, this isn’t who I am.”
Chemical dependency affects people of every socio-economic walk of life. It has no respect for intelligence, morality or values. It is a disease that has devastating effects on a person’s physical health, emotional wellbeing, family life, mental functioning and spirituality. It is estimated that fifteen percent of the population have this disease, yet only three percent of them are “skid row,” Most have jobs, a family and a home. Unfortunately, many will die or end up in prison. That is the bad news; the good news is it is possible to recover. Many do and go on to have happy, contented and productive lives, pursuing dreams that had at one time been abandoned. However, it cannot be done alone.
So, how does someone with substance abuse and addiction issues get better? It starts with one simple, but powerful act—ask for help. You see, you don’t have to do this alone. We are so fortunate to live at a time when help is available. With that said, it is up to each person with this chronic and progressive illness to make a decision and reach out. If others could do it for you, they would have. I urge you to search your heart and soul and decide if you’ve had enough. If the answer is “yes”, then the next step is yours to take. I hope you decide to pick up the phone and call.