Touched by Addiction

So this little topic might seem a bit dark compared to where I try to go on here, but it is what it is.  A hot button for conversation lately seems to be whether or not addiction is a disease.  I am not really trying to spark a debate of opinions on whether or not addiction is a disease, but if you feel you must, go for it.  The only way solutions will ever be reached is by people talking them out in a rational fashion.  New perspectives can often be beneficial for a number of reasons.

That is not really what this is about though.

Many, many people are affected by addiction in one way or another.  Maybe you do suffer, or have suffered, or maybe you know someone who suffers.  Maybe you lost someone to death or just in general as the only thing left to do was to walk away because that was all you had left to give.  Maybe there was just a teeter tottering of substance abuse that caused more problems than you ever knew possible.

The bottom line here is that addiction and substance abuse causes various forms of pain for a lot of people.  I have a friend that I am thinking of in particular, he is family to me. I have called him my brother for many years.  He is someone who I have known the longest in my life. Of my 32 years, he has been a part of my life for 19.  He was always there for me when I was at my worst, my best, when I needed a friend to talk to, a good laugh, or just out of the house for a while for some fresh air.  He never asked much of me, but he also knew that I was not one to tolerate bullshit.

I will never forget the first conversation that I had with him when I realized he was not who he used to be anymore.  It was subtle.  I thought he was just elated that things were going okay for him, so little did I know what he was up to at the time.  Then he started getting in trouble repeatedly.  Now he has been in trouble with three counties in our area.  And he is in jail.  I think he was sentenced to seven years, but given a 120 day shock. As far as I know his next court date/trial for a different group of charges starts in 2018.  And with all the mistakes he has made, there is no telling how that is going to turn out for him.  I question his ability to stay out of trouble at this point in life if he were given the chance.

I gave him his space as our friendship was noticeably, to me, failing.  I told him what a dumbass he was being when I got to see him. He steered clear quite a bit, as I don’t tolerate the bullshit.  He is an adult and is going to do what he wants or thinks appropriate regardless of what I have to say about it.  Scary thing about his natural personality is that he has a hard time accepting when something is simply his fault. There is always a reason or excuse.  He is not the person who you can count on to stand up and simply say, “I fucked up.  It is my fault. I am going to deal with the consequences and make this right and do better for myself.”  I wonder how much that contributed to where he is now.  He always had the craziest stories about things that happened.  It never rolled over into my life, so no harm, no foul, right?  Well, it has finally gotten really crazy. So much so that they are not just stories that will turn into faded memories. The consequences have caught up to the actions and are becoming a harsh reality with an unknown future.

Now I am watching people walk away.  People that have become good friends to me as he is the one who brought us together.  People that I respected based on his opinion and relationship with them over the years.  People that I never in a million years would have imagined not being a part of his life because they were such good friends. People have helped him out over and over again and they just cannot do it anymore. I can’t blame them.  I would have probably done the same if I had ever actually tried to help him out in the same way some of them did.  If you gave an inch he would often take a mile.  I will kept my inch and my mile, thank you.  This was the luck of an inside knowledge that I gained from growing up with him.  Lucky me I guess.

Sometimes I feel bad like maybe there was something I could have done or said, but I know there wasn’t.  I was always here, even if it wasn’t the kind of help he wanted or needed.  I was here. I am still here.  Just trying to find the right way to be useful without sacrificing too much or something I can’t live without.

I keep wondering if this is finally rock bottom so maybe he can crawl his way back out with at least some piece of who he used to be and get his shit together.  It is time.  We all hope it is finally time.  But does it really ever happen that way though?


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