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[ Opinion ] [ Personal Narratives ]

A Viral Photo of Addiction

With all the hype about the parents that were found in their car doped out of their mind, that “didn’t care about their child”, or “need to go to prison forever.”  Let me start off with, this is just my opinion.  I am not a doctor.  I am not a psychiatrist.  I am not an addiction specialist.  I am a grateful recovering alcoholic/addict.  

I did not choose to be an addict.  I did not wake up one day and say, “I want to drink as much as I can for the rest of my life to ruin it.”  I did not say, “I want to buy pot, then sell it, then do coke and more drugs.”  I also did not wake up one day and start drinking a fifth a day either.  It is a progressive disease.  People don’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey, I think I’m going to walk the corners and find someone to sell me some kind of amount of that methamphetamine I hear is so good.”  My brain was different long before I actually started drinking and using.

I have an addictive personality in a lot of the things I do on a daily basis. It was hard for me when I quit drinking and using to not switch to something else to replace that, like food or cigarettes or sugar. I felt I needed to fill that time or void with something. I found I replaced the void with things I used to do before I drank and used: photography and writing.

Addiction does not discriminate either.  You can be black or white, rich or poor, a CEO or receptionist, working mom or college student.  I thought that since I had my life together, I didn’t have a DUI, hadn’t lost my kids, still had my husband, and still had a job, that I was immune to this disease, that I did not have a problem. But, the truth was I did.

This really might hit a nerve, but I was guilty of it as well.  Another thing that bothers me is what if this picture above was a guy driving home with his child buzzed?  He just had a few beers. He was barely over the limit.  Should he get a DUI?  Would that have gone as viral? 

 I have seen people time and time again leave functions with their children in the car after “only having a few beers”, knowing good and well they were over the limit.  Today I say something, and offer a ride.  But in our society alcohol is legal.  It is socially accceptable.  So that’s what I thought. That’s why I switched from drugs to alcohol, and that’s what took me down.  With alcohol I totally lost control. Is it because it’s legal?  I could get it anytime I wanted.  It’s sold on every corner, almost every restaurant. Beverly A. Potter & Sebastian Orfali said, “Because alcohol is encouraged by our culture, we get the idea that it isn’t dangerous.  However, alcohol is the most potent and most toxic of the legal psychoactive drugs.”

I would have done anything for my kids. I loved them more than anything, but I couldn’t quit for them.  The disease was stronger than my love.  That’s how sick I was.  Today I am clean and sober.  Today, with a relationship with God, my daily conscious contact with God, a good support system, meetings, a sponsor, and close friends in recovery as well, I can stay sober one day at a time.  Only by the grace of God.  God bless!