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[ Opinion ] [ Personal Narratives ]

Change Your Mind, Change The World

    Have you ever had a vivid nightmare that you can’t seem to wake yourself up from? The type that paralyzes your ability to control any aspect of the outcome. Like you’re hovering over your own body, in a daze wondering if it will ever end. January 7th, 2016, the horrific moment we prayed would never happen, the death of my brother. That’s when my everlasting nightmare began.

       Awakened by my Mom’s deafening screams and hysterical weeping, I knew this was the dreaded call. Two years my brother was clean. Two years of building himself up to the best I have ever seen him. Picked himself up from beneath rock bottom, and made himself a man to be proud of, more importantly, a father to be proud of. Threw it all away for a spoon and a needle. It makes me sick to think that something so evil exists among us. It breaks my heart to think of how many amazing souls Heroin has consumed. Overloading their thoughts with promises of peace, if they come back to her. Numbing them to the emotions they learned to push aside, and isolating them from the love they feel they don’t deserve. 

       I have been asked every question you could imagine about my brother’s struggle with Heroin. There isn’t a day that goes by where my thoughts aren’t taken over by just how judgmental and naive people can be. Why is it that so many people look at addicts as lost causes? Sure, it’s a battle fought and lost by many, but what if a little less judgment && a little more support actually made a difference? I know for a fact pretending like they don’t exist definitely doesn’t.  

   The fact that people actually believe they chose this lifestyle & want to live it just astounds me. How can you not see the cry for help? There is always reasoning behind a person’s destructive actions. If you treat someone as he is he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, that is what he will become. My brother and I would talk for hours about how he would never be more than an addict to the world. How much more difficult it made it for him to get clean. When you have people literally laugh when you tell them you’re sober because they wrote you off a long time ago. People wouldn’t even give him a chance to change! Why do we kick others when they’re down? Are we not supposed to empower one another anymore?

    My brother was one of the best people I know. He’d lose it during the first couple weeks of sobriety because he wasn’t numb anymore to the memories of the evil manipulative things he did just to get a fix. He didn’t know how to handle his emotions without numbing them with drugs. If the smallest bad thing happened he would be thrown completely off track. Thinking here we go everything can only go down from here. Having that subconscious little voice in the back of his head grow louder. He knew how to turn the world off and not feel out of control. He literally thought the world would be a better place without him in it. He most definitely didn’t choose this. He started his own company. He had three beautiful boys that adored him and we finally reunited our family after two years of not speaking. If that doesn’t show you the seriousness of addiction I don’t know what will.

   Addicts never stand still, they either get better, or they get worse. Relapsing is like your first love coming back around and you find yourself feeling giddy and content with life. It’s only once you’re drowning, with no help or hope in sight, that you remember they’re abusive and controlling. Then the never-ending struggle to escape with your life begins all over again.

   Everyone is going through their own personal hells. This world would be a much better place if we took a moment to stop thinking about just ourselves, and stepped into their shoes. Impact peoples’ lives positively by giving them a chance to be all they can be. Not saying people need to go out of their way for others. Just don’t add unnecessary judgment and misery to people’s lives because you think they don’t matter. 

    This Heroin epidemic is quadrupling right before our eyes! I personally know more people I can count on my hands and toes that have overdosed in a matter of two years! It’s a problem that needs a solution. How are we going to come up with a solution when people pretend the victims of this disease don’t even exist? You may not personally be connected to someone suffering from this disease. That doesn’t mean you won’t. Trust me, if we keep blinding ourselves to reality, you will. Maybe you even think this problem will magically go away in time. I’m here to tell you, you’re wrong. Acknowledge the fact addicts are people too, just like you and me. Maybe a little positivity and support could be the small factor this world needs towards making a difference.