This is NOT a negative rant. This is me speaking up after much thought and conversation with smart, capable recovered addicts sharing my similar frustrations and confusion.
With regard to drug policy and change, it’s my opinion that often the voices of the those in recovery are being ignored and dismissed . I am not only the mother of a beautiful and sweet daughter lost to addiction, I’m a recovered addict . Neither of us looked or seemed like your typical idea of a “junkie”. However, as we all know by now, addiction doesn’t discriminate. This begs the question, so why do we?
I wonder as I’ve heard it suggested, would the public and government be simply placating and sympathizing with mother’s of those lost to addiction by entertaining their public platforms or even occasionally acting on requested reforms? Are the opinions of “book experts” in the field of substance abuse more likely to be respected over an addict’s because the addict is too sick or under educated to understand their own disease? I don’t necessarily believe those things but I do wonder why we are not as present in these discussions as we should be. Maybe we just have to strategize or yell our way to a place at the table.
While I’m sure well intended, many say they care about the addicted and are representing us by fighting for change, yet, are we really represented ? I guess I’m asking , do they really care about changing the way the addicted are treated and saving LIVES …or do they just care about giving a voice to the life of their child lost to addiction? And if they truly care about those addicted, why dismiss their input on the subject affecting them? A subject they are in arguably an expert on? A subject they can enlighten those, the confused and hurting family member of a lost loved one on?
Why are those renowned voices asking for donations from the indigent addict? So much to think about but, I’m falling asleep.
I’ve always been like a lion protecting her cub for the underdog. I guess the is me doing this in my way.
Some of the wisest, brightest, creative and most charismatic people are addicts. We are articulate and passionate . It all started out as with everyone, all about life and love and those in our world. Then somewhere along the way we broke and descended and it became about our obsession with a drug. But, if we stay alive and recover, it becomes about a passion to share our journey of survival from hell with everyone, even those outside our little worlds. But, I believe it can be more than just shared horror stories. I think the answer lies in the gory details and we have as much insight as anyone on what it takes to fight this epidemic. Some of us want to do more than scare everyone with our tragic stories, we want to find solutions to prevent agony for others.
Yes, losing a child is a powerful reason to come forward and advocate and is my primary motivator but, I’m also driven by a sense that we need to be heard if not understood. Respected if not liked. That’s the only way to save lives.
If you want to eliminate stigma and shame for those LIKE your child lost to addiction, don’t contribute to the cycle of continuing it. Sit down with someone who shared your loved one’s disease and ask them what they endured. How they felt. A stranger could answer your questions better than any doctor ever could.
Did you know that some of the smartest, most creative and empathetic historical figures struggled with addiction? Google or Bing it. It’s real.
Please understand, we thank you for your love but we too have something to offer the world , starting with some advice on how to help US… 😉
Personally, I just want to sit down with mom’s and share in their loss. I want to hug an addict and tell them they’re not a reject. I want to tell the world that it’s complicated but then again, it’s not.
Addiction is the opposite of connection. Don’t just make this rhetoric, walk the walk and listen to those you seek to help.
Just so you know, we thank you and love you for battling for us… with us. We can’t do it without you …and you can’t do it without us either. ♡