TED Talk about Addiction…

All three of my young nephews died from drugs and no one, no treatment, could save them from themselves. My uncle lost everything and couldn’t stop drinking.   My friend died from heroin.  Another one from smoking…lots of people from smoking.  In fact, my friend was smoking with the patch on her arm (the patch was to shut up her loving family).  She watched her father die the same way but she just wouldn’t stop.  I don’t know a single addict who was actually helped by their family, or by rehab.  The only ex-addicts I know are dead.

An alcoholic I know, one who went to AA for years, drinks bottles of wine everyday but thinks he’s cured because he stopped drinking martinis.  He starts drinking when he wakes up.  When he was younger he would just pass out while driving, or in the middle of a room. So, this is a nice talk and I hope it helps those who truly want to be helped but it’s hard for me to understand because personally, I’ve never seen anyone get better unless s/he decided to just do it.  A chain smoker I know stopped smoking because her son said she couldn’t be around his new baby as long as she smoked.  She stopped.  My dad, also a chain smoker, stopped flat out when his friend stroked out because of smoking.  My dad’s lungs were black when he died even though he hadn’t smoked in years and years.  I remember his doctor asking if he had ever worked in a coal mine.  The friend who died from her addiction to heroin found her mom dead in bed after coming home from the hospital to recover from having part of her lung removed because of smoking.  Her mom was smoking before she had even been released from the hospital.  Difficult thing, that’s for sure.

I don’t know how much others can actually help addicts.  I think it’s up to the addict.  Like everything else, what we do is up to us as individuals.  We can’t save other people.  We can be there for them but ultimately, it’s up to each person to save themselves.  Here’s the thing…how much of a person’s life should they give up to help those who don’t actually want help?  You might think the answer is, “You never give up,” but I disagree because families can be destroyed by focusing on an addict above everything else and that doesn’t make any sense to me. I’ve seen lives ruined because of things like that.  It hurts the other kids/people, breaks and exhausts everyone.  Often causes divorce and even more addictions.  It’s something people need to take into consideration because the lives of others are involved in the decision one makes to spend years trying to save someone who won’t be saved.

I told my friend (heroin addict, speed, you name it, she took it), that it was obvious that she loved “doing drugs” and that she was never going to stop so she may as well just do her thing and enjoy herself.   She said that she did love them and her face lit up with joy.  She was accepted into the college she always wanted to attend, but she didn’t go to class, got worse and worse, started stealing cars, breaking into places, but she was happy.  Most of her friends were addicts. A couple were clean, they had been able to give it up, in fact, they tried to help her, but she loved the life too much to ever stop.  She died in her 30s, homeless, broke, hiding from the police, with sores on her legs. When her friend called and told me she was in the hospital, I told her they wouldn’t take care of her. She didn’t believe me.  She called me back and said, they wouldn’t take care of her. They won’t waste their resources on an addict like her.  I tried to tell her that.  It’s happened before.  So, she died.  She was funny, smart, generous, and kind.  But she was crazy about drugs.  Used them, sold them…all of it.  She lived her life exactly the way she wanted to live it.  She was happy, even when she called me and had that intense hyper real voice she had when she on speed and hadn’t slept for four days…but she was happy.  I knew, as soon as I heard her voice, that she had black circles under her eyes, was twitching and looked like death, but she was flying and that’s what she loved.  So, her choices were her own and she was satisfied. No one could make her see things differently.  Knowing her was like watching a slow, by happy suicide.  But she was really funny and I miss that.

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2 Responses to TED Talk about Addiction…

  1. maggie0019 says:

    Oh Gigi. It’s so true. 😦

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