(I started this post last night but couldn’t find the words I wanted to finish it. A day away from the net does wonders for blog posts)
There is such a stigma surrounding the word. Addict. Such negativity. Sometimes a lot of hate. Yesterday I saw the news (on Twitter of course) about the death of singer Amy Winehouse. And lots of negativity about her on twitter & the net, most because she was an addict. Now I must say I am not a real fan of her music (I admit I really dislike Rehab) but will say she was talented. Another member of The 27 Club. Joining others like Hendrix, Joplin & Morrison. But this post is not about them. It’s about the ones we never hear of. The unknowns. The ones who die and no one but friends and family know or care. The ones who die & don’t make headlines.
May of us know someone with an addiction, be it drugs, alcohol, smoking, sex. A smaller number of us know of someone who has been seriously injured or died because of this addiction. Others of us have lived through addiction first hand. I am one of those.
I was an alcoholic and drug addict before I turned 18. I woke up to find my boyfriend of the time dead of a drug overdose the day after his 18th birthday. Many said I wouldn’t make my 18th, then my 21st. (Well I’m 33 and still here ) Addicts come from so many different backgrounds. I came from a good home. My parents were (& still are) happily married. I wasn’t abused. I made the choice to start using drugs. Every addict, at one point makes the choice to start the addiction. Many make the choice to ask for help. Sadly many don’t ask, or don’t get the chance to ask for help.
I first started taking drugs to fit in with some friends, many of which I am still friends with (some sadly are no longer with us). I spiralled deeper into drug & alcohol use and became deeply depressed. I used drugs & alcohol to numb myself and because I was convinced I needed them to have a good time. Loosing my then boyfriend should have been a wake up but no I kept using & drinking. I have had many occasions where I can’t remember the evening, what happened, how I got home, who I went home with. I have many occasions I regret. There are a couple of times where I lost days (& apparently had a stomach pump that I don’t recall).
I last touched drugs (the non prescribed kind) in 2003. I gave up smoking in 2005 and the last drink I had was before I was pregnant with Miss K. Well actually I did have a small glass of something on my birthday but it was only one glass – I’m a cheap drunk now LOL I made the choice that my life was worth living and I made the choice to get clean. I don’t judge those who are still addicts. I offer support by means of an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on or support should they choose to try and get clean. I also support families of addicts because they are often judged because of the action of the addict (I know this from experience). The families are often forgotten. We need to support them too.
When Miss K asks I will tell her the truth about what I got up to when I was younger. I will warn her of the dangers. I will let her know I am always around if she needs to ask something. I will tell her not to give into peer pressure. Doing drugs is not cool. Sadly I feel some musicians, movie stars & TV stars can make it look cool. I feel as parents, we need to let our kids know that drugs aren’t cool and that there are real consequences. Deaths like those of Winehouse can bring that home.
To finish off this rambling post I want to link up to two great posts.
The first by celebrity Russel Brand. Brand is an English comedian, actor, columnist, singer, author and radio/television presenter. Brand is also a self confessed former heroin and sex addict and a recovering alcoholic. This post about Amy Winehouse is beautifully written. I love the quote ‘We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our government funds rehabilitation.’ So true.
The second is by fellow mum blogger Tutu Ames (she is awesome – you should check out her blog & follow her on Twitter). It’s an amazing post by an amazing woman. She says ‘Judge me on my past and you could be judging your neighbour, best friend, boyfriend, sibling, parent or yourself. If you judge someone on their addiction ask yourself why? If you aren’t an addict or alcoholic count yourself lucky that you can stop at your second glass of wine.’ I love that.
For more information about drug & alcohol addiction and how you can help yourself or someone you know please check out ADIN