Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Little Sunday Morning Rant

Whenever someone dies after a life marked by substance abuse and addiction, the "wise" folks of the Internet like to throw around the word "selfish." These people also do this when someone dies by suicide. "I would never do that to my spouse/children/parents/friends. I would never be so selfish."

There is also the ever-popular, "Why didn't anyone do anything? Well, why didn't they do MORE?" commentary. On top of this, there is the "Let's blame the spouse/ex-spouse" contingent.

With the news of Whitney Houston's death yesterday, that sort of talk ramped up again. Houston was found dead in her hotel room. There is no official cause of death yet, but everyone seems to understand it was likely drugs or the effects of previous abuse.

My father-in-law often says drug and alcohol abuse will lead you one of two places: Behind bars or in the ground. Sometimes it happens quickly. Other times, it happens slowly. But, have no doubt, it will happen.

Funny how people don't throw around that "selfish" word when someone dies after a life of eating fried foods or years of smoking cigarettes or a life of driving too fast while not wearing a seat belt. No one ever says it when someone dies because every day they chose to eat something they shouldn't have and filled their arteries with crud.

No, it's always the drug addict who is "selfish."

Addiction is a disease. Be glad you don't have it. Be glad you don't have to live with someone who has it, that you don't have to have people wonder why no one did anything about it or tell you to your face, six hours after a funeral, that you were in denial. Even if you know you weren't in denial, that stings. Even if you know that this person doesn't know one damn thing about you and your life. Even if you know that you drove a person to rehab twice. That you begged him to stop. That you bought into the bull shit that if the person loved you and your children enough, he would stop.

Have you ever tried to fight a demon? You probably haven't. Try to imagine if you could do it. Try to imagine the last time you attempted to deny yourself something relatively innocuous like a Diet Coke or another cup of coffee or an extra serving of mashed potatoes. Then times that craving by about a zillion.

Good for you, wise and superior people of the Internet, that you don't actually know how addiction or codependency works. That means you haven't had to deal with something that millions of people struggle through every day. You're lucky. Thank God for your blessings. Thank God you always do the right thing and that you would be sure to "do something" if someone you knew had a drug problem. Thank God you don't know what it's like to live with your own frustrating feelings of failure, that you have to remind yourself every day that you did do all you could do and that, sometimes, it doesn't work. Thank God.

And then after you've adequately thanked Him for your good luck? Perhaps you could shut the fuck up.


  1. Oh, boy, are you speaking to me today!!! I am in a Psych rotation right now and I have almost had to physically restrain myself at times to keep from flipping out on some of my 22-year-old classmates. They're all, "I just can't believe this psychotic/drug-addicted/manic patient's family doesn't care about them. Why don't they take them home and help them? Boo hoo, etc." I have given multiple lectures about how exhausting and demoralizing and dangerous it is to love and live with a mentally ill person. I've used the analogy of finally having to paddle your own life raft away from a sinking ship. Don't know if I've gotten through to anybody but at least no one says that shit in front of me anymore! :)

  2. AMEN FRIEND....A-FUCKIN-MEN......i'll say it again, you cannot help an addict who doesn't want your help or HELP period. ITS EXHAUSTING DEALING WITH THEM PERIOD ON A DAILY BASIS. exhausting!!!! R.I.P. whitney..praying she is finally at peace with her demons.

  3. And what about the arseholes who don't think we should celebrate the life of Whitney, one incredible singer, just because she was an addidt. I don't like these people very much. It is really isn't all that hard, people...LOVE AND FORGIVE...SIMPLE.

    1. Yeah, I don't like these people much either. It is possible to celebrate someone's life and your love for them or your admiration for their accomplishments, despite the way they died. Of course, we know this well. I will preach it 'til the day I die. I feel sorry for the people who don't know this, who don't choose love and forgiveness and understanding over judgement and hate and ugliness.

      Luckily, throwing down an F bomb here and there helps me deal with my feelings about this subject.


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