Today a boy that I've loved since the day he was born will be buried. At thirty nine, his struggle with addiction finally ended in an over dose. He was a kind and gentle soul who only wanted to be loved. He and all who loved him did their best to battle a force stronger than most and sadly failed. This loss of promise, hope, and faith is a reminder of the power of addiction.
One can't begin to understand
the challenges that an addict
overcomes every single day. In
my opinion they are the bravest
of souls. You see, they must
rein in a force so strong that
it could destroy them. What
they crave is their enemy and
one mistake could end it all.
And yet, all sorts of individuals
find the strength, resolve, and
courage to overcome this evil
and oppressive force every day.
The all consuming craving
for what ails them is genetic.
Fighting this "disease" calls
for a strength of character
few have. Typical ailments
are medicated in the hope
of a cure. Patients have but
little control on the outcome.
However, when battling
addiction control lies in the
victim's hands. Nobody else
can help them. Therefore
only the strong survive.
How many times have you judged
a drunk or addict? Most associate
their struggle with weakness and
nothing could be farther than the
truth. They're victims of the worst
affliction possible. How can it be
possible to be rational about a
force so irrational that it can easily
destroy you? Bearing all of the
responsibility alone, they must
control, manage, overcome, and
reject a compulsion that unabated
will totally consume them.
Can one truly imagine what
that's like? Let's be honest,
I can barely resist temptation.
So... what if I knew that one
mistake might kill me? I may
have enough resolve to battle
something out of my control
like cancer. I doubt whether
I could find the strength to
control an evil force within
my control. Yet... addicts do
so every day. Tell me what
could be more inspiring?
Circle of love
Unabated addiction destroys not
only the individual, but also
ravages those they love. Slowly
their beloved must embrace that
their role in battling this evil is
minimal at best. While we share
in their struggle, in the end there
is little we can do to help. Tough
love and interventions may make
us feel better, but in reality the
"cure" is out of our control. In the
end all we can do is encourage,
focus, support, and empower.
Today I honor a young man for his
ability to survive as long as he did.
What is more amazing than having
the strength to overcome the devils
within every minute, of every hour,
of every day? Or braver than living
in the moment and hoping for the
future? Yes, he failed. However
rather than mourn, I celebrate his
attempts to survive against all
odds. I am truly humbled to have
been able to know and love him.