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“Reality is my problem”

I am in no way a Russell Brand fan.  But this article is an honest look into the mind of an addict.  Honest and haunting.  Well written.  Thoughtful.  And painful.

If you know someone who is an addict, and even more, if you love someone who is an addict (Brother, Sister, Wife, Husband, Father, Son, Daughter, etc.), you “get” this.  You understand this world.

“Drugs and alcohol are not my problem, reality is my problem, drugs and alcohol are my solution.”
REALITY is my problem. Addicts are merely people in pain. People trying to dull the pain for whatever reason. People who chose a pretty damaging coping mechanism to deal with their pain. OR, people with mental illness who don’t have any resources but to “self-medicate”.
But they’re just like everyone else. Trying to navigate their way through life.

“I cannot accurately convey to you the efficiency of heroin in neutralising pain. It transforms a tight, white fist into a gentle, brown wave. From my first inhalation 15 years ago, it fumigated my private hell and lay me down in its hazy pastures and a bathroom floor in Hackney embraced me like a womb.”

The truth is, reality is ALL of our problems. And we all have different ways of coping. Some people use drugs and alcohol to dull the pain. Some people use food. I see no difference in the addictions (which will probably get me in trouble with some people). One chooses drugs, one chooses food. Both can lead to some pretty awful consequences including death.

Yet the drug addict (or alcoholic) is often seen as “bad” or “scum” or “worthless” while the food addict may be seen as “lazy” “un-disciplined” or have a “lack of self-control”.

The truth is, both groups are just trying to dull pain.

The part that stuck out to me the most:

“It is difficult to feel sympathy for these people. It is difficult to regard some bawdy drunk and see them as sick and powerless. It is difficult to suffer the selfishness of a drug addict who will lie to you and steal from you and forgive them and offer them help. Can there be any other disease that renders its victims so unappealing?…..my belief that if you regard alcoholics and drug addicts not as bad people but as sick people then we can help them to get better. By we, I mean other people who have the same problem but have found a way to live drug-and-alcohol-free lives.”

Alcoholics/Addicts are NOT bad people. They’re sick people. They have worth. God loves them, just as much as he loves anyone. That is truth.

“If you regard alcoholics and drug addicts not as bad people but as sick people then we can help them to get better”

Well said, Russell. Well said.


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