Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Addict’s Private Prison – Part 1

Ok so you wonder is this woman qualified to speak on this topic. To that I would say judge for yourself. I walked side by side, for nine years with my daughter Angela through the most agonizing hell fire you can imagine as she fought her heroin addiction. I have seen things I will never put to paper, I have heard things I will never utter to another soul. I have read her private thoughts with gut wrenching pain… so yes I feel qualified…so we move forward.

We all have secrets. Imagine for a moment you have a secret so brutal, so intense, so beyond the definition of private (and perhaps you do) you feel you can never reveal it to another living soul. Think about that for a second and let the very thought of that sink in, feel it… can you even begin to imagine what it must be like to live with that secret day in and day out – alone? You’re trapped with it inside your own private prison, walls so thick and reinforced with years of guilt and fear. Impenetrable the best security system ever built…no need for electronic gadgets or armed guards; the human heart coupled with beaten down self-esteem is stronger than anything man could ever physically create.

Addicts in their active addiction create such chaos and drama, unintentionally but they create it just the same. Days filled with deception weave an unattractive tapestry. Early on the lies don’t weigh so heavy but as the progression of the addiction makes headway the lies become tangled and hard to keep track of…manipulation is an everyday occurrence and chasing their chosen high is first and foremost in their minds. It doesn’t matter who they have to deceive, or what they must sacrifice within themselves be it physical or emotional to obtain the high. It isn’t because they are callous or evil it’s because the monster that is addiction is more powerful than the human condition can overcome at that time. Like having your arms and legs bound together and thrown into the ocean unable to mobilize, to swim and to save yourself.

Unless you’ve been there or seen it firsthand you probably will never understand it. But those of us who have seen it or lived it firsthand realize the unbelievable power of drugs/alcohol. It is a crippling feeling to watch a loved one locked away behind self inflicted prison walls and to know we are powerless… we do not have the key to set them free.

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