Addiction. It's that dirty little family secret that conveniently eludes conversation, or the troubled silhouettes lining the streets, known only as junkies. Someone once told me that being an addict feels like someone eating your soul and serving it up on a silver platter. A pretty powerful analogy when you consider that even the euphemisms--train wreck, hitting rock bottom, user--all paint really grim portraits of the affected individual.
And what about all of those addict-related movies we've seen? Trainspotting, Spun, Requiem for a Dream, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (the book was even more powerful), Walk the Line, The Basketball Diaries, and Blow--just to name a few--all tell dark stories of lives rapidly spinning out of control in the name of just one more fix...
Even more heart-wrenching is watching Intervention. Not only do you get a candid glimpse of this self-destructive behaviour, you are reminded of the humanity behind the disease. These are not mere junkies but mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives. Each of their stories are unique, while being tragically similar.
While I've never been an addict myself, I've seen friends go down that well-travelled path. I'm not going to divulge all the dirty details but I will say this: The worst part about it is that you actually think they are going to die, as in, OD into cardiac arrest and then just like that, they are dead. The end.
But they didn't die.
Instead, they managed to pick themselves out of that hopeless gutter and chose to live. While some may consider this a small miracle, I believe it was something much more tangible. I think that amidst the fog of all those empty trips and endless parties that there was a moment of clarity in which they realized there was more. Thankfully, their family and friends became a mirror of this hope.