Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Like a Settin' Sun...


"I've seen the needle
And the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie's
like a settin' sun."

--Neil Young, from "Needle and the
Damage Done"


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.

5 comments:

Black_Mamba said...

Are you sure we're not related? We have quite a lot in common lol..........

It is hard to watch people esp. ones we care about go through ceratin addictions, more so with the intervention and the withdrawal. It's through these mistakes that they learn though. And having much hope plus the support of family and friends helps a lot too :)

Very well said girl ;)

Divinyl said...

I work with drug users / drug addicts / however you would like to term them (well, when I am at work...I have currently been off for several months...I have no idea who I will maintain my blog when I go back!). It is truly awful to see the grip this has on people...how it is able to completely wreck every aspect of their lives. And, for many reasons, I think that alcohol is even worse than any illegal substances. But the relief and pride I feel when (if!) I begin to see any of that fighting spirit, that recognition that life could be better...

Anyway, have you seen a British film called 'Pure'? Worth checking out, films about addiction-wise. x

--Bamboo Blitz-- said...

Ivy, we must live in parallel universes and you never know, we just might be related somewhere down the bloodline! ha ha! But yes, it's a pretty crazy experience to witness someone you care about succumb to the drugs. Also, the toll it takes on their families is really heartbreaking...

Divinyl, I'm sure your work is among the most rewarding, yet difficult jobs out there. A good friend used to be a counselor for "troubled youth" and she told me the horror stories about the whole crystal meth epidemic sweeping the streets here in Canada. Meth is super cheap and extra dirty. They say you can get hooked after just one hit...Crazy!

As for alcohol abuse, I totally agree with you there. Besides for my own experiences, this post was originally inspired by a family friend of mine who's currently dealing with her daughter-in-law throw her life down the toilet while her kids sadly watch. She's an alcoholic who can't get by without the whisky. In this instance, your heart really goes out to her kids since you can only imagine the devastating effects this is going to have on them...I'll also look into that movie you recommended.

Cheers for your comments ladies!

AntiBarbie said...

My father was a hardcore drug addict from before I was born. He shared needles with others and didn't find out he had AIDS until it was full blown. He died from his addiction when I was only 18 years old.

--Bamboo Blitz-- said...

antibarbie, thank you for sharing your story. I can't imagine how difficult that experience must have been for you and I really appreciate your candor. Take care...

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