If the Battle Still Rages on, Now Is the Time to Fight Before It’s Lost for Good
I received word recently that another old friend had lost his battle with addiction. My immediate thoughts, as is normally the case, were with his family left behind. I thought about his brother and how close they were and what he must be going through. I thought about his mom. I thought about all the times I had with them when we were younger men and full of youthful life and wonder. Many years have passed since I last saw either, but that didn’t keep the news from stinging. A part of me wished I knew he was struggling, so I could have reached out and helped, the other part of me knows there are a lot of people I have crossed paths with in my life that are still struggling that I’ll never be able to reach or help because I won’t ever know about it. That’s the nature of addiction, it’s rarely something people advertise. I know I didn’t. The only people that knew were those close to me or close to the people in my life.
After processing his death and my thoughts about the grief his family will now deal with for the years to come, I began to think about how grateful I am that my family and friends didn’t suffer the same fate.
I thought about my brother and sister, how a once estranged relationship with each has finally gone through the healing process and how blessed I am to have them both in my life again. I thought about my parents, and how for so many years they feared the phone call that would change their lives forever. I thought about how grateful I am that it never came, and how the greatest gift I have ever given them is for them to be able to lay their heads down at night with the peace that comes once that fear has been removed. I thought about the peace in my life now knowing that the people I love and care about are no longer burdened with my addiction.
I was grateful that the person that gave me the news is a life long friend who had previously decided to disconnect from me due to my addiction and lifestyle but reached out to me after seeing the success I have had in turning my life around. It’s yet another example of things in my life coming full circle once I decided to overcome my addiction and shift my attention towards helping others do the same. Our mutual friend’s death had made him grateful to see me doing well given all the heartbreak that has impacted us through the years regarding addiction. It was not lost on him that I could have easily been on the growing list of people he had to say goodbye to way too soon.
I say all this because while I know I can’t throw a lifeboat to everyone, my mission in life has become raising awareness and using my story and experiences to do as much to help the addiction crisis in this country as I possibly can. If you or a loved one is struggling, there needs to be an urgency to regain hope and do whatever is necessary to save you or your loved one’s life. Find the overwhelming peace that comes once that lifestyle is left behind for good. Reach out for help, whether you have tried and failed more than once or are looking for a way out for the first time, I promise you that overcoming the nightmare of addiction is obtainable with the right attitude, mindset and tools. The alternative to seeking help can lead to a finality that can’t be undone while seeking and finding help can lead to the life that was always meant to be before addiction took over.