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The Insidious Disease of Addiction – One More Dead

by | Published on Feb 25, 2019 | Sober Living


The disease of addiction is complex and heartbreaking. I believe in sharing stories to spread awareness, so here’s my account of an addiction to recovery. I could smell the sickness from a mile away. It was intense and unsettling, and it stirred in me the thick layer of obscuring dust that had quietly settled over the past eight years of my life. It was hard to see someone suffer the way I had once with drug and alcohol addiction.

For me. It made me uncomfortable.

What do we do when we’re uncomfortable? We avoid and ignore and warn all of our friends. We say, “Sorry, I can’t help today. I have other things to do.” Maybe not all of us do, but I did – because I am a coward, and I am weak, and I am only friendly when it is convenient for me. But I am friendly, you know? People think I am because I drive people around to AA meetings, buy people dinner, and read books with addicts that remind me of myself.

These things are not difficult to do; they don’t inconvenience me terribly, and they make me feel better about myself. They keep my addiction in check, and they allow me a life. And then he came around, and the sickness stung my eyes, and I started to say things like, “Sorry. Today is not a good day for me. I’m sorry.”

How The Disease Of Addiction Is Progressive

And of course not much would have changed had I made the time, and I know that. People will tell you over and over and over, “There’s nothing you could have done.” Generally, this is usually true, and beating ourselves up over unchangeable facts is futile. Addicts and alcoholics typically are good at this behavior.

I keep checking his Facebook to see if it’s real. Looking at pictures of his face – the face I saw sitting across from me in the homegroup on Monday. He was excited to pick up ten months clean – he kept saying it, over and over. He was excited for his year, for his future. I keep thinking about his family, and how often they’ve been checking his Facebook page. If he’s dead, or if maybe he’ll post an early April Fool’s status. It’d be sick, that’s for sure. But it’d be better than this. It would be a lot better than this.

Can You Make An Addict Stop Using Drugs?

It’s a scary thing when people close to you die, and it’s even more frightening to feel some heavy and illogical sense of responsibility. What is by far the scariest, however, is coming to terms with the fact that it could have been any single one of us. None of us are immune. We think we are, especially when we start doing what we’re supposed to be doing, and we start getting healthier. However, the disease of addiction is progressive and ready for a moment of weakness.

It is terrifying because the disease of addiction is patient and lives within addicts, even in recovery.

My friend had a chance, the same as you and me. The disease of addiction does not have to be fatal. Generally, there are steps addicts can take to prevent relapsing on drugs and alcohol in recovery. Additionally, there are actions that sober people can make to avoid a tragedy such as this from occurring to themselves and their families. Help as much as you can to help those who are still suffering at the hands of this disease.

How To Offer Help To Addicts Struggling With Drug Addiction

Don’t be afraid to offer someone you love and who’s struggling with addiction help. Even if an addict does not take the offer initially, in the end, they’ll know you came from a place of caring. Generally, the disease of addiction doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Getting help today can save someone struggling with addiction from a life of turmoil. 

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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