Open Letter to the Addict Haters

I could have reblogged this on my addiction site, but it would only have been read by those who already know the truth of JoAnn’s words, so I’ve chosen to post it onto this site.
JoAnn is a brave recovering addict, who puts a lot of energy and love into supporting those affected by addiction, and educating people on the subject. Without knowledge and empathy, we cannot fight this monster which is eating up our children.

Holy Addiction

Dear Addict Haters:

Hello, you don’t know me but I am an addict.  I am one of the “junkies” you love to bash whenever someone mentions addiction on Social Media or hear it in conversation.  I know it’s hard to forgive the things we sometimes do because of our addiction but I have a question for you.

WHAT IS THE WORST THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE?

Obviously, I won’t get an answer to this question but think about it.  The thing that you hate that you did.  You know, that one thing that not too many people even know about. Well, what if everyone knew about it.  What if for the rest of your life you were labeled by that one act that you would erase in a second if you had the chance?

That is what being an addict is like, kind of.  Now I don’t feel like…

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27 thoughts on “Open Letter to the Addict Haters

        1. I know – that is what I was going to say (many) but I want to make sure everyone does not give up hope. Sometimes, it is about taking small steps. To know the huge path before you can seem daunting otherwise 🙂

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          1. It helps to communicate with addicts who have recovered (although many of them say they are always in recovery). This is why people like JoAnn are so invaluable; they are a reminder that it can be done, and that there is life after addiction.

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  1. Quite an insightful letter. The subject of “addiction” is a thorny issue. My entire family of 5 bros and one sis is addict. All but two recovered and holding. I’m the odd one out: not an addict. I can drink moderately and stop after a couple, and I absolutely HATE all sorts of drugs, including the prescription/legal over-the-counter types. No idea where that hatred of drugs comes from, except past life experiences, nothing in this one to account.

    Living with addicts was stressful. My mother, on legal drugs, committed suicide. My father was an alcoholic and a pedophile. One (unrecovered and refusing to do rehab) younger bro’s inebriated states has caused a lot of problems and hurt to others.

    Addictions are so common around here one wonders how the world keeps functioning knowing that addicts exist everywhere, including in decision-making positions and positions of trust – hospitals, schools, project supervisors, etc.

    Humans have always been prone to various addictions to substances, but the stress of crowded city living combined with the rise of “the Precariat” (awareness that we are living on the edge, in constant precarious conditions) is fueling the need to try to forget, to try to “feel good” just for that moment of escape, of desperately needed bliss.

    Foremost, let’s keep in mind that alcohol and drugs are NOT the only source of addiction, nor the most socially costly, nor the most dangerous.

    Greed and warmongering are way, way, worse, and those should be at the top of the list of the most dangerous addictions, which unlike drugs or alcohol, are CONTAGIOUS.

    So let’s focus on the real problems. Rants against “drug addicts” is scapegoating, pure and simple.

    For those of you who are struggling, recovering from drugs or alcohol addiction, you have my sincere ADMIRATION and moral support.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful detailed response. It hadn’t occurred to me that greed was an addiction, but now you mention it, it seems obvious; having to have more and more things, and when you have all the things you need, making more money – just for the sake of constantly adding to something which has become no more than a number.

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    1. But there will always be angry, fearful people, looking for someone to pin their anger and fear on. I think its the main reason for most of those prejudicial hatreds – sexism, racism, homophobia…
      But we must all do our best.

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        1. I think the focus should be on changing “me” and learning from my own experiences so I don’t keep making the same mistakes and I learn to push myself towards becoming truly compassionate. The world, well, it will notice, or it will not but in any case I’ll be leaving it behind anyway so I can’t let “it” decide my fate for me. About a thousand years ago I was sure I could change the world. Now I know that if I can change myself I’ll have accomplished something pretty awesome.

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          1. I ,too, thought I could change the world. The 60’s and 70’s were packed with people such as us, thinking we were going to ban the bomb. It was fun, but ultimately disappointing. Now I just hope that I may have a positive effect on someone, somewhere, and if I don’t I won’t know that I haven’t, but I will know I’ve tried. Surely the compassionate person will throw out information which may be useful to others? What purpose does compassion serve if nobody benefits from it? Is it compassion if you don’t bother to reach out when you are able?

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            1. Something to ponder on, perhaps, Jane. What I was taught and what I subsequently learned of what it means to be a truly compassionate being. First, the compassionate being would never – not ever – pass by a situation where she can help where help is needed and she has the means to provide it. That’s a given. Compassion is selfless in that sense. Second, the truly compassionate being doesn’t care, nor notice, if others notice or emulate. That is never the point. Compassion is action without any hidden agenda. What is, is. Compassion doesn’t notice if it is praised or mocked: it acts out of compassion. As to benefits, the primary beneficiary is the compassionate one. In fact, that is whom it is meant to benefit. Whomever else benefits, that’s up to “whomever else” to make use of it. “When you give, do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing.” A truism if ever there was one.

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              1. This sounds like the path to Nirvana – a decent goal, but if this is the sole role of compassion, I’m not ready for it. I see pain and injustice, and I may campaign, whether for an individual, or for the world. Long ago I gave up assuming I would win my battles, but campaign is part of my ethos; a choice I have made and continue to make through deliberation. I expect I have small victories; I don’t need to know.
                The people I admire the most have all been campaigners. Martin Luther King is one, and a local guy called Adam, unknown in the wider world, who works tirelessly with addicts, and campaigns to get them better support, is another. I choose my examples carefully.
                We all campaign in our way. Almost every time we offer an opinion, whether on politics, religion, compassion, or how to grow tomatoes, we’re trying to sway someone towards our point of view. The only one who doesn’t campaign is the wizened Buddhist sitting on the mountain top, starving, as he waits for Nirvana. He may answer zealots’ questions; but that is all.

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                1. Compassion, Jane, isn’t non-action, quite the contrary. The wizened guru in his mountain cave if very unlikely to be a compassionate being, though s/he may make that claim. In fact it would be impossible to be compassionate in non-action since compassion is all action. But the point is, what sort of action, and how is the compassionate being using that tool? Compassion can move mountains, if mountains need moving, but the “mover” isn’t the compassionate one, it’s the energy as it is absorbed by the recipient. The CB (compassionate being) isn’t into a numbers, or success, game. MLK Jr.’s campaigns were political and aimed at shaking up, even destroying, the status quo. That isn’t compassion. Gandhi’s campaigns were also political, and aimed at freeing India from the oppression of the British Raj. That is not an example of compassion either. And in both cases, the results speak for themselves. Political systems were changed, or exchanged, but on the long run a similar System reasserted itself. In India, the threat of nuclear war between India and Pakistan grows daily. In “America” blacks are being targeted, arrested, jailed and executed on a daily basis and the problem is on the rise. Why? In both cases, the people’s hearts; their basic programming – hate, jingoism, bigotry and racism, weren’t addressed at all. In a moment of patriotic or racial fervor, some people gained, some people lost, power. Those who gained wanted more; those who lost wanted it back. Social tides. Endless. Bloody. Stupid. Compassion does not seek followers, it acts, in the moment, on the spot, and ceaselessly throughout one’s life and it never looks back to see its own wake: ideally, there should be none. Sorry, long comment, my apologies – could make it shorter. Take care o’ you, Jane.

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                  1. No need to apologise for the length of a comment when you have something worthwhile to say, and you do. Some of the points you made in the previous comment needed clarifying, and you’ve clarified them. I must remember to prod you whenever you make a statement that could be misconstrued, because you always come up with the goods.
                    I thank you for that.

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