LOVE US ADDICTS
Addiction is indeed a special kind of Hell. Like a wicked, tentacled demon, it reaches down your throat, grasps your soul by its very roots, and rips it right out of you. Leaving a gaping spiritual wound and a hunger that can only be satisfied by more alcohol, more drugs, more food, more porn, more gambling, or more of whatever it is that temporarily fills your inner void.
Ah! Nirvana! You revel as your brain is awash in dopamine and endorphins. You escape the seemingly unendurable torture of the present moment and are rocketed into a little quadrant of the universe where the only thing that matters is that you feel good. Fuck everything and everyone else.
Your secondary sociopathy kicks in. The further down the thorny, twisted path of addiction you traverse, the less you care about who you hurt as you hustle, scheme, and scramble, chasing that next high that you just know will be better than the one before.
But it never is. Addiction adheres to the law of diminishing returns. The more you put into it, the less you get out of it. And nobody wins except the demon of addiction. Finances are ruined. Relationships are destroyed. Health is diminished. People are imprisoned. Lives are lost.
And all the while our Western society has responded in a cruel, heartless, and ineffectual way. For years. At a cost of billions of dollars and many lives.
Dr Gabor Mate’ writes that (paraphrased), people who become severe addicts were for the most part abused. So we are waging war (the War on Drugs) against people who were abused. And punishing them for it.
Our society’s knee-jerk reaction to nearly any aberrant behavior is to apply some sort of punishment or “corrective measure” to get the person to conform to social standards.
A person in the throes of an addiction is suffering and self-medicating. And while some of their secondary behaviors may certainly warrant punishment, it is both absurd and cruel to punish suffering human beings for their misguided attempts to find relief.
My personal experience with addictions has been that they are indeed their own special kind of Hell, bringing consequences that can kill you -even if they don’t, they will make you wish you were dead. And they are the athlete’s foot of the mind. Always itching -and itching more when you scratch them.
Anything we do as a society to “wage war” on addicts, ostracize them, jail them, or leave them homeless and hungry is simply collective perpetuation of abuse.
Whether you believe he was God, prophet, or just a good man, if Jesus were alive today, I am certain he would be hanging with us addicts and loving us back to health.
Be like Jesus. He was cool.
Love us addicts.