April second 2020, Bryan, my beautiful boy, lost his fight with addiction by an accidental overdose. I lived through those five days of him in CCU, sitting every day at his bedside, but I still have a hard time grasping that it is real. Somewhere in the back of my head I know it happened, but I won't accept all of it. If I do, I will surely fall off the face of the earth. The autopsy would determine the actual cause of death was fentanyl intoxication. I wasn't there when Bryan overdosed. I was on vacation, and I am learning to forgive myself for going and that somehow if I was home, this wouldn't have happened. On that Friday, Bryan had gone to the park with his sister, brother, sister-in-law, and his nephew. They would recall that Bryan was in a great mood, playing with Nolan and running around. They said he was happy. But that's what's hard about anxiety and depression. People can't see what's in the inside and addicts are good at hiding their addiction. They were all to go bowling that night, but at the last minute, Bryan decided to stay back at the house. He told them all to have a good time. He was going to watch TV and go to bed early. They returned three hours later. The lights were all on. They comment to each other that it was weird that Bryan had left all the lights on. Even stranger was the fact that the front door was locked. Bre went downstairs to turn off the lights and when she turned to go upstairs, she heard Justin screaming. “Call 911! Call 911!” Bryan was slumped over on his bed, face down, with one foot on the floor. He was pale and had blood coming from his nose. There was vomit on the bed where he laid. “I knew he was gone when I was pounding on his chest,” Justin would later tell me when recounting how he gave him CPR until EMS showed up. When EMS arrived, they administered two doses of Narcan. They were able to restart his heart and get a faint pulse. He was rushed to the hospital where he was put on life support. The day that Bryan was brought in, the doctor told us that in his opinion, Bryan was brain dead, but he needed to run a series of tests to confirm his prognosis. For twenty-four hours, Bryan was put into cold therapy. This would allow his brain and body to heal at a faster rate. After forty-eight hours, they began to warm him and run tests. Bryan failed the response test. This meant even though he wasn't on any pain medications, he didn't respond to pain, light, or breathing stimuli. He also failed the apnea test, which was, when taken off the ventilator, he could not breathe on his own or keep his blood pressure up. Then they performed an EGG and CAT scan. He had slight brain activity and blood flow to the brain. Unfortunately, the part of the brain that regulates breathing, swallowing, blinking, basically anything that would allow Bryan to function, was completely dead from being without oxygen too long. The part that was receiving blood flow was memory, and was nothing that would matter for Bryan to come back to us. The doctors could not legally declare him brain dead and call a time of death. Wednesday morning, Bryan's kidneys shut down, he developed pneumonia in his right lung, and he could no longer maintain oxygen saturation above eighty percent. Gift of Life deemed him unable to donate. So at 2:45 p.m., I made a phone call and as a family we decided to end Bryan's suffering. I couldn't see through the tears, and I felt suffocated with my mask on. I rip off my mask and take his limp, swollen hand and rub it all over my face. I fold down the blanket and pull his gown over to the side and place my cheek against his chest and breath him in. Under all the antiseptic hospital smells, I can recognize my child's scent. It's a strong, warm, sweet musky smell, and I inhale it as if it is a life source to me. It actually is. At three p.m., the doctor came in and explained what was going to happen. I listened to every word, nodding as she spoke, but inside I am screaming, Don't let this be happening! She turned off all medications. His vitals started slowing down within seconds. Oh God he's really dying! I laid my head on his chest to hear his heartbeat for the very last time. The respiratory doctor announced that she was turning off his ventilator. No, don't leave me! But Bryan did leave me at 3:45pm that day. Every sound, every smell, every second of that afternoon is forever etched into my memory. Goodbye, my Beautiful Boy. I love you and I'll see you when I see you.
My quarantine life is one now relegated to the inside of four walls, and shockingly, perhaps pathetically, hasn't changed drastically from my stay at home mom life. Although, this means my friends are dying at a more rapid pace. Isolation is the second greatest threat and enemy to rehabilitation and sobriety, with the harmful stigma surrounding drug addiction being the first. I foresee a ‘junkie' genocide in my, our, drab future. We aren't particularly fond of that word, however, so I suppose I could say an addict abolition. I spent the previous two years pregnant for one, and adjusting to new mom life with my newborn for the other. While rewarding, it certainly doesn't do wonders for your, my, mental health, that's for sure. I couldn't wait until Spring rolled around, which only made my jabbering about it for the months prior to my husband, even more pathetic once Spring did roll around with a global pandemic attached to it. I spend my days alternating between smoke breaks, watching my child play, and fantasizing about the feel of the prick of the poison filled needle that brings with it the gift of nothingness. I'm talking about heroin for those unfamiliar with drugs or the sensuality of subtle wordplay that may have missed my intent. You see, some folks, most folks get it all wrong. We addicts, we aren't chasing happiness or pleasure, or any of those other feelings we likely have never even known or experienced before. We are seeking the numbness, the gift of nothingness, that the pin pricked kiss of the needle brings. We live inside a purgatory inside our minds where this incurable, invasive disease we suffer from invades our every thought. For us, the darkness pushes through to cloak even our light and lightest times, inside a veil of secrecy and blackness where addiction grows and thrives. The mental relapse is the first sign that you're headed back into Satan's deceptively starry sky. Once he, or she, as Satan may in fact be a woman as cunning as the beast is, has you in it's grasp, nothing is safe. The sounds of my baby's footsteps, unsteady like a newborn fawn as he learns to walk, are now replaced with the demonic chatter of my afflictions luring me back into their deadly world. Unlike my son, who has all the unconditional love of his doting mother, my childhood was vastly different. The Elmo my son hugs and shakes, for me, replaced with a narcotic filled pill bottle rattle. Or more likely than not, a penny filled medication bottle as my mother and father had already ingested the potent drugs inside. Some of those narcotics given to me also, under the guise of them being vitamins. I was nine years old when I became dependent on and addicted to a variety of narcotics. I then spent the next fifteen years living inside a hell few can imagine, encapsulated with drugs, attempted suicide, child abuse, and sexual assault, just to name a few. I was twenty-four-year-old when I died, the first time, only to be revived shortly thereafter. If you've never endured the hell of drug addiction, I certainly don't recommend it, nor could you possibly understand it. Even after achieving nine years of long term sobriety, the thoughts still pervasive as ever protruding into my otherwise blissful world. That needle would be the kiss of death, no doubt. But the addiction forces me to only fantasize about the kiss part of that prick that for me brings with it the momentary lapse of the memories of trauma. To forget the trauma is a bliss you just can't know unless you have suffered from the irreversible kind. The kind in which there is no fix for, as you are irreparably damaged, as I certainly am. People think we don't know we're killing ourselves with drugs. We know, we just hope and pray we can kill the painful memories before we kill ourselves entirely. Or like my heroin addict friend Diana, molested for years by her priest as a child, only hope as she will never pray again. Hope is something we in the addiction community are in terribly short, if not non existent supply of, however. You would think we were made for this life of isolation, we addicts, seeing as a majority of our lives we typically spend quarantined trying to run from and fight an invisible disease that's killing us in large numbers. But, we're not, and in fact our community's fatality rates only rapidly increase as this pandemic rages. So, just for today I hope and also pray that I won't pick up the poison that will grant me the gift of nothing that I abnormally and overwhelmingly crave far more than the gift of something. Covid 19 and it's deadly symptoms can't compete with the horror of addiction and it's symptoms, but together, together they just might kill me yet.
Some say I feel to much. others say its not enough. when you are feeling down do you run away or turn to pills to ease the pain? People say I'm fine just suck it up and smile. but my smile is a glass mirror waiting to break. just hiding behind is all my pain.
You saw me and I sparkled like diamonds You'd soon realize I was nothing but broken glass Knowing you'd bleed you stayed anyways Telling me I shined through the cracks Words like falling and love would slip through your mouth and I would end up running You would be left to bleed on your own as every road I chose cut us even deeper We struggled to keep winning You soon realized I was fighting a battle you knew nothing about You ended up staying anyways You looked at me with my messy long hair blowing in the wind and my dirty old red Converse shoes that were falling apart You called me beautiful like it was the easiest thing to say You looked me in the eye and saw me for me but the thick cloud of smoke I surrounded myself with was wearing our love down Your patience grew thin and your anger grew tall but you never chose to give up on me You learned the paths and roads of addiction I would soon be me in a couple days when it would wear off But then as time went on, it never wore off. I couldnt stop After running away for the umpteenth time I came back and you wanted to help me Knowing you couldn't save me and that I was permanently broken you wanted to support me through my battle You wanted to be there at the finish line You always believed in me. as the cloud of smoke finally and completely disappears its only you standing there waiting for me luckily not one single cut left a scar Every cut healed beautifully as I shined through my cracks I never needed to be saved or fixed I needed someone to love me just as is and accept me for me That person ended up being only you I finally found someone who knows me you took the time to understand and you stayed only you and always you We finally made it to cupcakes and rainbows and now as I sparkle like diamonds, while knowing i am only broken glass deep down inside I finally smile because I sparkle just the same and it's all because you stayed . only you and always you
I was more intrigued than I was afraid— and like a tiny white mouse, I crouched down inconspicuously, behind the kitchen door, hiding, the way a photographer might, when trying to capture the perfect cover for National Geographic: With guiltless awe, I watched my father tear into a chunk of raw chicken, like a hairless over-fed vulture, sev/er/ing and p-ulling apart greedily the flaccid pink breast with clawed fist, bits of flesh tumbling off his chin, and clinging onto his chest, exhaling with such fervor, as if his lungs had been picked off his torso like some dried, decayed fruit— And in his breathless satisfaction, he ventured forth a primitive sound from parted gates of brutal red, a sinking growl, a guttural groan, the kind that bends the skin, and shatters the skeleton of a small animal surrendering its own entrails in defeat, the frequency discernible only to that of the tongue of crude beasts with cavernous eyes, a pair of gaping holes where the air collapses and rushes back in a stream of black tar swallowing the universe. I thought I knew hunger— But I'd never known an appetite so voracious, so urgent, so fluent in savagery, it was almost as if his desertion of us in his whiskey-fueled form, was more a rebellion against his own humanity, so as to bypass the guilt, the pain, the agony, of living as man.
Juuling, has taken over schools and workplaces across the United States. Students and adults have fallen in love with this appealing new addiction. Some argue juuling is not malicious because it is less dangerous than smoking, but after its release in 2015, the Juul has become the most dangerous trend. Restaurants, airports, middle schools: Juul is everywhere because of its sleek design. Juul's resemblance of a flash drive makes it easy to conceal. During class kids pull it out, take a hit, and slip it back into their pocket without a look from the teacher. Juuling has become so popular in schools that kids satirically make fun of their fellow addicts by calling the bathroom a juul room after its newfound purpose. Its cool technological design makes it an item to be seen with. Kids are intrigued by the slim metal object with a blinking light. The more people who try it, the cooler it gets; the cooler it gets, the more people want to try it. Juul's increasing popularity is its strongest asset and our strongest weakness. The popularity forces people try, but addiction keeps them juuling. High schooler Matt Murphy first tried juul at a party and later found himself hopelessly addicted. In college, he found his “vaping was about maintenance, keeping the craving irritability at bay” (Hoffman). It took Matt three years to realize he had an addiction and all the while he was buying hundreds of pods. Juul is making money off of the entrapment of youths, a characteristic of the immoral society that exists in America. The most concerning element of this addiction is the teenager's inability to rationalize their addiction. Most juul dependent teenagers completely deny the possibility of addiction (Stanford Medical Center). Kids try it once and end up like Matt wondering how they have become so dependent on Juul and why they got addicted to something that seemed so harmless. An entire generation of people has been enslaved to a flash drive. Juul, however, is not totally to blame. Today's society conditions teenagers to chase highs and live for the moment. Juul just took advantage of this because it is depicted as a low-risk way of getting a buzz instead of a lifelong contract signed with one puff. Many of the long term effects of juuling are not known but the few that have been found are concerning enough. According to Dr. Rachel Boykan, a professor at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, “Nicotine may disrupt the formation of circuits in the brain that control attention and learning”(Hoffman). My generation has the smallest attention span and highest rates of attention disorders. Add a device specialized in creating nicotine addictions to the mix, and kids will soon be unable to function or complete tasks that take longer than five minutes. This translates to the loss of an entire generation of effective employees and leaders which will have catastrophic effects on the world because juuling is not just a U.S. problem, it's everywhere. This is surprising considering juul was only released in 2015, meaning it spread across the world in less than 4 years. Because the juul is so new, there could be mountains of unknown consequences. Matt starting realizing that he would be short of breath when exercising shortly after starting his addiction.Matt said, “‘We called it ‘Juul lung,'”(Hoffman). Teenagers have started unearthing unknown effects of juuling themselves and there are other unproven concerns about juuls effects on the heart and possibly the arteries too as well (Hoffman). The unknown component of juul makes it appear a lot safer than alternatives and is part of the reason it is so popular. Little do the kids trying it know that it has the potential to become the next cigarette. For all scientists know, juul could even be worse. The false safety given by ignorance is another trademark of today's society unearthed by juul. People would rather be in the dark of the consequences of their actions than accept them. Juuling is the most dangerous trend because users are susceptible to its addiction forming abilities and long term health effects because of its widespread popularity. America today is filled with addictions of every kind because of the mindset of its people. Juul is the perfect product for young Americans because it highlights their mindset of living in the moment and denying future consequences. If juuling continues to gain popularity without repercussions, America as a society will decline as people continue to have shortened attention spans and weaker abilities to learn. Citations Hoffman, Jan. “The Price of Cool: A Teenager, a Juul and Nicotine Addiction.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 Nov. 2018, Web. 9 Jan. 2019. staff, Science X. “Juul e-Cigarettes Pose Addiction Risk for Young Users, Study Finds.” Medical Xpress - Medical Research Advances and Health News, Medical Xpress, 19 Oct. 2018, Web. 4 Jan. 2019.
Today, we care about likes and comments more than we care about our health and safety. Now, don't get me wrong. Social media is the very reason that I am able to talk to you right now. I always thought it was a blessing until I discovered the dark side of it. I used to be an extremely good student in class but it didn't last long. My parents were always happy with the grades I got. One day they decided to gift me a tablet and that's when things changed. It was the day that I lost my true identity. I was simply not myself anymore. In the beginning, I used to play a game or two which slowly turned into an hour or two. My creativity and passion was replaced with chatting and surfing. It went on until the point that I used to spend almost 14 to 18 hours in a day and sometimes it used to go upto 20 hours as well. Yes, I was an addict. My parents tried everything to help me break free from the chains of digital addiction including counselling but nothing worked. The only result was that I turned more aggressive and anxious. It wasn't until last year that I confronted reality. I was chatting on my phone while crossing the street when I met an accident and from then on everything changed in my life. I couldn't walk or eat on my own anymore. I needed help for almost everything. That single moment turned my life around. This is not just my story but every one of us who is on their phone while driving, eating or crossing the street. Our phones have become an extended part of our lives and we all are tied in the chains of social media. We all can stop this before it gets worse. These are my tips from my experience: 1. Track your usage. 2. Use your phone with a purpose. 3. Set aside time for journaling, mediation and exercise. 4. Make time for yourself and your passion. 5. Make time for face-to-face interactions. 6. Be present and live in the moment. SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE A BLESSING OR A CURSE, THE CHOICE IS YOURS!
Imagine a world of absolute pain. No, I mean imagine real agony; more, more. You're getting closer. Add a little more pain. Now, consider this imaginary world of yours is as a stumped toe in the night compared to the actual emotional world that you loved one is living in every minute of every day. I don't care how bad you can imagine it to be. If you have never been on the inside of addiction, you could never truly understand. Try telling a hospitalized burn victim that you “can imagine” how they feel. That healed grease-pop scar on your arm, the one that “really hurt” isn't even remotely close to what that person is going through. No, I don't have a PhD behind my name, my experience comes from the inside. I was an addict. Scratch that. I am an addict in recovery and will be for the rest of my life. When you look at your loved one, what you are seeing is not you little girl, or your little boy. That's not your sister, brother, mother or father. That's not your friend. All you can see is the outside shell. I've heard several say that is the abandoned building that used to hold that person. I'm here to tell you, that is not an abandoned building, they are still very much inside that hull. What you see is more likened to a garbage can that is holding what's left of them. I'm here to take the lid off and let you see the putrefied remains inside. When you look inside of that person, you are looking at the emotional sludge that has devastated your loved one. But unlike man-made garbage, God made your loved one the first time, and HE can re-make them again! There is no “bionic” theme music. I'm not talking about repurpose or recycle. HE can literally re-make them. The key is that they need for HIM to remake you too. You may even know their story, but you do not know their heart. If you find yourself asking, “Why?” then you could not possibly imagine the pain that it took to get them where they are. I heard a story a few years back. It spoke of two men, brothers, who grew up and chose very different paths for themselves. One became a preacher, a the other an alcoholic. When each was asked why they turned out the way that they did, they both responded, “because my dad was an alcoholic.” People react differently to trauma. Can you remember when the World Trade Towers were hit in 2001? Some people came out running, some walked, some required assistance. Some people were crying, others were in dry faced shock. They had all gone through the same experience but were reacting differently. Two parents can stand outside of a burning building. One might scream for their baby, the other might bolt inside despite the danger. There is a perfect example in the bible. Luke 15:11-32 tells us the parable of the prodigal son. A man had two sons. The younger wanted his inheritance so that he could go and experience the world. The older wanted to stay and be considered responsible. Neither choice was wrong. Many seem to forget that the inheritance was his to do with as he chose. Two men with the same background and the same inheritance chose two different paths. If you remember from the account, the prodigal son made choices that left him in despair. I heard someone say once that, “He got what he deserved.” That statement bothered me. What if he had made the same choices, but the situation worked out favorably for him? Would he have still “gotten what he deserved?” Many a liar, cheater and swindler have prospered and faltered and many a “good man” have done the same. The world that you loved one is living in is wretched and wicked, and emotionally painful. They already know it. They are living in hell on earth. Fear and pain form calluses on our soul that never heal quite right on their own. Please, stop talking about them, stop praying about them, and start praying FOR them. They want you. They need you. They are desperate despite what they tell you. If you are still asking why, stop. The clinical answer will never suffice. Don't ask, “Why aren't you eating?”. Feed them. Don't ask, “When's the last time you bathed?” Run the water and lay out a towel. Offer to carry them to a doctor, not the police. Stop screaming and start loving. If you really want to know why? Look in the mirror. You are strong and they are weak. You stopped loving them when you started judging them. When they needed you most you faced society and turned your back on them… you're so called loved one. Turn back. Please.
addiction əˈdɪkʃ(ə)n/ noun the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity. Never before have I felt anything like it. It haunts my dreams and waking days, invades my thoughts and pulls on my emotions. It runs through my veins like a drug, awakens my senses and causes me to do things that ultimately go against my personality. What could do such a thing you ask? Well, the answer is what you would least expect. Dog shows. I look down the metro car and sigh. My ministry team sits on both sides of me, conversing about things amongst themselves. All unimportant to me. I should be preparing and going over my Sunday School lesson, but all I can do is stare blankly down the metro. The rocking of the car under me brings me back to the three months I spent working for a professional dog handling couple before coming here to school in Hungary. I close my eyes again and imagine balancing myself in the crowded RV I spent the majority of my time in, brewing a cup of coffee in the moving vehicle and setting it in the cup holder for my employer. I can see the winding American highway out the front window of the RV and I can't help but smile sadly. What I would give to do it all over again. Six weeks. I keep reminding myself, that in just a short while I can. My smile widens. I have already decided exactly what I want to do when I get back home. I want a large order of biscuits and gravy from The Dixie Cafe and I want to groom a yorkshire terrier. Anyone's yorkie. Well, any dog actually. As long as I can groom something, I think I'd be happy, just to get my hands on a pin brush and hair dryer again. I sigh again as the metro comes to a stop at Keleti Station and I exit behind with my team. I straighten my back pack and round the corner and get on the escalator. Six weeks. Just you wait. I'll be back and ready for anything. -AJC
~~Her eyes glance to the SonyPMW that glares a red LED light. She exaggerates a moan as her bottom lip tucks under her bite. 5-digit imprints begin to welt and ecchymosis starts to surface. He thrashes her body into the Kingsdown cushion.~~ My body hosts a habitat for not just one, but two. Beyond my classic blonde ringlets and wide blue eyes lurks a predator. I call her Vixen. She is a lecherous creature infested in my mind. I cannot rid her. We share the same body, but she deludes my cognition. She is the entity of our illness that resides in our ventral striatum. The conflict between us does not cease until I swallow the colored beads engraved with a systematic arrangement of numerical and alphabetical configurations and close my eyes. My mind disintegrates into a trance. Peace―finally, until REM generates its own unconscious version of Vixen, for Vixen has no regard for serenity. In fact, she preys on calmness. I have wild conversations and battles with voices in my head. The relationship among us is hardly fathomable. The only means I have to express the delusion and insanity that unfolds inside my cranium is through abstract metaphors. And even then, oftentimes I lose myself in the psychobabble and pronouns. There are too many identities. Is my nonsense merely a figment of my distorted reality, or is it true? I don't know. I am not her. She is not me. We drive the same car and run on the same fuel, but there is only one wheel. For some months she used her bondage to leave me tied and helpless in the trunk. Vixen drove me down unpaved roads and scuffed our tires. I persisted to plead for a break, but one of Vixen's chief qualities is her apathy. After months of intense therapy and rehab, I finally escaped the trunk. I shifted from the passenger and back seats, contingent on how much time could elapse before the car required a refuel. After innumerous efforts to achieve 30-day abstinence, Vixen took the passenger seat. I hesitated to touch the wheel―afraid I would wreck both of us. I had not forgotten how to drive, but I forgot the traffic rules. Simple guiding principles like stoplights were difficult to realign myself to conform to. The only light in Vixen's world signaled “go;” even red meant “keep going”. It seemed unnatural to stop and “yield” did not exist in Vixen's vocabulary. My folly was a recipe for relapse. Lest our psychosis lost you, allow me to elaborate. I am a recovering sex addict. In order to grasp a clue at who controls my behaviors, I compartmentalize. As such, I personified the part of my mind that is plagued with an illness. She, Vixen, is like an escape artist. She's mastered the skills to escape what is real and deny what is true. She abducts our body into her alternative universe and I return with black and blue and welted evidence of our travels. My unadulterated self is impaired with shame and disgust. I see Vixen's graffiti plastered on my body's canvas and it reminds me of her grueling obsessions and masochism. Not that I would ever desire to, but even if forced, I could never escape to the places Vixen is so familiar with. It is her realm, not mine. Thus, I struggle with dissonance and impulses on a daily basis. Dissonance is a frustrating state that devours my energy and cognition. Denial worms its way into my head despite my efforts to banish it. Rationalization, minimization, ritualization, manipulation and crazy-making are only a handful of potent enablers. The constant questions of “who” and “what” confuse even the simplest of ideas, hence the medication to keep me functional―if you would even call us that. Despite failures, I can now intellectualize my behaviors, but whether that belongs on my excuse list or my sobriety strategies: I do not know. But I do understand that ignoring Vixen only intensifies her outbursts, like the one I endured prior to my first lapse―the prerequisite to a relapse: Salty, fiery tears streamed down my cheeks and collected in a damp puddle underneath my bed. I clung onto the metal framework, hiding from voices that echoed off the innards of my skull. White noise screeched in the background like nails on a chalkboard. I am amazed that my neck did not snap while I tucked my head into myself like an isopod crustacean. I gasped for air as if I were being water-boarded by my own tears. I felt like an ant being tortured under a scorching microscopic light with malicious eyes watching its every movement. I could not help but wonder if death was the only escape. My fingers type anxiously as I complete this work. I have so many voices to speak for, but such little language to communicate with. Delusion skews my vision of reality. As I prepare to close my thoughts, Vixen insists to secure the last word, but no. Patrick Carnes' are the words I want to conclude my piece. “Addiction is an illness of escape….it cripples the core ability to know what is real because…rationalizations and delusions make it impossible to cope with details.”
I look in the mirror every day, and I look more and more like my mother. What's sad about that is my mother doesn't even look like herself anymore. I am a reflection of the person my mother should have been. Instead of choosing her life she chose her addictions, she chose alcohol and repeatedly chose drugs. It feels like the worst thing in the world, mourning a loss of someone who is still alive. No matter how hard you try, you can not change the person they have become, and ultimately find yourself giving up. You finally give up because while they're flying over you with their delusional happiness, you're drowning of sadness and regret of the things you could've tried, or the things you may have been able to change. The fact I've realized is that there's nothing you could've done, and there's nothing you can do. These people have chosen this life, they've chosen to be selfish, and they don't care if you drown because they are not the same people who you once knew. So don't. You don't need to follow the same path as your parents, so many people I know like to use that as an excuse. " My parents were drug users, my parents were alcoholics, it runs in the family, I'm not to blame here, it runs in the family", they are choosing to be weak, and take no responsibility for their actions. You do not have to be weak, you have the strength to be someone different you just have to choose that for yourself. Choose every morning to get out of bed. Choose every morning to go to work, to make something of yourself, to explore the life that was given to you. Don't blame someone else for putting you on the path to addiction if you're not even going to try and do anything to fight everyone that's pushing you to fall in the wrong direction. It is not easy, but it is worth it. Whenever you're feeling like you can't fight your roots, think of everyone in your life that you're bringing down with you. Your kids, your siblings, your aunt and uncle. Be better, try harder. You deserve a future that hasn't been designed by the people who created you. You don't deserve to drown anymore. Things I remind myself every time I look in the mirror.