Monday, February 3, 2014

The Death of a Genius: A Rant

I know, I know. Everyone is talking about Philip Seymour Hoffman dying from a heroin overdose with a god damn needle in his arm. It's sick and horrifying and luckily it wasn't your loved one so that's good, and oh yeah, you don't really know anything about addiction so you think to yourself, "he should have chosen to stop and poor bastard left 3 kids and a girlfriend behind. What a sad, sad story."

Yes. It is sad. So sad that I am having what we in the business call an "emotional hangover." What business is that? The business of recovery. I have an addiction problem as well, and I am in recovery at this point in my life. Those of us that are lucky enough to have gotten to a point of sobriety and cleanliness tend to say things that non-addicts and non-alcoholics don't say.  (I say lucky because we know that millions of people are not so lucky.) An emotional hangover comes when we let emotions get the best of us, and it puts us in a state of sorrow, and in some cases, self pity. Today, my emotions are ranging from grief to vengeful anger. I understand that many people do not, and will not ever understand what addiction is really about, but I can promise you this: no bloody person on the face of this earth chooses to be an addict. Some people just are. Whether they had a chance to stop at one point, we may never know. And if they somehow stumble into recovery, they may stay clean and sober. Unfortunately, we all know people who have died due to alcohol and drug addiction, and in most cases there is nothing anyone can do about it.

I took my last drink and did my last drug in July 2005. This is not something I tell everyone. I tell you now because I want people to know that this isn't just me complaining on my blog. I am doing it because this is something that is a part of my life. Wait, scratch that. IT IS MY LIFE. Everyday is a day I don't drink. The fact that we as addicts and alcoholics make conscious thoughts regarding not drinking is something "normal" people will never get. And they don't ever have to get it. But what I used to brush off has now taken me to a place I didn't want to arrive at today. I don't want to get upset with people speaking their mind. I would like to think I am more open minded than that. I don't want to get upset because people don't know anything about addiction and have no reason to know anything about it. The thing is, if people don't understand it, then they should say nothing about it. Please do not complain about addicts doing it to themselves. Sure, they might buy the substance and use it, but it's not a conventional choice like what we are going to have for dinner. In this disease, there is no choice. We can't stop (No Miley Cyrus jokes, please). We have lost the power of choice, and we use to survive.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of the most gifted and talented actors of our generation. I usually get frustrated with celebrities, and spend more time criticizing the shitty ones than praising the great ones. But this guy was so magnificent, it made me want to drop everything and just go to LA and try to make it big. He inspired me. He made movies better, and I couldn't help but love him in everything. What would Along Came Polly be without PSH? A Friends episode, basically. He was so brilliant, and he will be so truly missed, taken too young. And while there are people out there who question where the hell his family was in all of this, and there are those who think mourning him is a waste of time, I refuse to sit here and accept that mindset (although maybe I should).

If you do not understand addiction, please do not spew hate about addiction. If you are hurting watching others fail at recovering, then get help for yourself. And if you insist on being ignorant and trolling for people like me to react to your ridiculous statements about the situation, then well done. It worked today. I do however plan to become stronger because of this, and push myself into further educating people and helping anyone who struggles with this disease. And I'll pray for you, person who doesn't know what they're talking about, because you need help more than us addicts.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely written, Lauren. Well spoken and from the heart! Oddly enough, your twitter hacker gained you a blog reader - went to you twitter page and saw you had this blog, so I checked it out! Anyway, you have my support and hope that every day you'll continue to make the right choice. And, I'm confident you will.