Sunday, February 12, 2012

The sad truth about addiction

This morning I woke to the news of Whitney Houston’s tragic death. It stopped me in my tracks, not because of who she was or the amazing talent she possessed but because it appears preliminary that addiction has taken another soul from this world too soon.  Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and now Whitney Houston, to name only a few were silenced when addiction took a hold of their lives. But how many die each day we never know about. The ones who are not in the limelight, but are everyday people who fell to addiction just like the megastars we hear about in the news.

Then my thoughts turned to a friend of Widgets and when we will hear the news that addiction caused her death as well. I am sure many of you remember me talking about Widget and her best friend in previous posts. Well around Christmas her friend stopped coming around and I noticed Widget was also not on the phone with her constantly. When I asked Widget where her friend was, she said she was angry at her and did not want to talk about it. I did not press her because when she doesn’t want to talk about it, she is too upset to discuss it.

Then a few weeks ago after picking her up from school she just let loose.  Her friend had wanted her to get high with her like they had done on the past (marijuana).  Widget declined more than once and their paths began being different. Widget cannot understand why her friend doesn’t get it. That school is important if they want a future. That drugs and alcohol is not the answer. I tried to explain that people mature at a different rate and that she is just further ahead than her friend. That she was making mature decisions about her future, and hopefully her friend will catch up and start making decisions with her future in mind as well.

 I will admit I did not fully believe that, because her friend comes from a home in which drug use and trips to jail are the norm, and education is not important for success. Granted Widgets biological family are the same, but Widget realized that to succeed she cannot follow the path of her mother and needed to try and do well in school, and plan for college. Her friend however, has not realized that and may never do so.

I say that because Widget ended the friendship fully and refuses to speak to her until she gets clean.  Widget chose the path to success and to leave marijuana and drinking behind. She is even joining the track team at school, and has never done sports in school before. Her friend on the other hand has dropped out of school, and graduated from smoking marijuana to methamphetamines and who knows what else, and she is having lots of unprotected sex according to Widget.

Widget made the decision she had to end the friendship when after she tried to reason with the friend and promised to stand by her if she would get clean and the friend refused.  I am very proud of our Widget for trying to help and for realizing sometimes you can’t and have to walk away to save yourself. Now I worry about Widget and what will happen if her friend doesn’t get help and we get the news of her friend’s death due to addiction. She will be one who never makes headlines, the world will not mourn her passing, but those of us who knew her will mourn her passing. To be blunt if she friend continues being an addict she will die sooner or later.

Addiction is a dangerous thing that is taking a large portion of our population. Often once a person is addicted nothing else matters. I am thankful some to seek help and get clean, many do not. We will never stop the influx of drugs in society and alcohol is legal. So, I wonder what causes people to seek drugs even when they knew the risks for the first time. How the decision is made to try them that first time, or is it different for everyone. Better yet how do we stop those who have not tried drugs yet, and help those already in the grip of addiction? Why do ones like Widget realize to succeed she had to leave drugs and alcohol behind, while others like her friend dig deeper into the pit and keep trying harder and harder drugs. Is there nothing we can do? I wish I had that answer.

Rest in peace Whitney Houston and all those like her whose life ended way too soon. May they all find the peace that evaded them in life.

 I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be

I truly believe the lyrics above from “The greatest love of all” by Whitney Houston. It is why for years I was a foster parent and then decided to have Widget join our family, because she and other teenagers like her will one day lead the way, and run this world. I just wish we had been able to each her friend. Hopefully she will decide to change her life as Widget did before it is too late.


  1. Posted a comment twice and it didn't go through. Trying again. The now 13 yr I mentored and took on nice vacations, even to Florida, who was doing so well in school she was accepted into a charter school in Sacramento, one of the best in the country, is planning on dropping out and going to a continuation school so she doesn't have to go to class. Oh yes, she actually aspires to the worst. I know it is because of the company she keeps and her mother and the way she is not raised. She is very smart but has no ability to concentrate. She is an ace at math, spelling, anything that requires snap, snap answers but is horrible at concentration. Hates to read a book. It's a lower class "I'm interested in people and the drama in their lives, and go, go, go" kind of thing. Read a book not long ago that addressed that very thing. No way to fight it really especially at her age unless you have them with you 24/7. We used to go to events every weekend but after a while she couldn't get up before noon and everything started much earlier. So she missed out. Now she just wants to go in and get an assignment once a week, be given a computer, and do sloppy work on her own time, which is 2 in the morning if she gets around to it. Quite a disappointment. Thus the repetition of the underclass. She is capable of many great things. Won't get there. She talks easily to people, can detect an accent and ask about their country and carry on quite a conversation. But what she does is spent her time talking "ghetto" which they consider a second language. Types that way, talks that way, and it's all A-OK with mom. Well, I spent a lot of time and a lot of money trying to show her how life can be and what she has to do to achieve it, and maybe some day she will remember. It may be too late though. Inappropriate behavior will doubtless end her in the dumper so far she won't be able to climb her way out.

    I tried a few times to respond earlier, but posts did not go through. I think I know why. So hope this reaches you.

    Ron was in hospital again miserable from the heart that doesn't allow him to breathe. Scary. Cancer doctor appt on Thursday and regular doc on Friday. I actually go to dermatologist tomorrow. Imagine that. Me.

    I've been doing nothing really. No spirit. Got to get out of this dumper. That's for sure. How Ron does greatly effects how I react. He's down, I'm down. But if he's up, he's in my way. Mostly think, oh, the hell with it. Really got to make progress. This is awful. The best to you all.

  2. Had to cancel my dr appt. Ron can't breathe again today. Waiting to see what dr or hospital to take him to.

  3. Whitney Houston's passing is a terrible tragedy.

    One of my sons was/is a drug addict. The sad truth is it is a lifelong disease of the brain. We can all only hope and pray that the people we know remain in "remission" if that is the case for them. Unfortunately, far too many people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol succumb to this devastating disease. It is so, so sad. In my son's case he has been on methadone maintenance for several years. Methadone is an evil treatment. It not only takes its toll on the patient's body but on their spirit. It is just if not more addicting than their drug of choice. Yes, they can be productive citizens and you would be shocked to know how many have good careers and basically good lives. However, I would never recommend it. He has been "weaning" from it but now finds out from his doctors that he can't go off completely while he is being treated for his other serious illness.

    Just like Cancer, drug addiction affects everyone around the person who has it.

    I sincerely hope you are improving BC and that your husband will be ok.

  4. BC, Our widget I believe may be one of the lucky ones, but I do wonder at times. We have moved into a new home putting more distance between her "real" family" and our home, yet she is constantly wanting to go over there and has not spent a weekend at home since the move. However, she continues to do well in school and is making decent decissions but I wonder what affect they will have on her.

    I hope your husband is doing better and things calm down for you soon. Ya know a weekend in Vegas is great for the mood (hint hint hint). In fact had a friend in from out of town over the weekend who wanted to see of all things Chipindales. I must be getting old because I honestly felt sorry for how some of the young women were acting but that is another post for another time.

    I have been super busy with the new house and busy season at work so I am hoping to have time this weekend to write a better update.

  5. You have sure been busy. The kid I mentor hasn't even signed up at the continuation school yet and it's been since January. No ability to read a book or do a craft or look within herself to entertain herself. I'm so disappointed because she has such potential. Was in advanced classes and did great especially in math, now in 7th grade lasts half a year getting Fs because they demand responsibility for student to do assignment on their own and discuss in class rather than do in class.
    Regarding Ron, I'll write in a couple of days on your blog when situation becomes more clear. Wrote on Journey and on older and weiser for situation so far. You can read there for update to this point. He's going to drive me nuts and to the poorhouse.

  6. BC, can I have the link to "my journey" so i can go read it? I am sure it should be easy to locate, but i am conmputer illiterate and on muscle relaxers and pain meds for a pulled muscle in my back so, my mind is foggy and therefore I have no idea how to find your blog.

    Like you I will write more later when the meds wear off soom

  7. It is:

    The copy and paste of the link did not work. Today they arranged for Ron to go to a rehab facility, further away than the hospital. He wants the one near here which would be ez for me but has low ratings. He wants certain clothes, snacks, to see dogs, this and that and other thing. And I don't think I am lazy but can't seem to do but 2 things a day, because it takes hours. 1) go to hospital 2) grocery or shopping for clothes for him for rehab, or bathing dogs, or whatever. Anyway ends up with bare minimum and there are very many important things I'm not getting done and my nerves are shattered. Ron thinks he is a sweeheart but he is high maintenance yet how could you be mad if you were the one stuck in hospitals for weeks and so sick and weak and worn out from all of this for years. So then I get the guilties.
    Brianna, the kid, of course still not on independent study/continuation school. Boy, to go from one of the best in the country to worst or none at all is really something. Not surprising because of family and company she keeps. Then why would the parents of the kids at the good school want their kids hanging with her? Such a shame. Well nothing I can do. The problem is she can't settle down and concentrate, dig within herself, and internalize information. Couldn't do it at school, can do it even less in independent study/continuation school if mom ever bothers to enroll her. In advanced classes 6th grade, all As. In 7th grade at superb school, all Fs because they expect the learning to be done elsewhere and the discussions and applications and logic to be applied at school. And therein lies the problem. I told her gma she'd rise to the challenge because kids actually want a goal, or she'd fail miserably. What I've learned about the seedy people in life is astounding. I'd make a wonderful life coach. "Look, you are fucked up and wrong. Quit getting knocked up, here are some ethics to live by, and I'll come over and bitch slap you every other day for all the stupid things you do."

  8. NTPW - I hope you write again soon!! I miss reading your blog. I hope you feel better.
    BC - I wish you would write a blog!! lol

    I'm going to try to write something today or tomorrow.