The problem with irrational thoughts, is when you’re having them, they seem perfectly rational.
When bearing the weight of addiction, discouragement, the pain of loss, or the struggle with self-image after years of emotional abuse or deep wounds of childhood trauma or neglect; every person who is battling their demons has the same basic thoughts:
That they are alone.
That no one understands or that they don't want others to be bothered with the burden of their issues, And that they have very few options.
Along with these thoughts come the overwhelming pain of loneliness, and then the desperately wanting the feelings to stop. Some succeed in making those feelings stop while others suffer silently, living seemingly normal lives.
Or living a somewhat secretive, self-harming life.
Until you’ve sludged through these thoughts. Its easy to make quick judgments about other people without knowing what they’re going through just to get through the day. They suffer trying to not listen to what their disease is telling them- giving in to self depreciating thoughts that have ingrained themselves into their precious brain..🤯
You may not have time to help them or be a life-changer counselor but you could be the turning point of their day that gives them one sliver of light.
A spark of hope. Even showing a morsel of care.
By NOT adding to their irrational thoughts of being unlovable, or broken, or otherwise not worthy of your care or your time.
Setting healthy boundaries that empower them to do the same.
Practicing the pause of making quick judgements or assumptions.
Basically by not being another brick in their wall of self defeat.
We can bridge the gap between chaos and distress.
We can be the tunnel to their freedom – escaping from the turmoil to see the light of a new day.
This is how we show a suffering human how to climb out of darkness. By being the light. By showing how healthy people communicate and solve problems.
May we all find our place of peace. There is beauty after pain, if even for a moment. Those moments added together , gives us purpose for our own lives.
For all those who see the purple banners during overdose awareness month or see the videos of people with substance abuse disorders passed out and you scroll on by thinking, “I’m sure glad that doesn’t affect me, I’m glad I taught my kids better” or “someone should have gotten them some help”.
I applaud you.
I truly do.
I am so glad that you have never had to watch your beautiful child turn into someone you didn’t know.
I’m so glad you’ve never had a call from the inmate phone system asking if you’ll accept the charges.
I’m soooo glad you’ve never had the experience of watching your 28-year-old, 240 lb son thrash around in the back seat sweating, then freezing, begging his own mother to please take him to get drugs to stop this sickness, as you’re trying to take him to rehab.
I’m sooo glad you’ve never had to see a dad in a restaurant with his kids & have your heart ache so deeply that your son isn’t with his kids, that you go out to your car and burst into tears.
I’m so glad you don’t have to sit down at a delicious meal & feel a twinge of guilt knowing your child hasn’t eaten for days & wondering where he even is.
I’m so glad you’ve never had to see your precious grandkids celebrate a birthday & not knowing the words to tell them that their dad has a progressive illness that teaches him lies that he doesn’t have to be a dad & that’s it’s NOT because they are not worthy of love.
I’m glad that you would never tell a dying lung cancer patient that they shouldn’t have started smoking, and they should just get over this pesky illness that’s inconvenienced everyone and just get a job!
I truly am. Because I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on anyone.
I would never want anyone to lay awake at night, unable to stop the tears, wondering what they could have done differently.
I’m very glad you haven’t ever got THE CALL.
I’m very glad that you taught your kids to make better choices, & that you’ve never broken the speed limit or took a drink, or had something so traumatic in your life that you just needed to get through the pain for a minute… And if you did, luckily you were able to stop or walk away with any devastating effects.
Great genes, or coping skills!
What about helping teach those to others?
Obedience to all the laws and principles is great and admirable and yes it does make for a safer and all- be- it more productive life.(I mean who doesn’t want to be perfect) but not if it makes us look down on others who-for whatever reason didn’t go down that ←→ path.
This problem IS everyone’s problem.
Addiction affects every aspect of society, whether directly or indirectly. From the homeless to the prisons to the overwhelmed court system with possession charges taking up so much time. Stringing people through the system costs taxpayers almost $100 k per inmate.
I don't want one more parent to have to bury a child due to drugs or alcohol, but the only way that's going to happen is if we ALL take on this epidemic as our problem, & truly make an effort get rid of judgements and stigmas which bring MORE SHAME to all involved.
Shame and embarrassment are keeping people from seeking treatment.
We need to create practical affordable solutions for all- while eliminating the waste & fraud in treatment.
Even if that means opening our mind up to alternative treatments such as Harm reduction.
The death rate is frightening and it IS AN EPIdemic as it affects the core of the family structure, jobs, crime, the jail system, and little kids who grow up with the stigma of a parent in jail or who has died.
If you don’t have any idea how to help, how about start with the words we use, such as junkie, tweaker & worthless. These are shaming and hurtful to the families & children of addicts. And don’t forgot, under that hardened core of a dysfunctional chaotic addict, is a person in pain with zero healthy coping skills. The least we can do is not to add to it.
Or what about not arguing about insulin needing to be free. Maintenance meds are not usually free to anyone, but AED paddles and Narcan to revive-not treat, are free to EMTS.
Other people in pain aren’t the enemy.
It’s going to take all hands on deck to help stop this nightmare, just like the virus grabbed everyone attention. This epidemic existed long before that and will continue after. Most of the typical solutions are not working anymore, and needs to be revamped with new attitudes and ideas. These ideas must start with compassion not disgust. Not sarcastic answers and opinions on why they started.
Please offer your compassion and time. Even if you don’t understand how it progresses to such a dysfunction of incarceration or homelessness, you can still give HOPE to a suffering addict or a kind word to the family of a person with a substance use disorder.
You can give that struggling person on the corner, a $5 McDonald’s card to let him know that -yes someone does give a damn- today…