The Ultimate Consequence

Death is not necessarily the worst outcome for the struggler with an addiction, at least from their perspective.┬áDeath for some is an escape from turmoil, trouble and suffering. If someone is in the throes of an addiction, depressed to boot, and suffering both craving for a substance, and the guilt that comes from inflicting suffering on loved ones, then death may seem like an easy option. It however is not an easy option for those left behind. Death because of an addiction, from an overdose of alcohol like Amy Winehouse; from a slow death from a disease like cirrhosis of the liver, or the worse of all by suicide, leaves loved ones bereft and correspondingly guilty as well. For with an addiction there is always the question: what if I had done something differently, what if I had intervened earlier, what if I had enabled less, what if I had tried harder to do something for the addict? Who knows, maybe something that someone else does or says could turn a situation around; maybe a kind word here or an sharp-turned phrase there could make the difference between life and death. It is hard to say, but when an addict dies, the question dosen’t die, it just becomes unanswerable. I cant say what works and what doesent in relation to turning a particular addiction situation around. Not everybody has to reach rock bottom; but sometimes it is all that works. When there is life, even in the middle of an addiction, there is hope. Sometimes it does take the 4th or 5th rehabilitation for someone to really get the message, sometimes it does take 2 or 3 failed relationships to help someone gain insight; maybe it takes being fired numerous times to really get the motivation to stop. But there is no opportunity to change when death is chosen, there is no possibility for an alternative outcome, there is no other path in the woods. And all that is left behind is the grief, guilt, and sense of “what a waste of a life”. Ultimately there has to be a better way, and that way is recovery.

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