Purgatory of Addiction

Gov. Chris Christie is in the news this morning talking about drug addiction. Here is a video of his six minute speech on the issue. I watched it first thing this morning and I sat in my water closet sobbing. It’s the first time that I have ever seen a politician speak honestly about the monster of drug addiction in any way that spoke of authenticity. Someone who is in a position to actually do something about this plague.

I have avoided discussing Lamar Odom after his drug overdose for many reasons. Mostly because it hits close to home for me. Every day I wonder if this is the day that I get a call saying my ex-husband is dead and I have break the news to my kids. I have prepared the way to do it a million times, but really as the years go by the more that I wouldn’t have to say much other than “It’s about your dad” for them to know exactly what I was saying. My kids have lived with an addict for a dad for their entire life. {and I was also a drunk for a lot of their lives as well.} They have known him to be sober for little spans of time, but for the most part he’s been addicted to crack and meth since I miscarried our first baby together in 1997. He used drugs before then, but after that loss it became a full blown addiction and I spent the next 8 years blindsided by what a beast addiction is. I knew nothing about drugs and I tried everything that  I could to get him help or to get him to stop using but the only thing that I ended up doing was becoming codependent and that codependency ran on over into my valid Catholic marriage.

You don’t just marry someone and have kids with them and then just stop giving a crap about them. There are so many things about Ben that I do miss, mostly seeing my kids enjoy time with their dad and getting to see Star Wars with him. Watching all the excitement of the new Stars Wars knowing that Ben won’t be around to take them has really difficult. The memories of seeing them all excited about Star Wars come flooding back when I see it mentioned even though I do my best to ignore it. If Ben were here with them, they would have light sabers already.

Drug addiction is a thief. It robs families of people they love, of security, of relationships, of time and of life. It sucks the life right out of everything that is beautiful and joyful. For those of us who don’t have addictions, it robs us of our trust. Drug addicts are more than their addictions, that is something that I learned in Al-anon, they are people with dreams and gifts who have fallen into a black hole that is a real bitch to get out of. They aren’t lazy bums who would just rather be high, they are people who have wounds that they don’t know how to get healed in any other way. We need help to heal them and it takes more than just confession or even a relationship with Christ. I have that relationship and He sent me to a therapist and Al-anon. I had to learn coping skills and boundaries and allowing people to own their own shit instead of owning things that are not mine. It’s not as simple as: hand it to Jesus. Sure, He wants us to hand Him our wounds, but then He searches out hearts and starts telling us what to do in order to love the way that He loves. That takes work and it’s not easy. Jesus is not magic.

Drugs are a plague in this country and it is only getting worse. Addiction breeds addiction, it’s how the cycle works. It’s an ugly cycle to get caught up in because no matter what, you can’t really ever get out of it even if you are one of the lucky ones who heal from it, the scars are deep.

Today, on the day that we pray for the dead, let us pray for those who are addicted because addiction is purgatory in some ways.


4 thoughts on “Purgatory of Addiction

  1. I don’t think drugs are a plague in this country. People will always use drugs. The so-called “War on Drugs” is a plague on this country. Do people need to be told by government, media, and friends that drugs are dangerous? Of course they do. Yet we don’t seem to be sending that message to people. I’m old enough to remember the public service announcements on television warning people of the dangers of heroin. I never used heroin because of these warnings. Where are these warnings today?


  2. I loooooove the new fonts on your blog. And I really like the analogy of purgatory and addiction ~ I’ve never heard that. Addiction and its Satanic tentacles from the pits of hell disrupt and destroy more familial, professional and spiritual bonds than any force on Earth. Prayers for all who suffer, those who escape and especially those who love them through the process. God is bigger than our worst times, thankfully.


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