Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Don't Forget All The Others

It is the hot topic right now to write about the tragedy of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Not to minimize his experience but we must not forget how many other families had the same experience on Sunday.

As the rest of us prepared for the Super Bowl making snacks and gathering with friends other families were getting the news that their son, daughter, mother, father, brother or sister no longer felt the pain of addiction. They paid the ultimate price.

This continues to happen every day. It is not hard to remember the emptiness we felt a year ago when a friend called us to tell us about her son. Sadness, The Monster Claims Another

It may seem overly dramatic but there isn't a day I don't think about how lucky our family is that Alex is clear and sober today. Darlene ask me one day if there isn't a day I don't think about this. I replied no, "Not really." She told me maybe I need to talk to someone. I thought to myself, that's what all of you guys are for.

Seven years of my life while Alex was using affected me deeply. I cannot imagine the pain of those parents whose children that lost the fight before finding recovery. The nightmare must be horrific.

It's hard for me to give advice to parents whose children still struggle because I am not sure there is a good answer to the single overriding question, "What can I do to get them to stop?" I fought with that question for seven years. Today I have learned that the answer to that question is to take care of yourself and to not give up.

There are new treatments available today that were not available ten years ago. Chemical treatments and new evidence based therapy's show great promise. These aren't designed to be in place of the long tested therapy's like NA. It just means we have more at our disposal. Use whatever works for you and for your loved one.

My sympathies go out to the family of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. But my sympathies also go out to each of those families whose loved one wasn't the lead story on the national news. It happens every day. Statistics tell us that every 19 minutes someone loses their fight to the monster.

What if every single month there was a new 9/11 attack? Just as many of our countrymen lose their lives to addiction each month as those in New York. This is a national tragedy just as 9/11. We must not minimize any of these loses, not 9/11 and not the tragedy of addiction.


Anonymous said...


Annette said...

I love that you called them "our countrymen." Not "junkies" or "tweakers" or any of the other derogatory names we have become so accustomed to hearing in reference to OUR KIDS. Because had it not been for this indiscriminate epidemic, they would be truly in every sense of the word, serving their countries, their communities, their families, and themselves. I think that Phillip Seymour Hoffman's death is a sad and tragic reminder that it can happen to anyone.

Al's Mom said...

This made me cry! Horrible just horrible!

Dawn said...

I don't forget either. I still feel like we are on a battlefield every day and the enemy is addiction. It's at my office, and in the homes of friends and loved ones. I am so very grateful it isn't in my own home but it is so close in other places that i bring it home with me in spirit. So yes, to all those who weren't in the news my heart is with you and to those that are in the depth of addiction I hope tomorrow is a better day for you.

Ming said...

Honestly, I hope that Philip's death, a loss of a talented actor, puts the attention on the heroin epidemic in the US. I hope it starts dialogue and action to help the hundreds of thousands of addicts and begin to rehabilitate them and bring them back from this horrid disease.

I was saddened by his death, and that was BEFORE I realized it was due to heroin.

I HATE HEROIN. It robs all of us of great potential and lives.

Mother of an addict. said...

Mine was one of the others only 13 years ago. I was not so lucky as my son died 6 weeks after 3 months of rehab. I have just started to feel like i am going forward and have also been posting a blog which is my form of recovery. Feel free to check it out. http://icrytoo2.blogspot.com/

Dad and Mom said...

Mother of an addict,

I am so sorry for you and your son. Too many people are lost to this monster.

Be sure to take care of yourself and do whatever ever it takes to help yourself. Like you I have writing as a huge part of my recovery.

Thank you Mother

S Fab said...

Great post

Happy to know your son is no longer facing the struggle of addiction.