Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer. Whether you live on Park Avenue or on park bench; whether you have been to Yale or to jail; addiction is right here, within or beside you.
There is no family, religion, school, hospital staff, police department, military branch, government, race, ethnicity, economic class, sovereign nation, rural community or urban metropolis that has not been or is not presently suffering under the whip of the cruel taskmaster named Addiction.
If you do not accept this, then you are under the influence of yet another disease. That one is named Denial. And Denial can be every bit as much a killer as is addiction. As a matter of fact, it is part of the syndrome of addiction.
People are already calling the overdose death of Saoirse Kennedy Hill part of “the Kennedy curse.” That helps keep addiction away from our own living room, sanctuary, child’s school and the driver of the car in front of or behind us. People prefer the cause of death to be suicide, depression, lost love, bad luck, karma, heart attack ~ anything rather than that of addiction. Just wait for all the rationalizations and explanations that come with a death by addiction. People will call it anything but what it is.
Individual and/or collective denial contributes to the death of someone every single day.
Addiction has many guises, masks and partnerships: depression, suicide, mental illness, compulsivity, risky behavior, creativity, obsessive thought and behavior, isolation, religious zealotry and garden variety neurosis. It will even attach itself to your most noble dreams, goals and ambitions. And then it will take you down. Never up. Always down.
Addiction will even convince you that it is saving your life while it is killing you.
Opioids are the number one killer of people under the age of 50 in America. Not handguns. Not car crashes. Not cancer. We are and have been in the midst of an opioid epidemic for a few years now and you would never know it if you go to church or even read Patheos, for that matter. Denial.
Many pastors, pontificators, philosophers and pundits have stopped reading this brief blog long ago. For those of you left ~ thank you! Mold grows in shadows and darkness. Thank you for helping to bring this issue into the light.
Thanks to Patheos for the courage, commitment and compassion to publish this series. Please subscribe to this series, “The Spirituality Within Addiction & Recovery” by clicking the “SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER” and providing your email address. It is free.