How does someone find themselves at the receiving end of a destructive habit? No one plans to live a life of degradation. It’s something that happens slowly, like a frog in boiling water. One doesn’t notice that certain actions have a predictive outcome of addiction until they reach that point down the line. It can start with partying on the weekends as a seventeen-year-old, to drinking alone every night ten years later.
Many variables lie under substance abuse, like a bastardized clandestine iceberg of submerged painful memories and torment. The most understood variables are loss, and lineage. Grief is the most painful emotional state in life. We as a society have seen countless people get swallowed by substance abuse to numb the pain, and have overall understood that standpoint. Not accept it, but understood it. Lineage is also easy to understand. If you have the blood of a drinker, you may have drinking problems. The actual science behind substance abuse says that genetic predisposition plays a role of fifty-percent to an individual developing a problem.
Other factors that are harder for people to understand are childhood traumas, and general stressors. The reason childhood trauma is hard for people to understand is because those people in the individual’s life were most likely there in their childhood, so it’s a matter of coming to terms with something they may have had a role in. The human mind is a survival mechanism. Children absorb experiences like a sponge so when something distressing happens, their mind will go to great lengths to bury the event in order to keep the lights on.
General stressors can be otherwise described as school, family life, friendships, or work. Coping with life’s hardships can be as easy as taking a hit. You may have started just once or twice, but soon fall into the habit of ritually needing the substance. It can get to a point where you’re blowing off your friends and other engagements so as to continue the ritual you’ve started one lonely night.
Homeless heroin addicts were once innocent children. But bit by bit, one event after another things kept going wrong and getting worse, pushing the person down the path to where they are now. Substance abuse isn’t the end of the road, though. One in the pit of their deepest hole might say it is, but so long as one is still alive, there is a chance to get out. An optimistic spin might be to say, ‘If you’re at your lowest, then you have nothing to lose.’ Dependency is a construct of the mind. It is a damn tight construct, but a construct none-the-less. Joggers talk about a mental wall they hit at a point of deep exhaustion. It’s a moment when your body, instincts, and soul scream for you to let go. To know what it is, and know you can say no allows you to break the impossible wall and push past it. Once you do, a weight is lifted and everything becomes lighter.
It’s a hard truth to face but the fact of the matter is that life is a constant struggle. It’s not easy, but like working out, it gets better if you put in the effort. Let daily pessimism die under the light of a hopeful mindset. Ring it out to let the sober winds of realism breeze your cheek, and stand tall to let a ray of optimism shine on you every now and then. I hope this helped anyone reading to better sympathize or understand that many things go into how someone can fall from grace. We are all in this thing called life together, and all need to help each other out. Thank you for being here, and I’ll see you guys next time.