This column is moving right along, and thank you to all of the readers so far. I sincerely mean it. I don’t want to necessarily be the guy known as an addiction and recovery expert because there are so many great people out there doing fantastic work that goes unnoticed; many are unsung heroes. I aspire to be known as a fantastic and insightful writer, columnist, and author one day. Since I wrote my first short story in Mrs. Pitt’s second-grade class, “What if My Pencil Could Talk,” writing has been a love and passion of mine.

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It was a story of the symbiotic relationship between a young schoolboy and his pencil. Writing allows us to express ourselves in a safe place beyond judgment from outside forces, though some of us are our own worst critics. It even allows us moments to heal.

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Healing plays such a significant force in recovering from the damage drug, and alcohol addiction can cause. We have discussed how addiction sneaks up on an individual and takes total control of their life and have also discussed how trauma affects individuals so profoundly it can almost be unbearable once the fog has lifted. Many people in society read news articles or watch nightly primetime news segments about the damage someone involved in drug addiction has caused. Some people ignore the cause of addiction, and some fully understand how badly it eats away at your soul.

Many may ask, well, what exactly can they heal from when they keep causing all of the damage themselves? Great question. I guess they are not human. Let’s be honest for a second. They did not cause all of the damage themselves. I guess those struggling are just some bottom feeders that have nothing that haunts or torments them. Believe me when I say this, when you read a comment that says, “Just let the drug addicts DIE! They did it to themselves!” it hits you in the stomach when you’re the one that struggles, or has struggled, and it makes you want to hide from society. Compassion is something I wish they had a class for that we have to take every year starting in kindergarten, and through our senior year of high school. But bullies will bully, typically, but not always, because they are insecure, too. Many people have such a hard time admitting they are full of fear and maybe just a bit more sensitive than they lead on.

Healing comes in many different forms, and to fully recover from the damage addiction has caused the individual, their families, and society, there has to be compassion and support to address the damage we beat ourselves up over. Forgiving ourselves is not easy, because we are human, and it is hard to realize some of the wreckage. This is not a parody; the pain is real and human beings are the ones that struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. Over 20 million Americans alone battle drug or alcohol addiction. Instead of saying, “let them die,” how about we say, “let them heal.”

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