“How did he die?”

Reading a friend’s obituary who died with seemingly no explanation, I had the following thoughts:

 Doing drugs does not make someone a bad person. 

Drug use doesn’t change anyone’s legacy, contribution or the love that they gave or received. 

The fact is drugs, legal or illegal, can kill. 

Drugs can compound existing health problems. 

Drugs can snatch us without warning and keep us for a lifetime. 

And secrets keep us all sick. 
I have no more secrets.

I used drugs for 26 years. I was lucky enough to find sobriety. Now it’s my job to let people who suffer, as I once did, that there is hope, there is a way to stop and life can be different. 

I was not a bad person.

I have done some bad things. 
If I die today, I am sure someone will have something not so flattering to say about me. But you will know the truth. I have nothing to hide from you. 

If I leave any message let it be: Hate the drugs, not the people enslaved to them and that there is hope.
The only way the problem of deaths from drug use will ever change is if we all stop making addiction a moral issue and treat it like the sickness it is. 

I am frustrated with the media, amazed by the lack of understanding and sympathy surrounding substance abuse and I am disappointed by the misconceptions of those who have refused to speak the truth. Don’t try to hide it. 

Let the next kid, who that thinks one hit is no big deal, know the truth. If we stop being selfish and worrying about “feelings,” we may a save a life.
I am not debating specifics. I am not saying anyone is or isn’t an addict. I am not judging character. I am not entertaining hearsay or gossip. I am certainly not blaming. I just don’t want to see one more person die, especially another friend.
If you know me then you know I care. You know how I lived and how I live now. I will extend my hand to anyone who wants to change the way they live. 
The truth isn’t about tainting someone’s reputation. It’s about real love and dealing with a reality that we don’t want to admit or one that we are unconfortable with. Only then can healing come from a senseless tragedy. We need to start dealing with the truth. It is about time we all grow up.
You were a good person, my friend. And you are missed. 
~S.D.

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