I’ve been quite shocked, and disgusted the way one group of people have reacted to Phillip Seymour Hoffmans death.There have been four different types of response that i have seen to the beloved actors death, from friends of my own and those whom i see all over various social media sites.
1) Extreme( and exaggerated) sorrow. Please, its not like you knew the man personally
2) No reaction/ not giving a shit. Hey, if you didn’t know the guy personally and his movies did nothing for you, i completely understand.
3) “addiction is a bitch, that’s horrible”. these people know what’s up and completely understand
and last, and most ignorantly:
4) ” i have no sympathy for anyone like that. they chose do put the drugs in their bodies” self righteous blah blah blah
The last response is what irritates and frustrates me the most. I understand the need for attention, and people who like to jump on the bandwagon of sorts, so i understand the first response. I understand not being affected by it and not giving a damn. I really understand that addiction is a bitch. What i don’t understand is how someone can be so ignorant, and so heartless, to a situation. How are you ignorant if you identify with the forth response? The better question is, how are you not?
There has been major advancements in the science and medical fields in regards to the disease of addiction. If you still think its not an actual disease, consult with any qualified MD, and they’ll set you straight. Its a brain disease. It affects peoples reasoning abilities, and lies in the part of the brain where the reward and punishment circuiting lies. Its not a disease that is procured through participating in certain activities, you’re born with it. I dislike the comparison people make when they say having the disease of addiction is like cancer or diabetes. I see it more in comparison to autism or a form of being mentally handicapped.
To the person who says ” Well they put the drugs in their bodies, its their own fault”; addiction and being an addict goes way beyond the drinking or the drugs. Most people become addicted to something long before the drugs or booze come along. Living in fantasy, video games, eating, sex, gambling, stealing, lying, and many many more. These are things that addicts get hooked on first. Anything that alters the mind, alters perception, makes you feel good. These are the things that triggers the addicts obsession and compulsion, and once that happens, ITS ON. Irrational thinking and behavior replace the normally mild mannered individual, and they’re already thinking of their next fix while they’re still on their current one. They can’t help it, and the majority of the time, whether they want to admit or not, they wish they didn’t think that way.
PSH got clean(sober) at 22. That is amazing. Right at the age where binge drinking and occasional drug use is socially understood, it takes a lot of strength to get sober so young. And before anyone gets on their high horse about his drug overdose, the man had a period of sobriety that lasted longer than I’ve currently been alive. During that time, he accomplished many things, many things that he was recognized nationally and internationally for, and other things the average person is not recognized for, such as starting a family and supporting them. All these things I’m sure he would attribute in some way to being sober and in recovery. Recovery allows for a new, and even better shot, at life. And PSH soaked it in for all those years. Unfortunately, along with recovery often comes relapse. Whats sad isn’t that he fell off the wagon, but that he didn’t have the chance to get back on it. Prolonged abstinence and recovery is very hard, but not impossible. “May the odds ever be in your favor” ( bad joke? i couldn’t resist). But in all seriousness, the odds aren’t in your favor. The statistical probability of someone living with this disease remaining clean for an extended period of time is slim; that’s not to say that people don’t do it; hundreds of thousands of people recover from this disease every day, and some even die having remained clean for the last however many years of their lives. But the disease isn’t cured with simple abstinence from drugs and alcohol, as they are only symptoms of the disease.
You live with the disease for the rest of your life, and you can continue to live and attempt to get better as long as you don’t pick up. Unfortunately, liquor stores don’t close and the dope man doesn’t disappear because one individual got sober. Temptations and delusions, in all forms, are always around the corner hiding, and waiting, and tend to sneak up on addicts when they’re least expecting it.
No one wants to live this way, on the contrary, most people vow that they will do anything to not become the people depicted in DARE classes they took part of in middle school. So don’t ever think that there is a whole lot of choice involved with this disease. The disease itself makes you think that there are no other choices but to continue living the way you are. Most people do not know that help is available and that there is an alternate way of living for those that have the disease of addiction. Without knowledge, how does one get to the help he so desperately needs? ” just stop doing it”. Yeah, you try “just stopping” doing something that you’re physically and mentally dependent on.
Those with the disease of addiction say that they wouldn’t wish this disease on even their own worst enemy.Because, they know. They know what it does to their familes, friends and loved ones. And they know the torment they have suffered by their own unwilling volition. Its horrible, completely miserable and extremely painful,mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally painful. For the person that lacks the compassion for this sort of situation, pray that you’re never suffering opiate withdrawal and ask me for help, because i’ll laugh at you and walk away. If you can’t find compassion for the person that overdosed and died, find it for their families and friends for whom that person left behind. They will be tormented and hurt by their death for a while; and trust me, that person did not want to leave them behind, they just wanted the pain to stop. And it has.