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Today’s (Optional) Writing Prompt: Celebrities and drugs – do you judge harshly, have mercy, or fit somewhere in between?
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Let me begin by saying that one of hte matriarchs of my family had multiple drug and alcohol addictions. When I was a child, she was largely in recovery, and this was not apparent to me. I was aware of it, but it didn't affect me until she got older. After a bout with cancer, she began drinking heavily again and starting using codeine.
I know it's possible to love, truly love, a person with an addiction. It's also necessary to put up very strict - loving, but firm - boundaries around that person. Addicts are very manipulative. They'll do anything to keep using. It's not only destructive to themselves, it's destructive to everyone and everything around them. It's not wrong to protect ourselves and those we value from their downward spiral. It's not cruel or unloving. Enabling is far more cruel, even though it may seem like the kinder option at times.
My family member died of an unrelated accident just as she was beginning to enter recovery - very sad. I do not judge people harshly for using addictive drugs, although I do mourn the circumstances that may have led them to that decision.
However, I am optimistic about the possibility of recovery. Case in point: Robert Downey, Jr. In the '90s, he seemed certain to be doomed to a life of prison and early death. Now he's freaking IRON MAN. It's such a joy that this beautiful and talented actor lived to see his own success. It's wonderful that his kids got their father back.
I was a bit surprised this morning to learn of Whitney Houston's death at the age of 48. I don't judge her harshly. I do choose to remember her for her beautiful music.
It took me longer than 5 minutes to write that. I cheated, but only because it was a topic I felt passionate about.