I sit here tonight. Thinking of my cousin, Amber and so many others battling the demons of addiction. Amber passed quickly from an overdose after struggling with depression and self medication. My cousin, he has been in a coma for nearly weeks now.
Addiction is a mental illness and many times people have addiction along with other mental health troubles.
We watch and grab every glimmer of hope provided as we pray and hope for my cousin to return to some type of normal being. Seeing him lay, unconscious with a machine helping him breath breaks out hearts. Knowing the struggles he has had with the demons and trying to grasp on recovery to only slip.
Relapse is common, mental illness is a daily struggle for so many people in the world. According to the National Institute of Mental Heath (2015), one in four Americans experience a mental health issue annually.
My cousin will be transferred to another facility for long term monitoring. We will hope and pray to see him breath on his own and respond more to the outside world.
We don’t know what everyone goes through and what brought them to addiction. There are so many things that can lead anyone to the daily and hourly struggle of addiction. Once they have progressed into addiction and physical addiction is present, people look down on them. They don’t consider that each person is loved by a someone, that they love people and also don’t understand what put them in this situation. They don’t understand or care to understand (sometimes) how powerful addiction grabs a person and holds them. It changes their way of thinking, it alters their moral believes. Addiction, as with any mental illness needs long term treatment and compassion.
How can we help people in need?
Yesterday, Barbara Bush was laid to rest. She showed compassion during the AIDS epidemic and cast aside the stigma and held an infant AIDS patient at a time when most people treated these people like leapers. She hugged and cast the stigma aside and as First Lady she set an example. She demonstrated compassion.