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But first my interlude:
Addictions. Every family has them and every family deals with it in one way or the other. I am not alone in this. Nor or you. It surpasses all tiers of society. The rich, the poor, and the in between. Not one class or race escapes its firm grip. From the social elite all the way up to the homeless. It’s everywhere. It may be a family member. It may be a close friend. It may even be you. I am not sure why we as humans are prone to become addicted to things but we are. From prescription pills, to illegal street drugs, food, alcohol and dare I mention cigarettes among other things. Addicts are everywhere. My brother once said during one of his many rehab trips that addictions only come in two classes. Those that are sociably acceptable and those that aren’t. People that huddle outside in the cold and rain smoking cigarettes to curve their addiction to nicotine are sociably acceptable. People that are heroin addicts are not. However both drugs are equally deadly to take. One is a slow death that slowly robs you of your very breath that you never see coming until it’s too late. The other is all the other drugs…Touchy subject isn’t it.
The music world just lost another icon. Scott Weiland from STP (Stone Temple Pilots) passed away in his sleep on his tour bus. Rumors all over the place that he had fallen off the wagon again. Drugs were found in his bedroom on the bus. There is no sense in hating an addict. You may hate the things they do but not the person. I must admit I have be mad twice over and way past sideways because of addictions that aren’t mine but after I step back and the error of my moment clears… I remember. They are people too. Yes, they may have made bad life choices and you can’t fix them. You may have to let them go but let them go in peace. Pray for them. But don’t hate them.
This past weekend my family and I attended our town’s annual Christmas parade. Like I always do, I people watch. I don’t know why I do it but I do. I feel more like an observer than an attendee in almost everything I do. Being the goofball that I am, it’s easier on me to be that way. It’s like watching a movie play out before you. I am not in the movie. Just watching. As the countless floats passed by the little kids chased after the candies that were gently tossed out as gifts. The adults waved at friends or families they knew in the parade. We waited too for our grandkids to pass by us. A bus covered in cardboard made to look like Snoopy’s doghouse with snoopy on top passed by. Trailers pulling Den Cub Scouts passed by. Antique cars and supped up hot rods. The drivers’ squealing the tires as the rpms revved up. You could feel the energy in the air. And then…
A truck that was also in the parade rolled past us. The crowd wasn’t as excited about this one. In fact, they were almost taken back by it. Or, in hindsight, maybe didn’t know how to take it. The crowd timbre wasn’t as loud. Not quite a “gasp” or an “Awe” but clearly a marked difference. The truck had ladies from the WARM center in it. It stands for the “Women’s Addiction Recovery Manor”. It helps people that have those “socially” unacceptable addictions. I commend everyone in that truck. It had to be a brave statement to put oneself out in front of a judgmental audience and say, I struggle. I am wounded. I need help. And more importantly, I am getting help.
Like I said earlier. I have dealt with addicts most of my adult life. It hasn’t been easy on my family or me but how more devastating is it to the addict? We may have the heart ache and have to try to clean up the mess but the addict, unless gets treatment and stays clean,loses it all. They lose family, friends, self esteem, self respect..the list goes on and on. My brother who has been clean now for several years can attest to that. He is doing well. Here is a brief story he wrote a few years ago to give you a view of the world he once moved about in. I would say “Lived in” but he was just existing.
Enclosing. Scott Weiland’s family wrote a touching obituary to Scott and his fans. They also didn’t sugar coat anything. Addiction is a horrible thing but the addicts aren’t horrible people for the most part. They have just lost their way. Their foothold. We are not to judge them though or look down on them. The WARM center float should have had a standing ovation instead of silence the were given. We are all people and people need each other and encouragement. I don’t have the answers and there is no sure fire way to fix addictions. Each person is different. But there is help.
To my little brother, keep rolling that ball!
The Rolling Stone article is located under the Photograph!
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From Rolling Stone:
We don’t want to downplay Scott’s amazing talent, presence or his ability to light up any stage with brilliant electricity. So many people have been gracious enough to praise his gift. The music is here to stay. But at some point, someone needs to step up and point out that yes, this will happen again – because as a society we almost encourage it. We read awful show reviews, watch videos of artists falling down, unable to recall their lyrics streaming on a teleprompter just a few feet away. And then we click “add to cart” because what actually belongs in a hospital is now considered art.