It is never easy, as a person in recovery, when addiction claims another life. You may think after so many years, so many deaths, so many headlines that it wouldn’t sting quite as badly. But it does, every single time, whether it is someone I know personally or not.
For me, as an addict, I feel a connection with other addicts that is unlike any other connection. We share a bond and an understanding of true evil that others will never know. Together, we fight this fight everyday. We pray for one another, we support one another, and we love each other because we know firsthand the pain and angst of being controlled by substance and losing the battle.
Although I never knew Philip Seymour Hoffman personally, I know him on a deeper level. I know too well the feeling of that craving, your addicted mind telling you its okay to do it one more time, maybe no one will ever know… just one more time… it’s okay. The truth is, for me and for every other addict, it is never okay.
This is a man that was clean and sober for more than two decades, and in a flash he lost his life. I got an email today asking me “Why did he choose to throw his life away?” I felt anger and heartbreak at the same time, and realized once again how little people understand addiction. This is not a choice that he made- he didn’t wake up yesterday and choose to die. There are three children left without a father and his companion of fifteen years is left without a partner. That is NOT the choice he made.
So I sit here contemplating choices, feeling heavy that one of my people lost his battle and wondering how I protect myself from this awful, conniving disease and wondering if we are ever safe. Feeling so incredibly sad for the loss and angry at relapse, and so endlessly grateful for everyday of my recovery and the opportunity to love the people around me.