I know first hand the demons with which my daughter Mikhaila struggled. I’ve personally experienced the demon of addiction creep into my life and infiltrate my mind, callously staking claim of my thoughts and ultimately motivating my every action. Drug addiction took me to some of the darkest of places, warped my view of the world and twisted my perception of reality. Relationships with family and friends, and just about everything else that was once important to me became an afterthought, behind satisifying the demon’s ever increasing hunger. Lying became 2nd nature, stealing from loved ones the norm, using people to get what I needed a daily affair. It may be argued that my own curiosity prompted me to take the first bite of the fruit, but I firmly believe it was my predisposition to crave the sweetness of it’s nector that made me continue my path of destruction. Some may debate that an addict is merely a weak minded individual that chooses to abuse drugs, but I understand through personal experience the disease that is drug addiction. I clearly recall as if it was yesterday begging God for death, after failing over and over again to stop using for more than the time it would take me to get more. I will always remember the long nights of delusional paranoia alone in the cheap hotel rooms with the hourly rates, continuously looking through the door’s peep hole expecting someone to force himself in. I still have in mind lookin through McDonald’s trash cans for half-eaten burgers, or the cold nights I spent trying to sleep in my car knowing full well I had a place to go with a warm bed to sleep on and a hot meal to eat. I will never forget the pain in my mother’s face as she’d see me return, dirty, unshaven, face sunken in, eyes red as beets, after being gone for weeks at a time. Why would I, or anyone chose to live like this? It is with this personal experience and understanding of the difficulty of the disease that I attempted to connect with my daughter. I reached out to Mikhaila with the compassion that anyone suffering from such a debilitating disease deserves, and with every intention to help her in any way I was able. I was heartbroken by the less than lukewarm response she gave me in return. I realized the uphill battle in I was about to engage; I stood at the foot of the mountain which I had committed myself to climb.
One of my biggest problems has always been my inability to hold back my feelings about things that i should keep to myself. I have always had the tendency to share too much and too soon about personal issues, feelings, plans, etcetera to friends or even strangers, and have been quick to give someone the benefit of the doubt that they weren’t going to use that information against me in some way. Call me naive, but I have always assumed that if in any situation where someone had to make a moral choice about something, they would make the choice that I would. It’s just the way I’m programmed I guess. Without making myself more than I am, and also acknowledging how I’ve fallen short many times throughout my life, I have tried to be forthcoming, honest, trusting, generous, kind and anything else that describes the qualities of a good person. At the same time I have assumed, or taken for granted, that everyone else generally living with the same mindset. But I’m realizing that this way of thinking is flawed and has rarely worked in my favor. One reason is that there are people in this world that seek out and take advantage of others as if it’s the thing to do. I’m embarrassed to say that there have been several times through out my life when I have allowed myself to be manipulated by people like this, and every occasion has ended with me in a worse place than before, and realizing it was too late to do something about it. I’m realizing even this late in life that their are people in this world that live their lives at the expense of others. These predators, consciously or not, recognize weaknesses in others that they exploit for their own personal gain. This is the only way they know. It comes as naturally to them as breathing. They are so good at manipulating their environment and the people around them that they go unrecognized until there is nothing more to gain. They only move on when they successfully convince the rest of the world that what remains of the person they have damaged is at fault for everything for everything going wrong with the world. Although it pains me to know these people exist, I can only feel sorry for them and try to salvage anything that they haven’t already destroyed.
There is a special place in hell for these kinds of people.
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