Phillip Seymour Hoffman did not have choice or free will and neither do you.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman did not have choice or free will and neither do you..

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62 thoughts on “Phillip Seymour Hoffman did not have choice or free will and neither do you.

  1. The only person judging this actor is the writer of this blog. Why are arguing a point that no one has even made?
    You are defending a point that no one has even made.
    Who on earth is saying “he should have known better”?
    No one.

    Save your energy and perhaps argue a point only after ine is made.

    • Dear Jaime,
      It was not my experience. My FB page was over run with blogs and posts and comments that were judgmental and some that were just plain cruel. As a number of the comments on this blog will show, lots of people think PSH “should have known better.” Thanks for the read, though. Debbie

    • Debbie made absolutely perfect claims on what is happening in out society at large on how drug addiction and alcoholism is viewed. It’s the ignorance of the population that helps countless millions fall to their knees and die from this disease. Just go work at a treatment centre and see for yourself how misunderstood addiction really is

      • This reply is for Debbie, Thankyou, I have been an addict for 42 years, currently in recovery again. This essay helped me, for the first time in my life, I understand what is happening inside my mixed up brain. I can finally understand why what happens, happens. Now I understand why I must accept step 1. Thank you, thank you, thankyou.

    • I disagree, Jamie. Just today I sent a letter to the editor of our local small town newspaper who has published criticisms two days this week of PSH. Besides, it’s always a good time to share important information about a serious health concern that affects everyone!

  2. My friends are blowing up my inbox thinking I wrote this blog. We have the same name and the same feelings about this issue. I wish I could write half as good as you! Thank you for your thoughts. Aloha

    • Dear Debbie,
      I got a call from a rehab in FLA looking for you to ask about treatment options in Honolulu for a client last week! We not only have the same name, we have the same profession. (What are the odds?) Thank you for your appreciation! Sorry about your inbox!! Blessings, Debbie (the other one 😉

      • I know, that is what I was thinking. I’m on Maui where are you? This is the first I have heard of you. There is a Mike Bayer that is an Interventionist in California, but both you and I MFT’s specializing in addiction?? I wish I could write like you.
        With Aloha,
        Debbie Bayer

    • You did not write this? Thank you for it anyway. I left 12 step groups frustrated that no one had enough common sense or insight to see this. I will say that 12 step groups work under the right conditions or circumstances but the person needs to have reached a rock bottom with the substance to find recovery. Then the argument is of course if that person has reached a rock bottom could they have found recovery anyway? But I digress. This is not the main point I wish to make…Treatments for Adult Attachment Disorder, Dissociative Disorder and Complex PTSD are far more effective than 12 step groups because the information is not out dated or judgmental and the person gets a chance to deal with the original trauma and can in some cases return to a normal life without being re-triggered again and drinking normally without addictive tendencies. Thank you for this enlightened post.

  3. what about the healing power of tears?
    no meds needed, no doctors, no counselors;
    simply let the emotional pain out thru tears !!!

  4. I am an alcoholic/addict. I’ve been clean & sober for thirty two years ( Sept.,25,1981). I was helped through the 12Steps of AA. In my time with out a drink or a mind altering drug. I have learned that I do have a choice. I could have continued the way I was living, or I could change my life. The choice was mine. The same was true for Philip Seymour Hoffman. After years of abstinence he chose to go back to his old life style. He wasn’t forced. He had the tools to work with & chose not to work with them.

      • There is much debate about Tradition 11*(oops-did I break a secret code in revealing the secret code?). Some believe it means not to share other AA member’s names (which I agree with 100%), others believe it means our own names, still others believe it’s about the praise and promotion aspect. IMO, it’s a dumb tradition if interpreted that I am not able to tell someone I’m in AA or “a 12-step program”.

        *Tradition 11:
        Eleven—(short) Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
        (Long) Our relations with the general public should be characterized by personal anonymity. We think A.A. ought to avoid sensational advertising. Our names and pictures as A.A. members ought not be broadcast, filmed, or publicly printed. Our public relations should be guided by the principle of attraction rather than promotion. There is never need to praise ourselves. We feel it better to let our friends recommend us.

      • I don’t hide my alcoholism or drug addiction. By giving my name I have broken no traditions. I have not mentioned anyone else by name. I have not mentioned my group by name. When you are hospitalised & no one comes to visit. It will be because they can’t find Anonymous on the patient list.

      • Nick and Kristi… BINGO. it is the stigma of addiction that drives people away from treatment Nick I am glad to see you used your name. I too use my real name. There is no shame in recovery, there is only shame in not wanting to recover. We must speak up and hold each other accountable. I am involved with Celebrate Recovery and and Recovery Passport and see miracles every day when they stop hiding.

        http://be-accountable.blogspot.com/2014/02/addiction-is-silent-killer-because-we.html

        http://be-accountable.blogspot.com/2013/10/that-edge-we-are-all-walking-along.html

        Recoverypassport.com.

      • Tradition 11 is a joke. AA members are outed CONSTANTLY against their will. In fact I’ve known a number of folks who left AA specifically because of these anonymity breaches. The good news is that they were all successful at ending their downward spirals in NON-12 step environments.

        AA is many things, some of which I cannot print here, but it is definitely NOT “anonymous”. In the interest of truth in advertising they need to change their acronym to just…A: Alcoholics…or maybe A4L: Alcoholics Fo Life!

        That said, I agree 100% that it is up to the individual to decide whether or not they out THEMSELVES. But it is never, never, NEVER ok to out someone else in the program. If you don’t understand this then you are part of the problem, not the solution.

      • I can speak on my experiences, Anonymous. That people want to silence those with positive 12 step experiences is pretty amazing.

  5. Thank you for the article. I find myself higly interested on more info about neurological facts of adiction. Any suggestions? Best wishes!

    • Dear Alejandra, Books by Dr. Daniel Amen are easy to find and accessible to laypeople like us. I don’t like his business model but his credentials as a neuroscientist are solid. You will be surprised to find more than enough to read on the internet by “googling” the phrase ‘addiction and the brain’ or ‘the neurology of addiction.’ Blessings, Debbie

      • Alejandra, I have found the book by David Sheff, “Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy” to be very informative and helpful.

  6. Hi Debbie,
    I find your article insightful and I would like to read more about the facts about brain functioning that you mention. While reading I couldn’t help myself thinking of people like Woody Allen. Is this brain functioning disorder also causes child abuse? Is this also some kind of an addiction or else?

    • Dear idil, Different brain circuits, but similar processes. I have mentioned books in other comments. Look for authors like Dr. Rick Hanson and Deepak Chopra, MD. For the sake of compassion for all, please remember that Mr. Allen cannot be proven guilty within a shadow of a doubt. Something horrible happened to Dylan, but we cannot know for certain all of the details. My heart breaks for Dylan and everyone in her family and all those who have had to struggle through the darkness and muck of all of the suffering. Blessings to you, Debbie

  7. Great article and perspective that shed light on some things. My cousin has had some recent success from being switched to mellifolium. He said that other medications that he was on made his brain feel foggy and clouded and this one made him feel more clear.

  8. Debbie, you’re getting so many replies because as you see, there is no shortage of opinions or feelings on the matter. Many here believe, as do members of various religions, that they exclusively hold “the Truth.” The many wildly differing versions of this should tell you something.

  9. A well-presented explanation of the brain of an addict…unfortunately, also a cop out that opens the door for so many people to lean on the crutch of “it isn’t my fault that I (fill in the blank) because I couldn’t help myself”. It’s too easy to point a finger at someone or something else (brain chemistry, being born a middle child, having alcoholic parents, etc.) for one’s actions rather than man up and accept responsibility for one’s actions. I’m sick of this sort of enabling.

  10. It seems like addiction would have no good purpose in our evolutionary process and would have been selected out as addictive types would have killed them selves out along with the genetic predisposition to be and addict. Very verbose dissertation describing an opinion as fact none of which would seem to make sense. I would not propose to have an iron clad reason for some to be addicts while other are not, yet this post wreaks of reaching and personal bias.

    • Your assumption of addiction getting “evolved out” of the human race is flawed. You assume that all addicts eventually will kill themselves off and not reproduce thereby eliminating them from the gene pool.

      Not true. There are many high-functioning addicts who have had offspring throughout history. Many of these addicts (like Thomas Edison and Sigmund Freud, to name just two) have also been very successful in their fields.

      You also don’t factor in other conditions which are often co-morbid with addiction. For example, approximately 70% of people afflicted with bipolar disorder also have addiction issues. Bipolar disorder (also known as “manic depression”) causes many of its sufferers to be extremely creative and driven (and consequently quite successful) in their fields and achieve things that “normal” people would not be able to achieve. Think Ozzy Osbourne, Russell Brand or Mel Gibson.

      Not all active addicts are skid-row bums or hopeless basket cases. Many of them are highly-functional members of society. Unfortunately most of them don’t stay that way and addiction will eventually bring them down.

    • To @Dr Philips,
      You absolutely MUST be high right now to make such an absurd statement! The name Hitler comes to mind!
      I hope I misunderstood the point you were so ineffectively attempting to make. I know that you could not have been serious when you say that addicts are weak therefore would be killed off (more precisely kill themselves off) as in survival of the fittest!! Because you could not, well actually yes you could, be so obtuse to make a statement like that!
      Some of the brightest most loving and talented people I have known in my life (including myself) are recovering..or even active addicts!!
      Figures someone would write that BS and then put DR in front of their name! My guess is you are about 5 foot 6 inches tall and balding! Not to mention the Dr in front of your name is negotiable! If you were a real doc, I’m doubting you would feel the need to spell it out for all to see!
      Personally, as one who has struggled with addiction and relapse, I appreciate anyone who is tries to educate the public! So thanks to the author..but not so much to the selfproclaimed “Dr”!!

  11. I found it very helpful, kudos to you! At my parent support group last night, someone shared another great blog post, but this is even more helpful. The neuroscience of the brain is imperative for parents and other supporters to understand. keep up the good work. You have a new follower! And my support group will be getting a copy of your article at next week’s meeting.

  12. Debbie,
    As a recovering addict I was so moved, inspired and grateful for the blog about PSH. You explained in such eloquence what I have been trying to understand myself and explain to many family and friends who, like myself until recently, had no understanding of the disease of addition.

    I have forwarded your blogpost on Facebook and have received such positive responses that I had to write you. I have to admit that I was wondering how you were going to handle those of us for which the 12 step program, so far, has worked to keep me alive and I giggled when you wrote “hang in there..I’m on your side”. Thank you for your work and thank you for taking on this tragic topic. I am so grateful that GOD has spoken through you to me and those in my circle.

    Keep posting on this topic as you are truly gifted and are helping more people than you know.

    Aurelio in Miami

  13. Phillip Seymour Hoffman did not have choice or free will and neither do you. | Leswillbe

  14. I am a sex addict. I have been one for about 20 years, have known it for about 10 months, but suspected it for a lot longer. My bottom line behaviours have caused my loved one, other’s loved ones and myself much pain and suffering. Last year I hit the proverbial rock bottom, and knew I was in trouble. Problem is, being an addict, rock bottom is never really rock bottom – this was just the latest in a series of painful lows in my addiction. I have promised myself, begged myself, pleaded with God to help me stop, but each time I returned to my addictive behaviours. Triggers were various – stress, hurt, fear, boredom, elation….basically any event triggering emotions that most non-addicts would find a way of facing, experiencing, or dealing with. I struggled to engage with these. I would “self-medicate” by acting out.

    10 months ago I joined a spiritual program based on AA principles. It teaches me that self-will and isolation are not the path to recovery, but that engaging with others in the program, sharing, and surrendering will over to a loving, caring higher power (whatever shape that higher power takes), will help me stay clean, once day at a time. The program has helped me immensely so far – despite the fact that these are early days, and I am truly grateful for the clean time.

    Your article really moved me. I can relate to so much of what you are saying. I am educated, I have a professional career, I am married with a beautiful wife and child, and I engage lucidly and reasonably intelligently on most levels in my life. But my addiction is the rolling train wreck that has always bubbled beneath the surface. Problem is, it was never really contained – the consequences inevitably spilled out into other aspects of my life.
    The notion of a frontal lobe that is the reasoning centre being completely short-circuited really resonates with me. Looking back at each and every one of my acting out events, my rational processes were completely stunted – you could say I behaved insanely. I felt like I wasn’t driving; like I was on a set of rails – heading straight towards a wall, and no matter how desperately I wanted to stop, I was powerless.

    Your article gives me both hope and deep fear. Hope that medical science and neuroscience can help people like me. Fear that I have passed my brain’s mis-wiring on to my beautiful son. I don’t wish this on anyone.

  15. I have to say this blog has been most helpful as I try to understand the recent death of my best friend, who died by suicide. I knew she was battling alcholism but didn’t understand some of her other behavior, even when she was sober. Your comment about people not being able to help themselves is also helpful, as she was a doctor who displayed an air of confidence despite life stressers. It’s so sad on so many levels but through all this, I have come to recognize the lack of understanding and focus on mental health issues and how pervasive it is for all families.

  16. As a child of a recovered alcoholic, I agree with the author in part: addiction is a disease and a disease that cannot be cured. However, as I saw with my father, he recovered from drinking alcohol and the following year, from being a heavy smoker, though his will, and as he would say, through the will of God. The 12-step program initially helped him, after a stint in rehab, but his faith pulled him through.

    That being said, I only saw him “drunk” on three occasions, the last two times right before he put himself into rehab. An addict is an addict, though there may be degrees of addiction. My father DID choose not to drink anymore, even though my mother chose to continue (she’s not an alcoholic) to have her glass of wine every night. My father went on to lead AA groups, even in prisons, and later in retirement, was the DUI officer for the court. He saw a lot of ole drinking buddies who could not stop drinking. My father had suffered much through his life, some of which may have led him to drinking more, but some of the suffering continued after sobriety.

    I am not an addict, nor am I an enabler, therefore I have to really work at being compassionate and understanding. But is addiction all disease, all chemical disorder, all without one’s will? Not so sure about that. My father died a decade ago of cancer, so I can’t ask him these questions.

    As someone with their own neurological issues (migraines, RLS), I understand the dysfunction of our brains to various stimuli. I CAN”T have any medicines for pain beyond ibuprofen. Cold medicines and a glass of wine will send me into horrible, painful RLS. And lately, things I have eaten or used for a long time, have caused reactions with migraines and RLS. I am ALL about choice and will, yet, I don’t know all the facts of my brain, though I am under the care of a neurologist. My “condition” is not that I am oblivious to the bone sticking out of my leg, but that I am continuously aware of what could make that bone snap and the total randomness of any such force.

    I hear you, Ms. Bayer, but I’m not so sure that these neurological impairments truly remove all will or judgement. This was not what I saw and experienced with my father. Yet, I have lost friends to their addictions, and addictions wide and varied. So I don’t know of any definitive term for addiction or recovery or the lack of recovery.

    Maybe addiction isn’t the right word to use here. Maybe we should ask…
    Is: An addiction is an addiction is an addiction?
    Is addiction like pregnancy, either you are or not, not just a little bit?
    Is it not addiction we’re actually discussing, but various types of neurological diseases?
    Do these various neuro diseases have varying rates of addiction and recovery?
    If there is no free will or choice, how then can an addict be saved?

    Thank Ms Bayer for bringing this topic to light and thanks to all who are participating in this discussion.

    • I’m an alcoholic/ addict. I’ve been clean & sober for over thirty two years. I could not do it on my own either. For me there was the AA 12 Step program & a power greater than myself. I know if I tried to do this on my own. It would have been self will run amuck. I have been involved with many of the aspects of the fellowship including going into correctional institutions to put meetings on & also the local men’s detox. I have seen many people try to get sober on their own & for most it was a fail. I am certain that if I underwent any kind of medical treatment for the disease I would be dead today. You can not cure alcoholism. It is a three fold disease, Spiritual, Mental, & Physical. Treating one part still leaves the other two. It’s like having cancer in more than one part of the body. treating one cancer leaves the others to kill you.

  17. Your article is very good and made me understand addiction/alcoholism more. This leaves me with one question, let’s say you’re 16 or so, how do you know if you have a brain that is susceptible to addiction/alcoholism? KMathieu

    • There is no scientific study that can tell you if you are an addict or an alcoholic before you become one. Usually in both instances the change in the way you think is a reasonable point of reference, but it is the people around you that notice this. The alcoholic/addict see their life as normal when thety are under the influence. Even though they may end up in hospitals or jail cells they see it as if everyone they know does the same thing. They think their drug of choice, be it alcohol or any other drug is their best friend. They don’t recognize the need to seek help, Even when love point out that fact it is ignored up until the point where their best friend (alcohol or any other drug) becomes their worst enemy & yet they still can’t stop drinking or using. Sometimes family interventions & rehab are successful in pointing them in the right direction, but even this is not enough for most to be able to stay clean or sober. That is where 12 Step programs ( AA, NA, CA) come into play. Not everyone is successful even with these programs. I write this from first hand knowledge. I have been clean & sober for over 32 years.

  18. Great article and it was good to see it circulating around the internet. I found it via facebook. I only wish you had included some credible attributions to peer-reviewed medical studies. As you point out, critics tend to filter information through their own anecdotal experiences, which are typically quite negative.

    In my experience, 12-step programs don’t get anyone sober; they support those who have already decided to be sober, or at least abstinent.
    In any 12-step program, only the first step even mentions the source of the addiction; all of the other eleven steps address how to live more consciously and conscientiously….how to be a better person, friend and family member.

    We can all use that. Also, despite popular support for it, there is little evidence that AA has a higher success rate than other interventions, but that doesn’t at all diminish the value of that program. Whatever works. Not all substance abusers are addicts, which explains some of the doubts and misconceptions about the disease model.

    Nonetheless, your main point is undeniably valid. We need to treat mental illness and brain disorders with the same nonjudgmental approaches as we treat physical illness and disability.

    Thanks for your article; keep on writing!

  19. Really thoughtful and caring article. As a drug and alcohol educator focusing on prevention, I do want to add that ANY ONE OF US can use a substance long enough, in a large enough quantity to permanently change our brain chemistry. At that point, the absence of the substance is abnormal and the presence of the substance becomes “normal'” and I have lost choice. I must have the substance in order to function. Abstinence is my only choice, hour by hour. AND, yes, MJ is physically addicting, no longer any doubt about it.

    • I was 12 when I had my first drunk. From that time forward I was never sober. I was either thinking of the next drunk, getting drunk, or recovering from a drunk. It was the same with the drugs I started using at the age of 19. It’s not how long you drink, or use,or what you drink or use. It’s what happens when you drink or use. There is no way to prevent someone from picking up. If they are going to drink or use. All you can do is hope it doesn’t take over their life & if it does. Then all you can do is hope they get the needed help. Making young people aware of what can happen to them if they drink or use. In a lot of cases makes the temptation even more enticing.

    • I like how that last sentence required absolutely zero evidence.

      THE PROBLEM LIES in the willingness to throw a serious word like “addiction” around. It’s too broad a blanket, which I think a few prior commenters subtly touched on. There are, in my experience, a majority of people who abuse drugs as a SYMPTOM, or a misinformed, or an inappropriately stocked bout of self-medication to treat *n* (n being an unknown emotional scar or the like). Now if anyone knew exactly where *n* originated, proper meds would’ve been given along with any other therapies necessary to CURE (<-4 letter word!) the source of the patient's apparent "addiction", thus ending it. I think the laws surrounding drugs and alcohol get people into more trouble than the drugs themselves, which certainly wouldn't balm the stigma attatched to these "illicit" substances. More needs to be learned, and that's not going to happen in the DEA era.

      • There is no cure. Any addiction is a 3 fold disease (physical, emotional& mental). To put it in simpler terms addiction is a symptom of the disease of self & can’t be cured. It can however be arrested by using 12 Step programs, or religious beliefs. I will die with my addictions, but I don’t have to die from them.

  20. It’s actually quite simple to avoid addiction – avoid trying or experimenting with the substance in the first place. Drug knowledge is out there well enough to know that they are addictive and that addiction is a problem. So if you make the choice to try it, and you live with the consequences. I don’t see what’s so difficult about that.

  21. For a talking head seemingly intent on calling for the death of responsibility, Debbie Bayer’s screed takes the cake! Virtually every paragraph of her lecture is suffused with howlers that call for rebuttal. It appears to be none other than a closeted brief for determinism, not simply advice on the proper approach to addiction. (Philosophers themselves have yet to resolve the determinism/free will debate, one that continues to rear its insistent head in rarefied discussions of this constituency over the years–without a clear solution to this day.)

    First, you can neurologize every pattern of human behavior, even those not classified as maladaptive or “addictive.” Does this mean that persons ordinarily held responsible for the simple, everyday decisions they make are being treated unfairly because their “brain chemistry” has preempted their “free will?”

    Second, Hoffman had been abstinent for years. So his decision to abuse heroin cannot be attributed to his being in the vise-like grip of an “addiction,” as though he would go into severe withdrawal without the drug. Does Bayer contend that an addict with 20 years of abstinence is in the same brain state as one using heavily every day? Does she suppose that both are equally stripped of their “free will” in precisely the same way?

    Fact of the matter is that most severe addictions (whether of drugs or alcohol) are terminated by individual decisions to end the pattern because of the social, familial and financial toll it takes on the user–and without a treatment program, to boot! How does Bayer reconcile her spin on the matter with such spontaneous remission success stories? The myth that all addiction patterns at whatever stage are equivalent to invisible shackles over which the user has no control is one of the pieties of rehab programs that simply does not stand up after considering the available research data. One might likewise argue that those periods of abstinence that forever dot the landscape are similarly ordained by brain states, so that a person who maintains them cannot similarly be held responsible for them.

    The truth is that Hoffman wasn’t in effect ruled by some fanciful neurological state, any more than I am for not using. His significant other is entitled to an emotion paradoxically missing from Bayer’s list of suitable attitudes toward him:
    anger and a feeling of family betrayal.

  22. Yes he DID! Have a choice ! I am a clinician worked with addicts for many years. The “I’m an addict” excuse has killed many a junkie who CHOSE to pick up or pick up again… He could have made many different choices

    • To some extent, this might be true. A person truly must want to be sober more than drunk or to use. But somewhere along the line, PSH lost his ability to choose. He stopped doing the things that created his sobriety with one drink. Then he chose to use a drug he had some underlying curiosity over… But 40-73 bags of heroin seem to say to me that there was no more choice for Phillip.

  23. To @Dr Philips,
    You absolutely MUST be high right now to make such an absurd statement! The name Hitler comes to mind!
    I hope I misunderstood the point you were so ineffectively attempting to make. I know that you could not have been serious when you say that addicts are weak therefore would be killed off (more precisely kill themselves off) as in survival of the fittest!! Because you could not, well actually yes you could, be so obtuse to make a statement like that!
    Some of the brightest most loving and talented people I have known in my life (including myself) are recovering..or even active addicts!!
    Figures someone would write that BS and then put DR in front of their name! My guess is you are about 5 foot 6 inches tall and balding! Not to mention the Dr in front of your name is negotiable! If you were a real doc, I’m doubting you would feel the need to spell it out for all to see!
    Personally, as one who has struggled with addiction and relapse, I appreciate anyone who is tries to educate the public! So thanks to the author..but not so much to the selfproclaimed “Dr”!!

  24. I think your article on Phillip Seymour Hoffman was excellent. Can you provide links to educational information that the lay person could understand so that we can be proactive about where we can refer folks to the treatment they need? Thanks

  25. Okay. I guess the comment I previously posted was lost among the blog here.

    I believe the opener with the disparaging remarks towards 12 steppers was ill advised. I know many 12 steppers who have had success. I also believe that “high functioning addict” is an oxymoron. I am very well acquainted with many addicts, dead and alive, I would not call a path of ruinous emotional destruction to your family and loved ones “high functioning”, no matter how much money they make/made or how great they were at their career. As one who has has many battles in life among the types the author discusses, I find the one-size-fits all explanation of the damaged brain more damaging than helpful to those unable to control their compulsions. Let them come into the light to seek help rather than seeing themselves as “damaged goods”, which keeps them stuck in the cycle of “I just can’t help it”. Sorry for all the cliches, but this article warrants it. I have heard many drug addicts say they take drugs because they like them. Good. Then they should keep company with others like them rather than drag others into the wreckage with them.

    PSH was given a Roman Catholic funeral. I am Roman Catholic and in our faith all the of our members are entitled to this rite. I found it strange that he did not see fit to consecrate his own union with the mother of his 3 children with the same ritual. That was a CHOICE.

    This article seems to assume that every person who takes drugs does so without choosing to do so. And that there is no way out if your brain is “hard wired” in this fashion. There are many avenues to cure, the first step which must be taken by the person who at least recognizes that they have had enough. There is NEVER any shame in looking for help. Most recovered addicts I know and people who have suffered from other “named” psychological syndromes are so glad they left it behind. It is not a death sentence unless you “like it”, and since it’s labeled as a sickness, it’s kind of okay. Unfortunately we live in a society where individuality and authenticity are ridiculed. Some find it difficult to deal with strong feelings of what’s going in around them and – hey let’s take some drugs. We all have a natural birthright to be ourselves. If we are ethical and loving creatures we do not have to substantiate our existence to anyone. And we do not have to kill ourselves with drugs because we feel there is not another sensitive soul nearby with whom to share our unique feelings.

    I am not an extremely religious person, but there is a deep spiritual reason that suicided is a sin. Our lives have more meaning than we/they think.

    • There is no such thing as a cure for alcoholism or drug addiction. We recover from a state of mind & body, but our afflictions are always there in the shadows waiting for us to let our guard down. I’ve seen people with numerous years of sobriety falling back into the throes of their drug of choice. The only way we can stay sober is to practice constant vigilance.

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