It’s extremely cliche that a “Rockstar” would go out due to a drug or alcohol related death. It takes tragedies such as Scott Weiland’s death in order for society to take some form of notice to the epidemics that riddle our society. It’s very easy to point the finger in a case like Scott’s where he lived a life of excess in the public eye and stigma enlaced.
If you take a minute and look around you, there are Rockstars everywhere: your uncle that is the life of the party, your cousin who is always at the gym, your friend who is a great cook, the garbage man that goes out of his way to clean up the spilt trash, the family friend that always helps put in your aunt’s air conditioner, the doctor that gave you free medication samples and so on, and so on.
Some of them might have some kind of health and behavioral issues that you might be aware of. Uncle is so much fun when he has a few extra drinks, so you pour him another. You had an operation and luckily didn’t finish your medication, so when you found out that your aunt took the same medication, you gave her the rest of the bottle. You left a bottle of whiskey on top of the trash since they always go out of their way to take your extra trash. You hate that your sibling smokes in lieu of their diminished health, but you pick them up a carton regardless because it was on sale. Your crazy bartender friend always “takes care of you”, so regardless of the substance problems you imagine he might have, you still reciprocate. Your cousin is overweight and diabetic, but your grandmother piles the food on his plate. Your kid won’t stop whining, so you put the video game in his hand, meanwhile your father lets him have a cookie before you pick him up for dinner. Your friend just got a deal on a new XBox off the street, knowing very well that it was stolen…
How about yourself? Do you go help out your cousins at their house every weekend and get “paid” with a six pack? Do your friends keep lending you money, that you mostly spend on things you know you shouldn’t, when you haven’t paid them back in years? Are you currently couch surfing and “looking for a job” when your friends (whose couch you’re on) get up early and work all day while you watch TV all day and let the dog out right before they get home? Do you have to keep borrowing money to take care of your bills while you “look” for that job, meanwhile you’re spend time at the cafe and have wine in the afternoons? Does your “awesome” coworker always cover up for you being late to work? Does your husband make excuses for you when you don’t show up for the family gathering? Does your wife do all of the chores all of the time because you work so much and at the end of the day it’s beer:30?
There are millions upon millions of examples of how we enable people around us regardless of what the person’s issue(s) might be as well as examples of how we are enabled ourselves.
Everyone wants to look good, be liked, have friends, be successful, respected and loved. Rationalization is our best friend as we all want to feel good about ourselves. These behaviors are often presented colorfully as good intentions and they become socially acceptable as well as the norm. All of this is someone else’s problem. Get what you can get while you can, right? “It didn’t happen to me” and “I didn’t get caught” keeps people repeating the same patterns.
I understand that this isn’t everyone’s way, but it does happen more often than most would ever admit. We don’t make anyone have that drink, drive that needle, tell that white lie, cheat, beg, steal or eat that box of cookies. But what part have you played? How have you facilitated or added to the problem? I’m sure most of you never meant any harm, nor thought maliciously towards the people you might be enabling. Your efforts were likely meant to be helpful, protect and keep them “safe”.
I encourage you to think about the changes that you can make in order to truly help the people you love and those around you. How can you be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem? Addiction and mental illness coincide, we’ll be talking more about this in future posts. Most everyone knows someone else whether family, friend, coworker, acquaintance, or neighborhood character that has some kind of substance abuse/ mental health/ health/ behavioral issue. You never know when that one time that you say NO will save someone else’s life. Be the Rockstar you always wanted to be. Love Life Today. THiS ReCoVerY LiFE.
If you feel this has been helpful to you or can help someone you love, you can like my page, leave a comment, share the post and pass it on. Thanx! and be safe.