uh-dik-shuhn….. the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
I want to tell you of my, our, personal confrontation with addiction. many say ‘ just stop!’ If only it were that easy ! …………
In the month of August in the year of 1968, our first child was born while i was stationed in the military at the Pentagon, Washington D.C. . He came one month early at Bethesda, Maryland, Naval Hospital. We, my wife and i, were so happy and proud of this tiny bundle. But with much sadness and anger we lost him at the young age of 42…..to an addiction …..alcohol.
He began, innocently, with a couple of beers after work, get together ‘s with friends. Then relationship issues began, work related issues then began. He turned to alcohol to dull the frustrations he was facing. More and more alcohol was needed to dull his mind to the troubles he faced. I know some will say he had the choice to not turn to alcohol. BUT DID HE , it was a socially acceptable form of relaxation, and he used it.
This is a very common addiction…more than three million cases a year are reported. ‘Alcoholism is the most severe form of problem drinking, Alcoholism involves all the symptoms of alcohol abuse, but it also involves another element; physical dependence on alcohol. ………that was our son.
His diagnosis was CIRRHOSIS of the liver. Alcohol Cirrhosis is the most advanced form of liver decease. He would try to stop drinking but the hold was too great. Society’s acceptance of alcohol as recreational allowed him to fit in with his group.
Allow me to illustrate what it means to watch someone with this condition try to function. Our son would stand in front of a toilet and rub his hand around the seat. He explained when he was more lucid that he knew what he wanted to do, but could not figure out how ! He would try to leave the house naked. His mother and i would have to give him his meds and injections because his did not know how. He would become frustrated and turn to violence to deal with his frustrations. We had to watch him every second so he would not wonder off or hurt himself.
When he was admitted to the hospital, and those times grew more and more frequent, he would need to be strapped to his bed. The nurses had their hands full with him. The drugs would clean him up and he was sent him home to start the process over again.
Soon we needed to place him in a nursing home so he would get the proper care 24/7. At one point it became irreversible and we needed to place him into Hospice Care. We watched him through his good days and his bad days lying in his bed until that day his breathing stopped.
To those who ridicule addiction i ask you to open your heart with compassion and see that it is not always a choice. We miss our first born child each and every day and say prayers for those that fall to…..ADDICTION !