In short, drug use robs you of life. It robs you of time, of people, of meaning, of work, of experience, of everything that makes life worth living. It gives you an easy out, a way to numb the pain, but only at first. That excuse goes up in smoke very quickly, but too often, people only realize that by the time they’re already hooked. No one wants to be addicted – we like the ability to choose, even if we always make the same choice.
Knowing you can stop at any time gives you a sense of control over how you choose to deal with your own problems – and when that sense of control disappears with the realization that you have become completely dependent, so does any desire to continue using. Yet your body, brain, and mind all disagree, and in the confusion, drug use becomes something almost impossible to let go of. Through drugs, life becomes a blurry mess – and while that allows you to stop seeing all of the bad, it erases the good as well.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can get help, and experience what life has to offer. And believe us, there’s a lot to be experienced.
The bond between people is important. Whether we make friends, partners, or meet new members of the family through birth or marriage, our ties to others are often how we grow and develop as individuals. No man is an island, and no human survives total isolation. We’re pack animals after all, and a good tribe is something we all seek.
To that end, fulfilling relationships are about more than feeling important in a crowd. There is a basic human instinct to look after our own – to love and nurture others selflessly, because ultimately, that makes us feel good too. We take but we give back as well, and the ability to give back and recognize how we affect the lives of others can help us cement our sense of self.
A Sense of Purpose
Speaking of a sense of self, purpose is incredibly important. One of humanity’s most powerful traits is our incessant need to ask ‘why’. Just as we explored themes of philosophy and theology throughout countless civilizations, every individual’s journey is beset with moments of curiosity and genuine mystery. What are we here to do? Everyone finds their own answer. Some seek to be a parent, a sibling, a productive member of the community. Some wish to be firebrands, to stand out and make a change, to inflict their will upon this world. Some want to serve the greater good, however and wherever they find it. Some define themselves by their talent, others, by a craft they honed for decades.
However you choose to define yourself, it takes time and experience to discover who you believe to be. Addiction robs you of the opportunity to explore life and how you fit into it all, and leaves you wondering what it was all for after decades wasted.
A Healthy Self-Esteem
Being comfortable in your own skin is something many drug addicts struggle with, due to a combination of both internal and external factors. Some are driven to feel ashamed for their actions and their behavior by others, and some are driven to feel ashamed for their actions and behavior through an inner sense of guilt, and most attribute their feelings of self-hatred to a combination of both, eventually leading to depressed feelings and a constant, oppressive cloud of negativity.
It’s no secret that addiction is closely intertwined with mental health problems, and while many who go on to be addicted start using as a way to self-medicate, there are also many who only begin developing serious symptoms after they become hooked to addictive substances. Drugs steal the opportunity to be happy with who you are, one way or another.
A Functioning Body
The body struggles under heavy drug use, this is no mystery. Whether it’s something legal like alcohol or something illegal like methamphetamine, excessive drug use leaves us broken and hurting both physically and mentally, through decreased mental capacity, problems with memory and cognition, as well as serious physical symptoms from failing organs and growing tumors to a variety of injuries and diseases accrued as a result of the consequences that sometimes follow the risky actions of those struggling with addiction.
It shouldn’t be a privilege to be healthy, but given the current state of things, it unfortunately is. Nevertheless, drug use puts a serious wrench in any person’s plan to live a long and pain-free life, often drastically shortening an individual’s lifespan without the need for an untimely accident.
It’s easy to forget just how long life can be. Some days go by like seconds, akin to fistfuls of sand slipping through our fingers. Some days take forever and seem to never end. But as a whole, for those fortunate enough to live out their lives into an old age, life can be a journey of countless births and rebirths, of entire stories and complete arcs crammed into decades of experience and living. We are never defined by a single mistake, or a single moment, unless we let it define us. We have countless opportunities to start over and try again.
An addiction does not spell doom for any one person’s life. An addiction is a long chapter, but it can come to an end, and pave the way for something entirely new and different. Something much better. Any time you ask yourself if things could have been different, consider this instead: what do you need to do now to make things different? What can you do, this day, this week, this month, to turn your life around for the better? Drugs are not worth doing, not only because of how they addle your brain or affect your relationships with others, but because they limit your options and completely blind you to the potential you have to live a much better and far more fulfilling life. Regardless of how long you have been addicted, you always have the option to stop and seek help.