This letter is intended for people who write malicious comments on social media sites. I, too, was once a self-righteous person who believed that drug addiction was a choice that people made. Why don’t they just stop? Aren’t their children incentive enough for them to quit? What is wrong with them? I felt that way until I was directly affected.
My daughter was doing everything “right.” She was married and had a great job at a local store, where she worked for 15 years and was promoted to manager. While she was working full time and caring for a home and two children, as well as a stepchild who lived in her home 50 percent of the time, she took classes to become a nurse.
She was a hardworking and productive resident of her town. She was a loving, attentive mother who baked cookies for the kids’ school parties and attended all the school sports and cultural events. She lived for her children.
That all ended when nursing school didn’t work out. She had worked so hard and had excellent grades and was on her way to a new career. Then she made one mistake on a hands-on test, and the school dismissed her. She was devastated.
Many other lifestyle changes, including divorce, happened after that. She did buy a house with the help of a local organization and bank, fixing it up nicely for her and the children. Tragically, she then met someone considerably younger than her who had been a drug addict since the age of 14. From then on, it was all downhill.
She got addicted to drugs, stopped paying her bills and now has lost everything, including her job and probably soon her house and car. She’s suffered the humiliation of being arrested and having her mug shot all over the news and in the papers. Luckily, her children are both in safe places and being well cared for, but they are suffering the humiliation, too. They are aged 16 and 8, and they have to go to school every day and get the funny looks, maybe even the jokes. When malicious, cruel comments are made online, don’t you think they see those?
Anyone who writes them should remember that the drug addict has a family and that cruel remarks affect the families that are having a hard enough time dealing with the fear that their loved one could overdose any minute. I simply ask that you stop and think before you offer your opinion about someone you don’t even know, or about an addiction of which you know nothing.
I knew nothing about the drug scene, but have learned quickly. My daughter told me it is a “dark place” that she’s tried to escape, and she has for a while, but it is known as the “disease of relapse.” When you remark that it’s a choice people make, ask yourself the question, “Why would anyone ‘choose’ to lose everything they have?”
Remember that the drug addict may have children who are greatly affected by what they read or are told about their mother or father. I pray to God that you never have to learn the truth about addiction by being affected directly.
Wanda Moran is a resident of Southwest Harbor.