Finding strength through compassion

To the Editor,

Isolation and shutdown are so familiar to the addict and all too common with their support system. Many addicts may feel this more than others due to strictly the tough love approach. Whether it be they remain cold on the streets, inside of a dirty prison or worse, this one track approach led good people into desperate life changing decisions with bad consequence and or death.

Tough love still needs in certain situations to be in effect. Compulsive thief addicts, physically abusive or ones that literally cause immediate harm, tough love surely needs to be in effect. But compassion is the most effective way to find that piece of the addicts heart that so desperately needs to be found and exposed in these dark times.

In taking the compassionate approach, hopefully the addict’s heart can grow stronger with love and guidance to be straighten with support to achieve sobriety and live a drug-free life once again. The drugs alone do enough damage and darkening of the soul and spirit inside, but to have that feeling compounded to reality with isolation and coldness from loved ones with nobody’s shoulder to lean on only makes the problem worse. It is the equivalent of the masses of familiar faces gathering to watch you surely sinking in the quicksand for a slow painful death. THE OPPOSITE OF HOPE IS ONE OF THE SADDEST FEELINGS IN THE WORLD.

So many times,so many years, my cries from the mountain tops were handled as if the devil put the mute button on my vocal chords and dulled my face from excursion and panic to a remedial stare. Only my vocals were of sound and my expression was of stress. It felt as if Dr. Phil and the specialist of the show A&E’s Intervention’s strategy of cutting the addict out completely had become gospel.

The prevention of enabling is stressed to the point that they lost sight of love. The hopeless, worthless feeling was unbearable.

To hear a family member’s voice saying I still love you is what I longed for the most in those dark years. So please give love to those sick from heroin, alcohol, and mental disease. Turning away is wrong. Please don’t make us wonder if our voice had really been muted and written off for dead.

We are still alive and can become very vital members of society. Recovering addicts can be productive, happy, and whole once again if somebody believes in them. Also, we are the ones that will help the future struggling lost souls that will proceed us. Also, best believe love and compassion will be a major part of the tools in the forefront used in helping save lives.

George M. Slanchik

Wheeling

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