I want to open the door to a common thought space with some quotes from people who have walked into dark places and come up with dark solutions or who have loved others who have done so. I don’t know anyone who wakes up and say, “I want to be a criminal, I want to be homeless, or I want to be an addict. And yet sometimes the unlikely happens…
Anonymous from Birmingham Alabama says:
“I’m a good person. I’m a contributing member of society. I’m educated. I have a good job, make good money, have wonderful relationships with my loved ones. I’m so completely average. The only thing that sets me apart from that other young business professional that seems to have it all is that I’m addicted to opiates. And the problem is that I tell myself every day it’s not a problem because I am able to carry my life on in a normal way…
I’m not a typical addict. I don’t steal, lie to borrow money, I don’t manipulate people, I don’t engage in promiscuous activity…since it’s not ruining my life in the way of major money, legal, or relationship issues I tell myself that it’s not ruining my life. I’m delusional.”
Britany from Takoma says:
“I wish that people understood that heroin/opioid addiction has no face. It spares no soul, and once it has you in its tight grips, you’ll spend your life fighting out of its hell hole. Opiate withdrawal relieves you of all morale and ethical codes you thought you once lived by and transforms you into a hollow shell of the human spirit you were born with. This drug was beyond a shadow of a doubt the scariest most difficult drug I’ve ever had to quit.”
Margie who lost her son in 2010, when he was 22
While I am a mother who lost her son to an opioid overdose, it does not define me, or my family. My son still matters, even though most people cannot bring themselves to even say his name, or recall his memory. I am forever missing my son, Mitchell, and he is my inspiration to wake up and live, every single day.
We are survivors of one of the worst wars in America. We cry every day. We cry for those that will die today, tomorrow, next week, next month and on and on. We cry for their families, and with their families. We are losing beautiful, creative, and loving people, every 19 minutes, and over 120 people a day. It seems like no one cares, that there is no outrage. This is a silent killer, and not enough noise is being made about this modern-day scourge in America.
That they never intended for this to happen to them. That they wish they never would have started. They feel pretty bad about themselves already without judgment from everyone else. They were still good, caring people. Addiction just completely overtook them.
Walk into the Fairfax County Virginia opioid crisis with our guide, Lucy Caldwell, Former Fairfax County Poice Spokesperson and current Director of Communications at Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board.
Until next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.