Heroin just hit home for my family
I'm keeping what I'm about to tell you purposely vague. The reason for that is I don't want to hurt people who are already hurting enough. Suffice it to say someone in my family that I love very much is hurting right now. They had a friend, a person who was their best friend going into high school, die a few days ago.
It's someone I didn't know, but my family knew very well. A guy who had been to their house literally hundreds of times as a kid. His young life ended a few days ago because of a heroin overdose. It didn't need to happen. But like thousands of other deaths the past few years in New Jersey, it did. He had a wife. The hardest part of this to write is that he also had a 9 month old little baby boy.
Like I said, I didn't know him. But from what I've been told by my family and was shown from his social media, he loved his family very much. He clearly loved his little guy so much. You could just see it in the pictures of them together. You could see his heart in his eyes.
Many will ask themselves how he could do such a thing when he had a wife and a 9 month old baby relying on him? How could he be so selfish, or so stupid? I don't think anger has a productive place here. If you wonder how he could let this happen, ask yourself instead about the things you've struggled with in your life. Have you ever started a diet and lost 10 pounds then failed and gained it all back? Have you ever quit smoking for a few weeks then picked up a pack again? Did you ever tell yourself you weren't going to have more than two drinks one night and found yourself with a hangover the next morning? Did you tell yourself you were going to start being more responsible with your money and a year later were in more debt than ever?
Did any of these things mean you didn't love your child?
None of these things are as difficult to overcome as an opioid addiction. So please everyone, we need to stop being so angry and judgmental about poor people who find their way into the darkness then can't find their way out. They don't want to be there. My heart breaks when I think about this young man's family. A wife's loss. A child who's life is now on a different trajectory. It's crushing. Can we please look past the blame and the shame? Can we really start treating addiction like a medical problem and not a moral problem? Because if we as a society can really start walking that walk and not just talking that talk, it will make it much easier for other young men like this in the near future to get better.
And there's a 9 month old little man out there who would appreciate it if you would accept that his daddy loved him.
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