The unexpected death of a close friend or relative, a difficult divorce, unwanted change, or even the loss of a job can take away considerable pieces of wellbeing from a previously untouched being. These adverse experiences can occur in both childhood and adulthood and can weaken the entire existence as well as motives for life, especially when those around us were also affected or unable to help us fight our pain because of their own. It is no surprise that anxiety and depression are factors that intervene in such a tortuous relationship with addiction. In this way, the cycle of falling into addictions begins to stun pain, which increases the anxiety of our decisions and feeds our depression. To say that addiction is a decision and not a disease that needs help is to perpetuate a stigma that has been repeated for decades, and for many, it has become a waste of time when there is a life worth living.
As difficult as it is for someone to deal with their problems, the consequences of drug use will always be much worse than the problem they are trying to solve with them. In general, the use of drugs corresponds to a desire to escape from reality. Drugs provide an escape route, a temporary relief to personal, family, and social problems. They are also an exit door in front of the existential void present inside a person, which leads them to turn around in search of illusory exits that “fill” that void. Drugs block all sensations, both those desired and unwanted, and while they provide brief relief to mitigate pain, they also nullify consciousness and the ability to make rational decisions. Some people use them as a means to compensate for frustration, loneliness, self-esteem, and emotional problems. While under the effect of drugs, the person experiences a state of euphoria that makes him forget the problems or limitations he/she has. The worse thing about this is that it is an illusion, after that state of euphoria comes an even greater frustration than the initial one, which leads the person to resort once again to those substances.
Growing up in a dysfunctional family can also contribute to a reoccurring pattern of addiction. A dysfunctional family is one in which the roles of each member are not defined nor respected causing negative behaviors to arise. A dysfunctional and toxic family is characterized by stressful and debilitating situations rather than uplifting and encouraging positive experiences. The problem is that people who grow up in these types of families, do so with these confusing and sometimes disturbing experiences, so they lack the real meaning of how a healthy family should be and the bonds that should exist between each member.
Vance’s mother had an addiction to both drugs and the constant need of being in relationships. Growing up in a household filled with violence, substance abuse, and lack of role models led Bev to make those same mistakes. Bev frequently witnessed violent fights between her mother and father and even recalled the time her mother split her father’s forehead open by throwing a vase at him. These experiences scarred the Vance children but appear to have had the strongest effect on Bev. Although marrying multiple times, it seemed that Vance’s mother was never fully satisfied nor happy. Those failed relationships brought infidelity, violence, and even drug abuse in order to cope with the loneliness. Bev’s regular drug abuse resulted in increasingly erratic and dangerous behavior. She crashed her can in what may have been a suicide attempt, and after being released from the hospital, she threatened to crash a car with her and Vance in it. Not only was this affecting Bev, but it also took an emotional toll on Vance and his sister Lindsay. Vance had to say goodbye to every man he met just as he was beginning to like them and became fearful and disappointed in his mother’s decision to the point of calling her a bad mother and resenting his grandmother for the lack of attention. Lindsay was often neglected as Bev chose to go to parties during her teen years.
Addictions, all addictions, present a double face. First, they appear with a positive, favorable image that attracts both young and old. Afterward, that face disappears. Rapidly addictions begin to show themselves as they are: pain, problems, unhappiness, and multiple disorders. In this duality that addictions present resides part of the potential difficulty in preventing new people from consuming and abusing them. If from the beginning, the prevailing face was the negative, the attraction and mystique that surrounds the world of addictions would disappear. In many ways the process of addiction has been compared to that of entering into a relationship; but in this case, it would be an unhappy relationship. As we go through the successive stages, the commitment intensifies and the influence that exerts on the addict becomes stronger.
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