I caught a bit of an episode of Iyanla Fix My Life the other day — it was an episode about a meth abuser who was prostituting himself for drugs. When you looked at his family, it seemed like they were an every day suburban household. So what could possibly convince this young man to put poison in his arm?
I have a theory that the majority of people who abuse drugs and alcohol have one of the following two stories:
1) They have been given negative feedback all of their lives. You’re ugly. You’re stupid. You’re a (f-word). You’re not going to amount to anything. That’s the only story that they know about themselves. In the Iyanla episode, the young man was teased for being gay, outed against his will as a teen and shunned for most of his young life by his family and peers.
These people are fighting demons that exist in their minds. They abuse drugs to mask their pain, which has been building up all of their lives.
2) They have been given positive feedback all of their lives but then something major happens to completely crumble the positive belief that they have in themselves. For instance, say a woman has been told that she was a beauty queen, a princess, the most beautiful thing walking, perfect and everything that a woman should be all of her life. Then one day her husband leaves her for something younger, fresher and tighter.
Her foundation has crumbled beneath her. Everything that she has been taught since she was a girl is now a lie (at least in her mind). Then she turns to prescription drugs or alcohol to drown out the pain.
Another common example of #2 is a former child star who is showered with attention and money as a young person but then tossed aside as an adult.
Anyone is susceptible to this if you think about it.
In both cases the drug abuser has the same issue.They allow the opinions of others to define their lives instead of looking within and defining themselves.
I firmly believe that discovering who you are as one of God’s unique creations and accepting it fully is the key to conquering an addiction. You don’t have to be what other people want you to be. Be exactly who YOU want to be, even if other people don’t like it.
Who’s life is it anyway?