I bought some yesterday for someone I visited in a psychiatric hospital. There, the residents time their days by hourly smoke breaks and “group” sessions, between which they contemplate the shadows they hide in but cannot handle. I imagine some visitors leave and never return, but I don’t know any, and frankly I’m sick of spending holidays in these places for fear of the spiral a no-show might trigger. This post isn’t going well… I was hoping for some insightful observations from the experience, but honestly they’re always the same people, broken by their own hand gripping a bottle, pipe or syringe. I wonder how many suffer organic mental illness among the masses that’ve caused theirs. Perhaps I’m being too harsh, but after a life of booze and/or drugs finally renders someone a hollow black, carbon crusted shell, why the fuck are the rest of us obligated to coddle them until discharge and repeat performance? Actually, the reason is to avert the collateral damage to other loved ones if the sad circus leaves town early.
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Is it because the heart overrides the anger and there is some solace in the madness of knowing you tried?
Or the memories of whom they once were and what could have been?
At a very sad memorial recently for a high school friend’s 47 year old brother who lost his battle with alcohol –the same age as his mother who also died an alcoholic death – I asked – is an addict’s only chance of survival rooted in some form of spiritual faith ?