Thoughts from someone who went to treatment with a British heiress who recently died of addiction. They both stayed sober for more than 10 years and both relapsed. (Warning: I don’t like the writer’s use of the ‘r’ word.)
So I got lucky, and Eva didn’t. I’m sure her parents and her people were just floored when she turned it around, just as mine were when I defied the junkie odds and accomplished something. And I’m sure they thought the drugs were all behind her, but they never really are. Eva’s story reminds me of that movie from the ’60s, Charly, with Cliff Robertson. He’s retarded, and some experimental treatment gives him highly functioning cognitive ability and IQ, but it’s temporary, and he eventually goes back to the way he was. I remember seeing it as a kid and thinking it was the saddest thing I’d ever seen. And that’s what happened to Eva (and kind of to me, also, though I got a third chance). She got this reprieve, and a life beyond imagination, but it was fleeting because a junkie is a junkie, and that’s that. At least that’s how I feel right now. That junkies come to no good end, and despite a lifetime of keeping it at bay, and all my best efforts and accomplishments, the beast is slouching behind me. And that, with the right confluence of fucked-up events, I could end up just like Eva one day, if my liver doesn’t get me first. And though my wife tells me I’m crazy, and that it’s different, and we’re different, it doesn’t feel that way. And that’s the tragedy.
Addicts hate their lives.
Too bad there are so many observers bent on enabling this despair rather than offering hope.