Tuesday, July 16, 2013

An Addict is More Than Their Addiction

The news of what took Cory Monteith's life at such an early age really hit me. No, I have not battled with my own demons of drug addiction - but I do know others that have. Before the coroner's report ever came out, people were already speaking of Monteith's past with addiction and that he admitted himself into rehab this spring. I would read on forums where some did not realize the tragedy involved because they felt addicts bring it on themselves.

The truth is, he was a young man that was someone's son, brother, friend, partner and was loved by many. To those that see another Hollywood type with fame and fortune - I say you miss the point. It takes many people years to get that monkey off their back and for others; they don't always achieve it. 

My half brother was also in his early 30s when he passed and fought his entire adult life against the voices that plagued him. I spent so many years upset with him about the life he chose to lead until I finally let go of my anger and wrote a book about his life.

I don't look down on an addict and point fingers in shame over their life. I ache for them in their pain. That they can't let go of what holds them down. That many can continue to go through their days and appear as if all is normal only makes it all that much harder in their quest to rid themselves of the addiction. Because it appears as if they can live a regular life and continue to do it - makes it more difficult to let go.

My heart goes out to the Monteith family and yes, his Hollywood family as well. But I hope that people do not simply write him off as one more crushed by fame. 

A person is much more than their addiction.


  1. Well said. I work with addiction daily and constantly hear stories of perfectly "normal" people who become addicted. They're school teachers, doctors, police officers and people from virtually every walk of life. The one thing they have in common is that not one person ever wanted to become addicted.

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Phil. Sometimes a thought hits me for my blog and I simply have to get it out there (even if it means offending others). In this case, I was getting tired of some of the comments I've been reading about addiction.