Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sri Chinmoy

I started the day thinking about addiction. I have a family member who is in a very bad, very dark place right now. She has come to this place following the path of addiction. It has been sad, frightening and frustrating to watch.  And if I am being honest with you it has also been annoying.  I don’t think a lot of people want to admit that. It doesn’t make me look like a very nice person. But I don’t care so much about how I look right now, this isn’t a post about saving face.  There has been an addict in my life in one way or another since the day I was born. I’ve seen them get clean and I’ve seen them self destruct. I have loved and hated them, sometimes at the same time. But mostly I have found the addiction and the addict annoying.  Having never suffered from a true addiction I can’t wrap my head around it. I can’t understand why they just can’t stop, why they are so selfish. How can your addiction be more important than your job? More important than your money? More important than your home? More important than your family? More important than me?!
Like I said, I don’t get it. It’s not something I have struggled with. When I wanted to quit smoking I did. It took a a time or two to take but it wasn’t what I would describe as hard.   When I didn’t like what drugs were doing to my life, I stopped.  I had reached a bad place and decided that I needed to change or I was going to have an awful life. It was really pretty much that easy.  I am not a better person, this is not an indictment of addicts, it’s just that it’s outside of my experience.
So when I started looking for quotes about addiction this morning I didn’t really know what I was looking for.  But as I read quote after quote, story after story I was struck profoundly by one thought … compassion is the only countermeasure for addiction.   It doesn’t matter if I get it or if I am put out by it. The only thing that matters is that we don’t give up on loving the people who need it the most.

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