One Day At A Time: One Woman’s Journey

By Tanya Hazelwood

Believe in Me

Honestly, this week I struggled a little with what I was going to write about. Then I encountered a person that set a fire on my behind and struggle no more, I have a TON to say.

This girl, who I do not know in person, stated to me that she “didn’t believe in addiction.” My jaw dropped. Here is the kicker, her very next sentence was “I believe that it’s your brain telling you that you need it” and then basically goes on to say that it’s completely a choice and it would be simple to just tell yourself that you didn’t need something and be done with it.

OK, first of all – what a contradiction from this girl and was didn’t even realize it. Addiction IS absolutely your brain telling you need something. I shared the definition of addiction with her, which is, a compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance. She then replied once again that she “didn’t believe in addiction” and I was senseless. COME ON!!! This isn’t Santa or the Easter Bunny. Addiction is a medically known FACT.

Take crack babies for an example. These children are born addicted to drugs. They have no choice. They know nothing, much less be able to decide to tell their poor, little brain that they do not NEED the drug. They are physically addicted to this drug. Babies can also be born addicted to alcohol. It is ludicrous to me to know there are people in the world so uneducated about addiction.

Sure most addictions start off being psychological. We chose to drink, we chose to do drugs, etc., but eventually down the road if we don’t get it together, our bodies start requiring these substances to live, to function on a daily basis and sometimes if it’s really bad, should we stop, we die. That’s when it becomes a physical addiction. These are all medical facts.

It makes me so angry that people who have never struggled with any kind of addiction think they have it all figured out. That those of us that do struggle are just weak minded people who we need is to just stop on our own free will. It’s not that simple, people. If it were, why are there so many addicts and alcoholics in the world? No one would CHOSE to go through the misery that people like myself struggle with. This is like saying, “hey, I don’t believe in cancer, or HIV or anxiety.” Or perhaps those in treatment for these illnesses would love for me to approach them and say “oh heck, just get over this cancer.” Sounds silly, doesn’t it? It’s the same daggone thing for drug addiction or alcoholism. It’s a disease.

My request from all of my readers is, if you have never struggled with an addiction, talk personally with someone who has. Ask questions. I hope that you will figure out this is not a question of something you believe exists or not, but in fact people die from this, This disease ruins the lives of the addict and their loved ones.

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