You feel elated, ecstatic. Completely, unabashedly happy.
Nothing has ever felt like this.
Your heart, your whole psyche sings. Pastels meld into psychedelica; bright colors rage. You don’t even need to eat anymore. Love is your sustenance. It keeps you going with an energy you’ve never obtained from mere food.
You now realize that love song lyrics are written expressly for you.
Every evening is date night, just you and your Love. In this Love, you simultaneously melt and feel powerful, invincible. You know you’ll never be alone again. This Love always has your back. No matter what happens, it’s there for you, lifts you up, never lets you down…as long as you keep it fresh.
And you do.
You make it your top priority.
You nurture it, protect it from naysayers, make it the center of your world. Because really, what is life without it?
People are jealous; they warn you of heartbreak. But animals get it; they lick your face, sharing in your joy.
My God, this is living.
There’s no going back…
We’ve all been there. Love. Lust. The high. The obsession. It completely takes over, doesn’t it? Nothing matters more than that feeling of euphoria…
But this Love is different.
This Love is chemical.
And it can kill you. Because you can’t see it coming.
Think you don’t understand drug addiction?
Remember those I-can’t-believe-I-did-that, destructive things you did for love, once upon a swollen heart?
Did your family and friends warn you against it?
Did you listen?
Yeah. Me neither.
If you’ve ever loved anyone or anything, loved them enough to die for, then you’ve experienced addiction. You have seen things through an endorphin haze.
You have looked out at the world through a drug addict’s eyes.
Endorphins, those yummy chemicals that take over our brains when we’re in love/lust, give the same high experienced by drug addicts.
Now, picture the person you love most in this world.
Is this Love your priority? The center of your world? Imagine that this person you so passionately adore is being threatened by outside forces. How desperately will you fight to protect them? Will you hide them, to keep them safe? Nurture them, to keep them alive? Kill for them? Die for them?
Of course you will.
But you are being pushed and prodded, even forced, to give up this Love. To dispose of it, throw it away, never see it again. You will never feel this Love again, never hold it, touch it, look upon its beatific face. You are being asked to ditch it, and replace it with…what?
Whatever it is, can it supplant the incomparable high of this Love?
Can anything? Ever?
If your answer is no, then you are seeing things through the eyes of an addict.
Does an addict deserve compassion for the loss of his Love? Or does he deserve lashing?
That is the question…
“Make no mistake about it, denial definitely played a starring role in Amy Winehouse’s multimedia unfolding,” answers Dr. Howard Markel Riffs in an interview on cocaine and Amy Winehouse. ”Time and time again, she was warned that she needed to do something about her dangerous drug abuse. Negative, life-threatening consequences kept piling up. But Amy simply laughed and sang another chorus of “Rehab,” a song that ought to be the national anthem of practicing addicts,” says Riffs.
I feel sorry for Amy Winehouse.
But then, she never hurt me.
Easy to whip out compassion for a distant, tragic-loss-to-the-world druggie who never made your heart bleed.
Harder to summon that same compassion for someone closer to home. Someone who bleeds your heart dry. Daily.
“Addicts need medical attention, psychological counseling, and supportive therapies rather than derision or blame,” says Dr. Riffs.
English actor/author Russell Brand agrees. “We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help…” says Brand. “I was 27 years old when…I was introduced to support fellowships for alcoholics and drug addicts…without which I would not be alive.”
Makes you wonder…
What is it that saves one 27-year-old addict, but slams another into the 27 Club Hall of Fame?
I guess it depends on who’s eyes you’re looking through…
Have you been love-drugged?
What’s your take on addiction?