I don’t believe that M is what society calls an “addict” – at this moment. But I do believe that he has drifted a few miles down the road.
Like most everybody on this planet, I have encountered, loved, and been baffled by people who struggle with addiction. A couple of them are dead, some still struggle, and a lucky few made it to the other side.
My heart aches for those who have loved, and for those whose lives were cut short because of addiction. Many of their stories are familiar – by 14, experiment with alcohol (beer usually) – by 16, time for the hard liquor (usually the cheap stuff that’s easy for friends and strangers to add to their beverage lists) – then comes “pot” (the same illegal substance that many teens will tell you is everywhere in schools.)
Some of M’s peers seem to be able to balance grades, social life, family life, and self-care. I simply want M far from the road that could lead to harder drugs, rehab, arrests, and the body giving up from so much abuse. I’ve seen this happen before. It is a painful, painful reality not only for those who suffer, but for those who watch it happen in front of their eyes.