For hundreds of years, scientists have been trying to define addiction. We know the effects that dependence on vices can cause, not matter what your vice is. I know it all too well. The thing is, is that certain addictions are socially acceptable, while others are shunned, rebuked, and swept under the rug, so as to not have to accept or deal with the problem.
Alcoholism is rampant, but until you ruin your life, binge drinking is perfectly "ok" on the weekends. Gambling is all fun and games, until you're broke and homeless, separated from your spouse, and living on your friends couch, because you blew your entire life savings. Sexual addiction is "cool" if you're a guy, but "whoreish" if you're a girl. And drugs... well, it's ok if it's legal, and all the rappers glorify coke and ecstasy, but God forbid you ever inject heroin.
Is this all a double standard? Of course it is. For years and for likely my entire life, I have to accept the past that I chose, while working extra hard to course correct so that my future isn't defined by the addiction that ruined my life. Amongst friends, I'd have no problem talking openly about my exploits, but I'd never discuss it with anyone who I was actually dating. But I was only fooling myself. I'd get so high off of the experience, but I'd crash so far from the reality. My "drug" was painful. My "drug" didn't just ruin my life, but it ruined the life of my family. I hurt the one closest to me in ways that only God can heal us from. I was a prisoner to the addiction and for all the pain it caused, I didn't do anything to break free from it. Societally, my "drug" was cool. Had my addiction been heroin, I'd have been an outcast, but since my drug was sex, it was glorification. The high didn't just come from the experience, but it kept coming in the continual quest for more.
I was a prisoner. Shackled and bound to an addiction that I couldn't break free from, even after I ruined my life through the painful process of unfaithfulness. Look away. Sweep it under the rug. Act like it's not a big deal. But it is, it was, and if I don't acknowledge that addiction is a very real and undesirable thing, it'll remain in that double standard. This photo was shot of a friend of mine, who also has struggled with addiction through his life. Even before heading up to my house for dinner tonight, he just left a meeting with other addicts, all who have acknowledged the problem and are actively working on rectifying their lives. The thing about addiction, is that if you don't suffer from the disease, you may look upon us as being morally bankrupt, but that's not true. I know the heart of this man. I know where he's been, because while we struggle with different addictions, the pains are the same.
We needed help and we'll continue to need help. We need each other and the support of others, because if we don't acknowledge that there is a problem, WE will do the best job that we can to sweep it under the rug so that you'd never know something was wrong in the first place. Addiction doesn't define our heart. It's taken root in our mind, but we can and we will overcome, because beyond our own desire to seek change, we've both sought refuge in a restorative power that works miracles. There is power in that. I know I'm not the only one, which is why I hit this so hard. I'm aware that society would say that I don't have a problem, but here's the thing. We're not willing to conform to the ways of the world anymore. We're ready to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. #UntilWeMeetAgainProject Day 34.
For day 34, I shot my buddy Curt, who I love and appreciate very much. I appreciate his heart. Thanks for letting me share this Curt and thanks for supporting me in my own past as well.