A Letter to All Addicts

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


The letter that started it all. I wrote this for my co-residents while at inpatient treatment for addiction in PA. It is dedicated to all of the friends I made there, all of my brothers and sisters
in recovery and active addiction. And to my Colleen, a source of infinite inspiration and support.

Submitted: March 12, 2018

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Submitted: March 12, 2018

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A Letter to All Addicts,

 

We are in the grips of an epidemic the likes of which our country has never seen. Addiction has infiltrated every facet of our lives. An in many cases we re viewed as less than, broken or undesirable. We are caught up in the black hole that is substance abuse. Absorbing and destroying everything in its path. This lifestyle is totally selfish. It takes everything from you. Not just material possessions, relationships and your health, but it takes a piece of who you are.The longer you are caught in its grips, the more of yourself you leave behind. I can see that my eyes grow a little colder. My heart a little harder as the years go by. I grew callused to the world and experienced life through a filter of drugs and alcohol.

We are one of the only groups of people who are everywhere and nowhere all at once. We are brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, tradesmen of every kind and everywhere in between. We are many, and I for one wont be silent anymore.

I want to show the world what I witnessed while inpatient. When I look around I see the bravest, most intelligent, versatile and loving people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. When we leave here its up to us, up to me. To tell everyone that will listen to our struggles and our triumphs. To tell them our beautiful and terrible stories. One addict may be powerless over addiction. But a room full of them is powerful enough to change the world.

I dare people to tell me I cant do something. My own personal struggles have made me nearly impervious to unwarranted criticism. Have given me incredible motivation to be better than I was yesterday. I have become fearless in the face of impossible odds. I take nothing for granted. The sun seems a little brighter. I listen more intently and love more deeply.

When you go through what we have and come out on the other side, you can become untouchable. And untouchable is certainly something to be. My wish is that we are able to come out from the dark meeting rooms and to be fully embraced back into the light of society. Change starts with one whisper, and with enough voices can turn into a roar that no one would be able to ignore. Our generation can be the one that forces change> we need only to reach out and grab it with both hands.

I will always cherish the time that I have had with each and every one of you. And I am honored to play any part, no matter how small, in your recovery. And I have officially decided to dedicate my life to substance abuse counseling and advocacy.

And finally, if you have taken nothing from what I’ve said, if you are still angry, lost and confused as I had been for so many years, remember this. We are stronger than everything they taught us that we should fear.


© Copyright 2018 Jake P. Fortin. All rights reserved.

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