Faces of Addiction at the End of the Trail
I used to do a lot of trail riding in the Colorado Rockies. From my log home, I would saddle up and have several trails to choose from. One trail was only a mile long. Another ten. And still another, twenty-five. But each trail one thing in common there was an end to it. Life is like that. There is an ending to it. I've done a lot of thinking about addictions these last few weeks. I've read a lot of stuff too.
I couldn't help from thinking, where do our addictions take us? What does someone who is addicted feel like or look like 25 years later or, at the end of their trail? It's hard to think about these things when you are young because, when you're young, 25 years seems like an eternity. Plus, when you have your youth, it's easy to feel invincible, like nothing can hurt you (that's why so many soldiers are 19 and not 40).
Where Addictions Lead
The wisest man in the Bible, King Solomon, said some awesome things about life. They are written in the Bible for us to read. He said for example, don't let the excitement of being young keep you from your Creator. At another time, the king was warning his son about sexual addiction. The king didn't warn his son of the damage sexual addiction could do to him today, but what damage it would do to him over a long period of time:
So, my friend, listen closely;
don't treat my words casually.
Keep your distance from such a woman;
absolutely stay out of her neighborhood.
You don't want to squander your wonderful life,
to waste your precious life among the hardhearted.
Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you?
Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you?
You don't want to end your life full of regrets,
nothing but skin and bones,
Saying, Oh, why didn't I do what they told me?
Why did I reject a disciplined life?
Why didn't I listen to my mentors, or take my teachers seriously?
My life is ruined!
I haven't one blessed thing to show for my life!'"
King Solomon painted a very graphic picture of where his son would be if he fell into the addiction trap.
Allure of Addictions
Somebody once said, the devil can paint a pretty picture too. That's true, and so can every addiction. No addiction wants to paint the picture of a life at the end of the trail. But with your help, I have attempted to paint that very picture. Trust me, it is not a pretty one. You may be tempted to turn away. Please don't. What you read from your own peers could save your life. So, the end of the trial does not have to be a horrible, deadly, bitter place for you, but a place of freedom and joy.
Every word you read from this point on is written by you and your peers.
You know my mom has been addicted to marijuana 25 yrs or longer! Her life is horrible. She took my childhood because I had to raise my sister and has left me with a lot of guilt because I did a bad job. She's very bitter about her life and her choices and is extremely paranoid all the time. If you could see and live what I have, you would never try marijuana. After 25 years, she has ruined her life and affected everyone around her. She's left me with emotional scares I don't think will ever heal and that affect me in my everyday life. I can't even have a healthy relationship now because I have no clue what that is. - Kelly
I think that 25 years from now, someone who is addicted to gambling would be living on the street and have absolutely no money at all. People wouldn't trust that person because they've been known to have a problem with gambling. They would end up on the street because they would probably use up all their money to go to the casino and play - Mariah
In 25 years, people that are addicted to relationships and or love will be emotionally drowned by their own needs and the real sad part of it is that they won't even know it. They [will] live their whole life around the idea of always having to be in love. - Liz
25 years from now, a girl with a sex addiction could end up sitting in a room wondering how she is going to pay next month's rent because after 25 years of prostitution, her body isn't beautiful' enough for the business. The future looks hopeless. Years of abuse and roller coasters of emotion have taken a toll on all forms of hope for something greater. The need to be loved and accepted is still unfulfilled despite the money-making highs' night after night after night. All sense of self-worth, value, identity...disappeared long ago. The loneliness must be unbearable. - Sarah
I have had an eating disorder for 6 years, going on 7. I've lost: My friends, my family, my body, my mind, my sense of identity, my ability to think clearly, the ability to stay warm, the ability to not go a day without hating myself. I've lost my ability to know who I am, and my purpose in life other than to self-destruct. My eating disorder started as a way of coping. And I just thought, once I lost a little weight, once I was a little thinner, then I would be better. It would let me GO. IT HAS NOT LET ME GO!! I have become a liar and I hate myself every day. Eating Disorders are hell, and knowing all this about myself, I am still an addict. I'm still sick. - Trisha
I am a cutter, and I hate myself every time I do it again. In 25 years, my arms and legs could be full of scars. I want to work with children when I finish high school, and who is going to trust me with their children if they see the marks on my body? Who's going to ask me for help and guidance with their children if they see what I did to myself? I will probably have lost a lot of friends. I will probably have a hard time getting a job anywhere. I'll have to spend the rest of my life covering up my scars Plus, I may accidentally cut myself in the wrong spot and bleed to death if I don't quit cutting, then a lot of the things I want aren't going to work out the way I dream they will. Abby
There are so many things wrong with addictions. They take over your life. It never ends with just one addiction. Then you can't stop lying to feed your addiction and other times you steal to get what you want (not need). You put your addiction first above anything else, including your friends, family, job, self-respect and morals. Your addiction ends up causing you to hurt the people you love. You mess up your life and sometimes you can't pull back. Pretty soon you'll lose everything, accept your addiction. But by then, it's not even worth it. - Jenna